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Quick Review: Walthers Special Edition Athearn AMD-103

Walthers Special Edition Athearn AMD-103 (P42DC) in HO scale. My pre-order through Maders Trains arrived on Saturday the 24th [2009], just in time for my birthday!

I pre-ordered these units months back, and they shipped just in time for my birthday, and the best part is one of the two units was paid for by my wife, as my birthday gift.

Walthers commissioned Athearn to produce their P42 version of the GE AMD-103, in officially licensed Phase V paint.  These units are only available through Walthers, and are not sold direct from Athearn.  The October 2009 release (seen here) contains road numbers 44 and 139.


As with most Athearn products the paint quality is perfect.  The colors seem to match all photos of the units.

As with any previous run of AMD-103's, to include the Walthers Special Edition, and normal Athearn releases, the details are sparse, however fairly accurate for what is included.

Wire grabs are mounted in recessed hand holds, etched metal wind deflectors are nice, and the 5 chime horn is properly offset to the engineer's side, and the etched grid over the fan is perfect.

Details West AM-271 would make for a great addition to bring the unit up to more exacting detail.

The plow is decent, and there looks to be no commercial replacement for it that is correct, however Details West PL-342 might work.

These units would make a GREAT host for Sergent Engineering's new FC87A Type F Couplers.

The units, like with all recent Athearn products, use 1.5v bulbs and a DC light board.  This board has a 9 pin JST DCC quick plug.

Another GREAT release from Walthers/Athearn.  I'm looking forward to the next run.

Prototype photos of #139
http://www.locophotos.com/PhotoDetails.php?PhotoID=77771
http://www.locophotos.com/PhotoDetails.php?PhotoID=93383

I feel this product deserves 4 out of 5.

[Ed Note:]
This article was published in 2009, since this time, Athearn was able to release the Phase V scheme seen here on their own, as well as a new model from Kato.  Athearn recently announced a Genesis version, which I hope to acquire and review.

©2009/2020, Josh Baakko, https://www.modelrailroadtips.com