Lee, it's almost tempting to buy one of those, you make it sound so good! Since I already have a pair of them, the Lionel Vision Line, and the MTH Premier, I think my Big Boy roster is full. However, I did see the LM Big Boy, and it's a great looking locomotive. The nice feature is it run in almost any environment, conventional, BlueTooth, or TMCC command.
BTW, you duplicated some pictures, I edited them out of the OP.
Seayakbill, I ran it probalby three hours a day nearly every day, for years. Ireplaced traction tires and did minor repairs on it twice, and had it fixed three times, once going back to Jon Z when he was with Lionel out on the west coast, for him to look at something and repair it. It was a great loco that gave good service. I hope this does as well.
I presume the real loco's never encountered curves where the overhang was an issue. Is there a reason why the real deals have the pivot point in the center of the loco versus the center of the leading drive unit? I can't imagine why the mfg's would not move the pivot point to reduce overhang as illustrated. Then again, I'm not a prototypical zealot.
Actually, real articulated locomotives had the same issue, but the tracks were obviously designed to accommodate them. There are some pictures floating around of the prototype Big Boy on curves with the boiler hanging way out.
I am on the lookout for a scale one, preferably an MTH so I can run it with my other MTH UP engines.
As for the Lionmaster versions I was given the motor from the first edition. It had the smallest gear I have ever seen on a Mabuchi. I can understand why they fail so often. They changed the drive on the later Lionmaster BigBoys though. The next one got a bigger gear and the latest ones are Liondrive. The latter can also wear prematurely so its a good idea to check the lubrication often especially if you run long trains.