Lima TAM carriages, how do they compare to "modern" coaches?

 
  Gremlin Assistant Commissioner

I have about 12 Lima TAMs in 1st/2nd/sleeper that I bought when I was much, much younger.  So, how do they compare to something more modern from other manufacturers?

Same question for the Indian Pacific cars I bought when I was 18 - in 1974!!  Still have the HobbyCo price tag of $2.98 - ah, those were the days!  Do them up with dress-up kits or look for something else?

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  Roachie Chief Commissioner

Location: Kadina SA (formerly NSW)
I guess it depends how discerning you want to be.

There is no doubt the Lima coaches (as well as the early Powerline/Trax) are pretty crude when compared to the more recent imported carriages. Even the good old Workshop 5 carriages were better detailed.

However, if you're like me.... (NOBODY is like me!!!), then you might just appreciated the Lima carriages for what they are.....a load to haul behind a loco/s.

In my case, I tend not to focus on the items of rolling stock that my loco/s are hauling, so it is of no bother to me that the Lima items lack proper roof vents etc.

The one thing I had to change immediately (I bought my carriages around 30/40 years ago too), was to fit Kadee couplers. I could not stand to see the gap between my carriages around 10 scale feet!!! As it is now, there is still a gap of around 5mm between the carriages, but I can live with that.

I've also changed the wheels a few times, most recently a month or so ago...when I fitted Auscision RP25-88 wheelsets.

Horses for courses...

Roachie
  gw0071 Deputy Commissioner

Wow - $2.98ea! The lowest I recall was $12.50ea about 10yrs later in the mid '80's

I reckon that the Lima 12 wheelers lend themselves quite well to super-detailing - like mutton to lamb you could say. Couplers, new wheels and roof vents are a great start followed possibly by flush glazing and even interior detail

Like Roachie says, great for bulking up your consists without spending $110+ per coach on modern RTR equivalents. You got them at a relatively great price so I'd recommend running with them!
  petan Chief Commissioner

Location: Waiting to see a zebra using a zebra crossing!
I have about 12 Lima TAMs in 1st/2nd/sleeper that I bought when I was much, much younger.  So, how do they compare to something more modern from other manufacturers?

Same question for the Indian Pacific cars I bought when I was 18 - in 1974!!  Still have the HobbyCo price tag of $2.98 - ah, those were the days!  Do them up with dress-up kits or look for something else?
Gremlin
If running them on your layout gives you pleasure, then the cars do their job as that to me is the job of a hobby. The total emotional picture of loco, cars and scenery is what determies how the cars look. Running your trains to a timetable adds extra enjoyment as well. The roof vents may change the overall visual impression but the other things I just mentioned perhaps may add more to the total enjoyment than the roof vents.

I just enjoy my cars as I bought them although the outer terminal car had a KD replacing the Lima coupler.
  Geekboy Train Controller

Location: Banned
I've gone the other way. I only have 3 or 4, but they are superdetailed and close coupled. Sure, it's a lot of work, but they look even better than the latest shiny plastic fantastic factory offerings. I don't go for dcc lights bells & whistles though. I wouldn't bother displaying or running them on my layout in their original condition (wouldn't run on c70 track anyway).
  M636C Minister for Railways

I have about 12 Lima TAMs in 1st/2nd/sleeper that I bought when I was much, much younger.  So, how do they compare to something more modern from other manufacturers?

Same question for the Indian Pacific cars I bought when I was 18 - in 1974!!  Still have the HobbyCo price tag of $2.98 - ah, those were the days!  Do them up with dress-up kits or look for something else?
Gremlin

So far there are no better ready to run models of either the TAM sleeping car (the first class car is a class MBX, although coded MBE and the second class car is an MFE, as modified in the 1950s without the upper crown light windows) or of the Indian Pacific cars.

The TAM, and the other 72'6" cars are slightly short and the windows are far from flush but they weren't particularly flush on the prototype either. The dark red colour of the original LIMA production is quite realistic and is close to the believed colour of the cars when varnished.

The Indian Pacific cars aren't too bad but the sleeper, a model of the BRJ second class sleeper has windows opposite eachother rather than staggered in the prototype. The DF dining car has the air conditioning hatch in the wrong place and the HGM power car lacks the radiator fans of the prototype because they both have the sleeping car roof. They are about the right size and look acceptable in a complete train.

