Lima GUV Improvements

The Lima BR bogie General Utility Van (GUV) was first produced in the mid 1980's and was one of the later models from this manufacturer.
At the time, I purchased two of these models in BR blue and subsequently, two in BR maroon.

By Lima standards and even modern standards, these were actually pretty good models, particularly in the area of the underchassis detail which was a leader at the time, but one thing which always let these models down was the bogies and the ride height of the bogies.
This article describes how to correct the bogies and the ride height and significantly improve the appearance of what is actually quite a good model.

Getting Started

For years, I have had some Replica bogies in the spares box awaiting fitting to my GUVs. Here they are with the front pair fitted with Hornby wheels and the rear pair fitted with Romford wheels:

Dismantling the model is straightforward, if a bit fiddly. The windows are attached to the roof and form a 'plug' in the window frames. Therefore, to remove the roof, carefully push the windows in and lever the roof off. I found it easier to start on one end and one side and work progressively along the body. Do not force the roof - it is perspex and will crack/break if forced too hard, although it is fairly strong.
Once the roof is removed, the chassis can be removed. This is achieved by unhooking the clips inside the body at the bottoms of the sides. These are extremely fragile but it is not a disaster if they are broken.

Chassis Work

Because the model will have larger wheels fitted, recesses need to be created in the floor. This was marked out and then drilling commenced to start cutting out holes. A mini junior hack-saw blade was used to do the final cutting once there were enough drill holes for it to fit through, followed by filing to tidy it all up:

The nodules next to the bogie mount holes were subsequently removed.

Once the recesses had been created, new bogie mounts were fabricated from plastic card. The holes in the card are sized such that the Replica bogies clip through them and are held without the bogie dropping out. The existing holes in the chassis plate were also drilled out so that the Replica bogie mounts would fit through them:

Note how vacuum pipes have been fitted according to our article on fitting brake pipes.

The chassis was then air-brushed using a mixture of Tamiya XF-1 Matt Black and Humbrol 113 Matt Rust. I have given up on Humbrol Matt Black 33 as the mixture seems to have been changed in recent years and I have a lot of trouble getting it to go matt, regardless of how well it is mixed.

Re-Assembly Commences

The body was refitted once the chassis paint was dry. Note how the weight has been repositioned inside the van. This is because in its original place, it was actually slightly too high and caused a parting of the chassis from the body leaving gaps which could not be fixed.

There is always a temptation not to paint the insides of vehicles. My experience of doing so is that cameras, and particularly flash guns, have an amazing ability to find unpainted vehicle insides! To that end, I painted the weight in Humbrol 67 Matt Tank Grey, lest it be 'found'. Any dark colour such as black or even the body colour will do.
The windows were masked with masking tape and the roof was air brushed in Humbrol 67 Matt Tank Grey and subsequently weathered with some Carrs powders:

The Completed Model

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Graham Plowman (5/12/2013)

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