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Have to agree 

 

The 90 & 91 boggles my mind. Neither in the Railroad range, there is no lighting and they have traction tyres. Nasty pantos. The price between them both is weird also. Hattons has the 90 on for £64 yet the 91 is £84. and then there is the 92 which seems to fall in between price wise but IMO is a much better looking model ( I think it has lights too?) 

Lights, Jim, but not as we know them.

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Is the current Hornby 92 the Hornby tooling or the ex Lima one ?

It is the Hornby one with some minor evolutions.

 

I was there working for the Signal box at the time. The Lima model arrived a few months before the Hornby one. The Hornby rep boasted about separate lights, working pantos and no extra details to fit. All true as the end user had to fit all roof details on the Lima model while it had no lights and no working pantos.

 

The latter point was moot because Lima tried to use more representative Pantos while Hornby used a pair found on other electrics at the time.

 

Bref - I added lights to the Lima one, very easy to do with no need to drill holes or anything. (Memory going back some 20 years).

 

Today I still have one of each from the first year of production, and honestly feel that the Lima version captures the prototype better while Hornby's has more play value. Interpret as you will....

Edited by JSpencer
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Have to agree 

 

The 90 & 91 boggles my mind. Neither in the Railroad range, there is no lighting and they have traction tyres. Nasty pantos. The price between them both is weird also. Hattons has the 90 on for £64 yet the 91 is £84. and then there is the 92 which seems to fall in between price wise but IMO is a much better looking model ( I think it has lights too?)

 

The 90 and 91 avoid railroad range for the moment because of there high spec finish printed finish (and for modern liveries, doubtless certain royalties).

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As John said earlier, the Lima BRCW's do need a bit of help to bring them to their full potential, one shall diplomatically say.

 

If you just want something to pull some carriages or wagons around in  circles then it will do you fine. If you want an accurate BRCW then you will have to do some work to it. My local shop had a Heljan s/h 33 for £55, which isn't a lot more than you are going to pay for a Lima.

FWIW You can buy the sprews of spare bogie parts from Heljans latest 33/0 and upgrade the earlier ones.

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The thing that annoyed me about Lima was that they made huge strides forward in the mid-late 80's with their British outline models but then just plateaued. I think it was more Riko than Lima but as Lima were upping their European HO models with flywheel fitted motors driving both bogies, separate detail parts, close couplings, working lights etc to match what was expected of models in markets such as German and Switzerland they left it until the class 67 right at the end before upgrading their mechanism for UK modellers (with the exception of the class 20 which had a better mech than the pancake for particular reasons). I remember having Lima HO models like the Re6/6 and RAe Gottardo EMU which were really excellent models and asking myself why their UK outline was so far behind. Which was a shame as Lima's tooling and moulding expertise was impressive.

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JJB,

 

Have you ever luncheoned at the Ritz or similar? I'm sure you have. Most of us will have.

 

We have then pondered why the masses want to keep going to McDonalds and wonder why McDonalds cannot do the same as the Ritz.

 

The reality is that suppliers in a modern capitalist world will follow public demand. Public demand just was not there. Or let me re-phrase it, public demand for higher prices were not there.

 

You can see the same quality/price divide now. Modelling is split into two camps- those who want to get everything just right and those who just want to run trains. I hasten to add that neither is right or wrong, but the market still insists on track that is 4ft 1 1/2 inches wide and has turnouts for HST's and Networkers that would look tight on an industrial complex. Yet, makers still sell vastly more such things than those who make prototypically accurate models.

 

But as an aside, I wonder if it has now plateaued and we will see quality DEcrease. Accuracy on some recent releases is questionable and we are seeing moulded hand rails appear now and then (and most hideously- a mix of wire and moulded with Bachmann DMU's).

 

Why do I think I might just have sparked a war- not my intention.

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I was looking at the Limby 101 body a couple of days ago and marvelling at what a smart piece of tooling it is.

