Now that I have my C32.....
My take on this model. Disclaimer first up, I have no association with Ixion other than as a customer. A very satisfied customer for that matter.
1) I found my loco to be well packed and arrived undamaged noting that Ixion have run into damage issues.
2) Visually, the loco looks good. I have noticed the funnel and in the layout room under layout lighting, the joins are not that noticeable. They are much more apparent in the photos I've seen on the net. The headlight lens is a little weird, but it is not a major issue for me.The loco has rear marker lights on the tender which I wasn't aware of. I like that touch as it saves me adding them. Though, I think they are too "white" for this kind of loco. A similar comment for the headlight... it is very "white". Others have mentioned the headlight stand and the clack valves... neither of these items are of a concern to me. Other details are quite stand out. There is beautiful detail inside the cab. Really nice and fine stands for the tools that are packed separately. The wheels are nicely blackened. Lots of very nice detail all around the loco.
3) Getting into the tender for DCC purposes is without a doubt, the easiest task I've ever encountered. And when you take the body off... it goes back on just as easily and no tools required!
4) Running qualities.
Out of the box, on my test track, it ran very sweetly. It traversed a S-curve set of point work without any issues either in forwards or reverse. All wheels were within gauge. I should also add, power pickups on all driving wheels and all tender wheels. Also assists making the loco a smooth runner.
5) Hauling qualities.
Last night, I had it at a friends layout. This layout is USA prototype. I had the loco circling around this extensive layout for quite awhile through numerous double slip junctions without issue. We then tried hauling wagons. Again, I state that the loco was as delivered. I attached four US 40 foot box cars (vans) and a caboose and it hauled that load effortlessly around the layout (large radius curves likely greater than 900mm radius) including a 1:70 up and down gradient. We then attached another box car and with that load, it just began to slip on the up 1:70 grade. The addition of a sixth box car brought the train to a stop on the gradient near the top. On each run, the voltage was kept identical so that the same power was used.
We then tried hauling a load on the flat with the same power. At 12, 40-foot box cars and a caboose, the loco began to struggle with the load but was not slipping, just noticeable reduced speed.
I was personally quite happy with this performance.
Changes that I intend to do which may
add performance is taking the spring and washers off the leading bogie. I'll add a little lead to the bogie. I also intend to take the spring and washers off the post for the tender draw-bar. I'll also let out the tender draw-bar hole a little just to make that action a little looser.
6) Layout owner's opinion, sight previously unseen.
This friend of mine was quite impressed with the loco. He is a very experienced modeller and was quite impressed with running qualities and the visual impression of the loco.
I am quite happy with the loco. I'm happy with how it runs. I am happy with the detail. I am quite pleased with my investment. I think that it is a great little loco for my layout.
Cheers to all,