Thankfully never produced

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Ken Shabby
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Thankfully never produced

Postby Ken Shabby » Sat Apr 17, 2021 5:16 pm

Last weekend I found a Wrenn catalogue in a box back at my Mum's house , which I think dates from 1977. Inside amongst the ex Dublo locos was this .

wrennPrairire.jpg


Look at the state of it. I'm guessing it's a small Prairie rather than a large one I don't know why they weren't no further with it , but I'm glad they saw sense.

Ken.

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Lysander
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Re: Thankfully never produced

Postby Lysander » Sat Apr 17, 2021 9:16 pm

The Small Prairie appeared in the second edition of the Wrenn catalogue, alongside an Adams' Radial Tank. Both illustrations were taken from photographs of made-up white-metal kits available at the time but neither was put through into production.

Tony
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Firefly16
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Re: Thankfully never produced

Postby Firefly16 » Sat Apr 17, 2021 11:12 pm

That is awful. How could anyone get anything so wrong? But give Wrenn their due - they did at least attempt a credible sandbox, which is more than could be said for the more or less contemporaneous Lima version, an otherwise good little model for its day.

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Lysander
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Re: Thankfully never produced

Postby Lysander » Sat Apr 17, 2021 11:58 pm

Like the Adams Radial, the picture was for illustration purposes only. Had it actually been produced, it may have been better, or worse, we shall never know. It would not have been what you have seen in the catalogue though.

Tony
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Bigmet
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Re: Thankfully never produced

Postby Bigmet » Sun Apr 18, 2021 5:48 pm

Firefly16 wrote:That is awful...

True, but all things are relative. Better by far than the uninhibitedly inauthentic interpretations of the N2 and R1 tank locos that were part of the H-D/Wrenn range.

That catalogue date of 1977 is telling isn't it? Mainline's launch in 1976 had 'reset' ideas of what RTR OO might look like. Suspect that was the nail in the coffin for that proposed Wrenn model, and would do for Wrenn in time, as the realisation that 'better is attainable' spread among customers for RTR OO. What if Wrenn had understood the jig was up for their existing product, and sourced plastic loco bodies from Hong Kong to match the Mainline and Airfix GMR exterior appearance? Fitted with their robust mechanisms, such a product might have had legs, if a suitable HK manufacturing partner could have been found. (I gathered from a long ago colleague who was a friend of David Boyle that HK manufacturers were very much set on manufacturing the entire product, with their own mechanism designs.)

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Ken Shabby
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Re: Thankfully never produced

Postby Ken Shabby » Sun Apr 18, 2021 9:55 pm

Here's a Lima loco that didn't make it into production, . This very nice looking V2 appeared in the 1982 catalogue. It looks to be a much higher quality loco than the other Lima steam models, so I assume these models were actually kit bullt just to give some idea what the finished model would look like.
Ken

limav2.jpg


limav2onshed.jpg

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Bufferstop
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Re: Thankfully never produced

Postby Bufferstop » Sun Apr 18, 2021 11:09 pm

Bigmet wrote:What if Wrenn had understood the jig was up for their existing product, and sourced plastic loco bodies from Hong Kong

I doubt that was likely. From everything I have read, and picked up at exhibitions etc. Wrenn got, for free, the H-D tools and anything else they could carry away from what Lines Bros had earmarked for trash. I don't think they were even considering selling for scrap. Repairing the tools for the Class 08 (vandalised by H-D to make a cheap 0-4-0 kiddies diesel) nearly broke the bank! So I reckon commissioning tools for a new plastic bodied loco would have been well out of their league.
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Lysander
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Re: Thankfully never produced

Postby Lysander » Sun Apr 18, 2021 11:50 pm

[quote="Ken Shabby"] This very nice looking V2 appeared in the 1982 catalogue. It looks to be a much higher quality loco than the other Lima steam models, so I assume these models were actually kit bullt just to give some idea what the finished model would look like.
Ken

I think you are correct, looking at the valve gear and cylinder drain cocks, and then remembering what the Lima King looked like!

Tony
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Bigmet
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Re: Thankfully never produced

Postby Bigmet » Mon Apr 19, 2021 11:00 am

There's stacks of these 'might have beens' from Triang Hornby too. I think it was Pat Hammond who curated the original MREmag in the early 2000's that provided a very good reference article in the history of RTR OO section, which must have described twenty or more steam models which T-H had mocked up, and decided to not have a go at, during the 60s and 70s. "Nah, let's just make more A3s and Jinties".

Bufferstop wrote:
Bigmet wrote:What if Wrenn had understood the jig was up for their existing product, and sourced plastic loco bodies from Hong Kong?

I doubt that was likely. From everything I have read, and picked up at exhibitions etc. Wrenn got, for free, the H-D tools and anything else they could carry away from what Lines Bros had earmarked for trash. I don't think they were even considering selling for scrap. Repairing the tools for the Class 08 (vandalised by H-D to make a cheap 0-4-0 kiddies diesel) nearly broke the bank! So I reckon commissioning tools for a new plastic bodied loco would have been well out of their league.

I grant it would have been unlikely, but then again there they were, floating the idea of all new introductions to their range, so there must have been some money about at the time: or the prospect of some investment from another party? Whatever, all water long gone under the bridge, and not to be.

Ken Shabby wrote:Here's a Lima loco that didn't make it into production. This very nice looking V2 appeared in the 1982 catalogue. It looks to be a much higher quality loco than the other Lima steam models, so I assume these models were actually kit built just to give some idea what the finished model would look like...

Detail like the very fine post between the cab side windows suggests to me that if these models were kit builds, then it would be from the Kings Cross Models Jamieson range of 'scratch aid' sheet metal parts. Alternatively they may have been scratch built by someone very proficient. There's probably knowledge of 'who dunnit' out there, if the right party could be consulted.

Would Lima have got anywhere close? Not a prayer, based on their other wild stabs at UK steam models. (Ten years later - following Lima's acquisition of Rivarossi circa 1990 - if any of their design staff came in the package then something decent might have been possible.)

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Alexander Court
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Re: Thankfully never produced

Postby Alexander Court » Mon Apr 19, 2021 2:49 pm

I still wish the Triang/Triang-Hornby Mountain engine and coach had been produced.
Alex

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Ex-Pat
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Re: Thankfully never produced

Postby Ex-Pat » Tue Apr 20, 2021 11:59 am

Now, I often wonder if I put the kaibosh on the Lima V2 by writing to them and pointing out that "The Durham Light Infantry" surely never appeared in black livery, as it was only named on 29th April 1958 and by which time it would have already been green from its General Overhaul the previous month (if not even earlier).

Bigmet
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Re: Thankfully never produced

Postby Bigmet » Tue Apr 20, 2021 3:43 pm

Steam was dropped from Lima's OO range because Riko (Richard Kohnstam) - which was the commissioner and distributor for their OO products - quite rapidly discovered that new liveries on diesels was the winning formula, and they made this niche their territory.

Lima's tool makers consistently achieved far better results in diesel bodyshells than steam, and they had an efficient livery application technique which enabled rapid production of the host of late BR sector and then privatisation liveries, pretty much as they were introduced. Very appealing to a business, near endlessly able to churn the mouldings from the initial tooling investment by applying a new livery style, it's the very definition of 'cash cow'.

(The second time around attempt at livery churning Tractors and Duffs by HobbyCo and ViTrains - the resurrection of Lima - flopped. The market had changed radically, with effective competition from Chinese production by Bachmann, Heljan and Hornby, all of which were by then well established.)


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