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PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT - Piko HO Scale Starter Set

Piko Model Railways Natalie Trickett

NATALIE TRICKETT reviews this HO Scale Set, which would make a perfect Christmas present.

Piko HO Scale Set

Iíve chosen this set to have a look at as it was the most appealing to me looks-wise and in price. It seems ideal as a starter set, and as Christmas is coming up it's ideal for a first railway present for children. They will love the circus lorry, and the price at £69.95 isnít bad either!

Piko HO Scale Set

The set contains the following:

  • 1 x 0-4-0 Steam Locomotive
  • 1 x Gondola Wagon
  • 1 x Flat Wagon with Lorry Load
  • 1 x ARAL Tank Wagon
  • 12 x R2 Curve Sections 422 mm (PK55212)
  • 2 x Straight Sections 231 mm (PK55201)
  • 1 x Power Clip (PK55270)
  • 1 x 12v DC Controller
  • 1 x Wall Mounted Transformer (Adapter 5.4 VA)
Piko HO Scale Set

All of this separately would cost £129.15 so there is a massive saving of £59.20 when buying the set. You could almost buy two!

Piko HO Scale Set

So with price in mind youíd expect the quality of the actual set to be fairly low. This is not true! Whilst the wagons are simple in detail they all have metal wheels and axles and theyíre equipped with standard couplings which are also metal. The colour and quality of the plastic is good and the mouldings are all crisp and high quality. They are all detailed underneath and the tank wagon has all the usual hand rails. The transfers are applied to a high standard and the wagons all have a nice weight to them.

Piko HO Scale Set

The locomotive is from the Piko Hobby range so is fairly basic in terms of detail. There isnít a massive amount of detailing but this does make it very robust and less delicate for younger train enthusiasts. Saying that, it is a very good runner at all speeds. Piko have become very good at slow speed running and I have yet to see a jerky slow running loco in either their Hobby or Expert range. All the wheels and couplings on the loco are metal and all the transfers and detailing is produced to a high standard. Again the loco is weighty and not at all cheap feeling.

Piko HO Scale Set

The Piko transformer and single track controller are very good and do the good properly. They are basic in function and looks but this makes for easy operation and wiring up to the track. Piko have used their standard push in wire connectors so it was very easy and safe to connect up. The children would easily be able to do these themselves.

Piko HO Scale Set

The track system is brilliant! the dimensions of the loop are 110cm x 88cm. The detailing is far better than you usually see, with even the chairs detailed and the spacing of the sleepers is some of the most realistic Iíve seen. The nickel steel rails have a finer profile than other leading brands which add to its realism.

Piko HO Scale Set

All pieces of track are available individually but for ease there are some add on packs available at discounted prices:

  • PK55300 is a basic inside loop to fit inside the starter oval.
  • PK55310 is a basic siding add on.
  • PK55320 gives you an extra half inside oval.
  • PK55330 gives you a complex set of sidings.
  • PK55340 is a passing loop.

I also added a Noch single track tunnel (N02120) just for that extra play value.

In all this is a brilliant set at a bargain price. Itís suitable as a starting point to build a quality HO scale layout with the option of adding on more track when youíre ready to expand, or for the children as a birthday or Christmas present they can treasure which will grow with them.

PK57111 Steam Freight Starter Set is available for only £69.95.

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