1:25 scale Baureihe 64

Discussion in 'Area 51' started by P A D, 17 October 2020 at 18:01.

  1. P A D

    P A D Western Thunderer

    Well I'm back and I've really gone off the rails. First of all I've done something I never thought I'd do, i.e. I've gone and bought a ready to run locomotive. Not only is it RTR, but it's also G guage, so yes, I've completely lost the plot!

    After finishing the BR86 I was looking for something to do on my makeshift bench in the garage and after much googling, came across the Piko BR64, running on G gauge (45mm) track. Not only is it a very big model, it is also very well detailed and even with the compromises made in the chassis design to allow it to run around 60cm radius curves, it does look the part (mostly). Plus, it is listed on the Piko website for only 650 euros for the analogue version with smoke, but can be bought new for around £550. I bought mine second hand for much less than that, including Massoth DCC and sound.

    I don't have a large enough garden to build a circuit with reasonable curves and running through 60 cm curves with the pony trucks out beyond the buffers doesn't appeal, so my intention is to build an end to end line down the longest wall, but that will be for next year and subject to planning permission from the household management. With that in mind, I could remove the toy couplings and add further detail to an already impressive model.

    The first 4 images down loaded from the internet shows how it comes. Most of the body detail is separately applied, but with some of the smaller pipe runs moulded. As supplied from new, several details are provided for fitting at the owner's discretion to suit the curves it will be negotiating (piston tail rods, rear ladders) and some to avoid damage in transit (handwheels on the steam domes and grab irons on the front upper platforms). There are no front steps, guard irons, sand pipes or brake cross beams on the chassis and the buffer beams are devoid of brake hoses, steam heating coupling and screw couplings. The driving wheels are nicely represented and have stainless steel rims with a traction tyre on the middle one. Plunger pick ups are fitted to all driving wheels, supplemented with wiper shoes between the first and middle wheels.

    The bag of parts includes two spare buffer beams with single central buffers for use with narrow gauge stock and the rear one is in place in this image.

    Rather strangely, the wheel centres and chassis are painted in a darker red shade than the other red parts, which look pretty close to RAL3000.

    To get it around 60cm curves Piko, have articulated the chassis. The front section (which pivots slightly) includes the Buhler 7 pole motor driving both axles, with a cardan shaft driving the third pair at the rear.

    Here are some views after my modifications. In all I made over 60 changes/additions, the most noticeable being the removal of the tension lock couplings and the addition of guard irons, steps and grab rails to a detachable plate screwed under the buffers. Removing the tension lock couplings also involves cutting off the mounting arm from the trucks and burns the bridges should I ever need it to negotiate tight curves or sell it on. Therefore, I purchased two spare trucks (no couplings or wheels) , so that with the removal of the piston tail rods (push fit only), sub sections under the buffer beams and scale couplings, it can be returned to " toy curve" mode.

    Most of the additions are made from scratch and in the main fitted with super glue. The exceptions being the electric light sockets and plugs at the front and the screw couplings, which were sourced from outlets in Germany. Thank God for the internet, where you can find almost anything.

    The exception to the use of super glue, were one or two parts attached with epoxy and the front and rear subsection which were made from brass and soldered. I don't have my Hakko solder station at home, but my 25 watt antex was up to the job. The wheels and everything else were repainted in RAL3000 mixed up from Tamiya acrylics.

    I'm quite pleased with the results and from the side I think it stands up pretty well to the Spur 0 and Spur 1 RTR models at a fraction of the cost. Here are some views after weathering. The buffer stocks were too short and unfortunately the joints at the extensions added to increase the length are highlighted by the weathering.

    Although the driving wheels are nicely represented, they lacked the centre boss detail as did the leading and trailing wheels. This was added with overlays of 10 thou plasticard glued in place. The pony wheels only have 8 spokes when the most common number was 9 and sometimes 7. Disc wheels were also fitted, sometimes in combination with spoked wheels.

    All the signage and plates are nicely printed, but I've got some etched ones on order from Beckert Modelbau for the BD, Bw, DB, works and number plates. I'll overspray them with some dirty thinners to tone them down before fitting.

