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I have been collecting for many years and wanted to know if Piko was same scale as LGB and USA trains. What do people think of Piko quality compared to other two brands?
 

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Some USA Trains is 1:24, the nicer stuff is 1:29
Piko is supposedly 1:29 in some cases, but there is some 1:32, and some goofy scaled stuff.


LGB is all over the map, mostly closer to 1:26


Piko quality ok, but not LGB level, hard to compare to USAT




No one makes the wide variety of USA diesel models that USAT does, so it depends more on what you want to model, USA or European, Steam or Diesel or Electric.


Overall quality ok, but not bulletproof like LGB.


Greg
 

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As Greg mentioned, models are different scales but the actual size of the models (by design) are such that they mostly work well together.
Reason is that some are models of narrow-gauge equipment and others models of standard gauge equipment which are different sizes in the prototype but end up as compatible sizes in the model.
For LGB for instance, their narrow gauge models are advertised as being in scale 1:22.5 but in reality the scale varies from 1:18 to 1:24, more or less with not necessarily a consistent scale in width and height.
LGB standard gauge equipment measures closer to 1:26
Piko, almost all standard gauge items, around 1:27 except some moulds taken over
from MDC which are 1:32
USA Trains standard gauge mostly 1:29
The first Aristo-Craft and USA Trains Large Scale items were originally designed to match the size of the LGB cars so they could run with LGB equipment, but because they were models of Standard-gauge prototypes (not Narrow gauge like the original LGB), their scales working backwards ended up at 1:29 because the standard gauge prototype is larger than the narrow-gauge prototype.
Sounds a bit confusing but is quite logical if you think about it.
Bottom line: Pretty much all of the equipment by the various manufacturers looks good running together as far as the scale is concerned.
Small size variations don't matter because if you look at the prototype, you will also see boxcars with different height and obviously different lengths on the same train.

Possible incompatibility to watch out for are the US style knuckle couplers. Some manufacture's work well together, others don't - tendency is to replace knuckle couplers from the same manufacturer on all rolling stock.
On the other hand, the LGB Hook and Loop couplers of all manufacturers work well together as far as I know.
 

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Greg,


At the 30 000 ft level I agree with what you posted already
Piko quality ok, but not LGB level, hard to compare to USAT
USA Trains - Overall quality ok, but not bulletproof like LGB.

Where this gets a bit tricky is in two areas - one is price vs quality and the other is quality over time.
I think Piko is at the 'sweet spot' when it comes to price vs quality - that is certainly reflected in their sales numbers both in Europe and the US. Piko also seems to be receptive to feedback from customers, taken their input and has improved the quality of their products over the years. For instance, early products had problems with the chrome plating on their locos and that got fixed.
LGB under EPL, ie year 2006 and earlier, for the most part was "bullet-proof" if the product was manufactured in Germany. People are still running the original Stainz introduced in 1968. LGB China manufactured products were still good, but not as good as the German ones - different plastics for instance.
Then when Marklin took over LGB in 2008 with manufacturing in Hungary, there were quite a few teething problems both in design, they introduced a German E10 Electric loco with the motor mounted vertically (like a lot of H0 locos) for instance which turned out to be a bit of a disaster and also in quality control where product was shipped out with parts missing - I remember a loco with one axle reversed in the motor block so the gears meshed with nothing or couplers on cars mounted upside down. But much of that has been fixed now and the LGB quality under Märklin has improved since 2008.
Don't have much experience about USA Trains quality - one good thing I think is that their American Series is manufactured in the US, I think their quality has been pretty consistent over the years. Well, that's to be expected - there is a fairly small number of different types of rolling stock - new items of the American series are just repaints.
 

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I agree from the 0 foot level to 30k foot and beyond...


The American series is 1:24 also, and I agree consistent, but the OP will probably be going 1:29 if he is going diesel US prototype.


The USAT "Ultimate" series is higher quality, higher detail, very nice.


Greg
 

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the OP will probably be going 1:29 if he is going diesel US prototype.

From the original post it sounds like OP has been "collecting" LGB and USA Trains and now would possibly like to add some Piko equipment - thus the original question.
 

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Piko has the molds from MDC and these are 1/32 scale. Unfortunately one can not always tell which ones are the 1/32 rolling stock. Aristocraft was mostly 1/29 but the Delton molds were 1/24. I know the original question was LGB VS piko, but one should be aware of some other 'oddities'. My Aristo rolling stock is just as good as LGB.
 

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Sorry, perhaps it was not clear why I commented on 1:29:


I stated earlier, hoping to get an answer:



No one makes the wide variety of USA diesel models that USAT does, so it depends more on what you want to model, USA or European, Steam or Diesel or Electric


So, if he was asking about scale and quality, AND he has been collecting USA diesels, then most likely he will be 1:29 since most all of these models and the rolling stock that go with them are from USAT, all 1:29.


Further advice on what goes well with what would really benefit from what the OP has collected and what he prefers.


Greg
 
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