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Piko 2017 New Items

Ian Fowler

IAN FOWLER popped over to Germany to see what is due for release from Piko in 2017.

PIKO are one of the Gaugemaster "originals" brands as far as I am concerned – we’ve been distributing their products for the entire duration of my time at GM and as our business has grown together, especially over the last 7 years, it’s been more and more important to grow closer links between the two companies.

As part of this commitment, as well as meeting at the Nurnberg toy fair, I’ve attended PIKO’s international sales meeting almost every year for the past decade. This meeting is held on the second weekend of December at their Sonneberg headquarters.

The weekend begins with a dinner on the Friday night at a venue close to the factory which means an early start for me on the Friday. Sonneberg isn’t especially close to an airport so if you’re not hiring a car from the airport (which I prefer not to do) then it’s an epic train trip from either Frankfurt, Nurnberg or Munich. Given that Frankfurt is only accessible from Heathrow (90mins minimum from GM HQ), Nurnberg from Stansted (130mins from GM HQ) and Munich from Gatwick (70mins from GM HQ) it does mean a very early start on the Friday morning from somewhere. However, a couple of hours were gained when I realised that there were direct flights from Southampton to Munich and return! So opting for this, the plan was to leave the car at Southampton, fly to Munich, S Bahn from the airport to the Hauptbahnhof, ICE to Nurnberg then RegioExpress from Nurnberg to Sonneberg direct (via Bamberg and Lichtenfels). In short, despite leaving my house at 0500, I made dinner with just 5mins to spare after a combination of a late flight out and more notably the catenary being down between Nurnberg and Furth, causing huge delays!

New N Scale items from Piko in 2017

The dinner is enormous fun and it is great to catch up with friends and colleagues from all over the world. Bizarrely, despite abandoning my family for the weekend, it is also the first time I feel genuinely Christmassy as it is hard not to have your heart warmed by the traditional German decorations and celebrations. In fact, there are often other companies enjoying their Christmas parties at the restaurant which adds further atmosphere. After a welcome from PIKO’s charismatic owner and CEO, Dr Rene Wilfer, the important task of crowning PIKO’s distributor of the year takes place. This light hearted ceremony provides some internal competition between distributors and is a great opportunity for a laugh and a joke. I am sorry to report that much like our performance in the European Championships, the UK left the continent empty handed (although we put up a much better fight) as the title went to France this year. There is always 2017...

After one or two "cold drinks" are taken following an excellent three course meal, we retire to our rooms conscious that the meeting starts at 0830 the following morning and there will be much to digest.

Transport is arranged over breakfast and we assemble in the meeting room at PIKO’s huge Sonneberg complex and with coffees served and Powerpoint fired up, we listen intently to an incredibly detailed appraisal of the market in 2016 and forecasts for 2017.

This is also the first time we are officially told about the new items for 2017, all of which are subject to a strict embargo until 1 January, and it is this that forms the main part of this article.

G Scale

The PIKO G Scale New Items leaflet PK99717, outlines all the new items for the coming year. PIKO are a prolific manufacturer and their large scale range is now the largest available and encompasses everything from Starter Sets through to Building Kits.

Piko BR118 Diesel Locomotive

We start with PK37570, which is a totally new tooled item. This imposing BR118 Diesel Locomotive in an attractive white and red era IV colour scheme, features a high level of detail as well as capacity to fit a sound decoder, smoke generators (for the diesel exhausts) and even interior cab lighting. Given the versatility of the prototype, this loco will find a home on most layouts.

There’s also a reliveried BR232 in DB Cargo colours, a BR114 in red/white and an OBB Taurus electric.

Piko DR Flat Wagon with Twin Tank Load

PK37830 DR Flat Wagon with Twin Tank Load III

A useful DB works coach (PK37610) and two DBAG Regio coaches (PK37628 and PK37629) provide the passenger carrying rolling stock while a DR Era III Flat Wagon with a gas canister load (PK37830), an Erdinger Beer Wagon (PK37952) and a DB Van with opening doors (PK37953) complete the European rolling stock collection.

