Future Build - LNER/BR A1/A3
Masterpiece Models will build a limited edition of 111 Gresley A3’s (A1 & A10) Pacific’s, as they were in two different time-sensitive periods.
The detail and accuracy of Masterpiece Models is well established and for the first time we turn our attention to the LNER and in particular Gresley’s first masterpiece. Accuracy is our prime consideration so we will focus on two specific time related periods rather than produce ‘generic’ models. Within both time periods but particularly the first, we will build your A1/3 in the condition you want, based on options available during each period. As is our usual practice, we will build just one of each name only – once the name is reserved in one of our two periods, no other will be produced. Each Masterpiece Models A3/1 will be unique.
We are particularly delighted that Tony Wright will be our primary adviser. Tony is a well known model maker in his own right, as well as being chairman of the Historical Model Railway Society and deputy editor of British Railways Modelling. His detailed observations on Gresley Pacifics in British Railways Illustrated are authoritative and highlight details and variations of this attractive and long-lived class.
Our first series of these successful and long-lived locomotives will focus on Gresley Pacific’s from the mid/late 1930’s when they were in the general condition they remained for the next quarter of a century or so - spanning LNER and British Railways periods. This is how they are best remembered and arguably looked their best. By the mid 30’s, Gresley’s first Pacific’s had been improved and changed significantly in appearance; early A1’s GNR loading gauge had been reduced, cab side screens fitted, cab side windows had smaller cuts outs following the introduction of cab bucket seats; vertical handrails altered, Westinghouse and ACFI equipment removed, long travel valves fitted, buffer beams corners cut, wheel balancing modified, front footsteps removed, larger steampipes fitted and numerous other modifications. New builds (from 1934/5) reflected all these changes; earlier builds were subsequently modified. In addition North British Locomotive Works built twenty A1’s in 1924 with different shaped reversing rods, with right hand drive (later altered to left hand drive - completed by British Railways) with their own distinctive builders plates. Unless you advise otherwise, we will incorporate these variations on Prod No’s 33-52. Apart from this, A1/3’s were visually relatively similar during this lengthy time span. Of course modifications were subsequently made; for example distinctive dust shields and guard irons were removed by the early 1950’s, while Smith-Stone speedometers fitted in the 1950’s. Our models will reflect these and many other modifications – as they apply to your choice of A3.
Masterpiece Models will only build ONE OF EACH of the 79 A3/A1’s built, as they were in their 1935-1959 condition. Each model will be unique – once a name has been reserved, it will NOT be available again in this condition. You decide either an A3 or A1 (Prod no 001-052 only; note for example ‘Sir Visto’ lasted as an A1/A10 until late 1948); with standard, streamlined or banjo* dome (different boiler position); in LNER apple green (with pre or post war numbers) or with ‘BRITISH RAILWAYS’ in full; or BR blue or BR green (your choice of logo). And of course there will be three choices of tender to go with your A3/A1– the GNR type; new non-streamlined and streamlined non-corridor. And there will be other options. Within production run constraints, we will build your A3 (or A1) as defined by you, with correct unique nameplates and type of worksplates – in itself, a minefield (as are BR smokebox door numberplates with their many different styles).
Before making your reservation, consider two basic criteria relevant to your selection. Firstly whether you want your loco built as an A1 or A3. Secondly your choice of livery - either LNER (2 choices) or BR (3 choices). To reserve your A3, simply select from the dropdown box for A1 or A3 alongside the name you require, then select your preferred livery (either original LNER No; post war LNER No; or BR No) from the period dropdown box and finaly press the reserve button. That will reserve the name for you. We do not require a deposit at this stage; an indication of your interest is all that is needed. When model engineering drawings are started we will contact you requesting confirmation of your reservation with a cheque for £150. At that time, we will confirm final price.
Then at a later date, among with other aspects of the build, we will review with you :-
- your choice of conventional or streamlined or banjo dome
- your choice from three tender types
- your choice of AWS and coupler protection (BR column 5 only)
- your choice of tender logo (BR column 5 only)
- your choice of left or right hand drive (NBLW built locos only)
We anticipate delivery of our limited edition of 79 Gresley A3’s (or A1) towards the end of 2011. Each model will cost in the region of £2800 (to be confirmed). Remember we will only build one of each of the 79 A3’s in the condition they were between 1935 and 1959.
Our second series will be a further 32 A3’s in their final BR condition from 1960 to bring the total production run to 111 A3/1’s. Series 2 A3’s will be fitted with double Klychap chimney, German type smoke deflectors, AWS and speedometers, with later totem on (your choice of) tender. The A3’s listed in series 2 survived to receive all modifications. Again select your name – no other A3’s carrying the name you chose will be built in its final BR condition. Although 55 are listed only 32 second series A3’s will be built.