VISIT TO KOREA: John Borkowski is now in Korea until 27 August making the final pre-shipping inspection of the completed 57XX and 8750 Pannier tanks, as well as inspecting work on the GWR/BR 'Grange', 47XX 2-8-0, 'Hall', 28XX/38XX and Class 52 'Western' diesel. It may not be possible to answer enquiries immediately during this time. However, we look forward to meeting as many of you as possible and updating you at Guildex on 1 & 2 September, and the Swindon Railway Festival on 8 & 9 September.

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Latest News, July 2018

At the end of June at very short notice I made a short visit to Incheon to check on the production of the 47XX, 68XX Grange tender engines and the 57XX and 8750 tank engines as well as the Western diesel hydraulic locomotive. This report updates you on where we are in all of these projects.

47XX and 68XX 'Grange'

47XX chassis 1

All the locomotive chassis and tender chassis have now been painted and these are now being assembled with the wheelsets and valve gear. The tender bodies are all complete and are at the painters waiting for the locomotive bodies to be completed. To make sure that we get the painting absolutely right we want to paint the bodies of the locomotives and tenders at the same time.

47XX chassis 2

We are introducing some new technology on these engines that represents a substantial additional investment. This technology makes the models much more user friendly for layout operation. This change requires some design and additional production has resulted in a further delay of two months in completing the engines. It was a difficult decision to make, but we decided the change was so revolutionary it was better to delay the engines to have the improvement rather than to turn them out to the original equipment plan without the technology change. There will be no increase in cost to customers who have ordered the locomotives for the change as we propose to recover the extra cost of a range of new models.

On the 68XX Grange opportunity was taken to check out the oil covers there are 4 different BR types and 1 GWR variation. We are offering all 5 variations.

The plan is to complete the 60 x 47XX and 60 x 68XX models by the end of December with the objective of getting deliveries of existing orders out by Christmas 2018.

BR Standard Class 5

As with the ‘Western’ we have been providing further information for the builders of the details of the Standard Class 5 – in both the Walschaert’s and the Caprotti valve gear versions. The designer has now produced detailed drawings of both types that have been sent to our experts for approval and commentary. We have passed on the experts’ comments to the builders to incorporate the necessary changes in the detailed drawing to prepare for the first pre-production sample model.

28XX and 49XX, plus 6959 'Modified Hall’

This build starts as soon as the Grange and 47XX are finished. We are looking at producing a small range of 6959 Modified Halls at the same time as the 49XX models. On the Modified Hall there are noticeable differences on the front end footplate and smokebox saddle, the cab has the smaller front windows and there is a plate frame front bogie. Most of the engines also had improved draughting higher superheat boilers with ID chimneys that we have made for the 68XX Grange.

If you are interested in a Modified (Hawksworth) Hall do let us know as soon as possible as we need to size the production in the next few months.

On the 28XX the most popular model is the curved frame footplate model with the early Churchward cab. The 2884/38XX (curved frame footplate and Collett cab) and 28XX with the square frame and Churchward cab (perhaps the most interesting version) follow behind. Fortunately there is enough demand to make all 3 versions.

57XX/8750 Pannier Tanks

Pannier 1

This ia a sample engine from the pannier tank production run that we brought back from Korea to be photographed. This is a special configuration, also in Scale 7, ordered by a customer.

The 170 models have been built and painted. They are very attractive machines with lots of detail and full working inside valve gear. The LT versions in red and the GWR versions in green are exceptionally attractive locomotives, but even the GWR and BR black engines also are desirable . However there are some changes that still need to be made to get the build correct where hardly any two engines are alike – this is a painstaking exercise.

As ever, we have discovered some new information at this stage of the build which necessitates some additional modifications. So we are taking time and making the effort to get all this work done in Korea rather than having to undertake the changes in the UK. So much for those who told me that this would be a simple build! The builder is busy with this work programme now and we hope to get the engines into the UK in time for Telford.

Class 52 Western Diesel Hydraulic

The surprise from my visit was the discovery of the second painted sample of the Class 52 Western Diesel Hydraulic locomotive painted in BR Blue with full yellow ends.  The builder has done a great job of incorporating most if not all of the changes that we have requested.

