I strongly recommend against it. I own one of the first ones delivered . Read the Aristocraft web site, check their forum as homework. If you must, buy used. No spare parts, little to no ability by Aristocraft to fix or repair their own live steam product.
He just got caught in the "warranty trap".... I'll let him tell his story himself.
Here's the response from Aristo to him on their forum:
Navin said this:
Jerry, The live steam did not have any pressure gage on it and I do not have any in stock.
Let me to know if you have the pressure Gage at your place. Also there will be a charge to repair this locomotive. Some one adjust/modify parts on this locomotive. The charge will be $80.00.
Interesting about the warranty: 1 year. In particular the warranty does not apply if any work or modifications done by non-authorized service centers or technicians. Yet as in Jerry's situation the boiler leak had nothing to do with any modifications but Aristocraft chose to void the warranty for a situation of their making with poor QC in the production at factory. As in Jerry's case.. so what with regards to the warranty when you can get the work done for $80.00 Thus an owner having had purchased the locomotive he/she either waits a year to modify or modifies and/or pays $80 for service (if there is any parts available or a "technician" that can do live steam work- in the case of boiler repair....).
I made a new carry case for my Aristo Mikado. When I tried to put the loco in the case, the case was 3 1/2" to short. So, I shortened the engine so it would fit. Aristos warranty is as good as a Spitoon with the bottom missing.
Thanks for all the good advice, I will look at the sites. I don't worry about Aristo's warranty. I have a lot of electric engines that I convert over to RC/Battery as soon as I get them and that voids the warranty. But I'm digressing. Again, thanks. See you at Diamondhead next week.
When walking around Diamondhead next week, if you see me, stop and introduce yourself please. I'll be able to tell you what I wanted you to see in the next SitG magazine. I won't be there until Sunday (the 11th) though. Hope to see you then.