I received my two U28B's yesterday and my level of frustration was only lessened slightly after looking them over.
I knew about the "deluxe" lettering about 2 weeks ago fro Chip Syme. I spoke with Mark Branibar and mark pretty much confirmed that Life Like used modeler's (manufacturer's) license in painting/lettering these locomotives.
Here are my initial observations:
1. The 2822 is pretty much OK in the painting/lettering with full PC lettering, i.e., PENN CENTRAL and herald on the sides and the correct white number boards with black lettering.
Heralds on low nose and end of high hood. The style of the numbers on the cab sides is correct, although the numbers appear to be "slim" and the incorrect deluxe color.
2. The 2823 is all black w/o PENN CENTRAL and heralds on the sides. It too has the same deluxe cab numbers, the heralds on the ends, although the herald on the low nose appears to be slightly too large (tall?).
3. Your comment on the BN U28B's in the Walthers ad re: the body appearing to sit too high on the frame/mechanism. I got the same impression. It appears that the body needs to sit about 3-4 inches lower.
4. The trucks appear OK and do have the simulated stand-alone air lines from the brake cylinders. Since the trucks are metal, adding detail to the trucks (wheel slips, speed recorder or ATS shoe, if applicable), might be a bit more challenging.
5. Additional parts include a fairly decent plow, sinclair (which is not as nice as DA Custom finishing, or Precision) and solid black separate wind deflectors (interesting idea but I think would detract from the appearance).
6. Windshield wipers are an integral part of the windshield and are printed silver. The are OK, but IMHO, separate parts would improve the appearance.
I haven't had the chance to operate them so I cannot comment as to their operating characteristics and how they might mu with other makes/models.
Overall the models appear pretty nice with see through grilles. A nice touch would have been to make the tops of the radiator section see through as well, but LL chose not to do that. The dynamic brake grids are separate stainless etchings and are a nice touch.
I'm not thrilled about having to remove the deluxe numbers and don't know whether alcohol on a swab, scraping or sanding is the preferred method. Could someone please advise which decal producer makes the correct (later GE) style of numbers?