Once again I find myself humbled by not knowing whom I am responding to. If you don’t mind doing so publicly, those reading this list I am sure would appreciate knowing at least your first name now that you have disclosed what you do for a living (something most of us either dream of doing or pay outrageous sums of money to do for a few hours).
Given your profession, might I also ask why you purchased an electric version versus live steam? I am very active in the live steam side of this hobby and there are several people that share your profession and also do it for a hobby. You are the first person I have run across however that has crossed over backwards and purchased what we in the small scale live steam side of the hobby refer to as a “sparky”. No offense in any way intended.
My customer relationship with Accucraft dates back close their inception. One thing I have learned over these years is that any generalized statement made about them or their models will instantly be proven to be untrue. The following link is an example as my new RGS 41 that has the correct rounded domes.
I would totally agree that you have an understandable right to not be satisfied with yours being delivered with fluted domes. As you will find, Accucraft provides excellent after market support correcting all the peculiar factory mistakes.
A word of caution about sending your entire engine back to Accucraft. Accucraft most definitely honors their guarantee but in many cases instead of fixing what is wrong with yours and returning, they simply send you a new engine. This is good in that you do not have to wait for their backlog in there service department. This can be not so good in that each engine is hand made and the engine you get back might have a totally new set of peculiar detail issues, although seldom as significant as yours.
If you look closely at my engine for example, you will note that the front cab doors are hinged on the wrong side (one back door also) and for some very odd reason, my cab side are in-stepped instead of having a flush cab side. Obviously I got the wrong cab for RGS 41 combined with a totally unique assembly error. I have already fixed the doors and will fix the cab side before I paint. For me this is much easier that even boxing it up to send back. Alternatively, all I really had to do is call and I would have had a correct cab sent to me in the mail.
Unfortunately these types of detail error are not unique to Accucraft, but occur with most expensive brass models in all scales as these are all produced in very low numbers and assembled by hand. With patients, Accucraft will make good with their guarantee but if you choose to send the engine back, it might take a few iterations before you get one that is correct. Also UPS has even more of a tendency to create unique pile of detail parts even with the exceptional packing Accucraft uses.
Finally since this appears to be your first Accucraft locomotive, if you don’t already know, Cliff is the primary Accucraft technical representative you need to know on a first name basis. Cliff is also very much a hard core live steamer both in model and full scale. He has throttle time on most operating prototype engines around the country. I can assure you that if you simply mention who you are and what you do for a living, you will receive his undivided and immediate attention. There might be a little exchange for a unique opportunity which I am sure your current employer publicly states is absolutely forbidden. For insurance reasons I know this to be true. For some reason however, Cliff regularly gets access to throttles on a far to frequent basis to explain. I guess that must be one of the perks associated with his job. He is also a highly knowledgeable great guy but that probably has nothing to do with it. Unless of course your RGS 41 gets sick and nobody in your shop can figure you why.
RGS in Live Steam