Would certainly agree that the 101 body sides are very good indeed - they have finer window frames than Bachmann's offering.

 

But what really let's it down is the all important front.  The windscreens are too long.  It is not that noticeable on green liveried units, even less so on late liveried units with black window surrounds e.g. NSE and RR ScR..

 

But on the full yellow end blue and blue/grey IMO they look terrible, made worse by the unpainted yellow plastic 

 

That's the only reason I opted for the Bachmann ones.

 

This has been discussed in detail on the Bachmann 101 thread.  http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/78974-decorated-samples-of-class-101/page-15

 

Photos on my post #353 compare the two models.

 

I still have Lima 156's - very good indeed especially if you pick out the underframe details with paint.

 

(PS. I'll be putting all my blue/grey Lima 101's on RMW Buy and Sell shortly if anyone's interested.)

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Good to see some limbs support and discussion , some thing I can't follow is why the 87 was not Hornby railroad , and why the excellent limbs phantographs were not used on runs of 86 's , I have fitted them to mine and they transform the looks of the locos .

I have also yet to have a poor running 73 , which in br blue makes them absolute bargains vs the current debacle with Dapol.

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JJB,

 

Have you ever luncheoned at the Ritz or similar? I'm sure you have. Most of us will have.

 

We have then pondered why the masses want to keep going to McDonalds and wonder why McDonalds cannot do the same as the Ritz.

 

The reality is that suppliers in a modern capitalist world will follow public demand. Public demand just was not there. Or let me re-phrase it, public demand for higher prices were not there.

 

You can see the same quality/price divide now. Modelling is split into two camps- those who want to get everything just right and those who just want to run trains. I hasten to add that neither is right or wrong, but the market still insists on track that is 4ft 1 1/2 inches wide and has turnouts for HST's and Networkers that would look tight on an industrial complex. Yet, makers still sell vastly more such things than those who make prototypically accurate models.

 

But as an aside, I wonder if it has now plateaued and we will see quality DEcrease. Accuracy on some recent releases is questionable and we are seeing moulded hand rails appear now and then (and most hideously- a mix of wire and moulded with Bachmann DMU's).

 

Why do I think I might just have sparked a war- not my intention.

I'm not anti-Lima nor anti-railroad type products, far from it however I also think there should be a choice. My disappointment at Lima was that they had the capability to really move UK outline models forward in the 1980's but didn't. My understanding is that this was not a Lima decision but a Riko one as they decided that the UK market would not support the higher prices of upgrading models in line with their European HO products.

I think there is a balance. Whilst I see a market for minimum cost models (the residual trainset market for young children, donor hacks etc) and models designed to maximise realism and detail and where cost is not a factor (eg high end brass models) most of us are somewhere in between these extremes. I think Lima could have upgraded their models significantly whilst also controlling price rises. I think the big one was mechanisms, the 67 pretty much married a normal Lima body shell onto a heavy weight chassis with centrally mounted motor and drive to both bogies. I thought that was a decent compromise.

The UK market is more cost sensitive than many, but I don't think it is as super mean as we are sometimes led to believe. At one time there was a big following for European and US HO in the UK with many British modellers paying serious money for good models. There are still plenty of British modellers who model overseas subjects (I still have an interest in Japanese and North American and have my old Swiss stuff) but based on experience in the club I was a member of and modelling friends many of those who modelled overseas prototypes returned to British outline when Hornby and Bachmann really upped their game and closed the gap with HO. Hornby experimented with design clever and it was a debacle for them, the consensus seemed to be that most of their customers wanted high end detail and Hornby have reverted to their pre-design clever standards for main range models. The success or otherwise of the forthcoming Dapol black label A4 will be interesting I think.

As things are I think the UK modeller is pretty well served by the current market which offers a mix of high end models and lower end models for those who either do not want or cannot afford the prices of the higher end products. And I hope that this choice continues. I don't think Lima's demise had much to do with their UK activities but it was sad that they were left behind by Bachmann and Hornby when those two companies really started to improve the standard of OO RTR.

