Exceptional museum quality model locomotives for modellers, enthusiasts and collectors

Update 27 August 2020

It is some time since we last updated the website. Despite the global impact of Covid-19, much has been going on at Masterpiece Models and we have been extremely busy preparing and delivering locomotives to customers, as well as working on the current builds of the Western Diesel, 28XX/38XX 2-8-0 tender engines, as well as Halls and Modified Halls.

Current Build – Class 52 Western Diesel

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As we are unable to visit Korea at present we asked the builder to send over a sample Western Diesel pulled from the current production run so that we could check it for details as well as finalising the design and fitment of the sound and lighting. Following our assessment of the previous pre-production model all the necessary changes have been made to ensure the cab shape, roof and front windscreens are correct. The whole locomotive now looks spot-on! The underbody detail is also simply wonderful and all six axles are driven by the largest, most powerful Swiss motor that we have used in a model to date. The model has been approved by our technical experts Bob Meanley, Adrian Knowles and Bryan Robertson, all of whom are passionate about Westerns. Please note that the windscreen wipers in the photos will be replaced with better ones parked in the correct position, while the 'Bardic' lamp brackets (which were bent in transit) will only be applied to late period blue models.

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Unfortunately, the shipper UPS managed to drop the package and the Western was badly damaged on one end. We managed to partly repair the damage and the locomotive has now been fitted with lighting and sound. Our sound engineer Bryan Robertson has performed heroically reconfiguring the decoder and fitting lighting in the headcode boxes, side lamps, cabs and engine room. The locomotive now sounds and looks superb. We have separated the electrical circuits to the fans so that it is possible to run the locomotive with only one set fans working and then start up the second engine to make the second set of fans operating. We think the electronics take this model into a new league as far as British outline 7mm scale diesel locomotives are concerned.

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Bryan carried out running tests of the locomotive and we can confirm that it will operate on 6ft (1.83m) radius curves. It may be possible to go slightly tighter but this would need to checked.

In Korea work continues to prepare components for painting

If you have not yet made a reservation and you want a Western in a special livery other than:
• Green with small yellow ends
• Maroon with small yellow ends
• Blue with full yellow ends
Please contact me as soon as possible as otherwise it will be too late.


Current Build – 28XX/38XX 2-8-0 Freight Locomotives

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We also shipped over three samples of 28XX/38XX from South Korea for checking by our technical expert Bob Meanley. He has identified a few minor changes that will be requested to be carried out by the builders.

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We have discovered a major issue with the six 28XX square frame locomotives ordered with no top feed. We have been investigating as many sources of material as we can find. Very little has been written and what is in the public domain is not accurate or very helpful. Thanks to the goodwill of one of our key suppliers we have managed to access some private papers with crucial information.

We now believe that no non-top feed locomotives with the No 1 boilers were ever painted in GWR plain green. After 1918 when the engines were in GWR plain green, it appears that all engines had top feed already fitted. So, we have a dilemma. Either we cancel all the build of non-top feed engines, or we try to make them as accurate as possible. This means that the non-top feed engines would have to be painted in GWR lined green with lining on the tender body and chassis, as well as polished fittings on both the engine and tender. The tender needs to be changed to the Churchward flush-riveted short-fender version with the garter arms. The only engines that we can build were numbered from 2820 to 2829 and were delivered in 1907. So, we can only provide engines with these numbers as earlier engines were delivered with Dean tenders and later engines were fitted with top feed. As a result of all this we have decided to offer the non-top feed engines only in the lined green 1907 configuration.

Unfortunately, this work will incur both an additional cost and delay production of these six engines as new tender bodies need to be made. The locomotive bodies will also need some changes and new modified tender chassis for these engines will now have to be built.

The existing tenders that have been completed are all Churchward 3,500 gallon long-fender snap riveted versions. None of these tenders ran with the lined green non-top feed engines. We plan to increase the price by £200 for these six models engines which only partially covers the additional production cost. Thus the current price will rise to £3,500 for these six locomotives. The top feed plain green GWR and black engines will remain at £3,300. Buyers who do not wish to pay the extra cost can elect to take plain green or black top feed engines at £3,300.

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There are still some 28XX models, both BR and GWR square frame and curved frame available, but there are very few unreserved 38XX engines left. So, I you want a 38XX please let me know as soon as possible, especially GWR engines; if several engines are required this requires a reshuffle of the build. There is very little time left to undertake this change.

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Current Build – Collett Hall and Hawksworth Modified Hall
We shipped over two samples of the Hall and Modified Hall for checking by our technical expert Bob Meanley. He has identified a few minor changes which will be requested to be carried out by the builders.

