Review: PIKO G 37220 Steam Locomotive BR 24, DB III

Published: 28 March 2015
Latest update: 29 April 2016


Product Information:

Manufacturer: PIKO
Article Number: 37220
Product Description: Steam Locomotive with Tender BR 24, DB III
Year of Introduction: 2015
MSRP (2015): € 595,00 / ~ $ 650,00

Review PIKO G 37220 BR 24


Prototype:

The BR 24 shares its basic design with the BR 64. Just like its sister BR 24 was considered reliable, strong and versatile. Since entering service in 1928 the BR 24 proved itself as light and nimble passenger service locomotive. Its larger coal and water capacity meant that it could be used on long branch lines or even hauling fast trains. The railroaders in the former East Prussia nicknamed the locomotive ‘Steppe Horse’. Hauling passenger, freight, and mixed trains, through hot summers in the Münsterland and deep snow in wintry Upper Bavaria, the successful, 900hp rated standard design always performed reliably. The Deutsche Bundesbahn retired the last BR 24 in 1966, while some Steppe Horse operated in Poland until the mid seventies.” – PIKO Catalogue 2015

More info and pictures of the real BR 24 are linked at the end of this review.


Review:

This version of the BR 24 features ‘Witte’ type smoke deflectors (the plates on each side of the smokebox). I expect PIKO to offer a BR 24 with ‘Wagner’ type smoke deflectors in the future as well. A new item for 2016 maybe?

PIKO G 37720 BR 24 Review

PIKO G 37720 BR 24 Review

Inside the box, you will find a set of narrow gauge buffers and a plastic bag with detailing parts which you need to fit to the locomotive yourself.

PIKO G 37720 BR 24 Review

Of course, a manual is included with a list of spare parts (also available as a PDF at the end of this review). You will see that the BR 24 shares a large number of parts with the BR 64 (just like in real life!).

PIKO G 37720 BR 24 Review

The locomotive is wrapped in plastic, and protected by a sturdy foam box.

PIKO G 37720 BR 24 Review

Let’s take a look at the loco unit first. First impression: it’s big and heavy! 🙂

PIKO G 37720 BR 24 Review

After attaching the detailing parts, your loco should look like this:

PIKO G 37720 BR 24 Review

As the pony truck swings out quite far on sharp curves, some of the detailing parts can only be fitted on larger radius curves. Part A can be fitted when running on a minimum radius of 920 mm, part B can only be fitted if you decide to use the locomotive in a train display.

PIKO G 37720 BR 24 Review

A close-up of the front. The white LED lights change with the direction of travel. The smokebox door can be opened. In this picture, it is actually slightly open… Oops.

PIKO G 37720 BR 24 Review

There are a lot of pipes on the boiler, most of them are separately moulded. Very nice.

PIKO G 37720 BR 24 Review

I’m loving the amount of detail on this loco.

PIKO G 37720 BR 24 Review

More pipes…

PIKO G 37720 BR 24 Review

Some of the downward pipes were not fitted properly, as the end of the pipe should go into the provided slot indicated by the green arrow. The pipes are somewhat flexible, so it should be easy to push them into place.

PIKO G 37720 BR 24 Review

Even more pipes…

PIKO G 37720 BR 24 Review

The lettering is very well done.

PIKO G 37720 BR 24 Review

The engine looks mighty from the front. The buffer area has limited detail: no brake hoses, missing screw coupler, and no steps on the sides. I applaud the use of LED’s, however I would have liked an imitation of an ‘old’ lightbulb. The LED’s look too modern for this locomotive.

PIKO G 37720 BR 24 Review

As I wrote earlier, the smokebox door can be opened. The lever indicated by the green arrow locks the door into place.

PIKO G 37720 BR 24 Review

Here’s the other side of the loco.

PIKO G 37720 BR 24 Review

The valve gear is finely detailed, and consists of many moving parts. PIKO made a big step forward with regards to detail, compared to older steam locomotives like the BR 80 and US ‘Mogul’. It looks fantastic.

PIKO G 37720 BR 24 Review

And look at those pretty wheels! The wheels are plastic, with very fine spokes. The rims are stainless steel.

PIKO G 37720 BR 24 Review

To negotiate small radius curves, PIKO designed an articulated chassis. Traction tyres are fitted to the center axle.

PIKO G 37720 BR 24 Review

Here’s a view inside the motor block. The stainless steel wheels feature ball bearings, power is picked up from the wheels using carbon brushes. All three axles are geared.

