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I am thinking about buying an MTH Railking Imperial ES44AC loco.  My existing fleet (including some ES44ACs) are all Premier or Legacy full scale.  Is the Imperial "near scale" engine just semi-scale like others in the Railking line or is it really much closer to full scale?  Will the size difference between a full scale Premier loco and a Railking Imperial "near scale" be that noticable if they are running together ?  (comparison pictures  or measurements appreciated).  Thanks

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If you believe the MTH website, it seems like engine for engine (ES44AC vs ES44AC) the Railking Imperial "near scale" models are about 2.5" shorter than the full scale (Legacy / Premier) versions (thanks, Mario).  Assuming the height is also proportional, I think these would be noticeably smaller than their full scale brethren.  I do have a Railking Scale RS-3 and yes, it is truly "full scale" as advertised.  Thanks for the feedback.  - mark

Saw this earlier, but had to get home to take pix:

Here's a comparison between RailKing and Premier ES44's.

All of the side-by-side shots are lined up by the rear couplers.

side by side lengthlength comparison abovelengh comparison side by sideheight comparisonheight comparison frontback-to-back length comparson

Hopefully this will give you an idea of how the two would look together.

Personally, I have two Premier ES44's in two different MTH colors and the Railroader Club RailKing ES44 / SD70ACE. Why? beyond the "company colors", I thought it'd be neat to have both a Premier and a RK set of 'company colors" units in either/or service  pulling what should probably be considered a complete set of the York boxcars.

MTH trifecta

---PCJ

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Images (7)
  • back-to-back length comparson
  • side by side length
  • length comparison above
  • lengh comparison side by side
  • height comparison
  • height comparison front
  • MTH trifecta: (Taken before the MTHRRC RailKing ES44 was announced in 2014)
Last edited by RailRide

Although I've read and re-read the definitions on the MTH website on Imperial, Railking and Railking Scale, I could never figure out what the difference between Imperial and Railking were. Is Imperial just Railking with the same amount of detail as Premier? If so, that would make them traditional sized as in 027 size? And if so, then is Railking Scale just 1:48 scale with the same detail as Railking? I tend to shy away from anything Railking because of the size difference and I don't understand which is which. Thanks is advance for an explanation.

@ConrailFan posted:

Although I've read and re-read the definitions on the MTH website on Imperial, Railking and Railking Scale, I could never figure out what the difference between Imperial and Railking were. Is Imperial just Railking with the same amount of detail as Premier? If so, that would make them traditional sized as in 027 size? And if so, then is Railking Scale just 1:48 scale with the same detail as Railking? I tend to shy away from anything Railking because of the size difference and I don't understand which is which. Thanks is advance for an explanation.

Let me preface this by saying I don’t own any mth, but I studied up on the differences and for now chose Lionel due to mth’s current instability. Railking imperial are smaller than scale, but are usually well detailed. This is especially true with the sd70 and es44. They are almost detailed like premier engines. I don’t think they all run on o27. Rk scale are very early premier line molds. So, they lack detail, but are scale sized. If mth was still going strong as it was a few years ago, I’d probably own a fleet of the imperial sd70s and es44s.

--RailKing Scale: Former Premier diesels whose detailing is no longer considered Premier-grade (1990's - early 2000's tooling). All will negotiate 031, typically by having undersized fuel tanks. No Premier steam engines ever entered this product line.

--RailKing Imperial: RailKing 'traditional'-sized steam with upgraded detail. Basically all but the largest non-articulated examples will negotiate 031 curves. Diesels with an Imperial designation have added details and/or features typically left out of other RK examples, such as working ditch lights.

--RailKing Rugged Rails: first-generation RailKing locomotives that were really undersized, like the first-generation F3 and Dash-8, plus the 'Bantam' steamers like the N&W  J-class and PRR turbine. Rugged Rails was a product line that appeared some time after the creation of RailKing, as a sub-category of budget offerings typically included in entry-level starter sets.

---PCJ

@RailRide posted:

--RailKing Scale: Former Premier diesels whose detailing is no longer considered Premier-grade (1990's - early 2000's tooling). All will negotiate 031, typically by having undersized fuel tanks. No Premier steam engines ever entered this product line.

--RailKing Imperial: RailKing 'traditional'-sized steam with upgraded detail. Basically all but the largest non-articulated examples will negotiate 031 curves. Diesels with an Imperial designation have added details and/or features typically left out of other RK examples, such as working ditch lights.

--RailKing Rugged Rails: first-generation RailKing locomotives that were really undersized, like the first-generation F3 and Dash-8, plus the 'Bantam' steamers like the N&W  J-class and PRR turbine. Rugged Rails was a product line that appeared some time after the creation of RailKing, as a sub-category of budget offerings typically included in entry-level starter sets.

---PCJ

Great summary!

Peter

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