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The Hobby Company, who used to be the Lima importer for its UK outline models, will start importing British outline models from Italy once again!

VI-TRAINS MODELS (Vicenza Trains Models) from Vicenza, Italy is a young company started from the two legendary model railway enterprises Lima & Rivarossi synonymous with high quality "Made In Italy" hobby products. VI-TRAINS productions are fully made and assembled in Vicenza, Italy and are realized from basic design to end product by employing the highest state-of-the-art technologies and machinery to ensure the complete appreciation by even the most demanding modeler and collector. All VI-TRAINS models feature super detailing, crisp paint work and lettering, and the powered units are famous for the power and smooth running. The company is made up of former Lima employees.



Click HERE to visit the Vi Trains website and to download their catalogue.

Model Rail Express magazine has reported that QUOTE model retailers have been receiving a four page leaflet which is very similar in design to the quarterly leaflets that The Hobby Company were distributing in the last few years that they importing Lima models into the UK.

The leaflet announces the pending release of an 00 gauge Class 37/4 and the manufacturer is Vi Trains who principally make HO scale trains for the Italian market. The Class 37 is claimed to be modelled to a very high standard. Six versions have been planned so far and these are: 37428 'David Lloyd George' in large logo blue, 37403 'Glendarroch' in Railfreight Distribution triple grey, 37423 'Sir Murray Morrison' in InterCity Mainline livery, 37411 'Caerphilly Castle/Castell Caerffili in BR green, 37414 'Cathays C&W Works 1846-1993' in Regional Railways livery and 37422 'Cardiff Canton' in EWS livery.

The first two models should be in the shops during February and these will be 37428 and 37414.

Click here to view the story at Model Rail Express magazine.

No prices have yet been confirmed however it is to be expected that these new models will be competitively priced. It will be interesting to see how these new models made in Italy compare with existing examples currently offered by other manufacturers.

Happy modelling
Gary
 

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Kernow Model Rail are advertising them at £49.95, which IMO is a bargain considering the spec they are promising, first two are promised this month, with two in march and april
Kernow Model Rail
 

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They could well be special introductory prices to help with the launch of the new brand in the UK and pitched at that level the models could represent something of a bargain for astute minded modellers and collectors!

It is hard to believe that they will be able to maintain prices at this sort of level however time will tell.

The models are DCC ready and have working lights.

My order is in for "David Lloyd George" so expect a full review here which will include (with their permission) the opinions of Warley Model Railway Club members!


Happy modelling
Gary
 

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I do hope very much that these are not new "Lima" models.

No disrespect meant to the folk at Vi-Trains , who've clearly set up a promising business of their own after Rivarossi nose dived in flames, but..

British outline OO has moved on light years in the last decade . Lima's British outline stuff was a product of its time - the late 80s/early 90s. They never really responded to the shift that began in the late 90s , and the range was already looking seriously outclassed when Rivarossi folded

The stuff that Hornby are reintroducing is the better end of the old Lima range, facelifted and with new mechanisms - and in today's market that is still looking somewhat off the pace

This model will be going head to head with a completely retooled Bachmann competitor, due 6-8 weeks later. This is Bachmann's second or third shot at the definitive 4mm 37, in response to extremely detailed and intense "rivet counter" criticism - in fact the 37 has been the big cause celebre and central battle ground in the "D+E wars"

To be honest most folk thought Bachmann's first attempt at a 37 was streets ahead of Lima's version

The Bachmann model is unlikely to be more than £5-£10 dearer than this from Vi-Trains once the discounters get hold of it , and may even be much the same level

Traction tyres will be seen as a negative and a backward step in the current UK market - it means you don't get all wheel pick up

I do detect a touch of regret elsewhere that V-Trains haven't gone of an overhead electric loco as their first release , as electrics and multiple units seem to be the staples of their existing range and we don't have a decent modern AC electric loco, whereas we do have a decent modern 37

Come to that we don't have an 87, period...

I can't help thinking they might have had an easier entry if they'd gone for an 86, an 87, a 90, or a 117. But they haven't , so we'll have to see how the duel develops...
 

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Ravenser has made very good points.
It may be encouraging that ViTrains current output seems to be of reasonable quality.
Hopefully someone can confirm whether this is the case or not?

My recollection is a bit fuzzy now, but if I remember correctly the all-new Bachmann 37 will have all wheel drive, all wheel pick-up, full working lights (possibly independently switched tail lights via DCC), cab lights and other enhancements.
As I say, I can't quite remember the bits and pieces of info that Bachmann have let out so far.

I have a feeling that the ViTrains model will not come up to the standard of the Bachmann version.

Maybe they should have chosen something else not covered by the latest standard of build quality (HST, 40, 59, 86, 87, 90 or Multiple Unit)?
 

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The Baccy 37 will also have 2 versions with sound this year. It looks promising but I agree maybe a different model that isn't in competition would have been nice to see as I feel the baccy 37 will this time be their best model to date.

Darren
 

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This model is not a re-hashed Lamer, it's a totally new model, from the pictures I have seen from the downloadable pdf (no longer available) Rail Express were showing the other day then I can say it looks and sounds impressive on a par with anything that is readily available, I don't see the traction tyre as much of a set back (only one fitted to one wheel per bogie), I have the original release of super detailed class 50, I would'nt say it runs any worse than my non traction tyred stock, I think it's wise to wait for the reviews before we start laying into them, we don't wanna put them off now do we
.

If no one has a flyer I will happily email you mine if your interested
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That specification looks top knotch and up to Heljan standards or maybe even a shade better.

