That’s a clean looking way to do a control panel. How are you driving the touchscreen and the switch motors?
Generally speaking, the level of detail and operating performance of modern HO is fantastic. I’m quite impressed. Some locals find details to be delicate and easily broken during operating sessions.
Back in the 1980s Overland imported quite a few different variations of the GP35. The detail is pretty nice. I have one N&W high-hood, a GM&O version painted A&O with trade-in Alco trucks, and a few others waiting in the closet to be rebuilt.
If you pick up a vintage Overland GP35, don’t expect it to be an RTR experience!
This era of Overland brass commonly requires a lot of tinkering. Many of the models have cold solder joints that crack. Blobs of solder paste didn’t always get hot enough in the oven and fused to a granular lump instead of flowing. These days I resolder all the structural joints with a resistance iron after stripping any paint.
I’ve opened up numerous gear boxes to stop gear teeth from jamming or making clicking noises. The sides of gears rub against each other, and the edges of the teeth were not beveled. For this I use a die grinder and a cylindrical diamond burr.
Some of the drives use an acetyl coupler to power the gear tower input shaft. The set screw often strips out.
If you look closely at the truck springs in the above photo you will see that I installed a second set of springs. The OEM springs were too soft for the weight of the engine (the fuel tank comes with a large slug of lead.)
On the plus side, there is plenty of room inside them for a Loksound V5DCC decoder and a gutsy Tang Band 1925S speaker module firing up and out the radiator fans and air intake grills. A&O operators have been impressed with the amount of bass compared to any of their HO and N scale engines.
Another thing I consider a plus is the freedom to add a lot of lighting. The most recent Overland I rebuilt, an Alco C425, contains 24 LEDs (could have been 26 but I didn’t light the cab.) Ground lights under the cab can be opened up with a tiny burr.
Atlas did a couple runs of the GP35. Fortunately the 2-rail units came with solid pilots, but many of the details are somewhat oversize to make them more durable for the 3 rail market. Truck side frames stick out too far to clear wide 3 rail pizza cutter wheels.
All Atlas engines except for their SW8-9-1200s use two vertical can motors. Evidently this arrangement is fairly durable but low-speed performance without a good back-EMF decoder is poor. The stall current of each motor is said to be 3A and they come from the factory wired in parallel. Some people rewire them in series which can affect traction should wheel slip occur. The motor for the front truck intrudes into the cab.
Some parts of Atlas engines are zinc alloy. Alas not all parts have been free from zinc pest. I personally witnessed the pilot of an undecorated F3-A start to crumble in my hand. Fortunately a P&D pilot fits just fine.