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... I think it was more Riko than Lima but as Lima were upping their European HO models with flywheel fitted motors driving both bogies, separate detail parts, close couplings, working lights etc to match what was expected of models in markets such as German and Switzerland they left it until the class 67 right at the end before upgrading their mechanism for UK modellers ...

Riko couldn't see the opportunity until Bachmann made it apparent, and reacted too late in finally going for a better drive design in the 67. It's abundantly clear that the expertise within the Lima group could have been exploited to provide a 'better OO' product to test the market in the UK at any time during the Riko/Lima period. But Riko remained wedded to the idea of a low cost product as a livery horse, and whack on as much paint as possible. Consider that another HO manufacturer, Heljan, could also see the opportunity within the UK, and although the initial asking price for their 47 was greeted with some sucking of teeth, the build and running qualities were quickly appreciated as I recall it.

 

In my opinion the story repeats. The Hobbyco/ViTrains operation remained in the 'livery horse' mode. ViTrains HO contemporary MU expertise could surely have been exploited to introduce a modern MU in OO, to test the water?

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That's the point I was making. A decision was taken- rightly or wrongly- that the market would not be prepared to pay for better quality stuff.

 

Without going off at a tangent, I still think this manifests itself in the modern day "narrow gauge" track. Why quibble over shades of blue in a desire to be totally accurate whilst running on a narrow gauge track? Answer is simple- it's a compromise and it's been done this way for generations so why change.

 

Now if Bachmann or another large builder was to start making everything to true scale with accurate track to go with it, would the others follow suit? Would people then deride narrow gauge Peco much in the same way that people now deride Lima's moulded hand rails?

 

I wonder.

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Maybe this will now change with manufacturers such as SLW producing what must be the first P4 or EM ready to run.

 

I'd be happy to change to a more accurate scale but the two great killers of that are time and money at present

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Oddly Lima did try to correct the narrow gauge issue by producing British outline in HO. This would have made us the same scale as most of planet. It failed.

 

Dapol did sell their J94 with spare wheel sets for conversion to EM. I don,t think it changed much.

 

I argue a true 1/100th scale would do wonders but acknowledge you would face fierce competition from the well established OO and N gauges.

 

Anyway, I was there working in the Signal box in the 1990s and customer opinion was very divided. The ideal diesel model would be one with Lima split modern drive, all separately fitted detail fitted, accurate dimensions and paint scheme without passing the £50 barrier if we were to merge all opinions into one.

 

In reality it was more like this:

A good chunk (say 1/3) wanted Lima to do the same as the continent Lima and would have paid for it, price would have been about double.

Another chunk was happy with current prices and did not mind adding the 30 or so detailing parts themselves on the latest class 92 and 59 and felt £50 was fine.

Another chunk found £50 already expensive especially as you had to fit a lot of parts yourselves.

Collectors were annoyed that all parts were not already fitted because the model looked bare bones in the display cabinet, and fitting parts would mean the model was no longer as it came out the factory - though they would have paid a little more for it.

 

RIKO arrived at conclusion that £50 was the limit for a Diesel(Hornby had similar feedback from shops), but detail was important. Modellers wanting better running could modify accordingly buying various upgrade kits, in any case Hornby was just the same.

 

Bachmann faced similar issues though there was a £100 barrier limit on steam locos. At first people complained about the plain flat name plates then the complained about lack of fitted nameplates and having to fit etched ones yourself which lead to both printed nameplates plus etched ones. Today Bachmann have dropped etched ones as a cost measure.

 

I think overall we sold more Lima 92s than Hornby in the first year of release but in fairness Lima got their first and had a few to choose from. I think I must have been one of few people who brought both!

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I remember having Lima HO models like the Re6/6 and RAe Gottardo EMU which were really excellent models and asking myself why their UK outline was so far behind. Which was a shame as Lima's tooling and moulding expertise was impressive.

