Return to index page

(Discontinued in mid 1980's)

Cheap and providing items not found elsewhere the Lima range did suffer from over scale height chassis and shiny wheelsets.

The 10' wb stock, and 15 foot wheelbase brake vans, fit neatly on Peco 10 or 15 foot wheelbase underframes if required. This range had some useful bodies which can be fettled onto Peco chassis and they also produced a couple of wagons on specialised chassis.

The axle boxes appear to be based on the LMS/BR type.

Chassis details;

The standard wagon chassis and brake van chassis represent an RCH standard chassis with a tiebar (10 foot wheelbase, 17 foot 6 inches over headstocks) 35.5 mm OH, 21 mm wb and 47 mm OA.

The brake van chassis is 53 mm OH, 32 mm wb and 64 mm OA.

In the specialised range there are the 12 foot wheelbase horse box chassis.

The Prestwin hopper, an air-braked design with no hand brake; 48 mm OH, 32 mm WB and 59 mm OA.

The CCT chassis 75 mm OH, 49 mm WB and 87 mm OA.

The under frame and bogies of the Siphon G ; 103 mm OH, 115 mm OA. The bogies are a standard GWR 'American' 7 foot wheelbase plate frame type with a 15 mm WB.

The bogies and chassis of the London Brick tippler wagon; 85 mm OH, 97 mm OA. The bogies are of a modern design as used on some BR stock and have a 12 mm WB.


7 PLANK OPEN - Has an end door. Fits neatly on a Peco 10' wheelbase chassis kit, either by cutting holes in each end of the floor for the Peco coupling retainers or by using 4mm lengths of Peco sleeper as coupling plugs and gluing the body down on top. Very useful as this was for a long time the only end-door ready-made and lettered wagon body available. A standard RCH 1923 design and suitable for PO traders as supplied. These wagons were also used by the railway companies and survived on BR into the 1970's. The photos show Lima bodies on Peco chassis, the example on the right is fitted with Peco coke rails (which fit as the body is the same size as the Peco standard)

Fig___ Lima 7 plank open wagon

Lima open wagon on peco chassis and fitted with Peco coke rails

STEEL OPEN - BR standard 16 ton mineral wagon. Not a very good model being too wide and high, the Hornby Minitrix ready to run and Peco 9 foot wheelbase kit models are a much better representation of this wagon. Represents a re-bodied chassis built by BR, these re-bodied types lacked the top doors on the sides. The picture shows the Lima model, remounted on a Peco 10 foot wheelbase chassis, alongside the Peco 16 ton mineral wagon kit.

Fig___ Lima BR 16 ton steel mineral wagon
Lima steel mineral wagon on peco chassis

Mounting the body on a Peco 10 foot wheelbase chassis is simple, just cut holes for the coupling retaining pins in the floor. This wagon normally runs with a 'coal load' of black 'anti-static' foam rubber so the holes are not visible.
Lima open wagon showing holes cut to allow nmounting on a Peco chassis

PRESTWIN- This is a 20 ton twin-silo wagon, again hard to find although still available in the Lima continental ranges (and also in the Arnold range). They were used for cement, fertiliser (running in Fisons livery, which was once offered by Lima) and as sand carriers by British Industrial Sand. Most of the type ended up in sand traffic by the early 1970's as the cement firms bought more of their own stock. The Lima model (shown below left) is a Continental prototype in BR livery, the kit available to members of the 2mm Scale Association (below right, photo courtesy and copyright 2mm Scale Association) is an accurate model of the British prototype and is much more detailed. The Association also sells N Gauge wheelsets.

Fig___ Lima Prestwin silo wagon

Lima Prestwin silo wagon and 2mm Scale Associaton kit, photo courtesy and copyright 2mm Scale Association

The Lima model chassis is too long (should be 19 foot 6 inches over headstocks with a 12 foot wheelbase) but this can be cut down by removing a section from the centre of the body and underframe to give a closer approximation. Personally I prefer a cut down Peco 15 foot wheelbase chassis, to get the exact length still requires some surgery on the body as the two silo's are too far apart on the Lima model.

VENT VAN - A BR standard design introduced in about 1951, useful for early/mid BR period layouts. The body can be re-mounted on a Peco 10' chassis simply by cutting holes in the bottom to clear the Peco coupling retainers. There are better models of B vans available but if you pick up some cheap Lima vans this improves them considerably. The main defect is that the end vents are used to hold the roof in position, resulting in a slightly unsightly gap, however this is barely visible in normal use.

Fig___ Lima vans on Peco chassis

Lima van bodies on Peco chassis

A simple modification is the addition of the small vents on the lower sides to produce a BR fruit & veg van (introduced in 1949). See also Fig ___.

