Hello again folks! I hope everyone had a good 4th of July!
Today I'm comin' at ya with a duo of reviews - a loco from one of my favorite fallen flags, and a model of what I believe to be one of, if not the, best looking trucks ever.
Without further ado, let's get started...
First today, from Athearn, we have SBD 1640, an EMD GP40-2.
EMD GP40-2 History: a model designed and built by General Motors Electro-Motive Division as part of their long-running "General Purpose" line, the GP40-2 is a 3,000 hp, 4 axle, diesel electric locomotive. The power is provided by EMD's 16 cylinder turbocharged 645E3. It was part of EMD's very succesful "Dash 2" line of locomotives, and like most of the line, the GP40-2 was popular, with 1,143 units being produced, from 1972 to 1986, both by EMD and their Canadian subsidary GMD (General Motors Diesel), with a few variations, such as the GP40-2LW with a "Canadian Cab" and the GP40P-2 for passenger service. They proved to be typical of most of EMD's Dash 2 line, with the vast majority still being in service today, both on the major railroads and on shortlines.
SBD 1640 History: originally bought by Seaboard Coast Line as SCL 1640, it was built in April of 1972 and delivered to SCL in their black with yellow striping scheme. The next chapter will require some explaining - Seaboard Coast Line Industries owned the SCL, Louisville & Nashville, Georgia Railroad, Atlanta & West Point, Western Railway of Alabama, and the Clinchfield, which each ran semi-independently under the collective moniker "Family Lines System" (there also a few additional smaller lines involved). In 1980 SCLI and their lines merged with the Chessie System, which resulted in the CSX Corporation. In 1982 CSX Corporation merged the until-this-point mostly separate Family Lines into one company, the Seaboard System Railroad. Thus SCL 1640 became SBD 1640, and recieved a new paint scheme. Seaboard System was essentially a temporary railroad to consolidate several railroads and make merging easier and get everything under one command. Seaboard System would rename itself CSX Transportation, which in turn fully absorbed the Chessie System as well, which created the CSX we know today. Oh, and it resulted in 1640 falling under a new reporting mark, CSX, getting a new number, 6350, and a new paint scheme. And after all that, CSX 6350 is still in service.
Now, on with the review!
Info on the box -
And the loco -
I've always liked this scheme - simple but classy.
It originally took me a while to realize the logo was 2 stylized Ss. (Plural of S = esses...?)
And a bit of damage.😐
A broken handrail - again, an issue with Athearn's flimsy handrails!
Good - As is typical with Athearn, it sounds and operates perfectly. Also, it has good weight, and thus handles a train superbly. All the DCC stuff works as it should, and it has no issues with derailing.
Bad - As is also typical of Athearn, the flimsy handrails are a problem, with the one above broken straight from the box. Also, if you look closely, the yellow sill stripe slightly obscures the "F" denoting the front of the loco. One other odd little issue - a noticeable gap between the short hood and the cab. I haven't seen that on any other similar model.
Verdict - the few issues are really minor, and don't impede operating the loco, or seriously detract from its looks - except the broken handrail, which required careful glue application. Overall it's a typical Athearn loco - a couple really minor cosmetic issues, but it operates and sounds perfect.
I definitely recommend it!
Next, from Brekina Automodelle (car models), a Kenworth K100 with the "Aerodyne" sleeper.
Info on the box.
"gelb/weib" = yellow/white.
Pairs well with the J.B. Hunt trailer.
The mirrors oddly came like this.
I think the K100 with the Aeodyne is the best looking cabover ever, and one of the best looking trucks ever - love that original Aerodyne style!
Good - Looks great, good quality, no damage.
Bad - extremely minor issues; I'd have preferred the mirrors to be attached from the factory, and the fuel tanks could've been more shiny (polished looking).
Overall, it's great.
That's all for today's edition - as always, I hope you enjoyed, and thanks for looking!
P.S. - I tried a different technique on the star ratings for the loco - what do you think?