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As such, the 4-8-2 is susceptible to shipping damage, and I had to re-attach a piece of the cab roof which broke loose during shipping as a result.
Overall I really like Athearn's quality for the money and would highly consider them in my purchasing decisions.
Now repaired, it runs great for me in DC mode, is exceptionally quiet and smooth, lights very nicely (has actual bulbs in numberboards, not sure about headlight and tender backup light--they may be LED--are bright).
Now if I only had a good means of weathering that repaired cab roof... their comments were that 1)their gears were machined from solid delrin and wouldn't split like the original molded plastic ones and 2)these are nice locomotives and it baffles them as to why Athearn chose to save money by putting such cheep gears in scott writes: I have a Challenger and enjoy it.
However some of them suffer from degredation of the cast material, causing them to swell and warp.
Pickup varies from tender only to tender and loco, some have plastic drivers, some plastic with metal rims.