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As previously reported we increased the number of Collett Halls to 54 locomotives with a few slots left, both GWR and BR. These are mainly 49XX and 69XX types (BR).

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Production of Hawksworth Modified Halls has been increased from 15 to 24, so there are a few extra slots. Half the Modified Halls will be fitted with mechanical lubricators which provide interesting extra detail. Please note that the cylinder covers and chimney in the photos of the Modified Hall are not the correct type as the loco was not complete when the picture were taken and these items were simply fitted to give it a more finished appearance. The correct items will be fitted to all Modified Halls delivered to customers.

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Witherslack Hall is proving to be the most popular locomotive name followed by Wolf Hall and Lady Margaret Hall.


Possible Future Build – Brighton and GNR/LNER Atlantics
We continue to receive requests to build these locomotives, but we have not still received quite enough requests to proceed with the build. So, if you want a model of one of these locomotives and you still have not made a reservation or expression of interest, please contact us urgently as we still need more support to proceed with the project. If this project proceeds it will have to start from scratch with a complete redesign of the locomotive chassis to make the wheelbase as accurate as possible. The Scale 7 models will have the full scale sized wheels, but the O gauge versions will be forced to have reduced diameter (worn) driving wheel tyres as otherwise the flanges will touch each other and short circuit.

We are very keen to make these models and the current plan (subject to sufficient reservations) will be to make about 90 models (expected to be 55 Southern H1s/H2s and 35 GNR/LNER Atlantics). The cost will be probably around £3,300, but could be more due to the smaller volume and any currency and duty/VAT changes post the final UK departure from the EU Transition Period on 31 December 2020.


Models in Stock – Small Prairie Tank 45XX/4575
A recent flurry of sales has exhausted our stock of O gauge models. We have several 45XX/4575 sold but still due for delivery. We also have one 45XX and one 4575 awaiting conversion to O gauge (both sold). So, the remaining stock is down to two Scale7 BR 4575 (sloping tank) locomotives in BR lined green with the earlier lion-over-wheel emblem. When these are gone we will have run out of all stock. There are no more spare O gauge wheel sets, so no further conversions other than the two that are booked are now possible. Please note that there are no more models available at the factory or our warehouse, so when these last two Scale7 models are gone, sadly they have all gone.


Models in Stock – Pannier Tank 57XX/8750
We have a good stock of 57XX especially in Great Western liveries (green and plain black). We have a few BR riveted 57XX engines left and two London Transport 57XXs in the very attractive LT red. We can now only supply LT engines in O gauge.

8750s are available in GWR (green and black), BR mostly back feed engines and two top feed locomotives in the attractive BR lined black as used on empty stock working at Paddington etc. We are down to our last Scale 7 locomotive: one 8750 chassis.


Models in Stock – 70XX Castles
We can still offer a double chimney 70XX Castle with the mechanical lubricator in the forward or standard position (behind the RHS steam pipe). There is a good choice of single chimney 70XX Castles in most configurations and BR liveries. We can no longer offer 7005 Sir Edward Elgar as the set of nameplates was recently sold on a single chimney engine. Sadly, no more full sets of plates are available for this engine. Very few Scale 7 gauge locomotives are now available.


Models in Stock – 47XX 2-8-0 Tender Engines
A reasonable choice of GWR plain green engines is available, but choice of BR types is now more limited. Some BR plain black engines remain, but BR lined black 4702 now all now sold. Very limited choice of Scale 7 locomotives now left.


Models in Stock – 68XX 4-6-0 Grange Tender Engines
All GWR plain green engines now sold except one model in S7. All BR lined black engines now sold. We have a few BR plain black engines and a good choice of BR lined green engines available including some in Scale 7. Many great Grange names are still available. Please check on the phone or email with your request.


Covid-19 - Impact on Korea and the UK
The Covid-19 Virus has again spread back into the Seoul area in Korea which includes Incheon where our models are built. New measures have been imposed by the Government to control the new outbreaks. This has further slowed down our production in Korea. Travel to Korea (with flights and travel insurance still unavailable) is not possible despite the fact that I urgently need to go there. We now also have quarantine issues at both ends, so no visit has been possible this year. We expect the restrictions on travel to continue for long haul flights for the rest of 2020. So, an alternative plan to get the builds completed is essential.

