In Praise of Lima.

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Mountain
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In Praise of Lima.

Postby Mountain » Tue Aug 29, 2017 5:40 pm

For many years of modelling Lima made some lovely diesel locomotives for the UK modeller along with coaches and wagons. The locos ran well and were so easy to repair a child could do it (As I was a child when I repaired a Lima Deltic which I was given as it had been tried on mains current. £3.50 for a new armature and 75p for a pair of brushes and springs later (From Kingcraft Model Spares... Remember them?) and it was on the rails!
Their coaches run so well and behaved that the Fat Controller would approve. Even the wagons behaved!
The only thing I was not so keen on was the design of the steam locomotives con rods and wheels. Other then that, I'm a real fan. I expect my Lima models to survive for many years to come!
I refuse to replace my coaches with higher detailed versions which fly off the rails. I'll keep my Lima thank you! :)

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Allegheny1600
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Re: In Praise of Lima.

Postby Allegheny1600 » Wed Aug 30, 2017 11:16 am

Good for you!
Lima did some excellent moulding work, doesn't their class 31 still hold its own against say, the new Hornby one? Their 47 had a good shape as did their HST and I loved their wagons.
They had their detractors (me included!) but they did produce a heck of a lot of items that had never been seen before in the UK up to that time.
I always thought it a shame that they didn't fit the rather lovely mechanisms they did fit to a lot of their European and American locos though. I still covet a Lima Austrian 2043 diesel and my OBB 2067 diesel shunter is still a great model even today.
My old "09" diesel was improved by filing down the coupling rods, fitting flush glazing and believe it or not, running quality improved by weakening the motor magnet! I had inadvertently broken the motor magnet in my 117 DMU so I carefully sliced the magnet from the "09" lengthways so both had a working motor.
They both ran much better with no jack rabbit starts!
The DMU is long gone but the "09" resides in my display case, special as my mum bought it me for Christmas 1979.
Plus, as a British H0 scale modeller, I thank them for their early class 33, mark 1 and 2 coaches and the English Electric bogie.
Cheers,
John.
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Bigmet
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Re: In Praise of Lima.

Postby Bigmet » Wed Aug 30, 2017 1:12 pm

Allegheny1600 wrote:...I always thought it a shame that they didn't fit the rather lovely mechanisms they did fit to a lot of their European and American locos though. I still covet a Lima Austrian 2043 diesel and my OBB 2067 diesel shunter is still a great model even today...

The poor mechanism is at the heart of the story. Lima never were present in the UK for OO product. These products were all what we would now call commissions, by the 'Richard Kohnstam' or 'Riko' business. And there was the problem, two businesses each taking a slice on the way to the retailer, instead of just a manufacturer. How to keep the price down? Cheapest possible mechanism, which was then possible because the only significant competition in OO were Hornby's deeply unspecial mechanisms.

Allegheny1600 wrote:...Plus, as a British H0 scale modeller, I thank them for their early class 33...

Interestingly with a motor bogie of higher performance standard than the regular OO design. Lima had all the know how to do so much better.

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Re: In Praise of Lima.

Postby luckymucklebackit » Wed Aug 30, 2017 4:13 pm

It is such a pity that the ultrascale wheels are not more affordable, if they were I would replace them and keep my Lima Locomotives in my collection going, as it is expensive trying to buy replacement locomotives.

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Pennine MC
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Re: In Praise of Lima.

Postby Pennine MC » Wed Aug 30, 2017 4:14 pm

Taking an objective overview, Lima is a pretty mixed bag; the best comparison perhaps being between the class 73 and the class 37 which were released more or less concurrently. The former really catching the look of the thing, if a little dimensionally compromised; the latter just awful, ruined for many by its lack of tumblehome, flat cardboard-cutout windscreens and absence of roof horns on the centre headcode machines. Personal fave would probably be their Siphon G, its moulded louvres better than etching IMO

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Re: In Praise of Lima.

Postby Lysander » Wed Aug 30, 2017 8:43 pm

Pennine MC wrote: Personal fave would probably be their Siphon G, its moulded louvres better than etching IMO


Absolutely Ian, really let down only by its bogies. A very nice bit of r-t-r for its day.

Tony
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Mountain
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Re: In Praise of Lima.

