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Western diesels and 57XX panniers confirmed for production

D1000 old oak common 1964Following a tremendous response from people who have registered their interest in our proposed model of the Class 52 'Western' diesel, we are delighted to be able to tell you that the model has now been confirmed for production. We plan to build models of the entire class, covering the examples built at Swindon and Crewe and incorporating the key modifications made during the life of these charismatic locomotives. We are offering the full gamut of liveries, with additional mini-editions of D1000 Western Enterprise in 'Desert Sand' livery and D1015 Western Champion in Golden Ochre.

Our Western diesels will be constructed by the same builder who is making such a fabulous job of our GWR/BR 4500/4575 class prairie tanks. While he was in the UK a couple of weeks ago we took the opportunity of visiting the Severn Valley Railway where he was able to see, photograph and measure D1062 Western Courier. This quick, preliminary survey will shortly be augmented by a full laser scan of the actual locomotive, courtesy of owners the Western Locomotive Association who have kindly offered full access to both D1062 and D1013 Western Ranger.

The Class 52 is a large and complex locomotive and we are determined that the Masterpiece Models 7mm scale version will, quite simply, be the best ready-to-run 'Western' ever made. Every deatil of the originals will be faithfully reproduced, with particular attention being paid to the intricate shapes around the cab ends and tumblehome. At present the plans include double traction motors for superlative haulage, working fans and illuminated features. The models will be available in a choice of 7mm finscale or ScaleSeven at no additional cost, as well as 'Maybach' sound as standard!

Clearly this cannot be a cheap exercise; at £3,300 (allowing for the fall in the valiue of Sterling) the price of our Class 52 is comparable to a medium-size steam locomotive model, despite the exchange rate uncertainties introduced by Brexit. You can now reserve the locomotive of your choice HERE for a modest deposit.

57XXThe other top news this month is that we have also confirmed production of our 57XX (and 8750) GWR/BR pannier tanks. Most of the pre-production work has already been completed and a pre-production model will be available to view before the end of this year, with the completed models are expected to be available in Spring 2017.

As the class was ultimately so large (863 engines) we don't intend to produce a model of each. To make make sense of this build it's necessary to restrict the number of variables in the build, although the great majority of variations will be catered for, including:

  • Earlier or later styles of cab
  • With or without steam heating
  • With or without ATC
  • Riveted or flush tanks
  • With or without top feed
  • Polished or painted safety valve bonnets
  • With or without cab shutters and doors
  • With or without additional bunker steps and handrails
  • Smaller/larger whistle shields
  • Brass/cast iron number plates
  • The engines built by outside contractors will carry appropriate builder's plates

For the sake of simplicity we will not build the 97XX condensing engines, neither will we build the 6700-59 series which appeared only with steam bakes and three link couplings. Also excluded are engines 5768 and 5770-78 which had different boilers featuring an external steam pipe running from the dome to the steam fountain. We will not be producing spark-arresting chimneys.

L90 SNOWHowever, due to strong levels of interest we will also include a batch of London Transport panniers in their distinctive Metropolitan dark red livery. These will feature  LT trip-cock apparatus, revised cabs and rainstrips, LT-style lamp brackets, reporting number frames and red-painted coupling rods.

RESERVATIONS ARE NOW OPEN FOR THE 57XX / 8750 PANNIER TANKS. Click HERE for details..

John Borkowski
7 August 2016

Update 28 June 2016

45XX/4575
The builders are still working on the final sample models, which are due to be despatched this week. We have also fixed the production programme in line with the announcement we made on June 1 and the locomotives are now being be built at the factory by the builders to that specification. We have now finalised the production programme, which is as follows:

45XX Flat Tanks 110 locomotives

  • 45XX Type 1 15 locomotives
  • 45XX Type 2 15 locomotives
  • 45XX Type 3 35 locomotives
  • 45XX Type 4 45 locomotives

4575 Sloping Tanks 50 Locomotives

If you want a 45XX/4575 locomotive and you have not yet ordered, please do hurry up as there are only two weeks left in which we can change the specification and this is now limited to the livery. After that time we will have a fixed set of engines and liveries.

Total production of the 45XX/4575 is fixed at 160 locomotives, the majority of which have now been sold. There are still some locomotives available in most categories except the very earliest versions of Type 1, which are now sold out. We will be requesting second payments shortly now that we have put the locomotives into production.

70XX 'Castle'
0460We have now fixed the production programme for the 100 locomotives and made one significant change. Due to the high level of interest in 7013 Bristol Castle (Davies and Metcalf (D&M) valveless lubricator double chimney locomotives), we have decided to offer the additional names of all the engines that received the D&M lubrication system with 70XX 4-row superheater boilers and double chimneys. These locomotives have been included in the 100 locomotive production by reducing some of the other names options, although all the engines from 7000 to 7037 will be made.