PIKO G 37720 BR 24 Review

PIKO G 37720 BR 24 Review

There’s a spring between the front of the chassis and the underside of the loco body, which allows the body to move around a bit to ensure smooth running in sharp curves and on uneven track.

PIKO G 37720 BR 24 Review

PIKO G 37720 BR 24 Review

The loco features an electrical coupler connection to the tender.

PIKO G 37720 BR 24 Review

Seated inside the cab is the well-known PIKO figure. Not much detail inside the cab, and no cab lighting either.

PIKO G 37720 BR 24 Review

Yep, loving the BR 24 so far…

PIKO G 37720 BR 24 Review

Time for a closer look at the tender.

PIKO G 37720 BR 24 Review

Sharp lettering.

PIKO G 37720 BR 24 Review

Three lights on the back of the tender as well.

PIKO G 37720 BR 24 Review

PIKO G 37720 BR 24 Review

A simulated coal load.

PIKO G 37720 BR 24 Review

The tender chassis is nicely detailed.

PIKO G 37720 BR 24 Review

PIKO designed a clever solution for the three-axled tender, similar to the three-axle ‘Umbau’ passenger cars, which allows plenty of side movement for the center axle.

PIKO G 37720 BR 24 Review

PIKO G 37720 BR 24 Review

The main circuit board is located inside the tender. If you want to install a digital decoder with loudspeaker, both should go in the tender as well. This way, you don’t need to open up the locomotive at all. The electrical coupler features 8 connections.

PIKO G 37720 BR 24 Review

Let’s couple the tender to the locomotive.

PIKO G 37720 BR 24 Review

You can switch off the smoke generator with this easily accessible switch. A volume control is also available if you decide to upgrade the loco with a sound decoder.

PIKO G 37720 BR 24 Review

Here’s the loco coupled to the tender. She’s a stunner…

PIKO G 37720 BR 24 Review

PIKO G 37720 BR 24 Review

PIKO G 37720 BR 24 Review

PIKO G 37720 BR 24 Review

Did you notice the large gap between the loco and tender? There’s a reason for that… On a straight track, the distance between loco and tender is rather big.

PIKO G 37720 BR 24 Review

PIKO G 37720 BR 24 Review

The following picture shows how close the tender comes to the cabin in a 600 mm radius curve.

PIKO G 37720 BR 24 Review

The overhang is substantial.

PIKO G 37720 BR 24 Review

Reverse S curves are no problem for the BR 24.

PIKO G 37720 BR 24 Review

Let’s perform a first test on the rollers. Note how steady the loco is on the rollers, no wobbling at all.

The locomotive runs well indoors, but does it perform equally well outside? Let’s find out…

PIKO G 37720 BR 24 Review

I didn’t clean the track, but the loco performed very well. Power pick-up is good, it seems.

PIKO G 37720 BR 24 Review

Here’s the BR 24 next to the V 60 diesel engine from PIKO.

PIKO G 37720 BR 24 Review

The BR 24 ran its first laps with a short freight train, without any problems.

PIKO G 37720 BR 24 Review

Next up was a passenger train with the green ‘Umbau’ coaches. This really is a great combo.

PIKO G 37720 BR 24 Review

Another video showing the BR 24 in action:


Conclusion:

PIKO really upped their game with the BR 64 in 2013, and now they have done it again with the BR 24. The loco is highly detailed, while still feeling very solid. The excellent motor block design of this loco delivers smooth running and excellent power pickup.

Expensive? Yes. Worth it? Yes!


Dimensions & Measurements:

  • Scale: not specified by manufacturer
  • Length (over buffers): 677 mm
  • Height (top of cabin to rail): 188 mm
  • Width (loco): 112,5 mm
  • Width (tender): 112,5 mm
  • Wheel diameter (driving wheels): 57,6 mm
  • Wheel diameter (pony truck & tender wheels): 31,6 mm
  • Axle distance (loco): 72,5 mm
  • Axle distance (tender): 75,5 mm
  • Weight: 3,44 kg total (2,72 kg loco + 0,72 kg tender)
  • Pulling power: not measured

Technical Details:

  • Operation: Analogue
  • Minimum Radius: 600 mm
  • Wheels: Stainless steel
  • Axles: Ball bearing
  • Geared axles: 3
  • Gears: plastic
  • Traction tyres: 2 (center axle)
  • Motor: Bühler
  • Power pick-up: carbon brushes (all driving wheels), pick-up shoes (one set)
  • Lights: Front, rear (bi-directional), white
  • Smoke generator: Yes

Links & Downloads: