Exceptional museum quality model locomotives for modellers, enthusiasts and collectors

Update following visit to Korea

The visit to Incheon in South Korea was very busy with barely enough time to cover all the points that were intended.

68XX Grange 4-6-0 and 47XX 2-8-0
Inspection of the Granges and 47XX models took a long time as there were numerous detailed checks to be carried out on features of the models and also on the liveries. We also decided to take two extra black models of the both locomotive types. Overall we are very pleased with the build. The locomotives are being packed and shipment is planned for the first week of January subject to air-freight space becoming available. Pictures of the production models will be put on the website shortly.
The plan is to distribute a number of the models at the Bristol Show in late January.

Standard Class 5
The first brass prototype has been made minus some detail finishing around the cab. We also have not yet fitted the motor and gearbox. The sample will be on display at the Bristol Show. It will show the essential details of the Walshaert’s valve gear version of the BR5 – the Caprotti version will come later. We have decided to make the gearbox drive on the centre axle, which is good engineering practice and will result in better running performance. This permits the motor gearbox to be completely hidden and no ‘daylight’ is blocked out under the rear section of the boiler underside. The motor will be the same aerospace grade coreless motor as we used in the 70XX Castle, the Grange and the 47XX.

The preliminary sample model will allow you to have some perspective of what the final model will look like and will be checked over by our expert technical team led by Bob Meanley.

Class 52 Western Diesel
The painted sample was returned to the builders with working fans, sound and half the lighting completed. The builders are making the corrections to the front and roof ends and have started production of most of the component parts so that full production can commence when the modifications have been approved. The sample model was test run on the track and is very impressive in terms of performance and tractive effort.

57XX/8750 Pannier tank
Colin Dowling and I are working very hard to get the all the engines numbered as the majority of the requested numberplate were not available when the loco build was completed. As a result we were able to offer a late choice in numbers which many of you took up. In these cases it has meant quite a bit of of finishing working here the UK. This all takes time as Colin and I are more than 100 miles apart, but we expect to get a large number of engines ready in January in time for Bristol Show.
We are doing our best to complete this work and we are asking you to be patient. For those of you who are unable to go to the Bristol show we will organise drop-offs at regional points around the UK to get the models hand delivered. We will also try to combine these drop offs with Granges and 47XXs for those who have ordered them to make the process as efficient as possible.

Finally we would like to thank you all for your support of Masterpiece Models and we wish you all a very Happy and Peaceful Christmas season and a Prosperous New Year 2019.

John Borkowski
21 December 2018

Update on the 28XX/38XX production programme

We have now fixed the Production Programme at a total of 60 locomotives made up of :
• 15 square frame Churchward open cab 28XXs
• 30 curved frame Churchward open cab 28XXs
• 15 curved frame Collett enclosed side window cab 38XX (2884) locomotives.

At the date of preparation of this note more than half the engines have been reserved, but we have the following locomotives still available:
• 6 square frame Churchward cab of which there are 4 GWR green and 2 BR Black
• 13 curved frame Churchward cab of which there are 8 GWR green and 5 BR Black
• 8 curved frame Collett cab of which there are 3 GWR Green, 1 GWR Black, 4 BR Black.

The tender choice is between the most common Churchward 3,500 gallon tender and also the less used Collett 3,500 gallon tender. The vast majority of the engines ran with the Churchward tender, so we have allocated these to the available production models. However we will have some spare Collett 3,500 gallon tenders available if these are requested in place or in addition to the Churchward tenders. In particular several of the 38XX locomotives did run with Collett 3,500 gallon tenders. In some ways in terms of the continuity of design lines the Collett 3,500 gallon tender looks the most elegant especially with the 38XX Collett side window cab locomotives. One 38XX engine has also run in preservation with a Collett 4,000 gallon tender. This could also be provided as a special order if required.

CLICK HERE to go to the 28XX/38XX page where you will find an updated availability list and a reservation form to ensure you get the model you want.

