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The Halls and 28/38XX 2-8-0s have landed!

I am sorry that there has not been an update for a while. It’s always a major task when a new consignment of models arrives, but I am pleased to report that the GWR/BR Halls and 28XXs have landed safely from South Korea.

The delay was partly due to the fact that flights from Korea now have to go via at least one intermediate stopping point due to the current ban on flying over Russian airspace. The international situation has also resulted in a near quadrupling of the shipping costs, but at least these new models are now here in the UK. 

Halls, Modified Halls and 28XX/38XX

We have been busy opening each box and checking the contents – all appears to be good, and indeed most impressive. We test-ran two Collett Halls and two GWR 28XXs. They all ran beautifully smoothly, and the low speeds possible with the 28XX have to be seen to be fully appreciated. 

I am taking a short break at the moment – still recovering from the after-effects of Covid – but when I get back we will start the detailed checking process and preparation of the models for delivery. I will contact each buyer individually as each locomotive is released for sale. 

There are still a very few Halls available, as well as a few curved-frame 28XXs in BR and GWR plain green liveries. After we have checked them all we will post revised lists on the website, together with new photographs.

Class 52 Western Diesel

We have now passed the halfway mark on the enhancement programme and there are a number of engines ready to be delivered. I will get in touch with you individually to make the delivery arrangements after I complete my short break.

I hope you are all able to enjoy a bit of sunshine as Northern Hemisphere summer approaches!

John Borkowski
17 May 2022.

Shipment of Halls and 28XX and the Albury Show

Halls 28 38 despatch

The Halls and the 28XX locomotives have left the factory and have been taken to Inchon Airport.

Due to the shortage of air freight capacity arrival in the UK is not possible until early next week as the flight is expected to be over the weekend. As a consequence we regret these locomotives will not be available at the Albury Scale 7 show on Saturday 30 April. We will however have other engines on display together with one of our dioramas. The Western Diesel will also be on show.  

We look forward to seeing all those of you who able to come.

Festival of Model Railways 19-20 March, Alexandra Palace

I was kindly invited to participate on the Scaleseven Stand on Saturday and Sunday at the festival. It is more than 4 years since I last attended this show and it was interesting to see the mixed attendance including young people, children, families and even a few TV personalities. I don’t watch much TV these days, but some of the personalities were familiar faces even to me. I am sorry that I did not give you advance warning of my attendance, but I was not expecting to be demonstrating models, least of all my own production! 

The job I had there at the show was to run some production Scale 7 models, a 4575 prairie and ‘Western King’ on Saturday, and ‘Western King’ plus 7000 Castle ‘Viscount Portal’ on Sunday, up and down a short piece of Scale7 track. Lots of diesel engine noise, slow steam chuffing, whistle and horn sounds as the locomotives moved slowly backwards and forwards over 1.5 metres of S7 hand built 2 bolt GWR Bullhead track. Then the next job was turning the locomotives upside down to examine the wheels/flanges, drive mechanism and inside valve gear. Young people were especially interested. Everyone seemed to be enjoying two days out and some semblance of normality.

The bad news is that I have caught COVID which means that I am somewhat limited in work that I can do until I recover and test negative. So I am happy to take calls and emails, but my response may be slower than usual, so please accept my apologies for the lack of rapid response. Sadly I will have to delay the delivery of some Westerns and Castles as I have to self-isolate. I will contact all of you who may be affected by this delay. So far my experience of COVID seems relatively benign, but one never knows until recovery is complete

John Borkowski
21 March 2022

Kettering show report

Kettering show

We were allocated stand Number 20 in the corner near the exit doors, in the same position that we had when we last exhibited at Kettering. Ros, Bryan and I served on the stand and we were pretty busy most of the Show. This was the first chance for the public to take a close look at our Western diesel-hydraulics and they certainly generated a lot of interest. We had all livery options on display except maroon with small yellow buffer beams.

Bryan demonstrated the sound and lighting feature of several Westerns so that customers and visitors to the stand could see them in action. This included start-up of the first and second engines, illuminating lights in the cabs, the engine room, the headcode boxes and working the red and white indicator lights. Ten Westerns were handed over to customers who had come to collect them in person.

As well as dealing with many enthusiastic enquiries about the Westerns, we also had a number of steam locomotives on display including 57XX/8750 Panniers, 47XX 2-8-0s, 68XX Granges and 70XX Castles. Two customer models in lightly weathered condition were also on show, plus a Grange and 47XX both in BR lined green.

We would like to thank everyone who came to the stand and apologise to those of you who had to wait to be served or perhaps were unable to be served.

Next Show

Our next show will be the Scaleseven Group National Spring Show to be held at Albury Village Hall, Albury Hertfordshire – not far from Bishops Stortford – on Saturday 30 April 2022. 10am to 4pm. The address is The Bourne, Albury, Herts SG11 2JD. Travel by car is the only practical way of getting to and from the venue as it is not served by public transport. We plan to bring all of our various models for display and, on request, models for collection. Please put this date in your diary and we hope to see you there.

John Borkowski
10 March 2022

Update 23 February 2022

Western Diesels
We have upgraded the firmware and reprogrammed the decoders on 125 locomotives with 14 engines still to go to complete this part of the programme. The drive train has been enhanced with a new design feature on 40 engines with complete engines now being delivered to customers. We will be delivering more locomotives to customers individually by hand and at the Kettering Show. Following our programme of enhancement the models – both O gauge and Scale 7, – have been through a pre-delivery proving programme on our test track and I am delighted to say they run beautifully at all speeds, fully meeting our expectations. The remaining locomotives are now also going through the enhancement programme.

Review of the Western in the March Edition of Model Rail Magazine

Model Rail Western

Model Rail magazine kindly requested that we submit samples of the Western for review by their editorial staff. In the March edition a green ‘Western Emperor’ in Scale 7 and a maroon ‘Western Druid’ in 0 gauge are reviewed by George Dent and David Lowery. Here are a few of their comments:

“The Ultimate Western - Stunning”
“Captures the look of the prototype perfectly”
“There’s no doubt that Masterpiece Models has achieved its aim of producing as close a replica of the Class 52 as possible…”

If you would like to read the details pick up a copy of the magazine – it is also full of articles and ideas to enhance your models and layouts.

Kettering Show 5 March
You will be able to see the new ‘Westerns’ in person at the Kettering Show – their first public outing. We are on stand Number 20 in the corner near the exit doors, which I think is the same position that we had when we last exhibited at Kettering in 2019. Ros and I look forward to seeing you all there.

John Borkowski  23 February 2022