At the recent Canberra exhibition, (while not Lima models) one layout was running a train of five FS and BS cars all painted in post war Tuscan and Russett. I noticed that there were two distinct colour variations and looking more closely, realised that three were Powerline models and two were Austrains models. Looking more closely, the main difference that was visible was that the windows on the Powerline cars were smaller than those on the Austrains cars. Otherwise, they appeared to be the same size. I knew that the Powerline cars had moulded in ventilators and the Austrains cars had separate ventilators, but watching as closely as I could as the train moved fairly slowly around the layout, I found it hard to tell the difference from a normal viewing distance at an exhibition. I mentioned this later to John Eassie, who was of course responsible for both sets of models.

M636C
  Gremlin Assistant Commissioner

And the Lima 44s were $21.95 each, I have 8 so that was a lot of money to me in those days....no sticker on the 38cl though.  I had replaced the couplers with Kadees all the way back then, may look at detailing other bits now that I have more spare time.  Still no place to actually run them, but lots of stuff screaming to be "played" with Smile
  linton78 Train Controller

Location: South Coast NSW
I think the Lima TAMs, like the other guys are quite good. With a bit of work they come up well. I have been fiddling around with a couple for a while now. One day I may finish one ha ha!

The window frames are too thick, as with most models so I split the coaches length ways down the centre and milled the backs of the windows out. Milling the crown lights further was a little nerv racking!

Once glued back together they look good with a piece of glazing fitted.

The Lima diaphragms can be modified to concertina and pivot, making them able to be close coupled without a gap.  

I am building a new under frame which I hope to have cast making the process a little quicker.

I found the hardest part so far was removing the door handrails neatly. I ended up building a tool which when uses in the mill took them off cleanly.

I think they will look just as good as the RTR stuff. Just need a little work.

Hope this link works.

http://stonequarrycreek.blogspot.com.au/2013/05/tam-pictures-so-far.html.

Regards,

Linton
  David Peters Dr Beeching

Location: "With Hey Boy".
As has been said there is nothing else at the moment that can replace them in RTR. The coaches that Hornby/Lima are reissuing the IP and GHan already out are just the same cars as the original except the newer cars are moulded in China and at a higher mould pressure so the detail is a little more crisper on them. But if you like these cars then as has been said they can be detailed up if you want to.
  design8027 Station Staff

Gentlemen,
                  I have 2 Tuscan MFE coaches, even though old extras such as vents, flushglazing, interiors, new wheels and kadee's have helped. Have done this to powerline BS/FS coaches as well. Don't really want to pay over 100 dollars for a coach, even worse 500 for a set of coaches where one or two might be useful. Even so I have fallen for the austrains coaches and look forward to the candy ones. This is the least of my worries, reading about the trainorama 44 class woes I don't feel good as I have amassed 8 units, keeping my fingers crossed.

Happy modelling,

Stephen.
  Lambing Flat Chief Train Controller

Location: My preference....... Central West NSW, circa 1955....
They are a little underdetailled by modern standards, and look a little 'crude' straight out of the box, but with a bit of work they can come up very nicely.



Larger image: https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/FIRXdfsDnijrdUcKAwZI59MTjNZETYmyPJy0liipFm0?feat=directlink
  dthead Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
What wheels are best to replace the lima wheels, I think it is 10.5 on a 25mm axle length, but are unsure.... hav a fee lima 12 wheelers to basically upgrade.

Regards,
David Head
  GN4472 Deputy Commissioner

I have about 12 Lima TAMs in 1st/2nd/sleeper that I bought when I was much, much younger.  So, how do they compare to something more modern from other manufacturers?

Same question for the Indian Pacific cars I bought when I was 18 - in 1974!!  Still have the HobbyCo price tag of $2.98 - ah, those were the days!  Do them up with dress-up kits or look for something else?
Gremlin

My brother bought me one for $2-75 at John Martins, Adelaide in 1974 - That was a LOT of money back then!

