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Athearn U30C Review Athearn's U28C/U30C...
Athearn's U28C kit may or may not be a great rendition of a U28C, I have no idea.  Chessie didn't have any U28C's so why did I buy this kit???  Well, the U30C is almost identical to the U28C.  Chessie did have 13 U30Cs.  However, here in lies a trick.  The only units that the Athearn U28C kit comes close to matching are C&O units #3300-3303.  Even at just 13 total units there are significant structural differences in Chessie's U30C's.  If you want to model #3004-3012 then you can use the Athearn U30C as a starting point.

The Athearn kit comes powered or dummy.  Powered should cost around $25, dummy around $12-15.  There are some U28 type features that need to be changed, but nothing really major.  The headlight on the nose needs to be removed.  The two boxes on the left side, right behind the cab need to come off too.  There are two sets of grill vents right in front of the radiator, right behind the "System" in the pic below.  You can replace these doors with detail parts or live with the minor discrepency.  I chose to live with the discrepency.  Out of the box it is 75% or so accurate for the C&O units #3300-3303.  With a little help it can be almost 100% accurate.

Below are two pics of real U30C's.  Both are Dean Heacock pics.  The U28C kit is good for the one on the left, the U30C kit is good for the unit on the right.

Dean Heacock photo                                                                Dean Heacock photo

Below are pics of my U30C.  To see a complete "how to" article check out the Athearn U30C tips page.  Or for more information on U30C's see my 3301cs-c&o page.