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So this was supposed to be here before Christmas. But the deities of international shipping thought otherwise, in spite of an additional fee paid to guarantee priority postage, so it arrived today - two months after it was shipped from Germany.

I've been after a BR 220 in the Era IV blue/beige scheme for a while. It had to be a 220, not 221, because I want to use it in a push-pull train, and the 221 did not have push-pull control. Only three of the real 220s were painted in this livery. Not a lot of H0 models have been made. The old Roco models are analog only, and I wasn't up for the kind of pain that comes with upgrading those to DCC. The current ESU model would obviously have been fantastic, but it was well above my budget. Eventually, I managed to find a unit of the 2014 PIKO 59704 on a shelf somewhere, as new.



A while ago, I got this set of three Roco passenger cars known as 'Silberlinge'. They were supposed to make up the push-pull train mentioned above. Yes, they're 1:100 - I like them that way, and it's much more affordable to get those. They were all second hand but in excellent condition, the cab car had an unopened packet with the detail parts. However, you may notice that there's an odd one out. It's a bit hard to see in the pic, but the bottom car has a black frame and different roof shape, while the top two have dark blue frames. It turned out that I had mixed up the Roco item numbers - I acquired a 4265 when what I wanted was the 4265S.



That mistake has now been rectified, as the loco had the correct car in tow:



Now I can finally put my intended 3-car commuter push-pull train to work - once my layout is all wired up again.
 

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Judging by what I am reading on the German forums I am a member of, Brawa hasn't been 'a cut above the rest' for a long time.

Then again, even the hugely expensive and highly detailed ESU locomotives regularly have problems.
 

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I have noted that quite a few different manufacturers offer BR232s, but I have no idea of the detail differences, or who does the best job of modelling them accurately.
Unless you can afford the ESU model of the 132/232, it is generally accepted that the current generation of Piko models delivers the best bang for buck in terms of detail, performance, and reliability. I own a Roco 132 and a Piko 232, and I have to say between the two of them the Piko is my favourite.
 
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