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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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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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Greg,


At the 30 000 ft level I agree with what you posted already



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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Don’t want to sound rude, but can someone answe his question? I believe he want to know if a PIKO train is going to break a few years after buying it. I don’t think a history lesson is relevant. We all know old LGB is the best (cost aside). It’s also the best value because it runs forever. Newer LGB is a changing and and risky - we all know that too.

is PIKO a good product? Will it last? Simple questions with uncomplicated answers. To be honest, all brands look like toys - that’s is, you know the train is a toy, 1:30, 1:29 - doesn’t make a difference. They are toys.

is PIKO a good quality product that will last ? Who knows the answer?
 

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Well. I believe his question is NOT what you say it is.

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?

He asked for a comparision. Trying to put a timeline on when something breaks is subject to a huge number of variable.

A history lesson IS relevant, all we have to go on is past experiences.

We already answered the simple question:

post #2 (first reply): "Piko quality ok, but not LGB level, hard to compare to USAT "
post #3, answered his question about scale and running together.

Can't get better than that... perhaps you should get off your horse and re-read the ENTIRE thread, starting at the beginning.

What do you want as an answer? 42?

You do sound rude.

Greg
 

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An impression of one example PIKO product.

I have looked at and worked on a PIKO 2 bay hopper car which is beautifully decorated in the Nashville Convention graphics; however, I find this car utilizes a very flexible frame so it can be fastened to the body shell ends without needing any screws - which is not good if desiring to body mount couplers. As expected, the car has trucks with standard hook & loop couplers and plastic wheels, so the car is very light weight. So my overall impression is this PIKO car is a cleverly designed "value engineered" product with outstanding graphics, but seems a bit too flimsy.

-Ted
 

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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?
I really like their products and they actually make new stuff on a consistent basis. I have 2 of their DCC+Sound American Camelback engines both run and sound great no issues, but mostly buy their DB Euro stuff.

The first non building piko item was the TEE train set with 4 extra cars and DCC+Sound. I've had that set for about 4 years and have had zero issues with it.


I've recently purchased their new DB BR50 2-10-0 loco with DCC+Sound, DB BR103 DCC+Sound engine and 5 DB epoc IV coaches.

I also have their DCC central station with Wireless Navigator remote for my indoor test track (makes programming my euro DCC stuff much simpler than my main NCE system).

Their packaging and presentation are second to none. The box and manuals are in high gloss + full color diagrams and pictures. Their manuals are very informative leaving little guess work on how to install and hook up their equipment.

The engines I have had for awhile have held up well both mechanically and cosmetically.

The graphics and paint are excellent and very crisp and compare or exceed anything that I have from LGB.

They also have an a le carte approach to their products helping to keep costs down by not requiring your to buy things you don't want.

Take the new coaches I just got. The coach itself was $248 no metal wheels or lighting , they are available separately for about $50 each truck (ball bearing), and $65 for the lights which if included would bring the cost per car to about $415, I have my own metal wheelset and don't need lights so it only cost me the $248 compared that to my last LGB Glacier Express coach in 2020 which cost me $489.

All in all I'm very impressed with their product, as for their engine longevity so far so good.
 

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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
Having just bought my first ever G set, it went with the basic American passenger LGB set. I wanted USA trains avec diesel locomotive because it would have been a counterpart to my O gauge diesel and array of freight rolling stock, but I could not justify this economically.

Yes, I agree LGB is very high quality. However, I am baffled and mystified by the material used for the plastic wheels of the rolling stock. Of the huge array of plastics out there in the world, they chose to use a plastic which leaves a residue on the rails with basic speeds of operation. That is highly bizarre.
 

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Most plastic wheels do this, no matter what the manufacturer. What amazes me is that anyone still supplies plastic wheels.
I can reason that many plastics would leave a residue... I guess...

But I have never thought of plastic as being...... like a crayon. "Plastic" is a word used to describe a huge array of different polymers, acrylics and other substances. While I am not a chemist or plastics expert, I know enough to be sure that more than one or two of these different kinds of plastics would exist that do not leave a residue or smear on brass rail as it rolls down the track.

One substance I have in mind is a type of shiny acrylic, sold in the brand name "Lucite", which is sold at retail plastics dealers and comes in a wide array of translucent and bold colors. It is a tough plastic I can use as an example, and one which would probably not be leaving any smear on rail unless the train was travelling at 1000 inches per second or something.

It is clear to me based on my experience and your comment (many manufacturers) that the model trains industry has settled on using a type of plastic that is not ideal, and pricing might be part of this decision although that still doesn't make sense to me. These trains are not sold in super-high volumes. If they used the acrylic I had mentioned for these wheels, maybe it would be more expensive but not relevantly so because even with this, each axle might cost $1 or $2, and the wheels could consist of nifty appearance. This here comment of mine is a really long and elaborate way of saying... It's not hard to find a plastic which would be resistant to smearing at low speeds and low temperatures. Temperatures are not a factor in this because the G scale train leaves the residue while travelling at 25 inches per second at room temperature.

This is just odd to me that's all. Especially when considering the high quality of materials used in constructing the rest of the train parts..
 

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Most plastic wheels do this, no matter what the manufacturer. What amazes me is that anyone still supplies plastic wheels.
I likewise would overwhelmingly prefer metal wheels on all my trains. I found a brand of G scale named "Keystone" which seems to use metal for all the wheels in its sets, in spite of the fact that these are a lot cheaper than LGB brand.

When I got my LGB set I reasoned I could easily replace the plastic wheels on the rolling stock for cheap, no problem.

I was very wrong. When I searched for G scale metal wheels I quickly found out that I will be spending between $55 and $110 if I want to replace all the plastic wheels with metal ones for just two passenger cars. These metal wheels are sold in pairs of axles. I have seen listings selling 4 axles of metal wheels for $27 + tax... and for more expensive varieties I have seen listings selling 2 axles of metal wheels for $25 plus tax, so almost double the cheaper listings.

I had assumed there would be no trouble finding an inexpensive but still superior Aluminum wheel for a couple bucks per axle or something but I was wrong. Obviously, one could manufacture inexpensive metal wheels for that price but since the item in question is a specialty hobby item, I am not at all surprised at all that I am going to be paying real money if I want to replace my wheels. Based on what I have seen, I would almost be better off just buying used rolling stock which bears metal wheels. I don't think $55 is outrageous or anything, but it did dash my hopes that there would be an abundance of super cheap metal wheels floating around.
 
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