The Lima/Wrenn range of Diesel and Electric locomotives included some very strange items.
The 1971 the Wrenn/Triang and Lima catalogues were both showing the following, supposedly British Diesels and Electrics:-
|205||86||BR Blue||Reasonable Model|
|209||31||BR Blue||Slightly Short|
|210||?||BR Green||0-4-0 Shunter that was vastly over-scale and not based on a British Prototype|
|211||?||BR Blue||0-4-0 Shunter that was vastly over-scale and not based on a British Prototype|
|212||?||BR Green||Bo-Bo Shunter based on a German Prototype|
|213||?||BR Blue||Bo-Bo Shunter based on a German Prototype|
|214||31||BR Green||Slightly Short|
To complement the locomotives, a range of Mk I coaches (BSK/CK/RMB) were produced in BR Maroon, BR Green, and BR Blue/Grey; these were hugely under-scale (more like 1:160) and looked ridiculous against the locomotives or wagons that were also produced.
These early locomotives suffered badly from poorly designed motors, if they were run too long the bearings overheated, jamming the motor, this quickly led to a burnt out armature and a pile of melted plastic. I managed to wreck a Class 31 about a week after it was given to me!
These locomotives also suffered from poor traction as the motor was attached directly to one of the bogies through gears, this didn't assist with the motor heating problems either; it was also not uncommon for the traction tyres to be shed, creating even further slip on the motored wheels.
Ten years later the Lima range had expanded to include:-
|220-217||55||BR Blue||Vastly over-scale|
|220-242||52||BR Maroon||Never produced|
|220-243||52||BR Blue||Never produced|
|220-244||52||BR Green||Never Produced|
|220-253||55||BR Green||Vastly over-scale|
|220-299||52||BR Sand||Never produced|
The Bo-Bo Shunter had been dropped but the other items were still available, the BR Class 52 Western was never produced, it has even been suggested that the model in the catalogue was an 00 Gauge model with an oversized N Gauge coupling. The Class 55 was the correct length but vasty over-height.
The coaching range had also been enhanced to include BR Crimson/Cream and Chocolate/Cream liveries, a BG coach was also produced in some liveries.
The 1983/4 Lima catalogue had two new liveries:-
|220-245||31||BR Blue Large Logo||Very few produced|
|220-249||86||BR Blue Large Logo||Very few produced|
By 1983 the BR Blue 0-4-0 Shunter was still available (obviously none had been sold, you can still find them now!) along with the Class 55 Deltic, Class 86 Electric and Class 31. These locomotives would have set you back £12.99/£16.95/£17.65/£15.95 respectively in 1983.
These were joined by another Class 86 and Class 31, both in a form of Large Logo Liveries. It is unlikely that many of these locomotives actually made it into a model shop, the cost of these locomotives was not shown in the 1983 price list.
Lima also took the opportunity of also fitting the N Gauge Diesels/Electrics with a decent motor and chassis, this drove one bogie through a drive shafts and gears. I am not convinced that these ran much better than the original motors as the one I bought neither ran well or pulled coaches properly without slipping.
Soon after Lima stopped production of the British N Gauge range and concentrated on 00/HO and Continental N Gauge.
Lima British N Gauge can still be bought in some shops (even new!) and is always about at model railways shows and swap-meets, however most of the locomotives and coaches are of limited interest to serious modellers due to the lack of scale. Some of the Lima range, Siphon G's and CCT Vans are still sought after and can command good prices.