Why, you may ask, is it taking so long to deliver the new Masterpiece Models ‘Western’ diesels to patient customers? After all, it’s a couple of months since they arrived in the UK, so surely all the pre-delivery checks should have been completed by now?
Well, you could say that we have found ourselves at the centre of a perfect storm. The ‘Western’ is by far the most complex and sophisticated model we have ever produced, both in terms of fittings, drive train, lighting, sound, electronics as well as mechanics. As the production progressed we would normally have made one or more visits to Korea to carry out wide ranging checks and inspections, but with the onset of the pandemic we had to face the fact that South Korea was a ‘no-go’ destination. We were able to monitor some of the work via photographs and videos, but some details and functions just could not be checked fully by those means.
Rather than delay import once the build was complete, we arranged for the ‘Westerns’ to be shipped and, as you have seen from the photos on this site, the models are absolutely stunning. However, we never make any assumptions so we began the long task of checking every model visually, with instruments and with running tests. Two issues came to light: the first, which was beyond our control, is that the manufacturers of the electronic decoders have updated the firmware necessary to operate them, meaning that each decoder has to be reprogrammed and re-wired. This work will be carried out by our sound engineer.
Secondly, the complex drive train from the large and powerful Maxon motor has to be set up in a very specific way to deliver the surge of power we want at all speeds. The builder had clearly struggled with some of the settings we demanded so, taking two unreserved models as ‘mules’ – one in 0 gauge and one in Scale 7 – we implemented some engineering changes to the transmission. We have now arrived at a very successful solution which will now be applied to all the models.
Much as we would like to say to everyone who has reserved one of these splendid machines that they will have their model in the next week or two, realistically this work will take time – probably 2 to 3 months – so customers will, we hope, receive their models by Christmas.
We do appreciate that this delay is irritating, but the whole ethos of Masterpiece Models is to produce the best ready-to-run 0 gauge and Scale 7 models available today and we won’t compromise by releasing sub-standard models to the market. When you do receive your ‘Western’ you will know that it is the best model it can possibly be. After all, that is what you are paying for.
In the meantime here are a couple more photos, this time of D1015 in the unique golden ochre livery.
14 September 2021