Late on Tuesday afternoon – in considerable trepidation – we received from DHL a package from Incheon. It contained two production samples of the Class 52 Western diesel hydraulic, D1048 Western Lady in maroon and D1002 Western Explorer in green. Shipping via an express courier is always fraught with risk, but as we are unable to visit Korea at present it was essential that we should take a close look at these models in order to identify any last necessary tweaks to be made in the final stage of production.
The first sight of each of our new builds is rather like one’s first child being delivered. Would the Westerns come out of their packaging intact? Would they justify the huge effort that we have put in over the last four years to get every detail right?
On opening each box and carefully peeling away all the protective wrappings, we knew immediately that we had something very special here. Not only had the models survived their trans-global journey without damage, but they are actually stunning – far better, in fact, than even the photos received earlier from Korea had suggested.
The first impression is that they are HUGE! They also have a weight, gravitas and realism that somehow is only possible to achieve with models built from sheet metal rather than plastic, resin or any other purely moulded material. On diesels this really shows up as a huge improvement. Once seen, it’s difficult to go back to over-thick materials with high porosity which simply don’t take paint in the way that metals do.
Hand-on-heart I can say that these were (and are) as good a model locomotive as I have ever seen – the best models that Masterpiece Models has ever had made, either in Michael Brooks’ time or since I have taken over the helm.
I telephoned my technical colleagues Adrian Knowles and Bryan Robertson to tell them the news. Also we wanted to get the locomotives as quickly as possible over to Wiltshire for photography and then to Oxfordshire to check out the electronics.
As a result of these travels we now have some pictures for you see and enjoy. We will put some more photos in the section of the Western for everyone to find and enjoy. To create a little more realism we have taken the pictures of the Western locomotives outside our Swindon A Shop diorama and also in our Scale 7 brick cutting.
For more information, availability, or to place an oder, CLICK HERE.
We hope you enjoy the pictures as much as we do.
John Borkowski 19 February 2021