John Borkowski
1 November 2018

Update on the work programmes

57XX and 8750 Pannier Tanks
They all arrived at Heathrow Airport at the end of September and we took delivery of then at the beginning of October. Since then we have been checking them to ensure that the builder has correctly followed all the modifications made in September. On 180 engines this is quite a big task and Ros and I have spent hours logging what has been done and what needs to be done to get the engines ready for delivery. Generally we are very pleased with the quality and the running performance. The engines run really well especially after a short running-in period.

For those of you who ordered engines early (about 40% of the orders) we have the correct number plates on the locomotives and there is relatively little to be done before delivery. However, most of you ordered engines late and we still have to get the number plates from Severn Mill Nameplates and then have them painted and fitted. Some of you have ordered plates that are not available and most of you have been notified of options where a new choice is required. Severn Mill Nameplates are not able at present to add any new numbers to their extensive range, even for us! The number plates are being ordered this week and then have to go to our engineer Colin Dowling for painting, after which they will be fitted to the individual locomotives.

Of the 180 engines, 91 have been ordered so far. That means engines are still available in many categories, so there is a reasonable choice of welded tank versions. There are only a few of the Kerr Stuart engines with riveted tanks (mainly BR), very few BR engines with top feed, and not many Scale7 engines left. There are also a few lined black BR engines – an attractive livery used on the Paddington empty coach stock workings. We have made the decision to apply numbers to the engines and we will publish a list of available types and numbers shortly on the website.

If you would like a Pannier I would advise you to contact us soon as your choice later could become much more restricted.

We recently emptied the factory of all the remaining 45XX/4575 Prairies that made up an extra lot so we have about 25 engines still available for sale with choice of at least one engine from all the broad categories. We will put a notice on the website of the available types including a good choice of Scale 7.

We recently repainted one of the ‘Type 1’ early locomotives into lined GWR green livery with Indian red frames which is now believed to have been a possibility by some experts when these engines were first put into service. Ian Rathbone carried out a superb job which transforms the locomotive. For your interest have added a picture of the locomotive to the slideshow on the website home page.

68XX and 47XX Production
The builders are busy finishing off the engines which we expect to inspect in November.

49XX and 28XX (Last Chance for Engine Choice)
We have reduced the 49XX Hall build to only 50 engines most of which have now been reserved. We can still offer you a choice of 49XX, 59XX or 69XX models, but not for much longer as we will have to freeze the production programme in November. So if you want a Collett Hall this really is your last chance to choose your engine.

As part of the overall ‘Hall’ build we are now including 12 ‘Modified Halls’. As this is a complicated build we have already selected the 12 engines to be built. The following six engines are still available for sale:

6990 Witherslack Hall: Hawksworth Tender GWR Lined Green G Crest W
6999 Capel Dewi Hall: Hawksworth Tender BR Lined Green Totem
7900 St. Peter’s Hall: Collett 4000 gallon Tender BR Lined Green Totem
7902 Eaton Mascot Hall: Collett 4000 gallon Tender BR Lined Green Totem
7911 Lady Margaret Hall: Collett 4000 gallon Tender BR Lined Black Lion-over-Wheel (mechanical lubricator)
7915 Mere Hall: Collett 4000 gallon Tender BR Lined Green Totem (mechanical lubricator)

On the 28XX we will also need to freeze the production programme in November. Our current programme is to build only 60 locomotives, comprising 35 curved frame engines, 15 ‘2884’ Collett side-window-cab engines and 10 earlier square-frame engines. Please make your reservations soon, as when the programme is fixed there will be very little flexibility for change.

Class 52 Western Diesel
The components are now being produced for the build. We have asked the builders to incorporate the final changes that we require and the front end is having further small revisions carried out to ensure complete accuracy.

BR Standard Class 5
We hope to have a sample model ready for December.

Rebuilt 6P/7P LMS/BR 4-6-0s
We are working on getting all the drawings and information ready for the CAD work. These engines will follow on from the 49XX and 28XX.

