Well Santa dropped off 3 Kato SD80MAC Norfolk and Southern locomotives (along with a few other things). Are these as difficult to put together as they look or not ? Did Kato do a decent job of drilling out the shells or should I be prepared to redrill the holes for many of the parts ?
I do not have any of these Kato diesels you speak of, but, I have had Kato diesels in the past. Kato, as well as Atlas, do a great job of pre-drilling holes for their detail parts. A good pair of tweezers with flat points will be a great asset.
Just for information's sake, there's no "and" between the two words in Norfolk Southern's name. Our supervisors are very adament about that when they hear us mispronounce our employer's name in the same manner... :-)
The SD70's & SD45's that I have needed some of the holes to be cleaned out, mostly for the grab irons (they are damn'd annoying). I spent about 10 hours on the first one (took me forever to figure out how to disassemble the cab), 3-4 hours after that (usually done sitting in the living room working on a TV tray, chatting with my better half) if I try to go any faster I usually get frustrated, uncrossing my eyes every 10 minutes helps. That includes decoder installation (shrink wrapping loose wire ends and using a little double sided mounting tape) & programming (ok that's only 20 minutes [15 of which is waiting for the hair dryer to shrink the wrap] ;).
Enjoy, they are great engines. I have some undec SD90's and Dash 9's that don't know yet what they want to be when they grow up.