Exceptional museum quality model locomotives for modellers, enthusiasts and collectors

‘Model Rail’ Magazine Model of the Year 2022

In the January 2023 issue of Model Rail Magazine (308), editor George Dent has invited all readers to vote for the MODEL RAIL Model of the Year 2022.  We at Masterpiece Models have kindly been entered for three categories: 

  • O Gauge Locomotives, 
  • O Gauge Manufacturer of the Year and 
  • Overall Manufacturer of the Year. 

This is based on the review our Class 52 Western Diesel Hydraulic that received a rave reception in Model Rail 297. 

If you are minded and willing to support our cause, please would you go online to:

www.model-rail.co.uk/model-of-the-year-2022 and vote for Masterpiece Models in the relevant categories. 

It would be good to see a high-quality product secure a few more votes. 

During the year my sound engineer Bryan Robertson and I have visited a number of model railway shows serving different scales and gauges and we can honestly say no diesel locomotive in any gauge on any stand or layout comes near to the looks and detail of our Western. It is simply the finest model that we have ever made.

Class52 D1000 blue

The closing date for entries to the poll is 16 February 2023 and the results will be displayed in full in Model Rail issue 311, on sale on 16 March 2023. 

I have already voted. The process is simple and if you don’t have an opinion on all categories you can opt for 'don’t know' in the relevant section. 

Happy Christmas to everyone!

John Borkowski
24 December 2022

Update 23 December 2022

Delivery of Existing Orders
Unfortunately, this has been a difficult week for us with Ros catching COVID on Tuesday and today, Friday, I also tested positive for COVID. I had hoped to make a few additional local deliveries, but for health safety reasons this has not been possible. Industrial action on the railways, the Post Office and the NHS in the UK still grows and remains a threat to normal activity both business and leisure. As soon as I recover, we will resume deliveries as best as we can.

Rebuilt Royal Scot Locomotives Programme
This last 3 weeks we have been working on the revised Royal Scot Programme Schedules for the website. The work has nearly finished. The objective has been to provide as wide a choice of models as possible within a reasonable programme total volume. We have reduced the Rebuilt Patriot Programme to only 10 engines with the possibility of allocating the 5 additional engines to any of the other programmes including British Legion where there are only 3 slots left. The maximum production remains at 80 7P 4-6-0 engines.

We do not plan to make the original large parallel boiler Royal Scot at this stage, but if enough of you are willing to reserve these locomotives, we could possibly add it to the programme. As an indication we would need at least 30 reservations to consider this option. If you are interested in this option we need to know fairly soon, so please do make contact if you want one of these engines.

Merry Christmas 2022 and Happy New Year 2023
We would like to thank you all for your orders and reservations and especially for your patience in waiting for deliveries of your locomotives. Although our family Christmas is cancelled for us for the third successive time, we wish you all good health, happiness and prosperity for Christmas and the year ahead.

Update 12 December 2022

The Guildford Show - Saturday 26 November

This is a short expression of thanks to all of you who managed to attend the Guildford Show. It was good to see you on our stand at the show which turned out to be a very good venue. I know a number of you were unable to come due to the rail strike on the day and obviously competition from the Warley Model Club Show event at the National Exhibition Centre. The news grapevine tells me that the NEC event was well attended despite the rail strike. 

Our next planned show will be at the Swindon Railway Museum (Steam) on Saturday 4 February 2023.

Delivery of Existing Orders

Industrial action on the railways, the Post Office and elsewhere in the UK has mushroomed to such an extent that the programme of deliveries that I had planned for the next two weeks has had to be deferred. These days, especially in winter, I rely on using the UK rail system to transport me and the models to customers more than 100 miles from the London area. This week there are 4 days of rail strikes and next week more industrial action is promised by the Trade Unions. This last weekend additionally reduced train services to and from Reading and London included replacement bus services for part of the journeys. This combined disruption has completely destroyed my plan of deliveries. Today I am off the Glasgow to deliver a Western. Unfortunately, this will have to be my last long-distance delivery before Christmas 2022.  As soon as the industrial disputes are resolved I will re-arrange deliveries. I apologise for this situation, but I hope you will understand that this is completely beyond my control.

Rebuilt Royal Scot Locomotives Programme

Over the last 6 months we have been working quietly with the builders on the Royal Scot Programme. The objective has been to provide as wide a choice of models as possible within a reasonable programme total volume.

Taking into account our existing reservations and expressions of interest, we plan to limit the total volume of BR/LMS Rebuilt 7P/6P 4-6-0 express passenger locomotives to only 80 Models. Until the production programme is frozen, the final choice of livery and detail fittings will depend on your choice of reservation.

The objective is to offer as wide a variety of models as possible so that you individually have the opportunity to acquire a unique or rare model that you would otherwise never be able to have in top quality ready-to-run museum quality form. However, the variations especially on the Royal Scots were so large that we will not be able to cater for every modification and change over the life of every individual locomotive.    