Postby Mountain » Thu Aug 31, 2017 12:00 am

Supply problems I was told were because the UK importer in latter years refused to supply the Lima catalogue items but concentrated on limited editions as they earned more profits from them. Not only that, one of my limited edition class 37's (I rarely bothered with limited editions due to silly prices) which were said to be limited to 550 models was actually re released five times with the same name and number, each time as a limited edition!
I was also told the limited editions of 550 outnumbered the catalogue production models which tended to be typically 300 models per version that the importer reluctantly imported.
I wanted a rake of 82 ton pallet vans and had them on order for many years. After about a decade I gave up as none came even though they were in each years catalogue. It took me 20 years to get a rake of 14 which only arrived when Hornby released the models in later years!

The pancake motors I actually love as they are so easy to work on. I still have class 09's and DMU's along with others like class 33's, 37's, 47's, a western, a Deltic or two etc. It is a shame the spares like the armatures are hard to find today.
I did notice (Which I need to check) that later locos had corrosion on the copper parts like their pickups even when new. I assume they used too much flux on the solder?

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Re: In Praise of Lima.

Postby luckymucklebackit » Thu Aug 31, 2017 8:46 am

I think that I have posted this before, but for modellers today Lima locomotives and stock do seem so second rate, however back in the 1980s when they started producing 00 models for the British market they were positively revolutionary. The Hornby models of that time were much poorer than today's offering and the range was extremely limited, I was just getting back into the hobby having spent much of my later teenage years and early 20s interested in other things, but I was aware of the Lima models starting to appear on exhibition layouts and this rekindled my interest, my first purchases were a Lima 09, a Lima DMU and three Lima coaches, the only Hormby model I bought was a class 25, one of the better Hornby offerings of the time. I sold the 09 but the DMU, coaches and class 25 are all still operational,

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rb277170
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Re: In Praise of Lima.

Postby rb277170 » Thu Aug 31, 2017 9:12 am

I have a Lima Intercity Swift HST and it still cuts the mustard today. Also got an 09 which actually was always quite smooth and could perform at slow speeds. I got her out recently after a long time in the box, oiled her up and she is good as new . I wonder how many of today's models will last 38 years!

As others have pointed out, back in the day Hornby was turning out short Mk3s and Class 47s with moulding lines for the two tone green livery along the side . I've got a Lady Diana Spencer 47 in large logo livery with these moulding lines . Incredible , but that's what we put up with in these days , so Lima was very good in its day. It was also priced well. Usually a little less expensive than Hornby .

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Re: In Praise of Lima.

Postby Bufferstop » Thu Aug 31, 2017 10:50 am

My limited experience of Lima runs to a two car DMU and two 0-6-0's, the class 09 and the 94xx which pretty much covered the whole range of their UK specific mechanisms. The DMU motor bogie was better designed than the similar Hornby Ringfield design, but it was let down by the brass wheels and poor conductivity through the axles. 25 years on the cut'n'shut remains of the two bodies are still in my reserve list as a poor man's bubble car, still using and suffering from the brass wheels and traction tyres from the early eighties.
The 09 was long ago donated to my grandson and comes out from time to time when either he or his younger brother tire of their consoles and joysticks. It suffered from a rather skimpy rendition of the below the footplate detail and the rather crude cranks and coupling rods, but the motor showed what it was capable of.
The motor in the 94xx also showed it's capabilities, much to the detriment of the loco. It drove on the back of one of the rear wheels and was rod coupled to the front. The centre pair running free in both horizontal and vertical planes. There was enough torque to actually lift the diagonally opposite wheel far enough to lose contact. The effect could be overcome by taking the chassis in both hands and attempting to twist it in the opposite direction. The effect lasted an hour or so before the plastic straightened itself out again. When Bachmann made amends for their original releases of ex Mainline models, by issuing a slightly improved version of the split chassis, I bought one, not sure if it was intended for the 2251 or the 56xx. The wheelbase actually matched the Lima body better than it's own chassis. The rear overhang was a little short so the last centimetre of the Lima chassis was chopped off and grafted on to the Bachmann one. The hybrid is still in regular use well into its second decade, a little noisy but very controllable.
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Mountain
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Re: In Praise of Lima.

