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jjb1970

Lima Expert and LE Models - is there a link?

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I just took delivery of a lovely Lima Expert model of an E.645 in isabella and castano livery, one of the examples with the E.636 style body. The model is beautiful, despite Lima having a bit of a low rent image in some quarters and being the bargain half of Hornby Italy their E.636 and E.646/5 models are outstanding and easily as good as any HO models this side of high end brass. Superb runner too. I believe that unlike Rivarossi models which are developed in Spain, Lima Expert models were developed in Italy which apparently is why Lima developed premium high end models which can be seen as being in competition with Rivarossi. The thing I'm wondering is whether Lima Expert are linked with LE Models in some way? If you compare the Lima and LE models of the articulated electrics they seem identical. I suppose you could say that two models of the same locomotive should be identical but in reality different producers tend to leave their own stamp on a model and duplicated models do normally have differences, in this case they really are identical. Even the packaging is the same. Lima Expert and LE Models are also both doing a GR.851 kettle. I am wondering if either there is an actual commercial relationship, or if the guys in Italy who were designing the Expert models have decided to go elsewhere and taken all their knowledge and contacts with them?

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Well, the article says no one really knows ("In realtà non si è ben capito"), but it seems that it's some sort of "segment" of Lima Expert ("sembrerebbe che nel nuovo marchio sia confluita una “fetta” di Lima Expert"), and that the name LE may not be a coincidence ("le iniziali di Lima Expert ricordano (casualmente?) il “LE” di LE Models"). Lima Expert, however, will continue to produce their own version of the model ("quest’ultima però continua nella produzione dei precedenti modelli"). The article ends by bemoaning the duplication of the class, when one or other of the companies could have modelled something that has not been done before. 

Edited by Daddyman

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I think the link is the people working for or had worked in these companies. Somebody suggested to me that the people who established LE Models had worked for Hornby Italia and, who knows, could have been involved in Lima Expert when they were there.

 

Whatever they make some cracking models at quite reasonable prices. Hoping that Lima Expert will do the add-on pack for the ETR.610....

 

Keith

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Well, the article says so one really knows ("In realtà non si è ben capito"), but it seems that it's some sort of "segment" of Lima Expert ("sembrerebbe che nel nuovo marchio sia confluita una “fetta” di Lima Expert"), and that the name LE may not be a coincidence ("le iniziali di Lima Expert ricordano (casualmente?) il “LE” di LE Models"). Lima Expert, however, will continue to produce their own version of the model ("quest’ultima però continua nella produzione dei precedenti modelli"). The article ends by bemoaning the duplication of the class, when one or other of the companies could have modelled something that has not been done before. 

So it's not only Anglophone modellers who complain about things like duplication.

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The duplication in this case is not the end of the story, as if looking at the E636 and prototype E646 they have also been modelled by both ACME and Roco. And all four models are very well done, it tells you how lucky fans of these designs are that the Roco model which would be very good in normal circumstances looks a bit average next to the other three options. For a country which tends to be overlooked in this country at least Italian railway modellers are extremely well served by quite a number of excellent suppliers, as well as LE and Lima companies including Rivarossi, ACME, ViTrains and Os.Kar make plenty of models. And that is without considering other European producers who make some Italian outline such as Roco,

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I bought a pack of two FS Gran Comfort coaches in XMPR livery by Lima Exprt and again the models are outstanding. In this case I'd rate them higher than any Rivarossi coach. ACME (and LS) have seemed to set the bar for Italian HO coaches and these Lima Expert models are just as good, wonderfully detailed and with outstanding finish. I really wonder where the Lima Expert range sat within Hornby and whether they are still developing the range. Product development seems to have stalled and I do wonder if they've either pulled the plug or if those responsible for the range ended up with LE.

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Just noticed that the Hobby Shop in Faversham have recieved another few of the LE Models articulated electrics:

 

http://hobb-e-mail.com/le-models-869-c.asp

 

These really are superb models and are very well priced. They're beautifully detailed and finished, if you're interested in Italian trains then I recommend these 100%.

 

Here is another LE Model I'm really looking forward to:

 

Edited by jjb1970
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