Athearn Challenger Review

  • Thread starter Mountaingoatgreg
  • Start date



Let me start by saying that I am not a steam modeler but I did get to have a good look at Athearns new Challenger. The model i saw was the D&RGW and I am not a Rio Grande expert so i don't know if the detail is 100% acurate for D&RGW but the locomotive looks good.

The paint is crisp lettering neat and all the detail shows...the didn't dip them in paint like some of their box cars. The detail is well sized and I didn't count all the rivets but they lok to be all there. I can se where some people might change out some details but for the average modeler the appearnce is great.

The model comes in a HUGE blue box with a "remote" battery for the remote locomtive and tender wrapped sepeartly in plastic and placed in foam.
There is a nice instruction/history/explination book that comes with it. The book includes exploded view diagrams and some neat historical photos.
The locomotive runs on either DC or DCC it can sense which one it is operating on.

If you use the "remote" athearn provides it opeartes on DC only turn power pack on leave at a medium voltage use remote. The remote is about the size of a remote door lock control for your car , it feels sheap and the reception is shody.

The sound is NOT QSI but MRC...huge disapoint in my opion. Running and operations sound are ok but the bell rings really slolwy and is really low and hollow and the whistle sounds like a machine-gun waking up angry squirrels. I think out of the factory the sound is set up way to lound for the speakers.

I was not able to opearte it on DCC since it already sold from the shop I work at but the next one will get a good DCC test and see how the sound and opeartions are.

The locomtive runs smooth and glides to a stop and has monemtum starts, headlight is bright and a decent color. Overal a good looking and operating locomotive. The only dissapointment is the whistle and bell. So overall good model ok sound price is a little prohibative.

Scale of 1-10 (10 being best)
Appearnce 8
Sound 6
Opeartions 8

Overal 7 1/2

These opions are strictly my opions and are not the opions of mangment this forum any other forum union pacific. Rio Grand ..God rest their sole, my mother or your mother ....but if you have an opion

Be Wise Beware Be Safe
"Mountain Goat" Greg