Covid-19 has made activity here in the UK also very difficult. Both my UK engineer (Colin Dowling) and I are still in isolation. Since our last report we managed only one short meeting to prepare three locomotives. This limitation makes business activity very difficult, as all preparation has to be undertaken by me. We have despatched a number of locomotives to customers in the UK and elsewhere and more deliveries are expected to take place next month.

I hope that you are all well and are continuing to take all necessary precautions to avoid catching this dreadful disease. Please continue to be careful and look after yourselves and anyone you meet by following the rules that are in force.

John Borkowski  27 August 2020.

Update 3 June 2020

45XX/4575 – The final models
A recent flurry of purchases means that our stock of 45XX (flat tanks) /4575 Sloping tanks is now down to JUST FIVE MODELS, two in GWR livery and three in BR livery:

4505 Type31 2

• 4505 Type 3.1: Square footplate, tall safety valve bonnet, no ATC, no outside steam pipes and no shutters, extended bunker with packed rear buffer beam. 0 gauge finescale.

• 4585 Type 5: Sloping tanks, curved footplate, tall safety valve bonnet, ATC, outside steam pipes, shutters, long bunker and standard rear buffer beam. Scale 7.

4588 BR lined green

• 4588 Type 5: Sloping tanks, curved footplate, ATC, short safety valve bonnet, shutters, long bunker and standard rear buffer beam. BR lined green later emblem on tank sides. O gauge finescale.

5514

• 5514 Type 5: BR lined green Lion-over-Wheel emblem: Sloping tanks, curved footplate, ATC, short safety valve bonnet, shutters, long bunker and standard rear buffer beam, Scale 7.

• 5551 Type 5: BR lined green Totem emblem: Sloping tanks, curved footplate, ATC, short safety valve bonnet, shutters, long bunker and standard rear buffer beam, Scale 7.

At this stage it is no longer possible to switch gauges, as we have insufficient spares to undertake this work. So the models are only available in their current configuration and gauge.

Please note that there are no more models available at the factory or our warehouse, so when these are gone, sadly they have all gone.

57XX/8750
We have a good stock of 57XX especially in Great Western Liveries (green and plain black). We have a few BR riveted 57XX engines left and some London Transport Panniers in the very attractive LT red. We can now only supply LT engines in O gauge finescale.

8750s are available in GWR (green and black), BR mostly back feed engines and two top feed locomotives in the attractive BR lined black as used on empty stock working at Paddington.

We are down to our last two Scale 7 locomotives: one 8750 chassis and one 57XX chassis.

70XX Castles
The last 50XX double chimney Castle, 5092 Tresco Abbey, has now been sold, but we can still offer a double chimney 70XX Castle with the mechanical lubricator in the forward or standard position (behind the RHS steam pipe). There is a good choice of single chimney 70XX Castles in most configurations and and BR liveries. We can no longer offer 7005 Sir Edward Elgar as the final set of nameplates was recently sold on a single chimney engine. Sadly no more plates are available for this engine. Very few Scale 7 locomotives are now available.

47XX 2-8-0
We have a reasonable choice of GWR plain green engines, but choice of BR types is now more limited. Some BR plain black engines remain, but all the lined black models of 4702 have now been sold. A very limited choice of Scale 7 locomotives is now left.

68XX 4-6-0 Grange
All GWR plain green engines are now sold except one model in S7. All BR lined black engines are now sold. We have a few BR plain black engines and a good choice of BR lined green engines, including some in Scale 7. Many great Grange names are still available.

CURRENT BUILDS: 

Western Diesel
A number of small components for the Western diesel were damaged a in the factory fire earlier this year and these have now been re-made. A new set of motors to replace those lost in the fire has also been delivered. Work continues to get the components ready for painting. If have not yet made a reservation and you want a Western in a special livery other than:
• Green with small yellow ends
• Maroon with small yellow ends
• Blue with full yellow ends
Please contact me as soon as possible as otherwise it will be too late.

28XX/38XX 2-8-0 
The bodies and chassis for these engines are now being built as the tenders have been completed and painted. There are still some 28XX – both BR and GWR square frame and curved frame – available, but there are very few 38XX locos left. So I you want a 38XX please let me know as soon as possible, especially GWR engines, as it may be necessary to reshuffle the build to accommodate this. There is very little time left to undertake this change.

Collett Hall and Modified Hall
We increased the Collett Hall build to 54 locomotives with a few left in both GWR and BR liveries. These are mainly 49XX and 69XX types (BR). The Modified Halls production has been increased from 15 to 24, so there are a few extra available. Half the Modified Halls will be fitted with mechanical lubricators which provide interesting extra detail. Witherslack Hall is proving to be the most popular locomotive name followed by Wolf Hall and Lady Margaret Hall.

