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Offline danmarklinman  
#1 Posted : 15 July 2020 21:56:59(UTC)
danmarklinman

United Kingdom   
Joined: 18/10/2012(UTC)
Posts: 1,141
Hi, for many years now, with brief try outs of both Piko hobby locos , Brawa and Esu. I have finally found to my personal taste of an easy rival to Marklin. Piko have done an excellent work on this heavy Belgium shunter. It is a series 73 and used all over the Belgium network.
To get down to the tech side of things? And this really surprised me. It is equipped with MFX!! And sound as well. Probably the best I have out of my current collection, and easily the best horn sound I’ve heard on any model. It has a very nice eco to the short blast. The sounds are plentiful, but it has no station announcements. But does have flange squeal which can be turned on and off at will.
The running side of things!! Well all I can say is it’s excellent for a diesel shunter and as a model.
Detail wise it’s got plenty, the body is crisp with railings and some details separately applied and neatly printed yellow strips along its body with no overspray. The wheels are particularly nice. They are just as the original with the characteristic holes in the wheel weights. The details on the chassis are very good but sturdy, which in my view the right way. As some makes are far to fine, to be used as models you need to pick off the track regularly.
The head and tail lights are neat but a little to bright. It also boast close coupling sockets. And unlike the hobby locos I had in the past, also takes Marklin close couplers without issues with the buffer heights.
The cab detail is only up to the window but does have some control details. I need to add a driver👍
It has a sprung axle at one end but no rubber tyres.
And finally it has buffer beam details to add.
I’ve done a little weathering, as these locos never seem to be clean.
Well Marklin!! You need to take a look at what Piko are doing now?
I’ve already ordered anther class of Belgium electric from them which is an expert model as well. I will do a right up with this as well.
Please have a look at it on YouTube. I’ve had a little fun with the style of the film. As my layout is now set in the late 70s, so the colour film suits it🤪
Marklin and Piko era 4 SNCB , Marklin wagons
Wiking model car Fan
Faller fan including car system
Instagram: marklin1978
Wiking fan
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Offline jvuye  
#2 Posted : 15 July 2020 22:28:04(UTC)
jvuye

Belgium   
Joined: 01/03/2008(UTC)
Posts: 2,845
Location: South Western France
Very cool!
I recently bought a couple of recent Piko locos (simply because Märklin doesn't currently produce these models..) and I must agrre with you, they are extremely well build, solid and perform flawlesssly.
The SBB RABe540 railcar is spectacular, have very good lights and sounds, performs beautifully, and like its prototype can easily pull a long train.
The BR 181 multisystem electric is simply beautiful, and again performs as well as any similar recent Märklin product, maybe even a bit quieter .
Good that Märklin has some quality competition, it forces them to keep up to stay on topLaugh Wink Wink !
Jacques Vuye aka Dr.Eisenbahn
Once a vandal, learned to be better and had great success!
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Offline danmarklinman  
#3 Posted : 15 July 2020 22:34:01(UTC)
danmarklinman

United Kingdom   
Joined: 18/10/2012(UTC)
Posts: 1,141
Indeed. Marklin do need to keep there game up. I have noticed mother Marklin have not been keeping up with producing country specific models? Apart from Switzerland. There are some gaping holes in the Belgium market. Such as a series 51 diesel or a series 26 electric. I now don’t mind if Piko do any of these 🤪👍😁
Marklin and Piko era 4 SNCB , Marklin wagons
Wiking model car Fan
Faller fan including car system
Instagram: marklin1978
Wiking fan
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Offline kimballthurlow  
#4 Posted : 16 July 2020 04:31:02(UTC)
kimballthurlow

Australia   
Joined: 18/03/2007(UTC)
Posts: 5,853
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Thanks for the great review Dan.

I have not purchased any Piko locos.
The result of purchasing Piko rolling stock makes it No.2 on my list after Märklin for quality and compatibility.

regards
Kimball
HO Scale - Märklin (ep III and VI, C Track, digital) - 2 rail (USA and Australia) - 3 rail (English Hornby Dublo) - a few old O gauge.
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Offline IanC  
#5 Posted : 16 July 2020 11:18:15(UTC)
IanC

United Kingdom   
Joined: 05/03/2016(UTC)
Posts: 160
Location: England, Bedford
Hi Dan,

Perfect for your layout. Piko are certainly giving Marklin a run for their money, I've always been very pleased with Piko and would place them second to Marklin in my opinion and preference.

IanC

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Offline hxmiesa  
#6 Posted : 16 July 2020 20:54:31(UTC)
hxmiesa

Spain   
Joined: 15/12/2005(UTC)
Posts: 2,915
Location: Spain
Nice!

Last year I bought my first Piko loco; An E41 (AC).
It´s already one of my favorite runners, and I have now ordered a second loco from Piko!
These are all made in China, right?



