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Originally Posted by rdunniii:

But,  I'm a Diesel/Electric fan and I would rather have 3 Overland SD70ACes than 10 Lionel or 100 MTH SD70ACes.

If you had both running side by side, nicely weathered, I'd think we wouldn't be able to tell the difference between them from normal viewing distances.  If your normal viewing distance is from 1 feet away on a mantle then OMI would win out.  I have a set of OMI soon to join my fleet of MTH, it would be interesting to see how they would compare running against my fleet of MTH modern EMD's and GE's.   To make sure the observation is fair, I'll have to dirty up the OMI's quite a bit to reflect the real world prototype.



But,  I'm a Diesel/Electric fan and I would rather have 3 Overland SD70ACes than 10 Lionel or 100 MTH SD70ACes.


Quantity gets me nothing more than more required space.


Richard, right you are, But I have done brass for 40 years and never ade a profit. it is expensive and easy to fall apart. Like said above, a few more feet away and one can be more than satified with MTH or Atlas masterline. If I want to weather then I don't feel so bad about the outcome. But yes, I'd love to have a few new Overland UP diesel units at $2400.



Mike- I have heard that recent Overland mechanisms are quite good, but my experiences have been with earlier imports.  The gears and U-joints on those older models will not stand up to normal service.  The older factory painted UP turbines are the ones that suffered structural failures.


I personally do not care for plastic models, but you are certainly correct as far as the bodies are concerned, and now with the new MTH Train Master, I suspect visually you will have a difficult time figuring out the difference between it and very high end brass.

The Lionel body shell is pretty decent I do admit but my 63 year old eyes can tell the difference between My Overland and my Lionel SD70ACes from 25+ feet away without trying.  The 3' too short wheelbase and 4' too short fuel tank are dead giveaways.  I got rid of my MTH SD70ACes because they were, well, just wrong.


On the other hand when it comes to paint blue is blue and red is red. 

Since I do not feel like doing anything useful, I'll call:


This is a dirtbag $100 K-Line.  From a hundred feet away you can see the end steps need a little help and the trucks are not sprung.  Other than that, this is not really a bad model.  For right around twenty times its cost, I can get one that looks a little bit better, but I believe MTH has gone 2/3 of the way with his new TM For not much more than $600.  I like Train Masters, but not enough to blow the extra $500 on better looking trucks.  I know how to fix the steps, but am too busy fooling around on forums.


Originally Posted by breezinup:
Originally Posted by rdunniii:

My father was a Navy fighter pilot.  I learned from him that boats are holes in the water you pour money into and airplanes are holes in the air you pour way more money into.   And cars can be too, that is why I stay away from all three.

You didn't mention children.

By the time I was 18 I had already decided not to be a parent.  But for completely different reasons.

 I watched a Overland SD70ACe in demo colors sell last week and couldn't bid. I just didn't have the cash. Now if I would have saved for it, it went for a steal.

 If I did have the money for one of these Challengers, I would probably buy it. I guess that makes it easy because I don't.

 One thing about buying the cheap engines, is they come easier. I never thought I'd have this many. I didn't pay that much for a lot of them.

am interested to hear about these as well... bought my first kohs engine just recently.  penny k4, post war version.  runs beautifully, sounds great.  detail-wise i am still comparing vs. pictures and drawings i have of the loco.  i have always like the engine and while not a road i really model i have a nice all kohs pennsy train. 

The Challengers were painted in the ''Greyhound'' TTG/Silver stripes scheme starting in1946.They were changed to TTG/Yellow stripes in December 1946. They were returened to TTG/Silver stripes in mid 1949. The book 'The Challenger Locomotives'' ( Kratville ) has some information confirming this as does the ''Utah Rails'' site. There seems to be some confusion as to the dates this happened between the two sources but not the fact that it did happen this way.

Looking closely at the pictures I see another error. The stack surrounds should be graphite like the smoke box. 


I noticed that too Ed. After seeing the photos posted on the KOHs website I went to my Kratville Challenger book to confirm what they should be. I've slept since then  but what I remember is that most of the B&W photos show the surrounds to be covered in soot, which I supposed someone could miss-interpret as black paint. But, you don't expect that kind of mistake at this price level. But, as I've learned over the decades and heard many times....there is no perfect model. 






Spectacular model!!!  However, that has to be one of the worst coal loads I have ever seen. I sure don't recall the UP ever loading their tenders that way. Too bad someone didn't review lots of prototype photos.  


You're correct HW. I don't remember ever seeing coal loaded that fashion in any UP tender. But, like the black stack surround and upside down coupler it can be fixed. Hopefully these minor issues are not an indication of more serious problems within that are not so easily dealt with. I got mine yesterday (3960) but got home too late to unpack it. Box is nice. 


I have yet to see (or own) a perfect model and although I love maximum details and gingerbread on my model trains, I know there are mistakes and problems with every one of them. The more you study the prototype and compare it to your models the more mistakes and compromises you discover. We can only hope there are no major problems that really affect the enjoyment of owning it.


PS: Great photo Chris!




In the big picture the coal load is really a moot point. It's a subjective thing. I think it looks a little sterile, but some may like it that way.


I can't fathom the number of details, problems and solutions that goes into building and importing a model of this pedigree. If the coal load and the other relatively minor issues mentioned in this thread are the only problems with the Challenger then I think it's a fantastic success.


I don't have a place to run mine at this time, except on a test stand, so I'd love to hear from someone who has run theirs. It has Zimo electronics (DC/DCC) which is a real improvement over previous Kohs models IMHO and dual speakers in the boiler according to the operators manual.  I'm looking forward to hearing it in operation.



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