Those who say Lima were not capable of producing a decent model had better look at the Hornby Continental models that Doug has posted pictures of in another thread. OK Hornby have enhanced the finish and running gear but the look and detail has not changed.

If this new Class 37 is up with the best of the continental models then for £50 it represents an absolute bargain! And as a bonus "David Lloyd George" appeals anyway in the same way that anything with the name "Winston Churchill" has an appeal.

How some half baked PC looney could rename the former Class 87 "Sir Winston Churchill" with the name "Association of Community Rail Partnerships" is totally beyond me!


That is a digression and we have had a discussion about this in the past elsewhere.

Happy modelling
Gary
 

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Gary:

Lima's Continental HO was by all accounts of a substantially higher standard than their British range ever was.

If Vi-Trains had been luckier in their choice of subject , and enjoyed a clear run without a duplicate release from a rival manufacturer , meaning that our range of modelling options had increased, I think we would all be a lot more positive. If they were taking on (say) the Hornby 86 , we'd all be enthusing about "at last a proper electric loco".

Unfortunately we have a situation exactly like the duplication of new Rebuilt Royal Scots by Hornby and Bachmann - new models of the exactly the same loco in exactly the same scale from two manufacturers . In this case its even worse because the 2 models are due out within weeks.

Vi-Trains seem to be coming in at about 2/3rds the launch price of Heljan's 47 , and far below the normal price of Continental HO. Both Heljan and Vi-Trains as European factories must have similar cost bases

Meanwhile they face Bachmann's 3rd attempt to get the 37/4 absolutely 100% perfect, the rivet-counters having crawled over every curve of the previous attempts for 5 years in a way unprecedented in the British hobby.

These must be the most difficult imaginable circumstances for ViTrains to get a foothold in the British market. Every prospective purchaser will be doing a head to head comparison, the usual suspects REx and MRM will be crawling over both with microscopes and photofiles and any flaw could see either model out for the count commercially

If Bachmann finally get their 37 perfect , Vi-Trains could be facing the best model diesel ever released in the UK. That's tough
 

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QUOTE (Ravenser @ 5 Feb 2007, 20:11) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>If Bachmann finally get their 37 perfect , Vi-Trains could be facing the best model diesel ever released in the UK. That's tough

It'll hopefully be good but then again we are talking about Bachmann, you're forgetting the new Hornby grid coming in July
, I seriously doubt that Bachmann will even get the 37 on the shelves in April/May, prior to this announcement they were showing a date of June/July
.

Duplication is inevitable, manufacturerers cant please everyone and at the end of the day it's all about what return will they get, you cant blame them for going for the safe option, this class is one of the most popular with enthusiasts, it's long lived and has carried various liveries in it's history, I for one am very pleased that we are to get some more of my favourite Class in some very useful liveries, looks like Vi-trains have got the Mainline livery correct something that Bachmann made a complete hash of, hopefully there will be space available for both on my layout
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Duplication is common in European markets. Its something that European manufacturers live with. Its called competition. Why are we as customers (and even manufacturers?) so sensitive to duplication in the UK market?

Surely competition is healthy.

Happy modelling
Gary
 

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QUOTE (Gary @ 6 Feb 2007, 08:03) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Duplication is common in European markets. Its something that European manufacturers live with. Its called competition. Why are we as customers (and even manufacturers?) so sensitive to duplication in the UK market?

Surely competition is healthy.

Happy modelling
Gary
I agree totally that competition is good for the hobby.
I also believe that there is room for two class 37's, as this is a popular prototype with modellers, widespread and long lasting.
In this case it's not the duplication that's the issue, but the prospect of going head to head with the new Bachmann 37, aimed to be the best one yet?. Bachmann have stated they are improving the drive train and including all-wheel-drive and pick-ups. I expect they will mostly deliver on their promises.
ViTrains couldn't have chosen a harder competitor.

Good luck to them anyway.
 

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Thank you for those pictures. It looks like a model that will get folk talking!

A correspondent to Model Rail Express magazine has today given a brief history of the company and suggested that the models will appear in the UK for around £100 if they match the specification and typical prices of models produced to date for other European markets.

What does the actual RRP of £59.99 and the offered prices of £49.99 tell you about the British market and the incredible value offered by these models?

As for rivet counters....

....maybe I am the only one who thought the first Bachmann example looked OK. Model manufacturers give in all too easily these days to a small group of rivet counters and for Bachmann to be on their third generation of this model already seems a trifle daft to me! Unless of course Bachmann feel they will sell more examples as a result of the modifications and only Bachmann know that answer. Come on guys. We Brits are not paying top dollar for our models unlike the modellers of mainland Europe so we should take this into account when offering up comments on models.

It seems absolutely daft to criticise a model when it is available to us on the shelves for around £50. We should be encouraging the manufacturers to produce more in this price range. Not discouraging them as to do so might mean that in future we Brits end up paying European type prices!


Happy modelling
Gary
 

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"....maybe I am the only one who thought the first Bachmann example looked OK."
I got one and i think it looks fine. but having said that i am really not up to speed with loco's of that period. i accept that a certain generation of modellers is far mor likely to notice problems with the 37 than notice the trouble hornby went to to make sure the 2 different variations of buffer beam could be accomodated on the A1! i think many of us are experts at our own little subject.

I am sitting here broadcasting a repeat of tony blairs apearence before the commons liason comittiee. I am loosing the will to live!

I think models at around £60 for a diesel and £80 for a steamer is about right. anything less than that is excellent value and anything more takes the fun out of it. it becomes a major purchase and not a bit if fun.

Peter
 

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i have ordered the EWS one from kernow. if it is not as good as it could be it will only be £50. which some of it could be made backselling it.

Alistair
 
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