Exceptional museum quality model locomotives for modellers, enthusiasts and collectors

Telford 2017 & project news

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.

'Granges', 47XX 2-8-0s and 57XX pannier well advanced in production

Our next beautiful models – the ever-popular GWR/BR 68XX ‘Granges’ and the 57XX/8750 pannier tanks have now passed the pre-production stage. The builders have been instructed on all the necessary changes and modifications and the locomotives are currently in production.

6853 1

68XX ‘Grange’ 4-6-0
Although we are only producing 60 ‘Granges’ – 48 as BR locomotives and only 12 GWR engines, thus reflecting the preferences expressed in orders received – the engines are available in all configurations. As the models have moved to production we have had to decide on names, numbers and details, but for a limited period we can still cater for almost all the possibilities: In addition to the standard ‘Grange’ chimney, many in later BR days were equipped with taller Improved Draughting (ID) chimneys, while the ‘Hall’ type chimneys were comparatively rare, but we can offer all these. You can see images of the chimneys HERE.

All four tender types used by the ‘Granges’ – Churchward 3,500 gallon, Collett 3,500 gallon, Collett 4,000 gallon and even the Hawksworth 4,000 gallon are available. Liveries are GWR Plain Green, BR Black, BR Lined Black and BR Lined Green. So if you would like to order a 68XX Grange, especially in ScaleSeven, please don’t leave it too long as your choice of engine will become much more limited as we move forward with the production.

47XX 1

47XX 2-8-0
We are making two basic versions of the 47XX, one in GWR configuration from 1930 until 1948 and the second covering the BR period. The standard offering is either the Churchward low sided 3,500 gallon tender or the high-sided Collett 4,000 gallon tender.

Both the 47XX and the ‘Grange’ will incorporate the new technology and improvements that we introduced with the 70XX ‘Castles’, such as split axles, horn-block pickups, as well as our superb new motor and fully enclosed gearbox with ball or roller bearings on all shafts. There will only be 60 models of the 47XX and a very large proportion has already been reserved, so if you want a particular configuration, please don’t leave it too late – once we have fixed the production we have very limited scope for changes.

57XX 457XX/8750 pannier tank
Building on the acclaim accorded to our super-detailed 45XX prairie tanks we are introducing a further innovation with the 57XX/8750 pannier tanks which will now have separately-designed chassis for finescale 0 gauge and ScaleSeven, to the exact correct width. Only 30 ScaleSeven models will be made, so if you want one you need to order it as soon as possible. The models will also have fully detailed cabs and smokeboxes, highly visible working valve gear with a double crank centre axle, split axles with hornblock pick-ups, together with a totally enclosed helical gearbox and a powerful coreless motor.

Production volumes are now fixed and we are producing 80 57XX engines with the earlier style of cab and fittings (including a few Kerr Stuart examples with riveted tanks), and 70 models of the 8750 engines with the later cabs and other differences. Also available are 20 London Transport 57XX panniers; we have gone to considerable lengths to ensure that the livery and detail differences for these engines will be correct.

Liveries for the main production will be GWR Green, GWR Black, BR Black and BR lined Black. With more than 800 possible running numbers across this class we are leaving number selection open as long as possible, but the deadline for choosing is 1 September, so don’t delay if you want to be sure of your favourite!

John Borkowski
11 July 2017

Reading and Doncaster

It was good to see so many of you at the Reading show. It was a busy day on the stand until late afternoon and it was good to be able to meet you all and discuss issues of interest and importance.

The delivery cycle for the 45XX/4575 prairie tanks and 70XX ‘Castles’ continues but is inevitably a slow process. We are determined to deliver the models to you in pristine condition and our experience of the poor treatment of packages in the hands of couriers and in the post has made us resolve to deliver all models personally to our British clients if at all possible. With customers scattered widely across the UK and 250 models to deliver, this is a mammoth task. Of course, even when we plan a delivery trip that looks likely to encompass many deliveries, there are inevitably customers who have prior or more important commitments that reduce your availability to see me.

One way of speeding things up is to hand models over to customers at exhibitions. At Reading we were able to hand over quite a few models to customers who had notified us of this as requested on our website. Sadly, however, several customers came along hoping to collect their models, but because they had not let us know in advance we did not have the models with us. We have capacity to take about 50 models to shows, but we cannot bring them all.

About 15 customers have already asked to collect their models at the Gauge 0 Guild summer Show at Doncaster next Saturday – IF YOU WOULD ALSO LIKE TO COLLECT YOUR MODEL AT DONCASTER IT’S VITAL TO LET US KNOW BY THURSDAY 1ST JUNE AT THE LATEST. That way we can ensure your model is packed.

For the future we plan to arrange to arrange regional collection points around the UK (possibly in a hotel or other meeting place) where we can hand models to customers without having to visit everyone individually. This should mean that most people will receive their models much faster with no risk of damage.

John Borkowski

47XX and 'Grange' into production, 'Castle' and Prairie deliveries

The top news this week is that we have now given the go-ahead for production of the 47XX 2-8-0 and 68XX ‘Grange’, and work has already started in Korea.

Back in the UK we are making excellent progress on the delivery of the 270 models (70XX ‘Castles’ and 45XX/4575 prairie tanks) recently arrived from Korea, but early deliveries suffered damage from very poor treatment at the hands of couriers and the Post Office, so we have taken the decision that wherever possible we will deliver the models personally, by hand. As you can imagine this is a massive task, but we are drawing up travel schedules to try to get the locomotives out as fast as possible. Although yet again we find ourselves apologising for delays as a result of this, we feel it is far better to ensure your model(s) arrives safely, than risk damage in transit. We hope you agree.

We were able to supply around 20 locomotives to customers at the ALSMR Reading Show last Saturday. We had asked customers to let us know in advance if they wished to collect their models at the show but not everybody did this, resulting in some disappointment. We are very happy to bring models to any show we are attending for collection in person, but we do need to know in advance so we can ensure we have the right models with us. Thank you very much all of you who came to our stand at Reading. I am sorry if you had to wait to speak with me as it was very busy.

For overseas deliveries we have designed and are making bespoke wooden boxes, which again should give the models ample protection from the ravages of transport.

Unavoidably I now have to be abroad for a few days, returning on 17 May. Although I hope to have internet access I cannot guarantee rapid replies to enquiries during that time, but you can contact my colleague Adrian Knowles by email, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

John Borkowski

70XX 'Castles' and 45XX/4575 prairie tanks now in the UK

Just to let all our very patient customers know that the full consignment of 70XX 'Castles' arrived at Heathrow yesterday and the 45XX/4575 priarie tanks have arrived this afternoon. It is likely to take a couple of days for them to clear customs so we are expecting them to arrive at our storage facility before the end of this week, whereupon we will immediately commence distribution to customers.

We will shortly be contacting customers to make the necessary arrangements and we will be requesting payment of any outstanding sums due.

It feels like the end of a very long road, but all the lessons we have learnt in raising the standards for these models are being applied to the next projects in the pipeline – the 57XX/8750 pannier tanks, 47XX 2-8-0s and 'Grange' 4-6-0s, the former due for delivery within a few months and the tender locos in late 2017/early 2018. After those will follow the 'Western' diesel hydraulic (also due for delivery in early 2018), the 49XX 'Halls' and 28XX/2884 2-8-0s. 

Now that we have overcome the production 'gap' that resulted from the change of ownership of Masterpiece Models we expect to maintain a much tighter schedule of new model deliveries.

John Borkowski