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Up for a small and brief pictorial review is the Tower 55 ("the company formerly known as") ES44DC in the ATSF fantasy scheme, engine #777.

The model is an overall (apparently when compared to pictures of the real thing) correct rendition of General Electric´s GEVO offering. Santa Fe, of course, never had them , but since I like the paint scheme, I decided to get the fantasy model.

Crisp molding on the truck details. The paint job is really good, although you can´t read the warning signs´ small inscriptions.

Lots of pre-installed add-on parts, grabs, handrails, photoetched grilles and even walkways that resemble the anti-skid materials texture as can be seen on the real thing.

GPS antenna, walkways and (illegible) warning signs.

To establish a reputation as being a #1 model railroad nitpicker, these ditch lights suck and in no way reseble the real thing. Kato and Athearn do a better job at these. And while I´m at it, the package is about the wobbliest, least protective thing I´ver ever seen on trains Made in China. Consequently, some parts of the engine had to be re-assembled by Truly Yours. :mad:

Also, a major flaw is that the DCC-less units do not feature any socket for a decoder to plug in at all. Thus, any DCC decoder would have to be hardwired - this is imho unacceptable for a modern-day model engine. I emailed Tower 55 ("yada yada..."), and received a reply that the engine came without a DCC socket to cut costs. On a $ 259.00 RRP engine? Sure. And the moon is made of green cheese, or what? :mad:

Overall, a nice engine with some lesser and one major flaw. It cost me EUR 115,-- plus some EUR 18 s+h flus 19% $§/%&ing import tax.

The engine did gather some dust in the last couple of hours - sorry about that.
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