Exceptional museum quality model locomotives for modellers, enthusiasts and collectors


It is with great regret that we start the New Year with the announcement that the proposed merger between Masterpiece Models and the Lee Marsh Model Co will not now be able to go ahead.

We have taken this difficult decision in light of the consequences of the Covid-19 Pandemic, as well as the resulting economic uncertainties affecting not only our customers but also the production facilities in South Korea. While there is no threat to the Masterpiece Models now in production, we felt it unwise to expand the scope and size of operations of the business at this critical time.

As we enter 2021 we are fully committed to Masterpiece Models customers and we are concentrating on our core product range including the current build programmes (the Western Diesels, GWR Halls and 28XX freight locomotives) and we will be channelling all our efforts and resources into these existing and future programmes.

Customers who have reservations for Lee Marsh Model Co products and projects (including Castles, GWR Passenger Brake Vans, A1/A3s, 850s, Manors, Lord Nelsons and BR Standard Class 4 80XXX locomotives) should contact Lee Marsh directly on these models. We have therefore removed the pages relating to these models from our website, but you can still refer to progress with these projects on Lee Marsh Model Co‘s own web site, www.leemarshmodelco.com .

We have long been admirers of the great work on both locomotives and coaches produced by Lee Marsh Model Co and we wish it every success for the future.

John Borkowski

Update 23 December 2020

This is normally a time of good cheer and great expectations just before we enter the Christmas Holiday period. It is an important time for Christians like me awaiting the celebration of the Nativity of Christ over 2,000 years ago and for others who look forward to a well earned break to meet up socially with their families and friends. 

Sadly, this year in the UK, and also in many other parts of Europe and elsewhere in the world, we face an unprecedented Christmas lock-down situation with severe restrictions or complete prohibition of any form social mixing with our friends and family. In the UK we also face a period of continuing uncertainty with the EU and the UK deadlocked on the last stage of the trade negotiations and the current disruption to the movement of people and goods between the Continent of Europe and elsewhere due to fears of a new variants of the COVID-19 virus, that are believed to be far more infectious than earlier strains. So we may end the year without our normal Christmas and New Year celebrations, being forced having a quiet time in solo households. Conversation may have to be limited to electronic communication: the telephone or by internet channels. Whatever prevails we must try to make the best of a difficult situation.

You may ask what have we been doing at Masterpiece Models over the last few weeks. Here is a brief description of much of our work. First we have been talking to each other daily within the team (except for the occasional weekend day) on a new way of working with our builders whereby we will become much more directly involved in the design and production processes of future models. There are five objectives here:

  1. To make more accurate models
  2. Improve the technical exchange between us and the builders so that we can work together much more efficiently than we do at present working largely from pictures and commentary.
  3. To ensure better quality control and less corrective work here in the UK after models have left the factory.
  4. To shorten the build time of the models.
  5. To establish a production plan with the builders so that we and they have clearer view of how to make the models and the sequence and timing of operations and activities.

We want to make better models more quickly to try to reduce the long waiting times.

Second, we have been in constant touch with the builders to encourage them to finish the Western Diesel and the Halls (Collett and Modified), as well as the 28XX/38XX freight locomotives. 

Third, we have also been in touch with many customers, especially those in EU Europe, to despatch as many models as possible before the transition period ends on 31 December 2020 assuming, as the UK is currently demanding, there is no further extension.

We hope you all have as good a Christmas as possible and that you are able to keep some contact with your friends and family over this important holiday period.Thank you all very much for your continued support, encouragement and custom. 

 Best wishes and please keep safe,

John Borkowski 23 December 2020

80XXX and 82XXX Standard Class Tank Locomotives

We are looking at priorities for our future build programme, especially tank engines. One possibility that we feel that we could offer is an attractive proposition of a single simultaneous build programme of BR Standard Class 80XXX 2-6-4 and 82XXX 2-6-2 tank locomotives. 155 80XXX and 45 82XXX locomotives were built by BR.

These locomotives ran on a wide variety of routes in the UK mainland. The 80XXX tank locomotives were active in Scotland, the Southern, London Midland and Eastern and even the Western Regions. On the Southern they ran out of Victoria and London Bridge on the trains to Sussex and on Reading-Guildford-Dorking-Redhill-Tonbridge trains. On the Eastern Region they operated the London, Tilbury and Southend line out of Fenchurch Street where they were popular on heavy trains of suburban BR Mark 1 coaches. On London Midland Region many were based at Bletchley running suburban trains into Euston.