Brighton and NER Atlantics
We continue to receive requests to build these locomotives but we have not still received enough requests to proceed with the build. So if you want a model of one of these locomotives and you still have not made a reservation or expression of interest, please contact us urgently as we still need more support to proceed with the project.

 

COVID-19
The COVID-19 Virus has slowed down our production in Korea and has made activity here in the UK very difficult. Both my engineer and I are still in lockdown. No visits or interchange of working together is possible. This makes business activity very difficult, as all preparation has to be undertaken by me. There is no question of travel to Korea (no flights and no travel insurance is available) and I urgently need to go there. No visit has been possible this year and we expect the restrictions on travel to continue for long haul flights for the rest of 2020. So we are working on an alternative plan to get the builds completed. We have despatched a number of locomotives to customers in the UK and elsewhere and more deliveries are expected to take place this week.

I hope that you are all well and are taking all necessary precautions to avoid catching this dreadful disease. Please continue to be careful and look after yourselves and anyone you meet.

John Borkowski
3 June 2020.

Gauge 0 Guild Gazette

The Spring 2020 issue of the Gauge 0 Guild Gazette (just published) features the wrong advertisement from Masterpiece Models!

The artwork, which was signed-off last month, has been swapped for an older advert in a mix-up at the publishing house. The ad that should have appeared was designed to bring readers up to date with progress on our builds following the fire at one of our South Korean factories, as well as setting out our plans the resurrect the LBSCR/GNR 'Atlantic' build after all the original models were destroyed in the fire.

So here's the advertisement that should have appeared – although the best way to keep up with developments is to follow the Latest News entries on this website!

18 April 2020

 GOG ad Apr 20

Easter at Masterpiece - The Resurrection

Class 52 Western Diesel-Hydraulic
Just occasionally in life, especially in this period of great depression with the worldwide COVID-19 virus pandemic casting its shadow on all our lives, a shaft of new light shines brightly illuminating our darkness. So we get a bit of the real Easter despite the lock-down here in the UK and also elsewhere.

Dream Art 1

We have just received some pictures of life in the new factory where the Western diesel is back in production. This a truly a resurrection from where we were in January with a burned out factory, great despair and worry on how would we continue with the programme. If you look carefully at the pictures one could eat off the floor the new factory is so clean!

Dream Art 2

So during this period of Eastertide we truly have a resurrection in our model locomotive production. If we make the progress we hope and expect we should be able to have the models ready before the end of the year. We are very grateful to our builder Mr Song for making all this effort into rebuilding his factory and business into such a success.

Hall/Modified Hall and 28XX/38XX
We also have some news from our other factory run by Mr Kwon. He is making steady progress in the build of the engines and the tenders as you can see from the picture below. We will also try to get these models finished by the end of the year.

Kwon 1

It is great to have sight of all these pictures showing that we are making real progress with these builds.

John Borkowski 15 April 2020

News update 19 March

COVID-19 Virus
The Covid-19 virus has now been declared a world-wide pandemic and it is now affecting all countries in the world including South Korea, Europe (including the UK) and America where the outbreak is very serious. Flights are being banned and governments are in the process of applying population lockdowns to try to slow down or eliminate the spread of the virus to protect as much of their populations as possible. In the UK isolation measures are in force from Sunday 22 March that last 12 weeks and we at Masterpiece Models are in this category of the vulnerable. So effectively I am gated (isolated) at home until the middle of June. Events are moving quickly and we cannot be certain as what path the virus will take, so planning what we need to do in these conditions is difficult and our approach therefore needs to be flexible and practical and subject to change taking into account unpredictable events.

How is it all affecting Masterpiece Models?

Production in Korea
South Korea has been badly affected by the Covid-19 virus. This has caused some dislocation in the industrial sector, but so far has not caused a major impact on our activities. In South Korea work is proceeding on the Western Diesel which has transferred production from the burned-out factory to a new factory. Production is currently concentrated on replacing the items that were destroyed or badly damaged in the fire. Staff working on the project are limited as major concerns remain on catching the virus.

In the second factory where work is being undertaken on the Halls, Modified Halls and the 28XX/38XX freight engines work is being confined to a small workforce in-house to reduce the risk of getting infected with the virus.

The virus pandemic means that there are no flights from UK to Korea. As the country is on the Foreign Office danger list, health care insurance is no longer valid, so there is no immediate possibility of a visit by me to Incheon to oversee production. We are trying to put in place electronic communication to take the place of the visiting that would otherwise occur.