An important market for PIKO’s G scale offering is the USA and there are many new options for those modelling stateside operations.

Two useful wagon loads (Ore PK36311 and Coal PK36312) make their debuts and ideal candidates to put them in are the reliveried Santa Fe (PK38876) and RDG (PK38877) hoppers.

Piko 38746 Santa Fe Auto Transport Wagon with 1950 Chevy Bel Air Load

PK38746 Santa Fe Auto Transport Wagon with 1950 Chevy Bel Air Load

Two flat wagons feature, both with interesting loads. The first (PK38746) features a diecast 1950 Chevy Bel Air, and the other (PK38752) comes with a 1940 Ford Tow Truck. There are two container wagons, one Union Pacific “Building America” (PK38750) and the other from the White Pass Railroad (PK38751). Three stake wagons with impressively detailed lumber loads, one Santa Fe (PK38740), one Baltimore & Ohio (PK38741) and one C&S (PK38745).

Piko 38753 WP&YR Sightseeing Car with Bench Seats

PK38753 WP&YR Sightseeing Car with Bench Seats

A White Pass sightseeing car with bench seats (PK38753) and a PRR low sided gondola with an unusual roof truss load (PK38754) also add to the selection. Finally, two bulkhead stake wagons are added to the range, one PRR with a pulpwood load (PK38755) and the other (PK38756) is in RDG colours with a pipe load.

Piko G Scale Cobblers

PK62725 Joe's Shoe Repair (Built-up)

Four built up model buildings finish the selection – a Barbers (PK62726), Tool Sheds (PK62718), Outhouses (PK62719) and a Cobblers (PK62725)

N Scale

PIKO haven’t been into N Gauge for long but certainly know how to make an impression with the introduction of a Sound Fitted DB BR82 (PK40101) also available as a standard version (PK40100)

Piko 94346 SBB (ex FB/B3/B2/C2) Coach Set (4) IV

PK94346 SBB (ex FB/B3/B2/C2) Coach Set (4) IV

The Dutch NS1200 sees a new livery as PK40462, and the NS2200 isn't forgotten with an Era III scheme PK40444. Swiss modellers are remembered with a beautiful old time 4 coach set (in brown as PK94346) which can be fitted with interior lighting if desired.

Piko 40710 VTG Falns Side Discharge Hopper VI

Piko 40710 VTG Falns Side Discharge Hopper VI

The ubiquitous Falns side discharge hopper is offered in VTG colours (PK40710) and OnRail (PK40711) complete the new items in this scale for 2017.

TT Scale

Although rarely modelled in these shores, TT looks and feels "right" so if you are looking for a project layout then read on...

Piko 47010 DR BR130 Diesel Freight Train Pack IV

PK47010 DR BR130 Diesel Freight Train Pack IV

There is a train pack for the first time, featuring a DR BR130 and wagons (PK47010) at an affordable price.

Piko 47384 PKP Cargo BR193 Vectron Electric Locomotive VI

PK47384 PKP Cargo BR193 Vectron Electric Locomotive VI

The strikingly modern Vectron Electric locomotive is introduced to the TT range in two new liveries – BLS Cargo (PK47383) and PKP Cargo (PK47384). The BR187 appears in LTE colours (PK47453). Going back in time, an era IV BR119 is added to the selection in red/white (PK47344).

Piko 47307 DR BR101 Diesel Locomotive IV

PK47307 DR BR101 Diesel Locomotive IV

Two very cute locomotives are added to the range. The V15/BR101 appears in a DR Blue (PK47302) while the V23/BR102 appears in DR Orange (PK47307) and a PIKO colour scheme (PK47306). Alongside the new BR102.1s in DR Orange (PK47500) and DBAG Traffic Red (PK47501), there’s plenty of choice if smaller diesels are your thing. Moving up a size, there’s a Metrans BR290 in a Prague colour scheme so get your Czech books ready for that one...(groan! - Ed)

Passenger rolling stock sees the introduction of a range of DR Reko coaches (PK47600-603)

Freight rolling stock is enhanced with the introduction of the falns side discharge hopper in GATX (PK47742), CD Cargo (PK47743), VTG (PK47740) and OnRail (PK47741) colours.

