Today I was pleasantly surprised to receive from LOTS the 25th anniversary engine I ordered last summer. I had not expected it until late spring, based upon the delivery schedule as I remember it.
Appearance: The LionMaster engine is a slightly smaller than scale version of Lionel's scale SD-80MAC, and since I have both versions, a quick comparison notes that the engines give the appearance of being the same, with one slightly smaller. The balance and visual effect of the scale piece is transferred nicely to the LM version, although it is approximately 2" shorter in length, and a bit narrower as well. A quick eyeball tells me the height of the LM is slightly more than 1/16" lower, so all dimensions are reduced to give a good representation of the actual thing. Detail is maintained, and what you see on the full scale piece is also seen on the LM version, although a few add-on items on the scale sized version, grabrails noticeably, are molded on the LM engine.
Decoration: The warbonnet paint job on this engine is outstanding with crisp color separations and many small add on signs, labels, etc that are clearly read under the magnifying glass, but not easily read without. Since this is a club engine, a LOTS 25th anniversary decal is attached to the rear of the engine and it is named "City of Cincinnatti" to celebrate the club's founding clty. Summing up, this is a really attractive engine, will get a lot or running on the layout and at my TMCC demos.
Performance: This is a full featured Lionel engine with command, Odyssey, Railsounds 4.0, Towercom, crewtalk, operating couplers, twin motored with 4 traction tires, ditch lights (non-oscillating, unfortunately), directional lighting, smoke, etc. and all work as they should. The RS seem dead-on in accuracy, but if there are sound differences between modern engines, I cannot tell what they are, so I will just say that it sounds exactly like the big ones do when I see them at the grade crossings near here. The Odyssey is smooth through all ranges, with the initial slow speed measuring out to 4-5 scale MPH. Experience has shown that this will drop a bit when the engine is broken in. I did not run this engine with the Odyssey shut off, so cannot comment on that.
Summary: This is a very attractive engine in every aspect which will please anyone fortunate enough to have purchased it. I am sure that the other roadname versions of this engine, available through the normal Lionel dealer network, will deliver equal amounts of enjoyment.