The Piko ones look the best and are the biggest , but are not even close to the size of a DRGW 50,000 gallon unit like at Chama. The piko tank will fit inside a 1:20 tank like the ones Metzger or PCGRS make. That said however, the DRGW had a smaller tank at Los Pinos, and a really small one at jack's cabin.
The Piko ones are not so far off from the los Pinos design
I've had both the Pola and Piko versions. The Piko water tower is much larger, and looks better in my opinion. However the Piko version is not 1:20.3. It works nicely with my 1:22.5 layout, but it's undersized even in this scale. The typical D&RGW water tower was huge. But the Piko tower looks pretty good with 1:20.3 trains as well. And of the two (Pola or Piko) Piko is your best bet.
If you do decide to get a Piko tower, go with the "Rio Grande Water Tower". The other one named "Durango Water Tower" comes in better molded colors but has large Durango lettering painted on the sides. Not very realistic. I painted our Piko tower.
Below are the best comparison photos I could find of the two water towers (Pola first then Piko). The pump house is the same in both photos so you can use that to gauge the size.
absolutely agree that the piko is more to scale and just has a presence that the pola doesnt-nice hefty kit
the pola version is smaller, umseemingly perched on its base-(high and narrow to my eye) and has a smaller footprint-i mention this because depending on space and size of locos -the pola may be better suited
for a really dinky tank-the Tom Muella prairie tank is great- but its not desinged as a RR tank-it sits too low to simply mount a spout-its base must be augmented-say with a retaining wall-berm or whatever- and its very small, and has no spout-but can be altered easily - nice detail and very branchline backwoods
the latter 2 can work really well in smaller spaces and indoor layouts-fyi
Posted By CCSII on 03/13/2009 11:54 AM
Thanks for the replies. Matt, what engine is that? (helps visualizing the scale even more.)
That's a slightly modified Bachmann 2-8-0 (Connie). A smallish 1:20.3 loco, which is how we can get away using it on our predominately 1:22.5 line.
Here's another photo that may help in sizing up the Piko tower:
The parked freight cars include a Hartland flatcar, a Bachmann reefer, and a USA Trains boxcar. The buildings are mostly Pola with a few Piko. I forget who makes the pump house (could be out of business) and the freight depot (mostly hidden behind the freight cars) is by PCGRS.