Within a couple of years they had gone up to $5-00 per car!
  GN4472 Deputy Commissioner

I bought a Lima MBE for $11-00 at Hobby Co in George St (Sydney) when they were in the Queen Victoria Building back in August 1982 - I was and still am very happy with it!
A great model and well worth the money apart from those couplers!
That was a lot of money at that time!
  aussieloco Junior Train Controller

It is interesting when you begin to talk about price of passenger cars. For example, if you purchased the FO's from Joe, new AR bogies, extra under frame detail, couplers, brass ends for the cars, interiors, paint, decals et cetera you start to get very close to the unit price of the cars you just bought RTR from Austrains. Whilst originally. I was against paying $100 a car, once you break it down, after all the listed purchases (plus other incidentals I have missed) you get close to reaching the price of the model, and this is before you even open the kit to start constructing it. We are incredibly lucky to have these models available to those who under any other circumstances would not be able to achieve this without some help. Whilst it is not for everyone, kits and RTR kits are available for those who want them.

All I can say in this instance, consider if you began to do the project yourself. Take for example Ian Black's articles in AMRM regarding the Southern Aurora. Each car, if you cannot get them second hand, cost close to 100 bucks, which is an absolute waste in my thinking. Then you have to buy the styrene to accompany the project, brand new bogies, paint, decals et cetera, and as I said, this is before you even disassemble the cars to start the project. Soon, the brass ones from Trainbuilder start to look rather appropriately priced.

In the end, it is your choice. And, from a personal point, there is nothing more satisfying than cutting up a Lima car!!
  oscar2 Locomotive Fireman

You raise good points aussiealco. I'm doing some camco FO's at the moment and depending on the detail required, could be a false economy against the RTR equivalent.  Whilst I like building kits I was also hesitant to pay the $630 in one go for the Austrains consist. RTR at this quality and finish is tempting and worth it but I still have trouble parting with those sort of $ in one go.  This sounds stupid but I've got a few Lima boxes of TAM and IP cars I bought around 1983 when I was 10 and they've a price tag of $10.99 or so and for some reason, 30 years later I'm expecting to pay what, $30-40 for the same, $50 maybe for something with an interior, better underfloor detail, handrails etc......  It's silly I know, but it was much easier to part with my parents' money back then compared to mine now Laughing

Gremlin, I'd certainly look to detail the Lima 12 wheelers.  There were some really good articles in AMRM from early to mid 2000s on detailing them and/or modifying them to suit different prototype versions.  I'll attack mine eventually, but I'm yet to start them, not a priority.  Like Roachie, mine have been something for locos to haul and look reasonable enough.  All I've done is replace the wheel sets, haven't even put kadees on yet. But one thing's for sure, because of the relative low cost of these carriages, I wont be too upset or hesitant when I take to them with the dremel. In fact, I've wondered whether that's what's missing from the market place.  Cheaper individual basic RTR carriages that look fine yet one can add detail to later on, or kitbash. There seems to be two extremes at the moment.  Top notch $100+ detailed RTR, and, various kits with varied prices and levels off difficulty and parts required for completion.  

dthead. David, regarding wheel replacements, I've got the "Modelling TAM 902" AMRM Oct 2001 article in front of me and it only says 25mm axles but doesn't say diameter, though I thought 10.5mm is correct.  Another edition regarding an MCE conversion just says Steam Era or K&M replacements.  Years ago I was at Fishers in Fyshwick and got a bag of RP25 Lima replacement wheels.  I've never measured them before tonight but I'm surprised they're not 10.5mm diameter.  They're 11.5mm just like originals and the axle isn't 25mm, they're 24.6mm just like the Lima OEM plastic and steel wheel.  FWIW, whatever the brand that Fishers sold back then they look the part.  Ready blackened, and small flange, they work great, free rolling and no slop.  For the purpose of getting spoked wheels later I'd still like to ascertain if 10.5mm diam and 25mm axle is correct despite the 11.5mm/24.6mm solids I've used below. Anyone?

[img]http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5462/8841051829_a779767519.jpg[/img]
[img]http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3796/8841024447_ce12b1ba4e.jpg[/img]
  Dazz Deputy Commissioner

Pretty sure that 10.5mm wheels are the right diameter, and the 25mm axles fit fine.

