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PC: Stewart paint/was Athearn, Kato, etc., etc,.

I must agree about your synopsis of $135+ poorly done "limited run" models
from a myriad of manufacturers. I guess my biggest disappointment with the
C628 is that the shell is no longer is state of the art,say compared to the
P2K GP30 or the Athearn SD70/75 family. I still must buy $20-$30 worth of
detail parts in order to bring it up to the standards of either P2K or
Athearn Genesis. How about the drop steps? You need the large wide open
grill type steps which I believe you could make one from one of the Plano
roofwalk parts,but again for $135 retail should you the modeler have to do
this? As for paint,both Kato and  Stewart are very poor with color
reproduction,seperation,and correct typeface. Again it depends on the road
and scheme,but the last batch of SD40-2s from Kato were horrendous. I have
purged the Athearn diesel from my roster,mainly due to the conversion to
DCC. The requirements to make an Athearn have comparable speed
characteristics to Kato,Atlas,or even P2K are not worth the time and
investment with only a handful of truely scale carbodies available,
i.e.,GP38-2,GP40-2,SW1500,and only now the new and improved SD40-2. I have
heard this over and over and over from Athearn diehards:"Put a NWSL/A-Line
motor and some NWSL nickel silver wheels in it and it will run like an
Kato". By the time you are done with the conversion you have spent the
equivalent of the price of an Atlas,Kato or P2K. With Atlas releasing the
GP40,and more than likely a GP38,and in addition the possibility of the
SD35, all in HO scale,this may very well be the death knell for Athearn.
Plus P2K is producing the SD60 way ahead of Athearn and that will hurt all
that alleged marketing of that release from them as well.

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