    Although I have all the information on the cab interior to be able to model that as well, I've decided to pass on that. The track it's sitting on is Piko and is extremely heavy compared to a length of 0 gauge track and is somewhat on the tall side. I understand it stems from when LGB first started G gauge, as they wanted the track to be bullet proof to avoid damage by dozy modellers stepping on it! I believe there are finer options available and I will look into that before I take the plunge and build a railway. The model is also very heavy (over 7lb) and a sod to pick up and handle. I'll post some close up photos later.

    Last edited: 17 October 2020 at 18:45
  2. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer

    Nice :thumbs:

    Wondered why you'd been so quiet, slippery slope modelling German railways, must confess my Br50 project made a resurgence the other day, as if I needed another distraction.....

    Fell down a rabbit hole after reading the above and haven't Piko been busy, I see they now stock a Br50 and a DDR 50.35 and I see some sellers in the UK now stocking the Br 103 and DDR 118.

    One thing I've never been able to accurately ascertain is the real scale of Piko stock, G scale tends to wander a lot from Aristocrafts 1:29 and I think USA trains are 1:32 (should they be gauge 1?) up to LGBs 1:22.5.

    My concern is, and has always been, the Piko stock is 1:24/5 scale but running on 45mm track, is it? Or have they finally started to make scale models with suitable scale track.
    allegheny1600 likes this.
  3. Steph Dale

    Steph Dale Western Thunderer


    I was wondering where/how Piko have 'adjusted' the model for the under-scale track? It looks pretty good (certainly compared with the other locos they do in G which are noticeably caricatures), but I wondered whether you've had a chance to drop it on a set of drawings?

    Impressive model though...

  4. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer

    Re looking at the images I can see it's still narrow gauge, especially in this view.


    Looks like the cylinders have been moved in a bit as well.

    But, as Steph notes, it does look impressive on the track once weathered and detailed so the narrower gauge is not immediately obvious. I wonder how hard it would be to re-gauge and add dummy frames in, more importantly can you even get correctly scaled track.

    My understanding is that Piko are pretty close to scale on height and width, but bigger engines seem to be truncated on length, the Br 64 being a small chunky monkey might not have had it's length tweaked to help with curve clearance.
  5. P A D

    P A D Western Thunderer

    Thanks Mick.

    I recall seeing somewhere on the Piko site that their models are 1:22.5. However, I've checked various measurements and it varies between about 1:25 to 1:27 on the BR64 depending on what you measure. I can't comment their other standard gauge German prototypes. The track is G gauge/45mm so too narrow and way too tall (I think LGB is the same). That said, at 1:25 instead of 1.22.5, the error is not as bad. If you can accept that then they are a great way into large scale German model railways at very competitive prices. The BR 50 looks very impressive as does the BR 95 and 24. From what I've seen on the web, they all use the same types of articulated chassis to be able to negotiate very tight curves. I haven't done anything to limit that so had to do a bit of jiggery pokery to accommodate the pull rods on the cross beams that I added.

    I've written up the full upgrade on G Scale Central, which is where I found the model for sale by one of the members. I thought I'd do it it on there to give something back as it were, rather than just taking from the forum.

    And, by the way, this is the Bubikopf! ;)

    allegheny1600 and mickoo like this.
  6. P A D

    P A D Western Thunderer

    See my earlier comments about the scale and track gauge. If I can find the bit of paper I wrote down the figures on, I'll post the dimensions I checked against drawings.
  7. Steph Dale

    Steph Dale Western Thunderer

    Thanks Peter,
    I'll be interested to see what you've come up with. The width particularly looks a bit 'pinched', but from the side it's pretty convincing. Coincidentally, I had a book open with BR64 photos and drawings as you made your first posting in this thread! :thumbs:

  8. P A D

    P A D Western Thunderer

    Same thing happened with Mickoo and the BR 86. As I posted he had just been on the LZ models website where I purchased the resin upgrade sets. I hear great minds think alike. Or is it Anoraks? :confused:
  9. Steph Dale

    Steph Dale Western Thunderer

    I admit my anorak has been on the 'rustle' setting for most of this week...

  10. richard carr

    richard carr Western Thunderer

    OH Dear

    That really is putting temptation in my path.

    It looks great, do they do any other german locos ?

  11. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer

    Yes, lots, muhahahar :))
  12. Steph Dale

    Steph Dale Western Thunderer

  13. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer

    And that's the problem with many G scale models, they appear to scale to suit their own criteria, its kind of like those letter and packet boards the Post Office counter has to size your post.

