Well...I was lucky to pick up this engine for a fair price online. Wasn’t sure what to expect, given it is now 18-19 years old, but -
I am blown away!!! Hard to believe this one goes that far back. It has aged gracefully!
The all-die cast construction is very nice and actually satisfyingly detailed, given the inherent limitations of such a mold. Compared to the MTH Premier Verandas, which I previously owned, I am more impressed with the detail and overall hefty look and feel of this one. (Was originally hesitant because the pilot looked exaggerated in photos, but in person it is not so bad at all.) Graphics and coloring are nice too. Just impressive all over.
The only thing that gave me a scare was figuring out the smoke units (there was no book included with mine so I found the answer here). Once I got them both operating it looked awesome the way the rear unit switches off and over to the middle unit at a certain speed. Given how kooky it was to turn them on and off via TMCC - I decided to leave both on in command mode and just flip the switches off on the bottom if I’m not going to run smoke. Easier.
Some of the LED/incandescent Mars/directional lighting is sweet, and Sounds are impressive and it runs good, strong, and very smooth and slow - for early Odyssey. I almost don’t see a need for a future Legacy version, although I would welcome one if it ever does happen.
If you can get one - it’s worth it. Very impressive.
*I am curious if anyone else who owns this loco has ever manipulated the smoke units at all and found a way to keep the rear heater going at all times (the same way the middle unit does when left on). It seems that the rear heater cools down when the unit switches to the middle smoker and it then takes a while to warm back up once it switches back to the rear smoke, so there is a short lag period there where it seem as though there is no smoke working at all. Not the end of the world, but probably my only little gripe. Would be cool to tweak. - Worst case, I may install a small little heater driver for the rear unit that I can switch to (and leave the factory wiring intact, but offline-able), so I can achieve this effect without permanently damaging or altering the original schematic and electronics.