John Borkowski
24 October 2018.  T

Guildex and Swindon Shows

First a big thank you to everyone who came to our stands at Telford and Swindon. It was very good to renew contacts and obtain your views of what we are and should be doing. Those of you who came will have had a chance to take a look at the Panniers and the first 68XX Grange and 47XX models. We even had a few Panniers available for delivery. It was also a chance to examine the improvements in technology that we have made on the bigger engines.

Update for Guildex Telford 1-2 September 2018, and Swindon 8-9 September

I have just returned from a long trip to Incheon, South Korea to inspect progress on the 57XX/8750 Panniers and the 47XX 2-8-0 and 68XX Grange 4-6-0 tender engines.

57XX and 8750 Panniers
After very many changes the Panniers will at last be ready to be shipped at the beginning of September. We will have a few representative production models for display at Telford and Swindon, so that you can all see what the models look like. As soon as the shipped models are here in the UK, we will make arrangements to get them distributed as fast as possible.

Overall there is still quite a good choice of models still available, although we have only a few riveted 57XX early cab engines left. There are comparatively few Scale 7 engines left. We managed to find one extra S7 London Transport engine that is now available for sale, but otherwise LT engine availability is now essentially limited to O gauge finescale (6 engines).

We are sorry it has taken so long but the delay is essentially down to the build complexity with over 50 different types, just too many variations. In future we will have to simplify the build programme as such a large number of variations is virtually impossible to build and police. Who told us that Panniers are simple standard engines to build?

47XX and 68XX Grange
These models have been painted and are now being assembled. They look very impressive and are expected to be ready for shipment by November. So we hope to be able to make a number of deliveries in time for Christmas.

You can see a production sample of each locomotive on our stand at Telford and Swindon. They do look wonderful in their different ways. The 47XX is really a giant of steam with its huge boiler and firebox; virtually a King on a 2-8-0 chassis. The 68XX Grange, which has a small Churchward 3500 gallon tender, looks very dainty and delicate. Smaller wheels, low- pitched boiler and a tall chimney contrast well with the low sided tender. Cab detail on both models is exquisite. It feels like one could walk into the cab of each engine, and given it was in sufficient steam at the time, drive-off in it! They look very good together. So do please come over to our stand to take a look at them.

28XX and 49XX
Directly the 47XX and 68XX are complete, the builders will switch over to the 28XX and the 49XX Hall. Many of the parts are already made so we are hoping for a faster build than the earlier programmes. We are limiting the 28XX to 60 models in three types with a build profile currently looking like 15 early square frame 28XXs, 27 later curved frame 28XXs and 18 38XXs (2884 class with the Collet side windowed cabs). On the 49XX we expect to make only 50 Collett Halls and 10 Hawksworth Modified Halls.

If you are interested in either a 28XX/38XX or a Hall (whether Collett or Hawksworth) now is the time to make your reservation as there are not many slots left and we will soon have to freeze the production programme. Most of the available Collett Hall slots have now been reserved, so please let us know what you would like. So if you come along later on you will end up with what is left which may not meet the model specification that you want. The Halls are a very complex build as there are a huge number of variations in both the Collett and Hawksworth engines. A Collett early 49Xx is very different from a Collett 69XX. So you have been warned!

Class 52 Western
We met the builders and the design engineer to explain the changes that we want to the front windscreen, the hood over the front windscreen, the cab shoulders and the cab details. These will all be changed and approved before the build starts. The bue-painted pre-production sample will be on view for the first time. Even allowing for the changes it is a lovely model.

Standard Class 5
The first sample model will be made during the next few weeks and we expect to have it on view by December. It might make the Reading Show at the beginning of December.

Rebuilt Royal Scot, Rebuilt Jubilee, Rebuilt Patriot and British Legion
Detailed design work is planned to start shortly. These engines will follow on from the completion of the 28XX and the 49XX Hall. We expect to make about 120 engines. The current breakdown is likely to be:
• Rebuilt Royal Scot 65 models
• Rebuilt Jubilee 15 models
• Rebuilt Patriot 30 models
• Rebuilt Fury (British Legion) 10 models
Our top designer is enthusiastically working on the case!

John Borkowski
29 August 2018.