The programme comprises 4 basic locomotives in historic batting order:

Rebuilt high pressure prototype locomotive 6170/46170 British Legion   10 locomotives
Rebuilt Jubilee (Comet and Phoenix)   10 locomotives
Rebuilt Royal Scot   45 locomotives
Rebuilt Patriot   15 locomotives




We do not plan to make the original large parallel boiler Royal Scot at this stage, but if enough of you are willing to reserve these locomotives, we could possibly add it to the programme. As an indication we would need at least 30 reservations to consider this option.

We do have a bonus announcement to make on the Rebuilt Royal Scot Programme, this a plan to build 30 models of the last two Ivatt modified Princess Coronation (Duchess) 4-6-2 Pacific locomotives at the same time as the other locomotives.  Currently the Duchess programme is planned around:

6256/46256 Sir William A Stanier FRS   25 locomotives
46257 City of Salford   5 locomotives

All models (4-6-0s and 4-6-2s) will be available in either Scale 7 or O gauge Finescale as customer choice.

To assist you in making a choice we will provide a more detailed update on the web pages shortly under each locomotive type.

John Borkowski
12 December 2022

The Guildford Show - Saturday 26 November

Just to remind you that Masterpiece Models is attending the Guildford Show next Saturday at the Spectrum Leisure Complex. This will be the first time we have exhibited there, and we are looking forward to seeing as many of you as are able to come. Unfortunately, there is a national rail strike that day so a number of you have already said that sadly due to the rail strike that you are unable to attend.

If you have a model on order and it is ready, please contact us in advance to arranged with us to bring it to the show for collection. As we want to bring as wide variety of models for display as possible, it will limit the number of speculative customer models that we can bring to the show. So, if you want to collect your model and you have not yet confirmed it with us please contact us this week by Thursday 24 November at the latest.

28XX and 38XX Locomotives
Taking into account our existing reservations we are now down to just a few models either in BR or GWR. When they are gone that will be it, as we are not planning to make any more of these models.

We have just two Modified Halls, two 49XX Collett Halls and four 69XX Collett Halls available. If you want a Hall don’t leave it too long as you will miss the opportunity of acquiring one.

Other locomotives
We still have a good choice of 68XX Granges, 57XX and 8750 Panniers, Class 52 Westerns and some 70XX Castles and 47XX 2-8-0 tender engines left. Please contact us for details of availability.

Weloe Rolling Roads

Rolling Road
We have started shipping our Weloe rolling roads to customers. Postage, packing and insurance for all sizes costs an extra £10 for UK mainland destinations. All rolling road have 10 roller sets. We use them professionally every week and have found them to be excellent in terms of quality and ease of operation. They offer great stability with a low centre of gravity on a rigid stainless-steel base.

     Model.          Gauge.          Base cost.          Post-Packing-Insurance.          UK manland delivery.    
Gauge 1 44.45mm £185 £10 £195
Scale 7 33mm £175 £10  £185
0 Gauge 32mm £175 £10 £185 
P4 18.83 £150 £10  £160
EM 18.2 £150 £10   £160
00/HO 16.5 £150 £10    £160

We will have samples on display and in use at the Guildford Show and a limited stock available for purchase.

We look forward to seeing you at Guildford.

John Borkowski

John Dornom, 1950-2022

Roundhouse 1

John Dornom's model of Swindon A-Shop makes a suberb display piece for GWR/WR Masterpiece models

“Regular visitors to this website will be familiar with the Swindon A-Shop diorama that has made such a superb backdrop for photography of so many Masterpiece models,” writes Adrian Knowles. “It is one of the outstanding creations of John Dornom, an unassuming but highly talented 0 Gauge modeller who very sadly passed away in August.

“John grew up in a railway family and his father was a top link driver at Laira, a shed which inspired several of John’s remarkable models. I first met him in 2004 at his home in Plymouth when Martyn Welch, who had just completed weathering a ‘517’ 0-4-2T arranged for me to go and photograph it inside John’s model of Laira roundhouse. Typically generous with his time and modest about his achievements, John spent the best part of a day assisting me to get the best possible shots, operating the amazing smoke effects to fill the shed with a highly realistic haze.

“Later, Michael Brooks – the founder of Masterpiece Models – purchased John’s Swindon A-Shop model and I regularly photographed MM models on the Swindon diorama – the perfect GWR backdrop for engines in ex-works condition. Upon Michael’s passing in 2019 the Swindon diorama was acquired by John Borkowski who had owned the Masterpiece Models business since 2015, thus maintaining its availability for photography and occasional appearances at exhibitions. It has since appeared in a great many photographs taken for this website.

“John Dornom will be much missed but his work will live on. We have plans to do even more with the Swindon scene in the future.”

Roundhouse 1

Laira roundhouse modelled by John Dornom, hosting a chocolate-liveried '517' 0-4-2T built by Tony Reynalds.