    There appears to be a set sized hole/slot that the model must pass through, they then scale up or down to suit, narrow gauge gets scaled up to say 1:22, US stock being naturally larger gets scaled down to 1:29; within each genre I think the scale is reasonably uniform but I wouldn't put my house on it.

    The only engines that seem to scale correctly for size and 45 mm track are Euro 1000 mm narrow gauge stock, Harz for example.

    I'd quite like a Br50 but it'd need a lot of work to push all my buttons, the Br95 looks impressive and the shop does not stock or advertise the diesel Br118, neither B-B or C-C variants.

    Either way, if you accept the flexible scale and narrower gauge then they are a good bang for buck big grins toy to have fun with.
  14. allegheny1600

    allegheny1600 Western Thunderer

    Hi Peter,
    Wow! What an impressive model you have created there, it's lovely and I'm rather envious.
    I'm nervous at saying this (towards Piko, not you) but it's almost like they have made a 'oo' model bigger, what with the narrow gauge appearance and tension lock couplers in particular!!
    But - it's a Bubikopf and is lovely. A set of matching 6 wheel umbauwagen would look great behind it.
  15. P A D

    P A D Western Thunderer

    Many thanks John.
    I agree with your comments and fully understood the compromises Piko have made. I wanted something German to play with but there are no kits that I can find and Spur 0 and 1 RTR is much too expensive. I found this by chance and thought it mostly looked the part, but still needed extra detail to satisfy me, so I could still do a bit of modelling "doing it up". I think Mick is also correct when says that only the narrow gauge Hartz railway stuff from the likes of LGB is true to scale for 45mm track, but that doesn't appeal to me.

    I typed up all the measurements in an excel file, but the forum won't accept it. I'll try cut and paste the data in a fresh post.
    Last edited: 18 October 2020 at 19:17
    allegheny1600 likes this.
  16. P A D

    P A D Western Thunderer

    Here are the measurements taken from the model compared to the prototype dimentions.

    Measurement Prototype mm Piko mm Scale 1:
    Length over buffers 12400 480 25.8
    Wheelbase 9000 363 24.8
    Height to cab vent 4269 168 25.4
    Rail to buffer c/l 1025 38 27.0
    Width 3053 112 27.3
    Pony wheel diameter 850 31.8 26.7
    Driving wheel diameter 1500 57.8 26.0
    Height to chimney top 4165 165 25.2
    Axle spacing 1 - 2 2700 110 24.5
    Axle spacing 2 - 3 1800 71 25.4
    Axle spacing 3 - 4 1800 71 25.4
    Axle spacing 4 - 5 2700 110 24.5
    Buffer length 650 20 32.5
    Front buffer to lead axle c/l 1000 35 28.6
    Rear buffer to trailing axle c/l 1100 42.5 25.9
    Side tank length top edge* 5772 224 25.8
    Side tank length bottom edge* 4732 189 25.0
    Side tank height front* 858 36.6 23.4
    Side tank height rear* 1040 44.7 23.3
    Height of chimney* 650 25 26.0
    Cylinder wrapper length* 910 31.5 28.9
    Cylinder wrapper height * 1092 43 25.4
    Width over cylinder* 2737 103 26.6
    Cab side length* 1456 59 24.7
    Cab door opening width* 754 30.2 25.0
    Cab coor opening height* 1976 78.8 25.1
    Cab length* 2392 98 24.4
    Cab roof length 2548 105 24.3

    * These prototype measurements calculated from the below drawing downloaded from the internet and scaled to 1:26. Where possible I've measured with vernier calipers and dividers/steel rule. Checking the known dimentions on the drawing has given some variation in the scale which averaged out at 1:26. The calculated prototype dimentions were measured as best as I could, bearing in mind the definition of the lines is very poor and multiplied by 26. Either way, it's clear that Piko have used a rubber ruler.
  17. P A D

    P A D Western Thunderer


    I spaced out all the figures after pasting them, but the bloody forum has messed them all up again. Hope they still make sense.
  18. P A D

    P A D Western Thunderer

    Here are some closer views of the details.

    As on the BR 86, the oil pipes under the smokebox were added as was the smokebox drain pipe. The chain for the pipe cover was made in the usual way with twisted wire, but I suppose in this scale some suitable fine chain could bd found. The lighting conduits and junction box were added from copper wire and plasticard, but the plugs and sockets are cast brass. The cables to the lamps is micro bore silicone tubing used by anglers.

