Small print

Comparing the PIKO 'hobby line’ and 'classic line’ double-deck carriages

They have got the same shape, size and weight. So why is there such a big difference in price between a double-deck carriage that belongs to the PIKO ‘classic line’ and one of those ‘hobby line’ carriages?

At least on the German market the latter is always part of a complete beginner’s set with two double-deck carriages, loco, tracks and the necessary electronic equipment. Some people buy the set and sell its contents as individual pieces on eBay to make as much profit as possible. Nevertheless that way you can get a ‘hobby line’ double-deck carriage from EUR 20 whereas the ‘classic line’ type can hardly be found for less than EUR 45!

But is the ‘classic line’ carriage really worth twice the price of its counterpart which belongs to the ‘hobby line’? Apart from the slightly more detailed bogies it is the prints that really make the difference. We have taken photos of each part of the two carriages and put them together, so you can easily compare the ‘hobby line’ product with the more expensive ‘classic line’ one. Just take your time and spot all the differences!

Our first pictures do not only show the different bogies but also reveal that the big grey stripe below the door windows is missing on the cheaper product:

Seitenansichten im Vergleich

But the necessary operating information including registration numbers (which are, by the way, different) is complete on both carriages. The ‘hobby line’ product lacks grey window frames though; they are just engraved but not coloured:

Seitenansichten im Vergleich

The green button (for opening the doors) is printed in different positions:

Seitenansichten im Vergleich

Some bodywork details which are not engraved but only printed are missing on the left picture:

Seitenansichten im Vergleich

And some other differerences at the ends of the carriages really catch the eye:

Wagenenden im Vergleich



If you are a detail lover you definitely won’t be happy with the ‘hobby line’ double-deckers and therefore you should prefer the 'classic line'. But if the model cars on your layout don't even have number plates anyway, the cheaper but still very nice 'hobby line' carriages might be a reasonable alternative for you. 

December 2007        German flag    © Volker Labitzke - - please visit our  main page