So in addition to Bristol Castle we can now offer in D&M lubricator/double chimney form:

  • 4087 Cardigan Castle
  • 4088 Dartmouth Castle
  • 5083 Reading Abbey
  • 7014 Caerhays Castle

Interest in the double chimney locomotives has increased in recent weeks and currently they are in a significant lead over the single chimney locomotives in terms of reservations. Whatever your chimney preference there are still some interesting locomotives available for sale, so do contact us for your interest and requirement. As the production programme is now fixed to meet our production target date, we are restricted on choice for the unreserved engines to changes in livery and swapping tenders to a limited extent.

0494

The part-built pre-production models reveal the astounding level of cab detail being incorporated in the 70XX series 'Castles'. Much more still will be included on the finished locomotives.

John Borkowski
28 June 2016

 

 

Update 2 June 2016

45XX/4575

0407
The builders are still working on the final sample models, which are due in the next two weeks. We have a part-finished 4575 model (above), which will be available for view at Doncaster. The 45XX/4575 programme has become far more complex than originally planned as the variations in configuration of these locomotives over their working lives is enormous.

We have now finalised the production programme, which is as follows:

45XX Flat Tanks: 110 locomotives

• 45XX Type 1 Earliest Wolverhampton built engines in GWR green, 8 locomotives
(Short chassis, small low bunker, no top feed, short smokebox, tapered cast iron chimney, square drop plate footplate)

• 45XX Type 1 Earliest Swindon built engines in GWR green, 7 locomotives
(Short chassis, small low bunker, no top feed, short smokebox, parallel cast iron chimney, square drop plate footplate)

• 45XX Type 2 Modified Type 1 engines in GWR green, 15 locomotives
(Short chassis, small taller bunker, top feed, extended smokebox, parallel cast iron chimney, square drop plate foot plate)

• 45XX Type 3 Modified Type 1 or 2 engines with long chassis and packed rear buffer beam, tall extended bunker, top feed, extended smokebox, tapered cast iron chimney. 35 locomotives

Type 3.1A1 GWR green square drop plate, no ATC, 5 locomotives

Type 3.1A2 GWR green square drop plate, ATC, 5 locomotives

Type 3.1B BR Black square drop plate, ATC, locomotives

Type 3.1C BR green square drop plate, ATC, side handrails, 10 locomotives

Type 3.2A GWR green curved drop plate, ATC, locomotives

Type 3.2B BR green curved drop plate, ATC, locomotives

• 45XX Type 4 Locomotives curved drop plate footplate, long chassis, tall extended bunker, extended smokebox, top feed, tapered cast iron chimney. 45 locomotives

Type 4A1 GWR green, no ATC, locomotives

Type 4A2 GWR green, ATC, 1locomotives

Type 4B BR black, ATC, locomotives

Type 4C BR green, ATC, 20 locomotives

4575 Sloping Tanks: 50 Locomotives

Type 5A GWR green, 25 locomotives

Type 5B BR Black, 10 locomotives

Type 5C1 BR green, 10 locomotives

Type 5C2 BR green with side hand rails 5 locomotives

Total production of the 45XX/4575 is planned as 160 locomotives.

70XX 'Castles'
We now have the 70XX Castle samples here in the UK, which arrived late last week from Korea. There is a complete single chimney locomotive, the new Hawksworth tender, a heavily modified Collett 4000 gallon tender and a partially-built double chimney locomotive body representing the “odd man out” 7013 Bristol Castle. Bristol Castle has the earlier 4073 type cab and the Davies and Metcalf mechanical lubricator together with the lubricator oil tank (reservoir) on the right had side of the smokebox. It is quite a beast with its imposing double chimney and intricate lubrication pipework. It has that presence of power that only a Castle with a double chimney has on an enthusiast’s eye.

0390

For those of you who don’t like Castles with double chimneys, there is always the single chimney locomotive to fall back on. But do give the double chimney models a chance as they do grow on you, especially if you are lucky enough to see a real preserved locomotive such as 5043 Earl of Mount Edgcumbe. Please note that there are still a number of modifications to be made before these models finally go into production, including the correct spring settings for the tenders which are currently riding too high.

0367Tenders are often a difficult topic with individuals often having very strong opinions for or against particular designs. As a boy owning a Hornby Dublo Bristol Castle, I always favoured the Collett 4000 gallon tender over the Hawksworth variant. I now have been pouring over the two sample tenders continually swapping them over behind the single chimney Castle sample model. After much thought I have come to the conclusion that it is dead heat and that I like the Hawksworth tender behind a Castle just as much as the Collett version. We are offering customers the opportunity to take up two tenders with their Castle locomotive. So far there are only a few takers, but I would urge those who select individual Castle locomotives that swapped tenders during their particular era of interest to consider the option of a second tender.

We have been approached by two customers who want their 70XX Castles to be in the 1948 condition, just after nationalisation, which is basically GWR livery but with BRITISH RAILWAYS on the tender. This is an interesting combination as it allows many more 70XX models to be in what is virtually GWR livery with all the early features. So if you are a GWR buff and your 70XX never had GWR livery with Great Western on the tender, do think about the 1948 BRITISH RAILWAYS option.

7007earlyBR

We are very impressed with the sample models that represent a major step forward both in terms of detail and technology improvement on our earlier models. It has a new drive chain (completely new gearbox and motor) as well as split axles that eliminate conventional or plunger pick-ups that are frequently a cause of electrical conductivity problems. The new technology means a huge improvement in running performance. So all you modellers with layouts both O gauge and S7 should really be able to appreciate the changes.