The consequences of the virus means that although work is progressing reasonably well, it will take more time to complete the models.

Supply of Existing New Models
45XX/4575 Prairie Tank Locomotives
We still have about 10 models available for sale. Many of these are in O gauge type 3 packed rear buffer beam engines in Great Western Green with the GREAT WESTERN emblem. We also have very limited supply of Type 4 and Type 5 4575 some in GWR and others in BR. The engines are a mixed assortment of Scale7 and O gauge. At this stage it is not practical to change the gauge of the locomotives.

57XX and 8750 Pannier Tank Locomotives
We have a good choice of GWR green engines with early (57XX) and late (8750) cabs. We also have some BR black engines including some BR lined black 8750 locomotives with the BR Lion over wheel emblem which are very attractive. There are 4 London Transport red 57XX panniers out of the new batch of 11 that we had made in Korea. There is a £100 premium for these models which we are supplying at below the additional production cost. Scale 7 engines are only available on two models: one 8750 and one 57XX. We could switch chassis for your choice except the LT Panniers which are now only in O gauge.

47XX 2-8-0
We have a good range of engines left mainly in GWR Green and BR lined Green. We also have one BR plain black engine left. All tenders except one GWR GREAT WESTERN Churchward tender are Collett 4000 gallon tenders. Most engines are O gauge, but we do have a few engines also in Scale 7.

68XX Grange
There is a good choice of BR lined green engines with a choice of Churchward 3500 gallon and Collett 3500 gallon or Collett 4000 gallon tenders. We also have a few BR plain black and one BR Lined black engines.

70XX Castles
We have a few double chimney engines and still a good selection of single chimney engines in both earlier and later configuration. Collett and Hawks worth 4000 gallon tenders are both available. There is also a good range of names that are available.

If you would like to know about the availability of engines in any or all of the above categories please email or call us by phone.

Delivery of Models
Our approach has been to supply hand delivered models wherever possible as our models are very delicate and do not respond well to couriers dropping packages. With the current UK population lock-down hand delivery is no longer possible so we are back to using couriers.

I have been in contact with our courier DHL who have now agreed that we can use wooden boxes to transport the trains. Previously it had refused to accept this form of packaging. We believe to wooden box approach is much more robust than conventional out cardboard sleeves placed over the existing train packing boxes.

We still have a number of models that have been ordered and have not yet been delivered. Some of these models are to be delivered to areas badly affected by the virus and so these are now off limits to the couriers. Others can still be delivered, but payments are still due on these models. If you have ordered a model and have not yet paid for it and would like your model to be delivered by DHL, assuming that this option is available in your area, please contact us by email of telephone so that we can make the necessary arrangements.

GNR/LNER and Brighton Atlantics
We can now confirm that other than the Umber H1 prototype, all the Atlantic models were completely destroyed in the factory fire.

If we are to consider starting the project again from the beginning we need a reasonable level of interest in the project. So far we have received expressions of interest for between 30 and 40 locomotives. Interest is roughly 2:1 split between Southern and GNR/LNER engines. While this is encouraging, it is not nearly enough to put the project back into production. If we do decide to proceed we would make some considerable upgrades to the specification of the models in a number of important areas. This would include split axles, our insulated horn-block pickups, Masterpieces Models’ proprietary gear box, the Masterpiece Models’ patented coupling between locomotive and tender, switchable DCC/DC and a Scale 7 option. We would also like to make a model of Hartland Point as the Bulleid H1 Leader experimental engine. So if you are interested in an Atlantic and have not contacted us, I urge you to do so now as otherwise this project will not proceed in the near future.

Exhibitions and Shows in the UK
We attended the Kettering show on March 7th, where the number of people who came to the stand was heavily down on the attendance in previous years. Although no announcements have yet been officially made, it is our expectation that the model shows coming up in April, May and June will be cancelled. We were also planning to go the Scale 7 Show at Albury on April 23 but this has now been postponed to a later date yet to be fixed. The cancellation of all shows in the next 3 months means that we may not be able to display our models in public for some time. We hope that the Swindon Show in September will remain in place, but it is much too early to predict how things will work out.

To make up for the lack of exhibitions we will see if it is possible to feature some of our existing stock as special article features on the website. This will allow you to at least have some electronic images of what we have to offer.

In conclusion we will have to go through some difficult times, I am confident that we will get through it and come out the other side still being able to offer a good choice of the best British outline 7mm scale (O Gauge and Scale seven locomotives) that money can buy.

Please look after yourselves and take care of your health at this time of great concern.

John Borkowski  19 March 2020