The 80XXX locomotives were worthy successors of the earlier LMS Fowler 2 cylinder and the Stanier 2 and 3 cylinder tank engines, as well as the later Fairburn shorter wheel base 2-6-4 tank engines. In the North East they were based at Whitby. In Scotland they worked out of Glasgow and Edinburgh, Beattock banking duties and – famously – on the Killin branch. 14 engines have been preserved with a number restored to running condition on private preserved railways. The 80XXX 2-6-4 locomotives were all painted BR lined back with the earlier Lion-over-Wheel or later Totem.

80XXX diagram


82037 2

The 82XXX locomotives were active mainly on the Western – especially on the Cambrian section – and on the Southern including empty stock working out of Waterloo down to Clapham Junction. 82XXX operated in the South West at Exmouth Junction and at Newton Abbot. In the Midlands they were based at Wellingborough, in the Birmingham area at Tyseley, and in the North West at Patricroft. In the North East they operated at York and on Darlington to Penrith trains. Unfortunately no BR 82XXX engines were preserved, but a replica is being built at Bridgnorth on the Severn Valley Railway.

The 82XXX were outshopped originally in BR lined black and later in BR lined green and even later in BR plain green.

82XXX diagramWe feel that both of these engine types are highly attractive to the eye, and as they were extensively used on the BR system, they have a strong appeal to a wide range of modelers and collectors alike. We would like to measure your interest in this project, so we would like to invite you let us know your expressions of interest. This gives you all the opportunity to secure the production of these models that are of particular interest to you.

If you have already reserved an 80XXX engine we already have your details, so there is no need contact us unless you want to do so.

80XXX and 82XXX expression of interest
Please click the buttons below let us know which versions of the 80XXX and 82XXX interest you most.

We look forward to your response with great interest.

John Borkowski/5 December 2020

The best 'Battle of Britain' of all..?


The team at Masterpiece Models spends most of the time fully focused on current build projects, several of which are reaching their final stages with others now in development. It therefore provides a very pleasant interlude when a model from one of the earlier Masterpiece builds comes our way and we have the chance to look at it again with fresh eyes.

Just such an occasion cropped up this week when a customer who is downsizing asked if we – or anyone else we knew – might be interested in his Bulleid unrebuilt 'Battle of Britain' light pacific. But this wasn't just any BoB – it was 34066 'Spitfire', possibly the greatest of them all.


It's easy to forget just how impressive these models were, but we spent a most enjoyable afternoon photographing it in a variety of settings. As well as all the usual Masterpiece Models features, the Bulleid Pacifics incorporated working electric lamps and they really come to life after dark. We had a bit of fun with this – with all lamps blazing, even though we couldn't pretend it was working a Royal Train, it had distinct echoes of the English part of the 'Night Ferry' Victoria - Paris sleeper.


Unsurprisingly this model was snapped up by a collector, but it does make the point that it's worth keeping an eye on our 'Pre-Owned Models' page where gems like this occasionally become available.


Class 52 'Western' crew figures

Class52 crew 1

In what we believe is an 'industry first', we have commissioned crew figures for our forthcoming Class 52 'Western' diesel-hydraulic from Alan Buttler of Modelu.

We have long admired the work Alan has done in bringing new levels of realism to models of the human form in a variety of scales, but these are the first to be made using an entirely new technique in which colour is applied as an integral part of the 3D printing process. That means they don't have to be painted which avoids overly harsh or unrealistic colours, or clogging detail with poor brush work, to say nothing of saving an enormous amount of time.

Like all Modelu figures, the files for 3D printing are laser scanned from life. Now, however, the actual colours are recorded at the same time. Pigments are introduced at the printing-out stage which colours the surface of the figures in a remarkably accurate way. Because the 3D print comes direct from the scanned CAD data, all the subtlties of light falling on creases in fabric, dirt on shoes etc, are faithfully reproduced.

We took the decision to fit crews in the Western because the cabs are so 'glassy' that the interiors are highly visible. Also, as these models will be highly complex with wiring for headcode boxes, marker lights, cab interior lighting, working fans and other features, we don't recommend that they should be dismantled by the customer, so unless otherwise requested in advance, all the models will be supplied with a driver and second man installed at one end, the other end remaining empty for posing in shed scenes etc.

CLICK HERE for a short video showing the crews being trial-fitted to a pre-production rough sample of the Class 52 control desk.

These crew figures represent an absoulte step-change in the representation of people for our models. Thank you Alan for all your hard work – watch this space for news of more figures for our locomotives..!

To view the full Modelu range, CLICK HERE.

Class52 crew 2