Some milestone dates of the Aster Challenger project
2/10/2010 UP Challenger project announced and survey started.
4/13/2010 Union Pacific Railroad Co. grants limited production and trademark certificate to Aster Hobby.
1/20/2011 Pilot model design and development started.
8/15/2011 1st. pilot model received and rejected due to performance problems
12/26/2011 2nd. pilot model received and approved for production
11/19/2012 1st shipment of black Challenger kits arrived from Japan
1/ 12/2013 final Challenger shipment arrived from Japan.
The standard Aster design will be UP Challenger # 3985 in black as preserved in Cheyenne WY. A Greyhound version of locomotive # 3977 as on display in North Platt NE will also be produced. Us retail prices FOB our warehouse are:
Black # 3985 kit US$ 12900.-, Black RTR # 3985 US$ 14900.- , Greyhound # 3977 kit US$ 13500.-, Greyhound # 3977 RTR US$ 15500.-
The Challenger production has sold out. Thank you for your commitment and support
Union Pacific Challenger
# 3985 and # 3977
Click the youtube link below to see the Aster Challenger # 3977 pilot model pulling a heavy freight consist at the IEW steamup in June 2012
Assembly of RTR Challengers at the Yokohama Factory
Optional Smoke lifters for black Challenger 3985 are available in limited quantity
Challengers used in passenger service were equipped with smoke lifters. These are included with the Greyhound Aster Challenger. We will have them available for optional addition to your # 3985 Challenger. The cost per set is $ 120.00 plus shipping. Union Pacific had several black Challengers and even some Big Boys equipped with smoke lifters but they proved ineffective for slower moving freight trains and never became standard equipment.