A Different Direction â€¦..
Masterpiece Models is considering producing very limited editions of very high quality Gauge 1 locomotives.
German and US colleagues tell us there is growing interest in Gauge 1. This leads us to ponder the possibility of UK Gauge 1 locomotives - although not just any Gauge 1 locomotives but something special and extraordinary. Hence, the ‘different direction’ being contemplated ………. However there are at least two essential issues to consider, which we bring to your attention now as they are fundamental to our proposed build.
Firstly and almost inevitably, Gauge 1 suffers from similar ‘scale’ issues in UK as 00 (with HO/EM/P4) and 0 (coarse/fine/S7) gauges. Gauge 1 has ‘Standard Scale’, ‘Fine Scale’ and ‘ScaleOne32’. Because Masterpiece Models primary objective is accuracy, we will build our models to ScaleOne32 standards. Why? Simply because it is this is the most accurate. Secondly Gauge 1 is often associated with garden railways. Our models will not be built for garden railways (or for steam) but principally for display – working display. The range of detail for our museum quality models together with a somewhat different concept might not stand up to the rigours of some Gauge 1 track we’ve seen! These models will be primarily to look at, admire and enjoy as well as operate but in a unique way.
The next stage is market research to establish interest in the concept. Our thinking, already somewhat advanced, is as follows :-
- To produce strictly limited editions of between 35 to 48 models – about the maximum that can be accommodated (although we list more than 50 names and numbers)
- Each individual model locomotive will be unique (i.e. same class but different names, numbers, conditions and/or liveries). No duplicates
- Each model will be built to buyer specification following thorough research in conjunction with Masterpiece Models general approach to top quality models
- Models will be to museum standards with full details, inside working motion, etc., etc., fully painted and lined. Museum quality can be a phrase lightly used. We mean it!
- The model will come with a display case for desk or table top; wall mounting or free standing, with state-of-the-art lighting to enhance the model
- Displayed on specially commission scale track, etc., appropriate to the railway company
- Working models with all driving wheels running using a completely new system of an unobtrusive ‘rolling road’, developed for Masterpiece Models to provide very realistic movement although clearly stationary
- With a servo motor to alter gears to forwards or reverse operation just like the prototype
- Smoke ‘chuffs’ directly synchronised and linked with piston movement (i.e. not ‘drifting smoke’!) with variability and ferocity of the blast
- Additional cylinder, whistle and exhaust smoke; with smoke options in white, grey or black being evaluated
- Specially commissioned sounds for each class; with separate top quality high definition speakers in the display cabinet or options to link to your sound system
- Infra-red control option with state-of-the-art rechargeable batteries to avoid trailing cables, disfiguring wall, etc.
- An exclusive ‘app’ to enable your model to be controlled by a mobile phone including movement and sound (optional – for those who don’t have a convention controller)
- Other features to enhance the experience are being assessed but not detailed here as they may be considered gimmicks at the stage
- Each build will benefit from advice by acknowledged experts who really know each prototype and advise on all aspect of the build
- Each museum quality gauge 1 locomotive will cost more than twice our Coronation/Duchess @ £7000 –with full money back guarantee. These will be exceptional and unique models
- A typical Masterpiece Models Gauge 1 locomotive will be about 27-30" (or 75cm) long, and 5" (or 13cm) high. The display case would be significantly larger of course, especially with top quality speakers fitted in the lower part of the display cabinet
- We announce two locomotive classes being considered …. and accept initial reservations, without obligation
We plan to make similar announcements in model railway press and elsewhere as these builds will appeal beyond the hobby. But we thought as you read our website, you might be interested in our longer term plans. Incidentally, we’re not leaving 0 gauge; it’s that we have established a requirement for larger scale models incorporating high levels of accuracy to museum standard for those who want their favourite locomotive to look at and admire (as well as operate), which are different to anything else in Gauge 1. Gauge 1 will be a huge commitment in time and money for Masterpiece Models, so it makes sense to assess demand.