The builders are now pressing me to start full-scale production, but before we do this we are having the sample models extensively checked our by our panel of experts. We will then go back with the inevitable list of changes and corrections to incorporate into the production models.

The Castles will also be on display at the O Gauge Doncaster Show on Saturday (June 4th). We look forward to seeing everyone there.

0373

John Borkowski
02 June 2016

Update 6 May 2016

I have just returned from an extended visit with the builders in Korea and this is just a brief update with more to follow later.

The big news is that the 70XX ‘Castle’ will overtake the 45XX and become the first new Masterpiece Models locomotive since I took the business over. We expect the ‘Castle’ to enter production in June and to be complete at the beginning of August. The 45XX/4575 will follow a few weeks later. We hope to have both locomotive types available at Telford with samples of both models here in the UK by the end of May.

I will provide you with a more comprehensive report after the Reading show.

Meanwhile, here are some photos of work in progress in Korea – one of the 70XX ‘Castles’, a Collett 4,000 gallon tender which has undergone many modifications and refinements compared to the tenders that shipped with earlier models, and the very interesting Hawksworth 4,000 gallon tender.

Enjoy!

70XX Castles under construction

7000 drivers side

7000lubricator detail3

70XXchassis

70XXchassis2

70XXchassis4  7013 lubricator system

70XX 'Castles' under construction, with (above right) the special lubricator system on No. 7013.

 

Hawksworth 4,000 gallon tender

HawksworthTender11

 HawksworthTender6  HawksworthTender7

 

Collett 4,000 gallon tender

CollettTender2

CollettTender11 

CollettTender6  CollettTender7

John Borkowski
06 May 2016

Update 25 April 2016

45XX/4575
We finalised the tank rivet patterns for the 6 different model types at the end of last week. Tomorrow Tuesday (26th April) I am travelling out to Korea to finalise the build of all the 6 models. We still have to go over some of the chassis detail on Types 1 and 2, which have completely different brake gear and pull rods than the other later versions as we are determined to get all these details as correct as is possible. The inclusion of the 6th variant, basically a Type 3 extended rear buffer beam with a curved drop plate over the front of the cylinders, makes another interesting model for either the GWR or BR Western region periods. Production will commence next week although the manufacture of components has already been in progress for many weeks.

Reservations continue to flow in every week with Types 1, 4 and 5 (4575) being in high demand. If you want an early type (Types 1 and 2), do please get your reservation in during the next few weeks otherwise you may miss out on these versions, as there are not many slots left.

70XX Castle
As already reported, work on this model continues at a rapid pace, and the builder is now well down the path of manufacturing all the key components. We have also ordered the new motors and work is underway on the revised gearbox design. I plan to go over all the design changes in great detail with the builders so that they are fully incorporated in the finished model.

On the sales side demand continues to be strong with many customers continuing to opt for the Scale 7 version. In general Scale 7 demand has been very much higher than for previous Masterpiece Models’ locomotives.

GWR Tender Locomotives
Sales of all of these locomotive types have been brisk, especially for the 47XX and 28XX 2-8-0 locomotives. I am taking over all the detailed changes to be incorporated in the locomotive drawings for all types. We will be discussing all the changes in detail with the builders to ensure that they are fully incorporated in the locomotives. I will also discuss the production programme with the builders to see how we can best plan the production to meet a realistic timetable.

Spare Wheels Sets
We have had several requests for wheels and we will try to incorporate the requests in the wheel production programme. If anyone else wants wheels, please remember that there may not be much time left to secure additional wheels for the 45XX/4575 and 70XX.

If you are interested in in the supply of complete wheel sets please contact me with your requirements.

Pre-owned Masterpiece Models
At present we still have available one Masterpiece Models Duchess (non streamlined) in LMS livery and an early GWR livery Star. Both models are in O gauge finescale. If anyone is interested in acquiring these models, which are in superb A1 condition, please contact me for further information.

Future Locomotive Programmes
I plan to discuss the A3 and 57XX Pannier locomotives with the builders for the 2017 Programme. Work on the Pannier is already at an advanced stage. So production of this model could proceed quickly.

Class 52 D1000 Western Diesel-Hydraulic
We have had an amazingly positive response from a large number of people for this locomotive. I will discuss it in detail with the builders to determine a realistic retail price and to see if we can proceed with it in 2017. If it is commercially viable we will build it to exceptional standards with great attention to producing exact accurate wheels and full detail.

I will be in Korea from 26 April and back in the UK on 5 May. While there I will try to respond to your requests and enquiries, as best I can, but please do bear in mind that I will be working 12 to 15 hour days while out there.

Future Shows
Just to let you know that we will be exhibiting at the ALSRM show at Reading on Saturday 7th May and also at the Doncaster O Gauge Summer Show on Saturday 4th June. I very much hope to make acquaintance of as many of you as possible at these shows, so do please come and visit us on our stand at both events.

John Borkowski
25 April 2016