I'm not too worried about the paint, I'm mostly frustrated at damaging it from the constant handling, repeatedly taking off the trucks and then putting them back on. The whole oil paint weathering trick is a first for me (actually, using oil paints is a first for me! ) and it's a learning experience. I thought that giving it a day to dry would be enough, but I'd have to give it more time. The paint chipping will be easy to repair, it's only on the edge of the air tank and the edges of the pilots, a dab of dirty rusty black and it will look fine again. As for the rust, lucky it only appears to have rubbed off on the cab sides, and I can layer a bit more there without too much trouble. This time I'll wait several days before giving it a clear coat using an oil compatible clear coat. But before that, I'll make sure to get it running right. I still like my paint job, I think it turned out nice for a first try, and happy to see people like it too! Working on the trucks is not super easy. to completely remove the trucks from the body means I need to desolder the wires to the trucks. The copper pickup "plates" are sandwiched between the side frames and the main body of the trucks, and nubs at the ends of the wheels fit into these plates, which is what holds the wheels in place. Plus, to remove the trucks I have to jam tweezers between the body and the truck and pry them off (instructions are in a document on the BLI support website). Anyway, if I do remove the trucks (but keep them wired) the wheels do not bind on anything, but do not move quite "freely", which is what makes it so confusing. When I first got the engine, one thing I had to clean up before painting the sideframes was to remove a lot of plastic flashing from the molding process that was contacting the wheels. But, I also completely took the trucks apart (down to removing the individual gears!) and cleaned up everything with dawn dish soap and a toothbrush and inspecting every gear for any additional flash, or something that might be catching. Then reassembled the trucks and re-oiled using some Labelle 108. I also checked the worm gears, and those are clean as well. The one thing that I did notice is that one wheel wobbles slightly when I roll the wheel set down the table on it's own (I initially thought maybe a gear was offset, and rolling the wheels down the table it's easy to see if a gear is offset as it will wobble). Anyway, the gears are all good (no wobble), but there is the one wheel that wobbles slightly. Now, since the wheels notch into the pickup plate, I think that maybe (?) this might be the cause of the surging/slowdown on each wheel revolution. When I was reassembling the locomotive, with the hood off, and with the trucks not yet soldered back on, I used some alligator leads and hooked up the decoder to my track to test that the decoder and motor were reassembled correctly. The motor runs whisper quiet! The worm gears also run true; while it was running I cleaned the worm gears with a small brush, so I could see that there was no wobble there. The problem is definitely in the trucks! I've seen comments like this in forums about the BLI locomotives. I own an HO-scale BLI Consolidation that's a Paragon3, and also an n-scale mikado. I do agree that the decoders do not run as well as all my ESU decoders, especially for slow speed creeping. But not enough that feel that I should replace the decoder. I did have issues with the mikado, but that was with the running gear jamming. I contacted BLI support and they were very helpful in resolving the issue, and now it runs fine. I don't have great trackwork, and the mikado does run well. As for the NW2 I currently have problems with, it's a Paragon4. The decoder runs very very well, no complaints there! I'm convinced the issue is purely mechanical within one or both trucks. Yeah, well, it's just how n-scale is I guess. Okay, to be clear, I did mention four working out of the box, but there are actually six, but two are sitting in a box with broken shells - the mechanisms work as far as I know. Here's the full story... Loco #1 (good) I started the hobby four years ago, when I received a Kato ES44AC as a gift. I installed a TCS decoder in it, and it ran well for all of the four years I've had it. Very recently, I've added a Loksound decoder and speaker to it, and it now runs absolutely beautiful! Loco #2a and #2b and #3 (sitting in boxes, broken shells): I bought a Intermountain SD40-2w and it never ran right. That was returned to the store, and the second one I received was also off. I mean it ran fine, but the shell looked like it was assembled wrong. The cab was glued on at an angle, one of the window shades crooked, and one coupler was barely hanging on, looks like the screw holding it on is stripped. But this was very early in my "modeling career" and I didn't know any better, and kept it. A short time later I bought a second one at a discounted price. Same problems!!! The cab is glued onto the frame at an angle (makes it look hunchbacked) and the coupler pocket is barely hanging on. Why I didn't return it? Cross border shipping, procrastination, and thinking I might fix it someday. A few years later and the railing are crumbling. I broke most of them just with light handling, looks like the plastic is dried up. Anyway I've been so frustrated with these shells that I stuffed them in a box and don't look at them. About two months ago I took one out and tried repairing the cab. I had to pry it apart (because of the glue) and I can't see how it was designed to fit together. I can see that whoever put that shell together at the factory just did the best they could, because it just doesn't seem possible to make it fit! After successfully 3D printing a loco shell in the past year, I've decided these will be my next 3D printing project. So it's turned into a lemonade project. I've since sworn off Intermountain. Loco #4 (initially bad, now fixed): Rapido GMD-1. Took two years to get this one fixed (was sitting in a box for a long time). Initially the fuel tank was glued on at an angle and it dragged on the rails. I finally fixed that after finally learning how to disassembling locos and still didn't run correctly. It would die on every frog. I eventually fixed this by added 440 uf of capacitors to the decoder. Now it runs great. One of my favourite locos now! Loco #5 and #6: Both Rapido Dash 8-40CM locomotives. These have run perfectly out of the box right from the start, and still run great. (well, not entirely true, both had out-of-gauge wheel sets, but I now consider this a required check buying any locomotive, I have yet to find a single loco that does not requiring re-gauging the wheels with the NRMA gauge). Loco #7 (good): a DCC non-sound RS-11. This was my 3D printed project, I replaced the RS-11 shell with an RS-18 3d printed shell of my own design. It runs well, if a bit noisy. ESU is coming out with a drop-in Loksound decoder for this frame later this year, looking forward to adding sound to it! Loco #8 (initially bad, now good): BLI Mikado 2-8-2: Running gear would jam up constantly. Eventually got this fixed with help from support. Loco #9 (bad, TBD): this BLI NW2, subject of this thread... Anyway, I've sent BLI a support request, they've been super helpful in the past, so looking forward to getting this NW2 fixed!