HO Scale

By far and away PIKO’s biggest sector, there is a lot to report here so only new tooled items and personal preferences are highlighted. Many other items are available!

PIKO have realigned their HO offering and have created three distinct segments, each with their own identity.

  • CLASSIC NOSTALGIA is all about older models at a great price.
  • EXPERT caters for the newer models with the higher specification
  • HOBBY caters for the value end of the market

Within the CLASSIC NOSTALGIA sector, we see a DB BR03 (PK50114), a Czech Rh372 Electric (PK51049) as highlights within the locomotives.

Piko 54747 Classic - DB Ganter Beer Wagon III

PK54747 Classic - DB Ganter Beer Wagon III

The beer wagons (PK54000 and PK54747) are always highly sought after and very collectable and sit alongside several other items of rolling stock.

The EXPERT sector sees a modern Shimmns tarpaulin wagon set (PK58354) which is not only weathered but also heavily graffitied. The effect is very convincing.

Piko 55050 Expert+ - PIKO Messwagen

PK55050 Expert+ - PIKO Messwagen

However it is the introduction of the first EXPERT PLUS item – the Smart Measure Wagon (PK55050) that is the most fascinating and a product that warrants its own separate feature in due course!

New tooled items include a DB Railbus and Trailer (PK52720-723), a E10/BR110/BR112 (PK51800-805), a DB E52/BR152 (PK51820-823), a BR111 (PK51840-843), a BR132 (PK52766-767) and an NS 2200 (PK52680-685). When you add in the BR212 (PK51708), Ae4/7 (PK51780-781), ET22 (PK96330-331) and Rh1110 (PK51766-767) while adding them to the BR132/BR232 (PK52760-767) that is an impressive line up of brand new locomotives, usually available in conventional two rail, AC (3 Rail) and DCC Sound fitted options.

Piko 58414 Expert - PKP 401Z Bogie Low Sided Stake Wagon IV

Piko 58414 Expert - PKP 401Z Bogie Low Sided Stake Wagon IV

On to rolling stock and newly tooled items include the railbus trailer (PK59610/612), centre entrance DB era IV coaches (PK59680-682) and DB IC era IV coaches (PK59660-664). There are three new Polish wagons (PK58412/414/415) too as Poland has been identified as a growth area for railway modelling by PIKO.

Piko 96987 Russian ICE3 Analogue Starter Set

PK96987 Russian ICE3 Analogue Starter Set

The HOBBY range sees the introduction of DBAG Bi Level IC coaches in 1:100 scale (PK58800-802) so to have the capability of negotiating tighter, train set style curves and no less than 8 new starter sets featuring prototypes as diverse as Russian (PK96987) and Spanish (PK96944) ICE derivatives to Hungarian (PK97915) freight trains!

The HO New items leaflet is available free of charge as PK99517E.

Home

So that concludes the meeting (and indeed the new items review). As we all go our separate ways, seasonal good wishes are exchanged and we wish each other well until a year from now. For those with further to travel (a group that includes myself), a further night in Sonneberg awaits before the journey home and given that it is a Sunday, it would be churlish not to visit one of the spectacular Christmas markets to be found in either Nurnberg or Munich on the way back to the airport.

And after an efficient and uneventful railway journey back to Munich (accompanied in part by some very hospitable St Pauli football fans heading to their game at Furth), all that remained was a simple FlyBe hop from Munich to Southampton which is what it would have been, had fog not prevented a landing in Southampton at 2220. Who wouldn’t want to be diverted to Birmingham in the early hours of Monday morning? But that’s another story!

CLICK HERE to view the 2017 Piko new releases

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