Postby Mountain » Thu Aug 31, 2017 11:03 am

I found as long as one sticks to their diesels, they are good. The main issue I found with the diesels which for some reason the class 33 was more noticeable was the deep set windows. Other then that I was and am happy with them.
Improvement to them is relatively cheap. They used yellow plastic so they didnt have to paint the front ends. A good cost cutting measure, but they do loo plastic. Paint the yellow ends yellow, and they look good.
The Lima 09 was such an improvement on the Hornby model just to have the con rods on the correct side of the frame! We overlooked the fact that they were over scale. At least they were there.
The Hornby 08 did have a fun addition though. A counterbalanced weight on the coupling hook which worked quite well for shunting! Was a fun novel feature. It may not have worked so well with Mainline or Airfix stock as they had thinner couplings.

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Re: In Praise of Lima.

Postby Bigmet » Thu Aug 31, 2017 11:30 am

Mountain wrote:...I did notice (Which I need to check) that later locos had corrosion on the copper parts like their pickups even when new. I assume they used too much flux on the solder?

Alternative theory: the pick ups and wiring were assembled from random factory floor sweepings. Many connections which would have benefitted from soldering were clip on. A bit of DIY to improve the wiring, make soldered connections, add pick ups, did much for running reliability.

Mountain wrote:..The pancake motors I actually love as they are so easy to work on...

Good in basic design - provided it gets current it will run - but manufactured to a low standard presumably on price containment grounds. Given better control of bearing tolerances and gear mountings it may be improved. Comparison to the motor bogie in the HO class 33 is instructive: same basic design, executed to a better manufacturing standard. As a result it is quieter and visibly smoother in operation.

Mountain wrote:Supply problems I was told were because the UK importer in latter years refused to supply the Lima catalogue items but concentrated on limited editions as they earned more profits from them...

This is a consequence of Lima not actually being in the OO market. The marketing rights to the OO product belonged to Riko which was the commissioning business. Only what Riko were prepared to order was manufactured. Just before Lima folded a centre motor drive model was commissioned (Class 67) to compete with the equivalent drive on Bachmann's models (and clearly imminent from Hornby) but it was all too late. Hobbyco could have reacted to the Bachmann Peak's spectrum drive introduced back in 1992: that was a clear warning shot, and Lima had the proven mechanism designs to compete with that elsewhere in their empire...

(The same business model applies to the 'Hobbyco' class 37 and 47 models commissioned from and produced by (the ex-Lima people who started) ViTrains. Hobbyco explicitly stated that they were out to supply limited volume reliveries ad nauseam. Unfortunately for the viability of this scheme Hobbyco was facing several competent competitors well established with their potential customers, a far broader product selection than the RTR OO market had ever previously seen, and an overall quality standard that left them in fifth place out of five.)

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Mountain
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Re: In Praise of Lima.

Postby Mountain » Thu Aug 31, 2017 1:08 pm

I have a ViTrains class 37 somewhere. Other then converting it to DCC I've hardly ever run the thing. Would love to have a nice layout to get the things out!
For me it was not the smoothness and slow running capabilities of the more modern models but it was the all wheel pickups and the all wheel drive (Better for outdoor running) that attracted me. The smooth slow running was a bonus rather then essential as both Lima and Hornby pancake motors can crawl well if they are kept well serviced and they have adiquate pickups with clean rails. The modern models do mean one can have longer periods between giving wheels and parts a clean!

Bigmet
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Re: In Praise of Lima.

Postby Bigmet » Thu Aug 31, 2017 1:52 pm

Or even practically never if running indoors. I have an early class 40 from Bachmann which as an experiment hasn't been off the rails since receiving its decoder and going into service. I'd have to look it up but I think that will be twelve years elapsed now. Starts and runs every time.

Firefly16
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Re: In Praise of Lima.

Postby Firefly16 » Thu Aug 31, 2017 10:22 pm

The bubble car as I remember it had a look of being 'down by the stern' but until the advent of the Bachmann product Lima's D800s were attractive models if a bit on the sluggish side. On the steam side, the top half of the 94XX captured the solid, chunky look of the later GWR/WR panniers almost to perfection, but those just-too-small wheels... Still on Lima's steam offerings, first prize has to go the small prairie. Yes, the slide bar/con rod and motion supporting bracket detailing leave something to be desired and the wheels are somewhat less than scale size but anyone who saw the small prairie repainted and bearing the shirt button logo on offer on e-Bay a week or so ago will surely grant that overall, the model still does justice to its prototype.


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