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Hello there

I want to buy couple of SD-70 and i cant decide what to choose (kato or athearn genesis)
if anybody can help me here that be nice :)



Registered Member
Staff member
Would like to help but I don't own either of those makes, although someone around here must own the odd one
Cheers Willis


Okay, first off Kato doesn't make an SD70, only the SD70MAC. So if you want an SD70 (standard cab) SD70M or SD70I you have to get Athearn.

As for the SD70MAC's... Athearn is the better model over all. They look better and run very well. That said, I plan to buy Kato's at some point because they run better and pull better in my opinion and I plan to kit bash and detail them so the lesser detail is not a concern for me.

Anyway, I'd say get the Athearn. They have way more selection in paint schemes and each unit is as acurate a model as you can buy.


master_train said:
So, you say actualy that kato have more details than athearn's?

No, I think Athearn's looks far better. I think the Kato runs and pulls better, but the detail is not up to todays standards.


Ignorance is Patriotic
I actually prefer KATO over Athearn, and find the Kato not only runs better, but the detailing is better as well.

An important (and deciding) factor for me, when I was comparing them side-by-side in the hobby shop, was the black caulking that surrounds the front windows. KATO has a nice, tubular piece surrounding the windows (as per prototype), while Athearn has a flat (and too wide) piece that looks like it's painted behind the windows.

KATO also comes with windshield wipers and a variety of other details, although if you add your own detail parts I assume that's not an issue.

There's just something about Athearn's SD70M that looks "toy-ish" to me, but that is just my opinion. KATO would be my recommendation.


Go make something!
I have both and like each for different reasons. The Kato runs smoother, one of my Athearns has sqeaking brushes in the motor. The see-thru grills on the Athearn are nice and it would be difficult to replace the Kato ones with Cannon parts but could be done. The Kato details are plastic so they have a larger cross section than the wire grabs on the Athearn but I can't get the plastic handrails on the Athearns to stay straight and in their holes. Support you local LHS and compare them side by side and buy one there.


New Member

I am a big fan in model railroading and i belong to a model railroading club and they mostly have kato. I would personally chose kato because of the way they pull and there worth the price for what your getting. At the club they pull about 100 to 150 loaded coal cars and it takes 2 kato sd70mac to pull it. it basiclly depends on what kind of locomotive your lokking for and what the purpose your using it and how much your going to spend.


Diesel Detail Freak
The compairion I made today, lol before I read this post even, I was deciding which ones I want to add to my collection. The Athearn Genisus SD70MAC looked MUCH smoother and more detailed then the Kato SD70MAC, but I KNOW that the Kato runs smoother. As Stated earlier the Athearn models are specific to prototype phases. As for other SD70 Models, you're stuck with Athearn Genisus models.

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