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Lima - detail/quality?

8670 Views 12 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Ravenser
Looking at some older Lima models on eBay.
What are they like in terms of detail compared to similar Hornby?
From the descriptions I believe they are several years old -specifically Class 52 and Class 20 models.
Are they fairly reliable runners?

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Hardly worth it, unless you get them for £10-15

Running was generally mediocre - some were ok some were less than ok.

The 20 has traction tyres and only picks up from 2 wheels each side - a reciepe for stalling . I rewheeled mine to fit extra pickups and found it would then only manage a single Bachmann VGA (admittedly not the freest running wagon). Extra weight had to be aradited onto the gear tower. The body shells have Lima's usual free and easy approach to detail and its location. The main radiator group on the 20 is far too far back (about 8mm too much from memory) leading to the panel just ahead of the cab being too short . Consequently the BR totem, which originally went here, won't fit....

I can see no reason for buying a Lima 20, when the excellent Bachmann model can be had for just £40. And those run beautifully as well as being very accurate

The Western is slightly different. Certainly the Heljan Western will knock spots off it , especially mechanically , despite the moans about Heljan's treatment of the cab roof profile. But there are whispers that the mould for the Heljan 52 may be shot and that no more may be made...

If you need a Western badly, the Lima one may be worth a punt - you might be lucky and one that runs pretty well
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Thanks for the reply.
They currently are very cheap so might be worth the risk. I am mainly into N scale but have a small OO track I want to add a few engines too fairly cheaply.
I have seen the Bachmann and heljan models listed online and they do look very nice and one supplier has the Class 52 for about £54 but I have not seen the Class 20 as cheap as £40?

Have a look at there is a railfreight class 20 for £36 and a blue one for £42 plus £4 P&P of course.
Thanks for the link. I had actually found the Class 52 on there but not the 20 - will have another look. At that price will leave the Lima models I think

Are hattons pretty reliable to deal with?
Their prices seem good in most cases.

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Hattons are excellent. If you order before 1pm on most days they offer the option of next day delivery for the standard £4 postage charge. Only used it once and it worked although next day was 4pm next day. Otherwise deliveries take about 5 days and they are always well packed.
My experience with Lima has been good as well as bad in my case and this centainly applies to their range including the HO european range. As previously stated with the Lima 20. Its not very accurate and when parked up at the side of the Bachmann Class 20 - you can clearly see the flaws evident on the Lima model. Also this is the case with the Class 37 and the Class 40. In regards to the Class 37 - The Bachmann version is the best for accuracy but the worst version in my view is the Hornby model because the chassis is totally wrong and the bogie frame has been "borrowed" from their Class 47. Though the Lima version of the Class 37 is not bad considering it was introduced in the late 1970's/1980's and it had better pulling power than the Hornby version too. Now the tables turn in my opinion in Lima's favour in regards to the Class 43 HST and the Class 47 "Greyhound". The Class 43 HST power car is more accurate than Hornby's HST because the pillars on the windscreen to me look a bit too thick and also the Hornby HST still has a guards compartment as where the Lima version which is correct on today's HST does not hence that a HST prototypical rake has a TGS coach behind one of the power cars in its formation. With regards to the Lima Class 47. Their model to me looks more authentic than Hornby's as it has the side cab window pillars moulded onto the body rather than "built-in" to the glazing like on Hornby's model. But now that Hornby owns the Lima range - I think its time for Hornby to scrap their Class 47 and HST tooling now that they have the more accurate Lima tooling. Another thing I liked was the Lima TGV's especially their Second Gen TGV's like the TGV Atlantique, TGV Thalys PBA and their TGV Reseau models as to me they look the most accurate Model for these TGV trains
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In terms of faithfullness to detail, the Hornby class 37 and 47 locos and the class 43 HST (Inter-City 125) Power Cars are just about the worst models you could ever buy. Ironically the most popular and recognisable BR Traction and the poorest examples Hornby make! Their one and only saving grace is the 'indestructable' build quality.
Hornby's nasty habbit of using their own 'freelance licence' with accuacy came into full effect here, particularly with the class 37 loco which alway had incorrect bogies and very dodgy front end detail. The class 47 sat too high on its bogies and didn't 'look right'. The HST suffered from the rear end detail being completely ficticious and a rather 'dumpy' looking front. As well the headlight lenses never fitted properly. Other basic details were also missed. Originally all these toolings had the nasty mould lines which Hornby used for separating different colours during the paint process.