What do you mean? Some of its models (HST, Mk3, Class 101/156) were all well ahead of their time. Some modellers still feel the Lima 47 is the best representative of the body shape of any model made to date.

 

I think when Lima got it right they got it very right. When they got it wrong however it was a right pig's ear.

 

 

Would certainly agree that the 101 body sides are very good indeed - they have finer window frames than Bachmann's offering.

 

But what really let's it down is the all important front. The windscreens are too long. It is not that noticeable on green liveried units, even less so on late liveried units with black window surrounds e.g. NSE and RR ScR..

 

But on the full yellow end blue and blue/grey IMO they look terrible, made worse by the unpainted yellow plastic

 

That's the only reason I opted for the Bachmann ones.

 

This has been discussed in detail on the Bachmann 101 thread. http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/78974-decorated-samples-of-class-101/page-15

 

Photos on my post #353 compare the two models.

You say the front is important, but I'd argue you see the sides far more whilst playing trains. This is why I opted for Limby Class 101s. Bachmann ones are simply not worth 3x the price.

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What do you mean? Some of its models (HST, Mk3, Class 101/156) were all well ahead of their time. Some modellers still feel the Lima 47 is the best representative of the body shape of any model made to date.

I think this depends on where you make the comparison. I don't think any would deny that Lima had a golden patch in the mid 80's to mid 90's where they were producing new tooling on a regular basis and that their tooling were hugely better than their main UK rival, Hornby. Although if you look further back you could also say that some of the models produced by Mainline in the late 70's wouldn't be matched again until the late 90's, OK the mainline mechanism was not very good but the visual appearance of models like the Class 42 and Mk.1 restaurant buffet still cut the mustard even today. Some of the Airfix tooling of the late 70's was also very good and years ahead of its time.

However if you look beyond the UK then Lima models made for the UK were far behind what was considered normal in markets such as Germany, Switzerland and Japan. The Lima pancake mechanism was robust and cheap but woeful next to what Roco and others were making for European HO in the early 80's. Flush glazing, buffer beam detail, separate handrails and fine detail, fine scale pantographs, highly detailed printing, working lights, these were all things that some other markets took almost for granted many years before British modellers were offered them. In 1990 when I started going to Japan I developed a taste for Japanese N gauge, and Kato and Tomix N gauge was significantly more detailed, with far better mechanisms and finer printing than British OO of the time. Lima were capable of working to this standard, but did not do so for the UK simply because it seems Riko decided British modellers were too tight fisted to pay the extra costs. On mechanisms, even the old Athearn blue box US HO models which were as basic as it got and basically a starting point for a project had a strong centrally mounted flywheel fitted motor driving both bogies and they were cheaper than Lima or Hornby at the time.

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JJB,

 

Have you ever luncheoned at the Ritz or similar? I'm sure you have. Most of us will have.

 

We have then pondered why the masses want to keep going to McDonalds and wonder why McDonalds cannot do the same as the Ritz.

 

The reality is that suppliers in a modern capitalist world will follow public demand. Public demand just was not there. Or let me re-phrase it, public demand for higher prices were not there.

 

You can see the same quality/price divide now. Modelling is split into two camps- those who want to get everything just right and those who just want to run trains. I hasten to add that neither is right or wrong, but the market still insists on track that is 4ft 1 1/2 inches wide and has turnouts for HST's and Networkers that would look tight on an industrial complex. Yet, makers still sell vastly more such things than those who make prototypically accurate models.

 

But as an aside, I wonder if it has now plateaued and we will see quality DEcrease. Accuracy on some recent releases is questionable and we are seeing moulded hand rails appear now and then (and most hideously- a mix of wire and moulded with Bachmann DMU's).

 

Why do I think I might just have sparked a war- not my intention.