Very early BR types seem to have lacked the diagonal door strapping although this was shown on the 'diagram' for the BR standard design. Originally coded VEA under TOPS some of these wagons are still in use (now coded VFA). They may remain in service for some time, with some short wheel base opens, if only to meet the needs of Ministry of Defence depots where the curves are too tight for the modern long wheel base stock.

This model does not resemble a GWR van, which is one of the alternative liveries offered.

SIPHON G - GWR standard design milk churn van introduced in 1929. Available in post 1934 GWR brown (milk or parcel traffic), as a GWR van on hire to Palethorpes sausages (which livery is correct, although generally a simple roof board bearing the firms name was provided), BR maroon, BR blue (both used for parcels traffic) and BR blue `Enparts'. Enparts is the code for stock used by BR to carry spares from one depot to another on the system, classified as departmental stock, the last of these are believed to have been withdrawn when Swindon works finally finished operating.
Photo of model

This type, with the vertical boarding flush sides replaced an earlier type with horizontal lower boarding. Towards the end of their service in traffic there were several modifications of this vehicle in use, one which can be simply produced had all but the vents at the very end of the sides outboard of the doors the louvers covered with sheet metal (use 5 thou plasticard).

Fig ___ Siphon Variants
Sketch of models

HORSEBOX - A GWR standard pre-grouping design (coded `Paco'), which saw service into BR days. The one flaw is the roof vent detail; according to the Roche drawing there should be three stubby `pots' along the centre line of the roof (the model shown below has been modified in this way). The Lima model is supplied in the post 1934 GWR colours and in early BR livery. These vans had `Maunsel' wheels with hardwood centres, so paint the wheel centres a mid brown.

Photo of model

CCT - Standard BR design, CCT stands for Covered Carriage Truck, and refers to the vehicle having end doors. Pre British Railways CCT's were used to convey peoples carriages (or motor cars) and for parcels traffic. Introduced in 1955 with the bogie GUV these were the only standard BR parcels vehicles produced by BR. Non were ever allocated to the southern region and so the Green livery would not have been applied to these vans. Some were leased to a firm called Tartan Arrow, who painted them in their company colours during the 1960's, operating them on a London/Glasgow parcels service. This livery disappeared in the early 1970's. Designed to operate with the BR Mk.1 stock this type is still in service today for parcels traffic. The model was available in BR maroon, BR blue and the red and white `Tartan Arrow' liveries. Note that due to their limited capacity (two cars) they were seldom used for motor car traffic.

Photo of model

CONTAINER FLAT This represents a standard Freightliner bogie flat which entered service in 1964. The bogies on this are closer to scale than those of the Graham Farish type. The bed of the flat is see-through, but (unlike the Graham Farish offering) the under floor trussing is not because this is a model of a continental container flat. This wagons serves well for the Manchester 'Binliner' waste disposal trains which also have a solid central girder underframe. The containers are supplied in the earliest Freightliner standard livery; grey body with a red stripe on which appear the BR logo and the word Freightliner.

BOGIE TANKER -A useful model for the more recent BR layouts as it resembles some PO tanks currently serving on British tracks, although presumably a continental prototype was used as the basis for this model. I have no information regarding the AMOCO livery supplied, however the `MILK' livery is fictitious (no bogie milk tanks have been used to date on BR).

CAR CARRIER - A continental design supplied with a load of Mercedes cars. It does however resemble the British `Autic 6' six wheeled type, developed by Standard Railway Wagon Co, introduced in 1982, and used initially for British Leyland traffic. In the photograph one car has been removed to show the studs used to fix the cars in position. Replacing the cars with a more suitable type improves the look of the thing but the end supports for the upper deck are the wrong shape for an Autic 6 (they can be cut away and replaced with 20 thou card cut to shape).

Fig___ Lima Car Transporter

Lima car transporter showing Merc cars as supplied

One option would be to cut away the upper deck to produce a single deck 'Comtic' lorry carrier, however you do need to add three lorries, one at each end to cover the non prototypical 'wheel arches' and one in the centre bridging the gap to hide the riveted hinge (it is best to fix the load to the hinge).

`LONDON BRICK' BOGIE TIPPLER- A continental design but it might pass muster as an iron ore, crushed road-stone or scrap metal tippler. Similar tippler wagons are owned by leasing companies such as Procor and are often seen in twos or threes in Speedlink trains. The body simply un-clips from the chassis, giving a handy 42 foot (approx.) base for a bogie flat with diamond bogies. This is only fractionally short for a BR 30 ton bolster wagon, and the bogies do resemble a BR type.

GW BRAKE VAN - A GWR Toad van. (Fits Peco 15' wb chassis if required. As with the Graham Farish offering should have a 16 foot wheelbase, but this is not noticeable in practice.)

BR BRAKE VAN- A BR standard van. (Again fits Peco 15' chassis if required). See under Peco for further information on this item.


Go to top of page