On the other hand the Italians did a far better job of our British locos! The Lima versions of all these locos had far superior attention to detail. However they were always let down by body shells which could easily crack and some poor quality paint jobs. Lima rarely painted the yellow ends and just left them in the yellow colour of the plastic which often made their models looking a bit cheap and unfinished.
Pesonally given the choice I wouldn't touch the Hornby ones. They are very crude and really only kids toys and stupidly overpriced for what they are.
For the class 37 you have Bachmann and Vi-trains and for the class 47 you have Bachmann and Heljan with Lima being very passable with a little extra detail.
As for the HST Power cars, most definately, without doubt, Lima. The Hornby version has never been right and should have been consigned to 'Room 101' years ago (if it should ever have left the drawing board at all!). However they now own the Lima tooling and will be releasing this with their latest INTERCITY 'swallow' liveried train pack. But beware the Guards coach, it is an old Lima tooling because Hornby couldn't be bothered to produce their own and it doesn't quite match their coaches. Also the extra coaches available separately are incorrectly numbered as Loco-hauled Mk3 stock! They never seem to bother to get it right with the HST!
All in all the Lima models are great for a bit of fun and provide a very good base should you wish to add extra detail. But don't pay over the odds, there are plenty of good examples cheap enough on eBay.
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It looks like you've done all the Hornby bashing for me!
Jolly good.

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I did list some ancient Lima and Hornby diesels on eBay a while ago that I inherited and was surprised that all of them got above £10. Only just though...

The best looking Lima models I have are their class 87 AC electric loco and class 43 HST Power Cars in Inter-City 'executive' livery. These actually have the front ends painted yellow because the body mould is black plastic (which is also stronger). Lima normally used yellow plastic for their loco moulds (which is weaker and more prone to cracking) and left the ends unpainted. I also have two 'executive' liveried Lima class 47s which also look very good but unfortunately are made with yellow plastic so the ends are left unpainted. However this could be easily remedied with some yellow paint, a brush and a steady hand. Although I decided to leave mine as mint factory condition.
Given their age these models still look great, particularly in this livery.
For a mid 1980s to 1990s 'old school' look, a very respectable looking formation can be made up using these Lima class 47 or 87 locos heading a rake of old Dapol 'executive' livery Mkd coaches. Lima's HST coaches would have been far improved if only they had removed the buffers, fitted flush-glazing and given them correct seats.
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The basic rule of thumb when it comes to secondhand locos is that you get what you pay for and if locos are going cheap then its because there is little interest being expressed and you should ask why which you have done!

Its also the holiday season so astute buyers can definitely pick up a Lima bargain!

Happy modelling
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QUOTE In terms of faithfullness to detail, the Hornby class 37 and 47 locos and the class 43 HST (Inter-City 125) Power Cars are just about the worst models you could ever buy. Ironically the most popular and recognisable BR Traction and the poorest examples Hornby make! Their one and only saving grace is the 'indestructable' build quality...the Hornby ones. They are very crude and really only kids toys and stupidly overpriced for what they are

A little over the top , and slightly misleading. The 37 is admittedly bad , though there are some who say the proportions of the body are actually very good, albeit the detail is very basic. The 47 is basically sound, though a bit basic (it was released in 1974) and lumbered with the old pancake motor ; the Hornby HST is again accurate as to main dimensions , but not particularly finely tooled, cursed with the pancake, and carries the early guards van. The Lima HST power car is better , and is scheduled to replace it in the Hornby range - though the power bogie may be an issue.

There are worse thing out there. The Lima Deltic was considerably worse than all of these - a full centimeter too short, with HO bogies , pancake, and generally poorly finished. The J83 is very approximate and quite crude. The J52 has the wrong wheelbase. Despite Triangman's praises the B12 is seriously compromised and has substantial inaccuracies of detail and dimensions - the model was originally introduced in 1962 and as the oldest regular item in Hornby's range urgently needs retooling. The Cl 29 manages to superimpose a headcode box over nose doors ; the main radiator grills are a totally different style, the wrong size and not quite in the right place ,and it is a late 70s model with pancake. From personal experience I'd say the Lima 20 is worse than the Hornby 29 (I got a decent result out of upgrading the 29) and both the Hornby 47 and HST are better than the 29.... By the time you've sorted out the 06, you've thrown away the chassis and cut up and discarded 75% of the body.

Then there are Dapol's contribution to the Wooden Spoon Race - the original Pendolino , where they never did more than 4 coaches , and those they did had a curved arc roof profile when the real things have deep roof recesses filled with equipment . The motor struggled to shift more than about 5 coaches (far wose than Hornby's ) and sounded as if it was about to disintigrate . The Dapol 150 was apparently the direst DMU ever produced , and Hornby have never dared to reintroduce it [their N gauge stuff is far better - the new 66 is a very nice moulding albeit mechanically not quite up to latest OO standards]

And there's that abomination the Farish Hall in N - one of the few models that really is a misshapen lump . Not to mention the Minitrix Ivatt 2-6-0 and 9F..

No there's been much worse than the Hornby HST and 47
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