I have just returned from a long trip to Incheon, South Korea to inspect progress on the 57XX/8750 Panniers and the 47XX 2-8-0 and 68XX Grange 4-6-0 tender engines.
57XX and 8750 Panniers
After very many changes the Panniers will at last be ready to be shipped at the beginning of September. We will have a few representative production models for display at Telford and Swindon, so that you can all see what the models look like. As soon as the shipped models are here in the UK, we will make arrangements to get them distributed as fast as possible.
Overall there is still quite a good choice of models still available, although we have only a few riveted 57XX early cab engines left. There are comparatively few Scale 7 engines left. We managed to find one extra S7 London Transport engine that is now available for sale, but otherwise LT engine availability is now essentially limited to O gauge finescale (6 engines).
We are sorry it has taken so long but the delay is essentially down to the build complexity with over 50 different types, just too many variations. In future we will have to simplify the build programme as such a large number of variations is virtually impossible to build and police. Who told us that Panniers are simple standard engines to build?
47XX and 68XX Grange
These models have been painted and are now being assembled. They look very impressive and are expected to be ready for shipment by November. So we hope to be able to make a number of deliveries in time for Christmas.
You can see a production sample of each locomotive on our stand at Telford and Swindon. They do look wonderful in their different ways. The 47XX is really a giant of steam with its huge boiler and firebox; virtually a King on a 2-8-0 chassis. The 68XX Grange, which has a small Churchward 3500 gallon tender, looks very dainty and delicate. Smaller wheels, low- pitched boiler and a tall chimney contrast well with the low sided tender. Cab detail on both models is exquisite. It feels like one could walk into the cab of each engine, and given it was in sufficient steam at the time, drive-off in it! They look very good together. So do please come over to our stand to take a look at them.
28XX and 49XX
Directly the 47XX and 68XX are complete, the builders will switch over to the 28XX and the 49XX Hall. Many of the parts are already made so we are hoping for a faster build than the earlier programmes. We are limiting the 28XX to 60 models in three types with a build profile currently looking like 15 early square frame 28XXs, 27 later curved frame 28XXs and 18 38XXs (2884 class with the Collet side windowed cabs). On the 49XX we expect to make only 50 Collett Halls and 10 Hawksworth Modified Halls.
If you are interested in either a 28XX/38XX or a Hall (whether Collett or Hawksworth) now is the time to make your reservation as there are not many slots left and we will soon have to freeze the production programme. Most of the available Collett Hall slots have now been reserved, so please let us know what you would like. So if you come along later on you will end up with what is left which may not meet the model specification that you want. The Halls are a very complex build as there are a huge number of variations in both the Collett and Hawksworth engines. A Collett early 49Xx is very different from a Collett 69XX. So you have been warned!
Class 52 Western
We met the builders and the design engineer to explain the changes that we want to the front windscreen, the hood over the front windscreen, the cab shoulders and the cab details. These will all be changed and approved before the build starts. The bue-painted pre-production sample will be on view for the first time. Even allowing for the changes it is a lovely model.
Standard Class 5
The first sample model will be made during the next few weeks and we expect to have it on view by December. It might make the Reading Show at the beginning of December.
Rebuilt Royal Scot, Rebuilt Jubilee, Rebuilt Patriot and British Legion
Detailed design work is planned to start shortly. These engines will follow on from the completion of the 28XX and the 49XX Hall. We expect to make about 120 engines. The current breakdown is likely to be:
• Rebuilt Royal Scot 65 models
• Rebuilt Jubilee 15 models
• Rebuilt Patriot 30 models
• Rebuilt Fury (British Legion) 10 models
Our top designer is enthusiastically working on the case!
29 August 2018.