Cl 52 production

The engine room detail shows brilliantly through the engine room windows and also through the side grilles. There are still several minor changes still to make and it seems that there are some visual differences between the Swindon and Crewe-built locomotives that we need to discover and implement in the build programme.

We have compared the model to other production models from other sources and our expert advisers say that there is something about our model which sets it apart from anything else in term of fidelity to the realism of the model to the real locomotive.

We now think the changes that are required are so few that we can now commission the production of the locomotive. So we have pressed the production button this week and the builder hopes to finish the run by the end January 2019. Based on prior experience we think it might be prudent to add perhaps two months to this timetable. The production programme is now being set in terms of locomotive versions and liveries.

The Western, although a simpler build in terms of variations than the 47XX or 70XX 'Castle', still has some limitations dependent on time and individual locomotive. For example we have to make a decision on how many engines from the build are fitted with safety catches on the lower side doors. These were fitted during the Blue Period, but not when the engines were green and maroon, so we are taking a guess at how many cutomers will like early or later liveries. Once the models have been built there cannot be complete interchangeability between all periods. So, if you would like a particular model in a particular livery, I would urge you to consider deciding what you want now, as later in the build the programme will become fixed in term of variations that can be offered and your choice may not be still available.

Commentary on the build programmes

Finally, I would like to thank you all for your patience in waiting for the models to be built. We base our production time estimates on what the builders tell us and we then add a little extra time, typically 2 to 3 months. The problem has been on each build we discover new information during the building phase. Sometimes this is new information on the technical details of the locomotive and other times it is new technology that will improve the operation of our locomotives. A good example is on the 68XX 'Grange' where we discovered that we needed to make 3 different chimneys and 5 different oil covers. The available information on oil covers was very limited which made them very difficult and time consuming to incorporate in the build. We have to make the difficult decision on whether to incorporate the information into the build or make locomotives more quickly that do not fully meet our new information base. Our policy is try to incorporate the new information wherever possible. So although this delays the build, we at least offer a more accurate range of locomotives.

We ask for your continued patience so that we get the builds as accurate as we can.


John Borkowski
11 July 2018.

General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR)

The regulations come into force this week and we will be making contact with you individually to inform you what data we hold on you and how we store it. We will also be requesting your permission to retain this information to use only appropriately as may be required to communicate with you. We can confirm that we only retain any minimal data on you that you have voluntarily provided to enable us to supply you with model locomotives or carry out rectification/repair work. Any data we have in our system is only used by ourselves in relation to transactions in progress or to advise you on current or future projects. No personal data is ever made available by us to third parties.

Reading ALSRM Show

I would like to thank all of you who came to our stand at the Reading Show.  As usual we were very busy for most of the morning and early afternoon and we had a late flurry of visitors just around closing time. As we were a little thinner than planned in terms of manning the stand I hope that this did not result in too many of you giving up without having had a chance to discuss your current topics of interest with us at the show. If there are any important issues you can still call us or email us with your concerns and questions.

Updates on current and future production

Kettering Show 
It was with considerable regret that due to the bad weather (snow and black ice) we had to cancel our attendance at the Kettering Show. So apologies to all of you who attended and were unable to see us there.

 

CURRENT DEVELOPMENTS

In addition to the current production 57XX/8750 Panniers, ‘Granges’ and 47XX, we have been working on three new projects, the Class 52 Western Diesel, BR Standard Class 5 and the 6959 Modified ‘Hall’.

Class 52 Western Diesel Hydraulic
The original prototype model has returned to Korea for modifications and corrections. We went through the list of changes with the builders in detail to make sure that they understood all the changes that were required. We have asked them to build a second pre-production sample incorporating these changes which we hope to have available for the ALSRM Reading show in May.

BR Standard Class 5
As with the ‘Western’ we have been providing further information for the builders of the details of the Standard Class 5 – in both the Walschaert’s and the Caprotti valve gear versions. The designer has now produced detailed drawings of both types that have been sent to our experts for approval and commentary. We have passed on the experts’ comments to the builders to incorporate the necessary changes in the detailed drawing to prepare for the first pre-production sample model.

Modified ‘Hall’
We received a number of requests for the 6959 Modified ‘Hall’ and we have now passed some detailed information to the builders to draw up plans for this locomotive design. The last few Modified ‘Halls’ fitted with mechanical lubricators seem especially popular with you and we are very keen to offer the Modified ‘Hall’ as a variation on our ‘Hall’ build.

