Help for a clueless partner

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Help for a clueless partner

Postby Clueless » Wed Nov 25, 2020 4:19 pm

Hi everyone.

Just wondered if I could please ask for advice/help?

My partner has always dreamed of having a model railway. I would love to buy him some things for Christmas to get started but as my username suggests- I’m totally clueless :?

I got him a Hornby LMS 4-6-2 Princess Elizabeth, Princess Class Locomotive for his birthday. But this was only because he’d bid on one on eBay and lost it but I managed to find one on Facebook
as a surprise.

I think it’s a 00 gauge but I could be incorrect :?

I’ve seen a few hornby sets online but they say they’re ‘Lima’ what does this mean?

I hope this post doesn’t offend anyone, I just really want to get him something nice for Christmas but I’m not sure what I’m even looking at :lol:

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Re: Help for a clueless partner

Postby mahoganydog » Wed Nov 25, 2020 4:34 pm

I advise not buying Lima, they are mostly ancient models with minor mods made by Hornby when they bought them out like better motors in those that they chose to extend the "life" of the model but essentially they're still upwards of forty year old designs and extremely dated by today's standards.

Personally I'd have a look at the Bachmann range and see if there's anything there you like.

For Track I strongly advise Peco over anyone else's; their range is huge and they're British made.

For controllers Gaugemaster is the best port of call. Lifetime warranty and again British made.

Another option to have a look at is track planning software so you can see what you can fit in the space you have before you actually buy anything and find it doesn't fit. There are a few free ones you can play with.
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Re: Help for a clueless partner

Postby stuartp » Wed Nov 25, 2020 7:39 pm

The Hormby Princess Elizabeth is indeed OO gauge. You won't go far wrong with Mahoganydog's recommendations.
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Re: Help for a clueless partner

Postby Mountain » Wed Nov 25, 2020 9:11 pm

Lima isn't that bad. Simple to repair and reliable. Is just that more modern models are smoother and have more detail. They are all nice.
Around 25 years ago tere was only really Hornby and Lima as Mainline and Airfix had ceased trading and Bachmann ahd Heljan had not entered into the market. There were small concerns like Replica which were basically Mainline... But it was basically Hornby or Lima back then, and I have to say out of the two for the models they produced at the time, Hornby had the edge on steam locomotives and Lima had the edge on diesels.

Moving more up to date, and Hornby have upped their game a lot, and Bachmann which started off with a few re-vamped Mainline models and good they were too, their only main isue is the split chassis needed more cleaning to keep them running well, but Bachmann have steadily improved and improved just like Hornby have. Both these two mnufacturers steadily bought out many other concerns. Lima collapsed as the UK importer who had the exclusive rights was going bankrupt so only chose to import limited edition models which earned them greater profit creating a wierd scinario where the limited editions vastly outnumbered their ordinary catalogued items, and so Hornby bought them out.
. Ex Lima managers and staff in Italy decided to form a new company called Vi-Trains, and briefly entered the UK market. Nice locos but their plastic bodies were a little fragile. Nice though.
Then we have Heljan which can give both Hornby and Bachmann a run for their money, and whilst Hornby and Bachmann moved to China for their production, Heljan is manufactured in Europe.
Though I have mentioned the main manufacturers, there are other noteworthy manufacturers, Dapol being one of them with some fine models.

Buying a trainset is a good start as it saves money and gets one familiar with how it all goes together, even if one buys a budget trainset. It is not often that the set contains just what one wants, but to make a start one can't go wrong. Probably it is best to decide if one wants to go for DCC or the good old DC. It is personal preference. I have both but I prefer the simplicity of traditional DC. Others love DCC with its bells and whistles! Haha! My advice is that if one is on a tight budget I would go for DC, but if ones budget is more generous then DCC has a nice little bit extra to offer, but bear in mind that models are not exactly cheap these days so it is best to weigh things up as with DCC every loco has to have a decoder fitted, and these cost money, especially if one wants DCC sound which almost doubles the cost of buying a loco (Depending on the loco one chooses to get).

But whatever one gets, a trainset is a good start even if it is cheap. (The budget Hornby 0-4-0 locos in the starter sets always raise a smile! I use them to convert them into 7mm narrow gauge locos and they are great for this as in recent years they have certainly been improved). Best advice is to find a set and then ask in here what we think! Ok. We may have differences of oppinion, but it will give you a rough idea. If we all say yes, or all say don't touch, then t is easier! Haha! But we don't all think the same, and life would be boring if we all thought the same!)

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Re: Help for a clueless partner

Postby Bigmet » Wed Nov 25, 2020 11:01 pm

A safe bet is one of the LMS standard locomotives that would definitely be seen where the Princess class operated. Bachmann make a very recommendable model of the LMS standard shunter, the 3F 'Jinty 0-6-0T, which is a small tank engine.

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