Before you fine folks start to bash someone, maybe you should look into things a bit.
Copied from the Big Boy order form on the Kohs website:
Union Pacific 4884 class 'Big Boy' Order Form Before ordering please confirm availability with us directly. The price for all versions is $6,000USD (plus shipping), a $3,000USD nonrefundable deposit is required at the time of ordering to secure your reservation, this now includes a $1,500USD incremental payment previously specified at the outset of this project. The balance including shipping will be due prior to delivery.
This is copied from the project page and mentions the beginning of the reservation process:
10/28/14 - Good news........the production schedule for the remainder of this year and 2015 has been set........long story short, the reservation process for the Big Boy can now begin!
So Mr. Kohs has not had anyone's deposit for 7 years.
So sadly Mr. diSanti's friend has no case, and if he was really worried about sending his son to college he shouldn't have been blowing money on brass models.