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FCF73EB5-2547-48A9-A594-9986FB07B5878FC461B0-0C60-4B19-9323-CCE6976FB21C

I received my first Lionel Big Boy today and I ordered the “First Run Version”. When I took it out of the box I was taken back and surprised how glossy the engine was. After placing it on the track I noticed that the tender has more of a matte finish. This got my mind racing and I took a step back and got away from it for awhile. 

I called Brian at Legacy Station and talked to him about it and during our conversation I read the fine print in the catalog and it lists glossy finish for the “First Run Version”. I decided to do more research so I went to YouTube and I also studied my personal video and photos. Low and behold the Big Boy was high gloss in May when it was ran for the first time after being rebuilt. Also, I knew they used a Challenger tender because the Big Boy tender wasn’t ready in time. The Challenger tender is not high gloss. 

My final analysis is that Lionel hit a Home Run on this “First Run Version”.       💥BOOM💥 At first glance it looks a little strange but it is historically correct. There’s even a white device on the cab roof that I’m sure Hot Water can tell us what it is. 

Time to prime the smoke units, hook up to the 8444 and my passenger cars and take some video. Stay tuned! 

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Last edited by Rich Melvin
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The Big Boy graphic looks great. The fantasy gray version of the locomotive is very nice. (Mine arrived broken) As for the first run edition. Mine arrived looking as if a toddler had rattle canned it. Not too impressed with Lionel's quality control. (Will also add, each and every one of the Bush funeral cars received at the same time all exhibited broken parts).

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@vash44 posted:

The Big Boy graphic looks great. The fantasy gray version of the locomotive is very nice. (Mine arrived broken) As for the first run edition. Mine arrived looking as if a toddler had rattle canned it. Not too impressed with Lionel's quality control. (Will also add, each and every one of the Bush funeral cars received at the same time all exhibited broken parts).

 

I'm convinced after helping at my LHS on Saturdays, 95% of Lionel's issues with broken parts are not QC but packaging.  The boxes are flimsier, internal packing isn't always adequate, and why most are not a top bottom cradle rather than trying to pull a locomotive out and re packaging it from the side is beyond me.  You fix the packaging and you fix a lot of their issues.  From the looks of yours, some of that is definitely pre-packaging problems.

Last edited by MartyE
@Norton posted:

So Vash, what are you thoughts on your engine? I know if I received something like that I would probably do the repairs myself assuming the parts were still in the box, but the paint, no way. The only fix for that is a complete strip and repaint. No excuse for that in this day and age.

Pete

My thoughts are the first run edition paint quality is very poor for an engine that requires a strong monetary investment. Not even sure I want a replacement for the exact model. The other 4014 would be a strong contender. Tender was sloppy compared to my VL challenger tenders. Had too much adhesive around the decals leaving dullness around those areas. Other than that, good details on the engine and the platform has strong potential. 

As for the 4012, if the front had simply fallen off, I would have replaced the parts. The brackets holding it in place bent and twisted. Wasn't going to risk breaking them and finding out replacement parts were not available. Had a few handrails that were broken too. Tender was perfect and felt like a waste having to send it back. Not sure how many people may be after the fantasy version, but it paired very nicely with the 3977 VL Challenger paint.

@cjack posted:

Change the die versus do nothing 

Exactly. Looking back, Lionel has already changed the die for the pilot so they already spent some extra money on this product. Also, if Lionel did not put them on the locomotive there would be two screw holes. Now, if someone wanted to take them off then they could just unscrew the knobs but there will be two holes. In other words, it would be cheaper to do nothing because they do not have to spend more money to make a difference.

The biggest packing one so far that had me shaking my head is the VL GG-1.  If there ever is a candidate for a top / bottom styrofoam pack it's that one.  Trying to get that engine into and out of that foam on it's side is extremely difficult and I suspect  more that a few folks did some damage packing and unpacking.

Hopefully Lionel will make good for you.  It just seems packing was better years back.  Unfortunately the more detail we ask for the better chance of these issues.

Wow Guys, Thanks for posting!  That 1st run doenst look as bad as I was led to believe...  I would have preferred gloss tender but I get why they did this...  it will say 3985 on the back of the tender?

 

I love that greyhound.  My dealer is getting both in next week, for me to pick which one i want.  I might have to have both!

too bad on the tender.  I wonder if they covered over the 3985 lettering in the first run in real life...  I will have to go look...

 See the source image

ok, looks like the 3985 was covered over.  here it just says UP.

 

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 this is probably where Lionel got the idea to dress down the tender.  It looks more satin here, but appeared shiney in the later runs.  Note only 'UP' on the back and '3985' lettering was painted over...  4014 tender is next to this 3985 tender!

 

 

I really like the cab floor logo!

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Last edited by Super O Bob
@Super O Bob posted:

Wow Guys, Thanks for posting!  That 1st run doenst look as bad as I was led to believe...  I would have preferred gloss tender but I get why they did this...  it will say 3985 on the back of the tender?

 

I love that greyhound.  My dealer is getting both in next week, for me to pick which one i want.  I might have to have both!

The greyhound is very impressive! My favorite of the 2 by far. When I get the new one back I will get pictures of it and the challenger.

Exactly. Looking back, Lionel has already changed the die for the pilot so they already spent some extra money on this product. Also, if Lionel did not put them on the locomotive there would be two screw holes. Now, if someone wanted to take them off then they could just unscrew the knobs but there will be two holes. In other words, it would be cheaper to do nothing because they do not have to spend more money to make a difference.

Like you said, they are add on parts, not part of the die.  It would have been cheaper to not put them on then make them and add them.  And due to how far under the cab they are, you're not going to notice the empty holes.  But being they are tapped hole, they may not even be in the mold and are drilled after the fact.

But this is a beautiful locomotive.  I wish I could have gotten one, but I can't justify the cost at this time in my life.

@Norton posted:

So was the run to the Golden Spike considered the first run?

Yes.

I had assumed it had its original tender by then.

No. They didn't have enough time to rebuild/convert the original tender, thus the tender was taken from 3985 (which would never run again anyway) which had already been rebuilt & converted to oil fuel.

All the pictures I saw of that train everything including the tender and 844 were in high gloss black.

Correct. That's the way the UP likes them.

Pete

 

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