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Athearn HO AC4400CW

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Athearn HO AC4400CW
Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, June 01, 2006 5:26 PM
I am seriously considering getting Athearns new RTR AC4400CW with the newst BNSF paint shceme the SWOOSH.

I was wondering if anyone on here owns one and what they think of it?

like some of the following:

how do you rate overal on a 1 - 10 scale?
hows the paint look?
Is it loud like all other Kit/RTR athearns?
how is the detailing?
how do the lights look?
Does it have Ditch lights?
if it does not have ditch lights do you think it would be easy to put them in the model?
how does it pull, would it make a real AC4400CW proud?
is the speed range close to other caompaines desile engines?
is it reliable, an un-reliable piece of equipment is a nightmare
how is the coupler height?
and most importantly, do you like it?

thanks for any reply.
Sean

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Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, June 01, 2006 5:45 PM
I like the model! The paint looks good. Mine are pretty quiet. Test them out if you can, some are better than others. Detailing is good although you need to add MU cables and windshield whipers. There are no ditch lights but they are easy to install. It pulls good and the couplers are the correct hieght. All three of mine are very realiable. It is a great model and I would recomend it to anyone.
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  • From: Glendora, CA
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Posted by zgardner18 on Thursday, June 01, 2006 5:53 PM
To be honest with you I would save my money for a Kato AC4400CW. I have a RTR AC4400 in UP and it sucks. On the third time on the club layout it started having problems. I took it a part, cleaned it, and it just won't run the same since. It does look nice but I love my Kato so much better. Now if you don't care about prototype then disregard the fact that BNSF doesn't have the new logo on the AC4400's as far as I know. Now I do know that in Livingston, Mt at the Rebuild Center up there they just painted a Dash 8-40C with the new logo, so by now who knows. So just some things to think about.

--Zak Gardner

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Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, June 01, 2006 7:40 PM
BNSF doesn't any so-called swooshes. I do own the BNSF 'New Image' AC44CW. It is a good looking Engine.
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Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, June 01, 2006 8:02 PM
I considered getting the swoosh when Athearn did their first run of it, but since I am not particularly fond of that particular scheme (on the proto or the models) I passed on it. Athearn recently did a second run of the swoosh since the first run sold out so fast. Well, I was looking at one of the 2nd run models on the shelf at LHS (the same LHS and shelf I had looked at the first run in) and marveled at how nice looking it was, and I didn't think that way when I had looked at the first run. It may have just been the particular individual loco I looked at of the first run had issues, I don't know, but a few others regulars in the shop said that they thought for some reason the second runs looked better to them too. Perhaps Athearn improved the paint or details? We don't really know, but I liked the model so much (that second time) that I couldn't leave the shop without buying it - and I still do not particularly care for the paint scheme. LOL

To make a long story short, I think it's a very nice unit!! The details are very nice and the paint is awesome.

FWIW, I have Kato AC4400's (UP and BNSF) and like them too. In certain ways I like the Athearn UP better (I also have the Athearn UP AC4400's) than the Kato UP - the grabs on the Athearn are metal and much closer to scale. Their railings are also closer to scale. Some of grabs are also painted the wrong colors on the Katos. Also, Kato's truck and fuel tank details are not very good on the AC4400's. The Athearn's details/molding are far nicer in those areas. I've had no problems with the Athearns, myself. Ironically, the Athearn is actually a stronger puller than the Kato AC's. I didn't expect it, but when I MU them together, the Athearn unit will either pull or pu***he Kato (depending on whether it's in front of or behind the other) because they do have a slight speed difference between the locos. Now, for whatever reasons, I like the Kato BNSF way better then the Athearn BNSF (non swoosh). It's the sweetest looking BNSF (non swoosh) loco I've seen. Go figure.

I say get the swoosh unit - you'll like it!

Greg
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Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, June 01, 2006 9:40 PM
do a search on this forum for "Athearn RTR AC4400 review". I reviewed it, in the BNSF new image scheme, a while back.
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Posted by coborn35 on Thursday, June 01, 2006 9:47 PM
I will first have to get a CN/DMIR SD40-3 and DMIR SD38 to compliment my SD40-3.