There are three options available to us to build the Modified ‘Hall’. First, we could incorporate the Modified ‘Hall’ into our existing Collett ‘Hall’ programme which would mean limiting the conventional Collett ‘Hall’ programme to 40 locomotives and building that last 20 as Modified ‘Halls’. If we carry out this programme, the current Collet ‘Hall’ build would be virtually sold out as we could accept very few additional orders for this type. The second option would be to increase the ‘Hall’ programme and offer 20 to 40 additional locomotives as Modified ‘Halls’. The third option would be to offer the Modified Hall as a separate programme which was our original intention.

To assist us in making the best decision we would like you to contact us as soon as possible if you would be interested in a Modified ‘Hall’. Please also tell us which option best suits your needs. If we select Options 1 or 2 the Modified ‘Hall’ would come out at the same time as the Collett ‘Hall’. If we go for Option 3 there would probably be a delay of at least two years before the Modified ‘Hall’ would enter production.


CURRENT PRODUCTION

57XX/8750 Pannier Tanks
There has been a spate of reservations for pannier tanks over the last few weeks and although we have a large number of engines still available, the choice in some variations has become tight or non-existent. As regards the London Transport locomotives we are only making a total of 20 engines, of which 10 are Scale7 and are already sold out. We only have four LT 0 gauge engines left. Looking at the engines built by Kerr Stuart which had riveted tanks and the earlier style of cab, we have sold out of GWR-liveried examples and there are only a few BR-liveried engines left.

On 8750-series engines with the later style of cab, we have very few BR engines left with small whistle shields and not many BR engines available with top feed. Choice of GWR engines is still good. We have very few Scale 7 engines left. So if you want a Scale 7 version please do let us know as soon as possible as otherwise it may be too late. We did consider putting the availability on the website, but due to the large number of variations and options this is not a practical proposition. So if you would like a Pannier please contact us and we will do our best to provide a locomotive that best fits your specification.

The engines are now well into production and the only options we are a change of number and possibly the emblem as the configuration is now complete. We expect to receive the finished models in June.


68XX ‘Grange’
As with the Panniers, the 68XX are all also well into production and are now at the painting stage. The only option we now have is on BR versions for which we can offer a change of name and or tender. As well as BR lined green there are a few BR black and BR lined black locomotives still available. On the GWR version a change of name would now mean repainting the numbers on the buffer beam. We expect the locomotives to arrive in the UK in July. We have some GWR and BR engines still available. Please let us know if you would like to make a reservation. Scale 7 availability is still good.

47XX 2-8-0 Mixed Traffic Locomotive
Most of the engines have now been reserved but there are still some GWR plain green and some BR plain black and lined green engines available. The lined black BR engines (4702 only) have now all been sold. Scale 7 availability is still good. As with the ‘Grange’, 47XX variations are now very limited to change of numbers. The locomotives are now at the painting stage. We expect the locomotives to arrive in the UK in July.

 

PREVIOUS PRODUCTION

70XX ‘Castles’
We still have a few ‘Castles’ left, including some in GWR and early BR livery. There are also some Scale 7 models available. Please enquire if you would be interested in a reservation.

45XX/4575 Prairie Tanks
As with the Castles we still have a few 45XX and 4575 locomotives left including a few in Scale 7. Please enquire if you would like to make a reservation.

 

NEXT PRODUCTION

28XX and 49XX ‘Hall’
These are scheduled to go into production as soon at the 68XX and 47XX are completed.

Class 52 Western Diesel Hydraulic
This is scheduled to go into production as soon as the Panniers are completed.

Payments
We are running behind on requests for payments! We will endeavour to catch up over the next few weeks.


John Borkowski
4 April 2018.

 

Gauge 0 Guild Spring Show, Kettering

The extreme weather conditions and the risk of travelling with high value models mean that we have reluctantly decided that Masterpiece Models will not be attending the Gauge 0 Guild Spring Show at Kettering on Saturday.

We apologise both to the Guild and the many customers who were hoping to meet us at the show. If you have a specific enquiry please do get in touch in any case.

Our next scheduled exhibition will be the ALSRM show at Reading on 12 May.