All 139 models safely arrived in the hold of a Korean Airlines B777 aircraft at London Heathrow Airport. We presented No. 140 to Mr Song, our builder, in gratitude for all his hard work on this project, especially recovering from the factory fire in 2019. The engines were quickly cleared by HM Customs and the models have now been received in our warehouse.
Ros and I have spent the last 10 days carrying out detailed visual checks on all the models and we are extremely pleased with the appearance of the locomotives. The placing of the models by the builders in the eight large packaging boxes proved to be far from sequential. This has meant a lot of sorting out at this end to ensure that all the specifications for each model are correct. The variety of the models, with livery and configuration differences means that there are quite a large number of variations to be examined and checked. Bryan, Adrian, Ros and I have had a good look at a selection of engines and we all feel that the appearance is outstanding and probably the Western is best locomotive ever offered under the Masterpiece Models brand.
Due to software upgrades by the decoder manufacturers ESU (circumstances beyond our control), every engine will have to have the decoders reprogrammed and the wiring circuitry checked before they can be delivered to customers. Bryan Robertson is carrying out this Herculean task (with a little help from me). We are concentrating on upgrading the ordered locomotives first and then the plan is to work through the others. We think it will take around eight weeks to complete all 139 engines.
Much of this work could have been carried out in Korea had we been able to travel out there to perform the normal checks. As you all know, the COVID-19 travel restriction have made it impossible to visit Korea – our last visit was in December 2019.
We are now so close to being able to deliver your ordered models and we thank all customers for their considerable patience. We will now press on with the final checks as fast as we can so that you receive your model in the shortest possible time.
MORE PHOTOS COMING VERY SOON!
GWR / BR(W) Prairie tanks
We have one 4575 sloping tank prairie in BR lined green with the earlier Lion-over-Wheel emblem fitted with Scale7 wheels. All the other engines have been sold. We have three engines which have been sold and not yet delivered due to wheel reconfiguration or delayed due the COVID 19 Pandemic. We expect to be able to supply these engines fairly shortly.
We are taking enquires /reservations for second hand engines as many of you are still requesting these models.
Collett Halls, Modified Halls and 28XX 2-8-0 Freight Locomotives
The builders are still assembling these models after painting. It is a slow process with reduced labour force. As I explained before, the COVID-19 regulations are very strict in Korea, so the factories have to work very carefully to comply with the law. We don’t want to rush the production, as that could result in us having to make large numbers of corrections here in the UK.
John Borkowski / 16 July 2021