I would like to see stronger Headlight performance and the red mars light is a nice touch but could also be brighter.
Overall I really like Athearn's quality for the money and would highly consider them in my purchasing decisions.
As such, the 4-8-2 is susceptible to shipping damage, and I had to re-attach a piece of the cab roof which broke loose during shipping as a result.
There was other minor damage as well; thankfully most of the fine details on this model are easily glued.
That engine uses so much power that it shuts itself off and when you want an operational coupler for dubble-header operation, they only give you the parts and say "figure it out yourself because we don't want to put it on the manual" and some of the parts fall off.
But, they do add a lot of detail and sound to this engine. Richard writes: I have a previoue run Athearn FEF that has the older MRC sound and control system.
the first Mike was from the very first batch and has worked perfectly since new, the second one came a few years later and the gear S. The Pacific split it's gear also and i am going to buy the replacement gear from N. The Digitrax system is fine and the sound (DCC) good. No more Atherin car kits to be had but I have 45 freight cars and a passenger train that I seldom use.