I think this post is spot on. For some there is a quest for ever more fidelity and detail for others it's about running trains . Neither is wrong and there is a market for both. I really wouldn't mind if Lima were still around. I have an intercity HST. And it's still one of my favourites as it races round the track . There is a market for Railroad, Limby . It doesn't stop me in the occasional able in High spec locos but Railroad or lower priced ones are giving me just as much pleasure. If I look back at the last year I've most enjoyed my Halls, D16 , 42xx all bought at a discount. On the other hand the least enjoyable is my Locomotion 4-4-2 . Lovely loco and it runs well , but at three times the price of the 42xx was a piece of over indulgence and I certainly don't get three times more pleasure from it. Edited by Legend
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...Now if Bachmann or another large builder was to start making everything to true scale with accurate track to go with it, would the others follow suit? Would people then deride narrow gauge Peco much in the same way that people now deride Lima's moulded hand rails?...

If there had been a concerted move shortly after the Channel tunnel opening by all of Hornby, Lima and new entrant Bachmann to make all contemporary stock in HO - there's none of the width issues there that led to the OO compromise when steam was the dominant traction - then I believe HO would by now be the norm for post-steam traction. I suspect it would have gained in popularity too, relative to OO steam: as compared to the present position where it is clearly a long way behind in second place, simply because it would be more accurate and an easily opened door to P87. There would be a tranche of HO late/preserved operation steam models too, especially splasherless or nearly so types like the A1, 7MT, 9F. Might have beens...

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I think you are quite correct that a concerted effort could have 'forced' a change- but you could say that about anything. A concerted effort could see us all uniting under 3.75mm/ft or whatever arbitrary figure the makers agreed. I am not sure that the opening of the channel sewer would have made any difference though- unless one was modelling International trains (how many have you seen?)

 

The chances that we would all move to H0 instead of 00 is about as likely as Britain starting to drive on the right (or if you are a BMW driver, starting to drive on the left). There is just too much history, too divergent to make such a change. That said, as European governments buy more and more railway companies in Britain and we have less say about our own rail services, we might see enough International trains (a resurgent idea of regional services through the sewer perhaps) then there might well become a very convincing argument for H0 trains as makers won't want to make H0 for Europe and 00 for us.  

 

If there had been a concerted move shortly after the Channel tunnel opening by all of Hornby, Lima and new entrant Bachmann to make all contemporary stock in HO - there's none of the width issues there that led to the OO compromise when steam was the dominant traction - then I believe HO would by now be the norm for post-steam traction. I suspect it would have gained in popularity too, relative to OO steam: as compared to the present position where it is clearly a long way behind in second place, simply because it would be more accurate and an easily opened door to P87. There would be a tranche of HO late/preserved operation steam models too, especially splasherless or nearly so types like the A1, 7MT, 9F. Might have beens...

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If the UK had the same loading gauge as other European countries and was as a result buying the same standard Siemens ES64, Bombardier Traxx etc locomotives and standard Euro EMU/DMU platforms then we'd see a significant HO segment in UK modelling as the mainland companies could easily offer UK outline without needing to take the risk of expensive UK specific tooling for a market which models in another scale. Rivarossi and Fleischmann both dipped a toe into British HO and it didn't go too well for either of them. In both cases the approach was a little half baked and half hearted I think. Given the immense range of RTR and accessories available in OO and the fact that British OO is now as good as European HO in terms of detail, finish and running quality (although still lagging in terms of exploiting the potential of DCC) I think the idea of changing to HO is a bit of a non-starter.

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Exactly, there are a lot of "if only" involved.

 

If Napoleon hadn't been defeated, if the Industrial Revolution had started in Sweden (it nearly did), if geology had caused us to be a peninsula of France or Netherlands rather than an independent island Nation- if any of those "if's" had occurred then what JJB has described might well have happened.

 

There is another aspect to this, whether people consciously admit it or not, this Country has a tradition of doing things different to the eu/Europe (and I mean that from historic fact rather than a political point, which is of course barred on this forum).

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