I bought some 25mm 10.5 RP25-88 wheels and they slot in nicely, and from what I remember reading in various AMRM's over the years then drop the overall height of the 12-wheelers to the correct height.

I know after slotting in the 10.5's the Lima carriages them almost exactly match the new Austrains FS/BS cars in height where as before they just sit that little bit higher which is noticeable.

In all honesty the code 88 wheels are a bit of a waste behind the heavy bogie side frames as you really can't see the wheel tread width at all. I think I'll end up putting the 88's in my Traino' BWH's and use the BWH wheels in the 12-wheelers as they use the same axle length and diameter from memory.

Here's a Tam with the Austrains cars with original wheels, you can see the slight height difference with the 11.5mm wheels.
(click link to see full size image. http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-gsbwm8IvdZE/TgraocCnnJI/AAAAAAAAAeY/tggcyClf--o/s1600/IMG_2485.JPG


RP25/88 wheels compared the original Lima wheels.
  dthead Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Thanks guys, I'll try that out re the wheels.

David Head
  Chipps Chief Train Controller

Location: NSW


Here's a Tam with the Austrains cars with original wheels, you can see the slight height difference with the 11.5mm wheels.
(click link to see full size image. http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-gsbwm8IvdZE/TgraocCnnJI/AAAAAAAAAeY/tggcyClf--o/s1600/IMG_2485.JPG

Dazz
Thanks for the comparison Dazz.


Curious about the liveries in Indian Red.
Is the Lima one  known as 'dark' Indian Red, or simply a different interpretation from Austrains, Eureka and so on.


Cam
  Dazz Deputy Commissioner

I'm not too sure if any of the Lima/Austrains/Eureka cars are a perfect colour match for whatever prototype they were modeling, however, after looking through hundreds of pictures of the various passenger cars, depending on light, time in service, lack of cleaning etc, they never looked the same colour anyway.

Personally with a little weathering, I actually don't mind the slight variations in the base colours when representing an old mixed country style consist, it tends to give a more natural look than everything being a uniform colour.

You also have to take into account that they all look very different under natural light compared to inside fluro or normal bulb style lighting.
  David Peters Dr Beeching

Location: "With Hey Boy".
Lima used stock standard wheel sets in them that were used by nearly all their models even the ELX models came with the same sized wheels and looked stupid. So replacing the wheels sets with a scale or a more to scale set is good advice . David Head yes 10.5mm wheel dia X by 25 mm axle length should fit as a straight change over for Lima wheels spoked or otherwise. They will make the vehicle run a lot better as well.

10.5mm = 3ft diameter wheel in HO scale.
  Lou Mullen Beginner

Location: Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Read the thread with interest as I do like Lima, I tend to head straight for the air brush gun and dust over layers of watered down mat black acrylic on all the units and rolling stock. I have a few Lima TAM and all look the part after weathering, the only alterations other are the couplers, I use Kadee No 5 on all units and rolling stock, as for the pizza cutters as I have heard them called in past post I tend to prefer due to the nature of the layout with red soil and pebble the wheels come in handy clearing away any excess build up on the inner of the rails, I did and do use bondcrete to fasten the soil but from vibration loose does happen.
I prefer regardless of brand to tart up all that come new to rid the plastic fantastic look.
  yogibarnes Locomotive Fireman

Resurrecting the Lima wheel discussion, in past years I have filed down the flanges with the wheel/axle held in the chuck of a hand held drill.  Bit primitive but it suited my purpose of toning down the deep flange appearance.
Also, if your 6 wheeler has trouble getting through your pointwork etc, as a last resort try taking out the middle axle set.  Because of the heavy sideframes you have to look hard to notice they are missing!
  David Peters Dr Beeching

Location: "With Hey Boy".
Resurrecting the Lima wheel discussion, in past years I have filed down the flanges with the wheel/axle held in the chuck of a hand held drill.  Bit primitive but it suited my purpose of toning down the deep flange appearance.
Also, if your 6 wheeler has trouble getting through your pointwork etc, as a last resort try taking out the middle axle set.  Because of the heavy sideframes you have to look hard to notice they are missing!
yogibarnes
You could after making some also put in a flangeless wheel in the centre as well, still looks like a wheel but just runs along the top of the rail.

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