The Hobbytrain Siemens Vectron Europa (Hobbytrain 2962) looks good, and now it sounds good.
The Hobbytrain N scale version is nice. Quinntopia has a great video review of the SNCB version, which seems technically identical:
Conversion with sound
There was enough room for sound in this model. I went for a decoder+sound module option, instead of my usual ESU Loksound Micro v4.0 all in one decoder. Details on how to install sound were discussed recently. My choice: the Doehler & Haass DH05C decoder and a SD10A sound module. The decoder was quickly reviewed here, and I’ll talk about the SD10A sound module on this blog later.
The DCC conversion in a few points. The original board was removed. The 4 lighting units (red/white + front/back) were connected to individual outputs of the decoder. This allows to switch lights in a more realistic manner, for example white lights on both sides during shunting operations, or no lights on the train side if the locomotive is in a convoy.
Also, I decided to solder a custom 1.27mm plug to the decoder and sound module. This way, at any time, I can unplug the sound module to reprogram the sounds via the SUSI interface and the Doehler & Haass programmer.
Ok, the scotch tape inside doesn’t look very pro, but the Hobbytrain Siemens runs perfectly. I will need to update the loudspeaker someday. The single ESU speaker doesn’t like high volume sounds and saturates sometimes.