    Here's the compressor which is a different version to the one on the BR 86. Lubricator pipes were added to this as well as the valve behind it. The lower grab rail is included by Piko, but I replaced the plastic one with a brass one and added the one on top of the tank, which Piko don't include. The round moulded cover plate on the gank top was where the grease separator for the condensate from the preheater was located. It was later removed as being unnecessary, but not all 64s had them, including 491, but I could not be bothered to rub it down.

    The airlines from the cab to the sand dome were added from copper wire, as were the lines to the sand dispensers.

    Here you can see the operating levers from the safety valves back to the cab, again brass and copper wire as appropriate.

    The access hole on the side tank was filled as it seems to be on various RTR models of German locos, even in the larger scales. I opened it out and now the movement of the upper part of the expansion link can be seen when the loco is running. Conduits and and pipes from brass rod, with the lifting link and support bracket made from plasticard.

    The bunker with the addition of real coal with overspill on the rear platform. The moulded coal that it comes with is an insert and is easily removed without having to drill the corners and hack it out with a saw. The lifting hooks on the cab roof and bunker sides were moulded, so were removed and replaced from copper wire.

    On the tank top, the remote openers on the lids were added and the moulded lifting hooks were removed and replaced from wire. Grab rails, lid stops and fasteners were also added to the domes.

    Here you can see the operating lever and drain pipe added to the whistle manifold.

    The water pump.

    The front buffer beam showing additional details by way of the separate handles on the air brake valves, the brake hoses and scratched up steam heating coupling. The oil box above the left hand buffer is also additional, as are the grab rails and bases, plus the lamp bases. The bases were made from plasticard with cast resin nuts/bolts from Taurus models. The buffer heads were domed on the right and flattened on the left as per standard German steam loco practice.

    Here's a view of the underside of the chassis showing the articulation, as well as the additional cross beams, pull rods and spring detail. The pull rods are a very basis representation with the rods sliding in the tube between the front and rear bendy bits. The springs were made from individual leaves of plastic strip with 10 BA nuts and bolts for the hangers. The cross beams are only sprung into the hangers so can easily be removed if the chassis base plates need to be taken off for maintenance. As can be seen, some of the detail that is on the rear of the bar frames on the real thing, is on the model's rear truck, for the purpose of getting it around tight curves. In this image, the front truck is still the original length, but I subsequently cut it where the V sides meet the parallel sides to shorten it by 1mm. This allowed clearance for the front wheels to clear the guard irons.

    Here's the added right hand lifting link, reach rod, reversing crank and support bracket. All plasticard apart from the rod which is a piece of cocktail stick. Needs must.

    And t'other side. Setting the gear in forward or reverse would have required making a new expansion link, so I passed on that. The valve gear is all plastic, but seems quite robust. It comes in a dirty grey colour with red stickers in the fluting. I chucked the stickers, painted the rods in Humbrol metalcote steel and the fluting in RAL3000. All the joints are by hollow rivets, which while being effective spoils the appearance, so I plugged all the holes with plastic rod before painting. The wheels are nicely done, but as is the norm in this scale/ gauge, the flanges are quite deep. The wheel centres have the correct number of spokes, with webbing at the rim, but not at the boss, and the boss lacks the detail characteristic of German locos. The balance weights are the correct shape and size, but could do with being a little proud of the wheel rims. I thought about making some plasticard overlays, but then moved on.

    Here's a look inside the driven part of the chassis. Ball bearings on the axles and carbon brush plunger pick ups. Double ended motor driving both axles, with a cardan shaft to the third axle in the separate chassis. There's another removable plate on the top should the motor need removing.

    This is the chassis after part of the work had been done. You can see the universal joint on the rear section, but the link to the front one is removed. I note that I'd also miss aligned the wheels in the front section at this stage. The plasticard used to fill the gap left by removal of the wiper pick up can be seen behind the middle brake hanger. The brake hangers and shoes are quite nicely represented, with the adjusters at the top.

    Last edited: 18 October 2020 at 21:44
  19. michl080

    michl080 Western Thunderer

    Good to see that you removed this grisly ski-style pickups. They completely ruin the impression.

    It's nice to see a toy become a prototypical model.

    allegheny1600 and P A D like this.
  20. daifly

    daifly Western Thunderer

    It’s probably best to export the excel file to a .pdf which should then preserve the formatting.