Best regards
Henrik Hoexbroe ("The Dane In Spain")
http://hoexbroe.tripod.com
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Offline H0  
#7 Posted : 17 July 2020 09:39:14(UTC)
H0


Joined: 16/02/2004(UTC)
Posts: 13,785
Location: DE-NW
Originally Posted by: hxmiesa Go to Quoted Post
These are all made in China, right?
No. But I do not know for sure which locos are still made in Germany.
I'm not sure if any H0 gauge locos are still made in Germany, but some G gauge locos definitely are.

Regards
Tom
---
"In all of the gauges, we particularly emphasize a high level of quality, the best possible fidelity to the prototype, and absolute precision. You will see that in all of our products." (from Märklin New Items Brochure 2015, page 1) ROFLBTCUTS
UserPostedImage
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Offline danmarklinman  
#8 Posted : 17 July 2020 10:06:36(UTC)
danmarklinman

United Kingdom   
Joined: 18/10/2012(UTC)
Posts: 1,141
Originally Posted by: H0 Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: hxmiesa Go to Quoted Post
These are all made in China, right?
No. But I do not know for sure which locos are still made in Germany.
I'm not sure if any H0 gauge locos are still made in Germany, but some G gauge locos definitely are.



I know they have there own factory in China. It use to bother me. But it seems that a model could have electronic equipment made in China and the die cast stuff made in Germany, who knows. Gone are the days of made in one place!!
Marklin and Piko era 4 SNCB , Marklin wagons
Wiking model car Fan
Faller fan including car system
Instagram: marklin1978
Wiking fan
thanks 2 users liked this useful post by danmarklinman
Offline H0  
#9 Posted : 17 July 2020 12:38:42(UTC)
H0


Joined: 16/02/2004(UTC)
Posts: 13,785
Location: DE-NW
Originally Posted by: danmarklinman Go to Quoted Post
[...] and the die cast stuff made in Germany, who knows.
Both Piko and Märklin had zincpest problems in this century because the die cast stuff was not made in Germany.

I only order MRR items if I'm willing to pay the price for items made in China, Vietnam, Hungary, Romania, Slovenia, or other low-wage countries.

Piko have their own factory in China and they deliver on time and their QA is quite good.
(Off-topic side note: Märklin have to rely on Chinese sub-contractors - expected delivery dates mean nothing and QA is a difficult topic.)

Piko communicates openly that they have a factory in China. But still I am not sure if all H0 is made in China or if some items are still made in Sonneberg.
Regards
Tom
---
"In all of the gauges, we particularly emphasize a high level of quality, the best possible fidelity to the prototype, and absolute precision. You will see that in all of our products." (from Märklin New Items Brochure 2015, page 1) ROFLBTCUTS
UserPostedImage
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Offline danmarklinman  
#10 Posted : 17 July 2020 20:42:41(UTC)
danmarklinman

United Kingdom   
Joined: 18/10/2012(UTC)
Posts: 1,141
Originally Posted by: H0 Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: danmarklinman Go to Quoted Post
[...] and the die cast stuff made in Germany, who knows.
Both Piko and Märklin had zincpest problems in this century because the die cast stuff was not made in Germany.

I only order MRR items if I'm willing to pay the price for items made in China, Vietnam, Hungary, Romania, Slovenia, or other low-wage countries.

Piko have their own factory in China and they deliver on time and their QA is quite good.
(Off-topic side note: Märklin have to rely on Chinese sub-contractors - expected delivery dates mean nothing and QA is a difficult topic.)

Piko communicates openly that they have a factory in China. But still I am not sure if all H0 is made in China or if some items are still made in Sonneberg.


Having just bought my second Piko expert model
I can and will be happy to order a third or fourth.
I’m not bothered these days were there made😀
Marklin and Piko era 4 SNCB , Marklin wagons
Wiking model car Fan
Faller fan including car system
Instagram: marklin1978
Wiking fan
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Offline Harryv40  
#11 Posted : 19 July 2020 10:47:19(UTC)
Harryv40

United Kingdom   
Joined: 07/08/2015(UTC)
Posts: 215
Location: Wilshire
I have also started purchasing Piko locos and rolling stock, the quality and performance is excellent, also the price is much lower on the hobby models.

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Offline danmarklinman  
#12 Posted : 19 July 2020 15:18:26(UTC)
danmarklinman

United Kingdom   
Joined: 18/10/2012(UTC)
Posts: 1,141
Originally Posted by: Harryv40 Go to Quoted Post
I have also started purchasing Piko locos and rolling stock, the quality and performance is excellent, also the price is much lower on the hobby models.



I can’t help thinking that Piko are doing it the right way round. Detail first+Basic decoder=cheap
Marklin have detail and expensive sound cab sim decoderS or a basic loco with a MFX sound decoder. Should it not be a basic loco with a basic decoder, a detailed loco with a basic decoder and finally if you can afford it. A detailed loco with a fancy decoder!!
These days I can only afford to buy one loco out of the family purse. It’s this or sell other stuff to buy something new!!
Marklin and Piko era 4 SNCB , Marklin wagons
Wiking model car Fan
Faller fan including car system
Instagram: marklin1978
Wiking fan
thanks 1 user liked this useful post by danmarklinman
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