Ancient Lima wagons given a new lease of life.I've just spent a pleasant day (or two) messing around with some old Lima box vans, some of which date back to the late 1970s. I had a good few of these on my childhood trainsets, with a number surviving onto more 'adult' layouts after a degree of detailing work. With the next issue of Model Rail magazine having something of a 'retro model' theme, I decided to track down some more of these venerable (and cheap!) wagons to see what I could do with them.
A couple were found in the pre-owned section at Hatton's Model Railways, with even a pristine boxed version being very reasonably priced. The branded vans, with the likes of Homepride, Stork margarine and Typhoo Tea, brought back happy memories of yesteryear, but they'd need to be overpainted into more appropriate liveries. The chassis - the main drawback of these wagons - also had to go and, after replacing with Parkside kits and superior wheels, the wagons look just as good (if not better) than many 21st Century ready-to-run products.
Furthermore, at less than £20 per wagon, including the Lima donor models, this made for a very economical project, boosting my fleet of 1960s-1980s vans. See how the wagons were improved in the next issue of Model Rail magazine (MR252), on sale 30th August.