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Four milestones - CIE RTR diesel loco evolution


NoelG
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Tidying up the other day I got a chance to put these locos together for a family photograph - a sort of Darwinian chart illustrating four of the major milestones in the evolution of Irish RTR model locomotives (Hornby, Lima, Silverfox and Bachmann/Murphy Models). Interesting to see where were have come from. The Lima Murphy class 201 is absent because I never bought one of those, however it was the first proper tooling for an Irish prototype. 

 

IMG_6148.jpg

 

Four milestone eras in my CIE loco collectionCIE_Model_Loco_4ages_2.jpg

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Hi Noel,

 

I saw one of those Hymeks at a collectors' fair recently and the fella wanted £90 for it!

 

As you say, Irish modelling has come on leaps and bounds since then, if Murphy's ever commission an A Class I'll have one of them.

I did have a B141 a while ago, didn't have anywhere to run it at the time and sold it on, but still highly impressed.

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Hi Noel,

 

I saw one of those Hymeks at a collectors' fair recently and the fella wanted £90 for it!

 

As you say, Irish modelling has come on leaps and bounds since then, if Murphy's ever commission an A Class I'll have one of them.

I did have a B141 a while ago, didn't have anywhere to run it at the time and sold it on, but still highly impressed.

 

 

Yes the Hornby CIE Hymeks were utter rubbish but back then repainting a BR blue loco orange and black made it "feel" like an Irish diesel and the toy market was happy. Lima then repainted a BR blue class 33 CIE super train livery but it at least from 6ft viewing distance back then that had some similarity to an A class. I have one of each for pure modelling nostalgia.  The Lima runs like a terrier doing nearly 200mph scale speed.

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What about your C Class & Sulzer Noel?

Hi Kieran, yes, but they weren't really milestones in RTR.  The Hornby Hymek was quickly followed by the Lima class 33, and the next big milestone after that seems the Silverfox RTR A class, followed by the Lima/MM 201 class which was really the first prototypical mould of an Irish loco.  That was followed by a huge milestone with the Bachmann/Murphy 141/181 which was the first fine scale loco prototype on a quality centre drives chassis, DCC ready, speaker cradle, lights, etc.  The other MM diesels after that were more incremental milestones to the same standard using similar chassis engineering specs.  The next big milestone may probably be an IRM diesel Metrovik which will probably raise the bar a good new notches. Noel

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Murphy's did an A class job with their commission. When I saw it my first thought was that none of Bachmann's similar size UK BoBo models show the same finesse.

Are you confusing the Bachmann (Murphy commissioned) 141/181 class which was probably one of the finest model diesels ever produced in terms of body detailing and chassis performance?  Murphy never did an A class, Lima repainted BR class 33s and sold them as A classes in the late 1970s but class 33s are very different to A class metrovics even if the mouldings detail of the class 33 were way better than anything Hornby produced back in the 70s.

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Not at all, used 'A class job' in the generic sense of good work. (It's not having a sub-editor to check for such potential for confusion that would be my excuse...) I was very taken with the 141 a friend has on his layout, and wish Bach had put similar effort into the likes of their 'OK' class 20.

I know what you mean. The later Murphy Model built 071 and 201s are also excellent, but just by a tiny shade didn't quite hit the highs of the Irish Bachmann 141/181 commissioned by Murphy Models. Dismantling and working on the insides of the Bachmann is somewhat easier that the MM factory made locos. The MM produced Cravens are stunning despite a few little let downs such as the wrong blue interior colour and the incorrectly positioned NEM pockets. All easily fixable but you should not have to at that price point. The Bachmann mk2a coaches produced for MM were of a higher quality than their own air con Mk2d coaches. Again NEM pockets incorrectly placed and wrong shade of orange. But I seem to be nit picking. Murphy Models effectively transformed the hobby in Ireland and raised the bar sky high from our expectations back in the 70s and 80s. I was always puzzled why they bothered with a 201 instead of an A class given the Lima 201s already in consumer circulation. Anyway looking forward to their 121 class.

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I see what you mean Noel but the SSM Sulzer surely must be classified as a milestone in kit form?

 

Hi Kieran. As my group photo was RTR inspired I didn't cover any of the milestone kits. I vaguely remember reading mixed reviews about the Sulzer kit, and it seems there was a bit of a royal bun fight about it over on the Irish forum. I have a Silverfox Sulzer kit on the work bench at the moment. I guess in 10 years time there may be high quality RTR variants of the various CIE Metrovics and Sulzers available. The bar is ever raising and it seems what we were very happy with 10-15 years ago doesn't seem to cut the mustard as much anymore.  I suspect very few resin based kits will be on sale in 10 years time, instead either IMP RTR or a high res 3D material for kits, only time will tell. :) Noel

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There was no royal bun fight over the SSM sulzer. The issue was that the louvres weren't well received, and to Des' credit he produced an etched louvre panel in jig time. 

 

I've built several of them, tweaking the front face and windows, but under the right chassis,, they look and run really well. 

 

It's a step change from the Silverfox kit by a country mile.

 

RM 

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Just to add, the Lima 33 seems to have gained additional 'roof material' for the CIE version, is this 'as offered' or have you added it Noel?

Agreed, the Crompton looks a damn sight more 'CIE' than the Hymek, in fact about 20 years ago I was looking at butchering a 33 towards an MV as the basic shape was pretty much bang on.

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There was no royal bun fight over the SSM sulzer. The issue was that the louvres weren't well received, and to Des' credit he produced an etched louvre panel in jig time. 

 

I've built several of them, tweaking the front face and windows, but under the right chassis,, they look and run really well. 

 

It's a step change from the Silverfox kit by a country mile.

 

RM 

 

Hi Richie
Well there seemed to be a degree of disagreement at the time and one of the edited threads was indeed closed. I've seen both the SSM and SF resin bodies up close on my own workbench, neither blew my skirt up but the SF shaded it for quality. The CD jewel case seemed a better fix than etch brass for the louvre replacements. As IRM have proven, resins days seem numbered, you can't beet injection mounded plastic for fine scale detail. :) 
Noel
 
 
This was a very nice job

 

sulzer_ssm%20(4).jpg
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Just to add, the Lima 33 seems to have gained additional 'roof material' for the CIE version, is this 'as offered' or have you added it Noel?

Agreed, the Crompton looks a damn sight more 'CIE' than the Hymek, in fact about 20 years ago I was looking at butchering a 33 towards an MV as the basic shape was pretty much bang on.

 

I cant remember who but somebody did a very respectable conversion of a Lima 33 to a decent looking A class changing buffer beam, cab profile, windows, roof detail, bogies, etc. Think it was posted on the Facebook site. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Noel,

 

I saw one of those Hymeks at a collectors' fair recently and the fella wanted £90 for it!

 

As you say, Irish modelling has come on leaps and bounds since then, if Murphy's ever commission an A Class I'll have one of them.

I did have a B141 a while ago, didn't have anywhere to run it at the time and sold it on, but still highly impressed.

Thumbnail loco looks like one in Thailand?.

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