Mechanical Department  "No no that's fine shove that 20 pound set all around the yard... those shoes aren't hell and a half to change..."

The Missabe Road: Safety First

 

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Posted by zgardner18 on Friday, June 02, 2006 9:23 AM
QUOTE: Originally posted by SW Chief

I
FWIW, I have Kato AC4400's (UP and BNSF) and like them too. In certain ways I like the Athearn UP better (I also have the Athearn UP AC4400's) than the Kato UP - the grabs on the Athearn are metal and much closer to scale. Their railings are also closer to scale. Some of grabs are also painted the wrong colors on the Katos. Also, Kato's truck and fuel tank details are not very good on the AC4400's. The Athearn's details/molding are far nicer in those areas. I've had no problems with the Athearns, myself. Ironically, the Athearn is actually a stronger puller than the Kato AC's. I didn't expect it, but when I MU them together, the Athearn unit will either pull or pu***he Kato (depending on whether it's in front of or behind the other) because they do have a slight speed difference between the locos. Now, for whatever reasons, I like the Kato BNSF way better then the Athearn BNSF (non swoosh). It's the sweetest looking BNSF (non swoosh) loco I've seen. Go figure.

I say get the swoosh unit - you'll like it!

Greg


Greg is right about the details on the Athearn be very good but I don't like the lack of ditch lights and the snow plow needs help. Fix those and buy the Details west detail kit for it and you have one great looking engine. I plan on buying the Dash 9-44CW from Athearn in BNSF because 1, no one else makes it and 2, they detail up very well. Add a decoder and maybe sound with some weathering and They should be darn near perfect.

Now you talk to just about anyone in the hobby, and they will tell you that Kato makes a better drive system and motor, so to each is own. Just do your homework and treat this like if you were buy a new car, or computer, or whatever.

--Zak Gardner

My Layout Blog:  http://mrl369dude.blogspot.com

http://zgardner18.rrpicturearchives.net

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Posted by Anonymous on Friday, June 02, 2006 2:37 PM
I do own a kato AC4400CW, and its my most prised engine in my roster, but, I would like the swoosh scheme, and athearn is the only one who makes that shceme. the only thing that is keeping me from getting that engine is the noise that athearns are famous for.
any comment on this
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Posted by zgardner18 on Friday, June 02, 2006 2:53 PM
Personally if I was like you and wanted the swoo***hen I would save for Tower 55 GEVO which is correct to have the swoosh, but that's just me and that's what I'm going to do. I'm just real skeptical of Athearn RTR after what I went through with my UP AC4400. Hey it's your money and you spent it how ever you deem best.

--Zak Gardner

My Layout Blog:  http://mrl369dude.blogspot.com

http://zgardner18.rrpicturearchives.net

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Posted by Anonymous on Friday, June 02, 2006 3:01 PM
that gevo does look sweet huh!
its just so darn expensive. Im only 15, it would take forever to save up that much.. still want it though :-)
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Posted by Martin4 on Saturday, June 03, 2006 5:21 PM
I have many Kato HO models including a pair of UP AC4400s that are some of my best engines with lots of pulling power. But this week at my favorite hobby shop I compared some new Kato SD40s with similar Athearn models ; something has changed on Kato models that are now noisier and lighter than their Athearn counterpart ! The detail level on the Athearns was as good as on the Katos but the price tag was 65 Cdn$ less ! I don't know if this trend will continue but the owners told me they also had many problems with N scale locos too.

Martin
Qu├ębec City
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Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, June 03, 2006 6:39 PM
They are fine just get one and enjoy it!
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Posted by GAPPLEG on Saturday, June 03, 2006 7:48 PM
I'v got the -9 and the 4400 , both athearn , they both run perfect for me, no noise and good pullers. detail is decent, I'm not a rivet counter so I'm happy with them.
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Posted by Anonymous on Monday, June 05, 2006 11:22 AM
If you want a BNSF new logo- preorder the new Atlas DASH8-40CW.

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