We are looking forward to seeing you at Guildex, Telford, on 2 & 3 September where we will be making a surprise announcement. Make sure you drop by our stand to hear the latest exciting news!
We will bring all locomotives that buyers have requested to collect at the show except the Scale7 Superwheel Castles which are not quite ready yet. So, if you have not fully paid for your model, would you please bring your chequebook or cash to complete the transaction when you come to our stand. We will try to bring a few extra locomotives for sale at the show, but due to space and weight there will be limited choice. If a locomotive that we don’t have at the show takes your fancy, we will arrange to deliver it to you afterwards.
Delivery of Models 45XX/4575 and 70XX ‘Castles’
Over the past few weeks we have been delivering both the 45XX/4575 Prairies and 70XX ‘Castle’ models. Some models have been switched from O gauge to Scaleseven and vice versa due to customer requests for particular locomotives. This has kept both me and the UK engineers working on our models very busy indeed, switching chassis and bodies and changing wheelsets. This has particularly affected Scaleseven Superwheels on ‘Castles’ where we are behind schedule due to the fact that the wheels were not fitted by the builders on the locomotives in Korea. We are concentrating on getting the models to you in correct condition and meeting your gauge requirements. We also have had a number of modellers who have switched from DCC/Sound back to basic DC locomotives. On the 45XX/4575 this means dismantling the body and chassis and also in some cases changing the wiring which has delayed some deliveries.
What we have found is that both models are quite delicate due to the high level of detail provided. Consequently they are vulnerable to shock and if dropped by couriers they can and have suffered considerable damage. This means that the damaged locomotives may need to be returned to the builders in Korea, which is time consuming, bureaucratic, difficult to achieve, and expensive. We are delivering the models as fast as we can, so we would ask you to contact us if you have not yet had your model so that we can arrange deliveries in an orderly way. For many of you we still do not have postal addresses, so this makes it very difficult for us to arrange personal delivery. The approach we are adopting is to organise deliveries to collection points – mainly railway stations – and asking you to make a short journey to meet us there to collect your model. For those of you who are not able to travel to make these journeys we will try make sure that we deliver models in person to your postal address, but this necessarily sometimes takes more time to arrange. I hope that you will understand our situation.
If you would like to collect your model at Guildex please let us know as soon as possible so that we don’t miss the opportunity to make the delivery. Those of you who have already contacted us do not need to do so again.
We still have a few 4575 and 45XX Type 3 models available in O Gauge and one or two others in the other types, mainly in Scale7. On the 70XX ‘Castles’ we still have some interesting engines available both in O Gauge and S7. We can also provide some more ‘Castles’ with Scale 7 superwheels if required, as we have made up an extra set of wheels.
57XX/8750 Pannier Production
The pannier is now in production but we are still discovering new information, which we are incorporating into the build. One of the areas that is most difficult to replicate is the cab interior detail as it varies considerably by individual locomotive. So, while we cannot economically make 170 different cab layouts, we are paying a lot more attention to ensuring that the cab interiors are appropriate for the individual types. We have now finalised the production types as we don’t have the luxury of waiting any longer. We have determined the production on the basis of the reservations that we have had so far. This is always a risky approach as we have made mistakes in the past on the Prairie build when we made too few early models (Types 1 and 2).
We are also making the Scale 7 models with chassis to realistic scale width rather than using the same chassis as 0 gauge, so this means we have to pre-allocate the S7 models and no longer have the ability to retro-fit models with alternative gauged wheels as was possible with the 45XX Prairies and 70XX ‘Castles’. This means that we will be making just 30 S7 models, so if you want one please don’t leave it too long, especially if you would like a GWR locomotive. In fact, we have already sold out of LT Panniers in S7, so if you want one in LT we have to switch a chassis off another type of locomotive (plus adding all the LT fitments)!
The high degree of interest in the London Transport version of which we are making 20 models is quite remarkable. We feel that there is something special in the LT engines – partly the livery, but also the work they undertook for LT and their longevity beyond the BR locomotives into the 1970s. This view is clearly supported by other modellers and collectors. So if you would like an LT Pannier get in quick as they are selling fast.
The Pannier completion date is still under discussion with the builders. We hope to have the models available by the end of the year, which probably means delivery starting in January 2018.
47XX and 68XX ‘Grange’ Production
Both of these models are well into production now. This has been quite a feat of juggling, especially with the 68XX ‘Grange’, which is available with four different tender types. Many ‘Granges’ started with the Churchward 3,500 gallon tender and then progressed to the Collett types, both the 3,500 intermediate tender and the larger, better known 4,000 gallon tender, sometimes switching back to Churchward tenders. To accommodate potential customer choice we plan to make a few extra tenders of different types, especially in lined BR Green livery. If you would like a ‘Grange’ in BR lined or unlined black very few models are available, so please do not wait too long as the provision we have made will be gone and then it will be too late to change the colour once painting has started.
The 47XX is also available in BR lined black for 4702. This was the only locomotive in this livery and has proved to be very popular. There are only four models allocated in this livery and three have already gone so there is only one left. If you would like it, move fast!
Our expectation is delivery probably in January 2018 at the same time as the Pannier tanks.