Exceptional museum quality model locomotives for modellers, enthusiasts and collectors

80XXX and 82XXX Standard Class Tank Locomotives

We are looking at priorities for our future build programme, especially tank engines. One possibility that we feel that we could offer is an attractive proposition of a single simultaneous build programme of BR Standard Class 80XXX 2-6-4 and 82XXX 2-6-2 tank locomotives. 155 80XXX and 45 82XXX locomotives were built by BR.

These locomotives ran on a wide variety of routes in the UK mainland. The 80XXX tank locomotives were active in Scotland, the Southern, London Midland and Eastern and even the Western Regions. On the Southern they ran out of Victoria and London Bridge on the trains to Sussex and on Reading-Guildford-Dorking-Redhill-Tonbridge trains. On the Eastern Region they operated the London, Tilbury and Southend line out of Fenchurch Street where they were popular on heavy trains of suburban BR Mark 1 coaches. On London Midland Region many were based at Bletchley running suburban trains into Euston.

80XXX

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The 80XXX locomotives were worthy successors of the earlier LMS Fowler 2 cylinder and the Stanier 2 and 3 cylinder tank engines, as well as the later Fairburn shorter wheel base 2-6-4 tank engines. In the North East they were based at Whitby. In Scotland they worked out of Glasgow and Edinburgh, Beattock banking duties and – famously – on the Killin branch. 14 engines have been preserved with a number restored to running condition on private preserved railways. The 80XXX 2-6-4 locomotives were all painted BR lined back with the earlier Lion-over-Wheel or later Totem.

80XXX diagram

82XXX

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The 82XXX locomotives were active mainly on the Western – especially on the Cambrian section – and on the Southern including empty stock working out of Waterloo down to Clapham Junction. 82XXX operated in the South West at Exmouth Junction and at Newton Abbot. In the Midlands they were based at Wellingborough, in the Birmingham area at Tyseley, and in the North West at Patricroft. In the North East they operated at York and on Darlington to Penrith trains. Unfortunately no BR 82XXX engines were preserved, but a replica is being built at Bridgnorth on the Severn Valley Railway.

The 82XXX were outshopped originally in BR lined black and later in BR lined green and even later in BR plain green.

82XXX diagramWe feel that both of these engine types are highly attractive to the eye, and as they were extensively used on the BR system, they have a strong appeal to a wide range of modelers and collectors alike. We would like to measure your interest in this project, so we would like to invite you let us know your expressions of interest. This gives you all the opportunity to secure the production of these models that are of particular interest to you.

If you have already reserved an 80XXX engine we already have your details, so there is no need contact us unless you want to do so.

80XXX and 82XXX expression of interest
Please click the buttons below let us know which versions of the 80XXX and 82XXX interest you most.

We look forward to your response with great interest.

John Borkowski/5 December 2020

The best 'Battle of Britain' of all..?

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The team at Masterpiece Models spends most of the time fully focused on current build projects, several of which are reaching their final stages with others now in development. It therefore provides a very pleasant interlude when a model from one of the earlier Masterpiece builds comes our way and we have the chance to look at it again with fresh eyes.

Just such an occasion cropped up this week when a customer who is downsizing asked if we – or anyone else we knew – might be interested in his Bulleid unrebuilt 'Battle of Britain' light pacific. But this wasn't just any BoB – it was 34066 'Spitfire', possibly the greatest of them all.

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It's easy to forget just how impressive these models were, but we spent a most enjoyable afternoon photographing it in a variety of settings. As well as all the usual Masterpiece Models features, the Bulleid Pacifics incorporated working electric lamps and they really come to life after dark. We had a bit of fun with this – with all lamps blazing, even though we couldn't pretend it was working a Royal Train, it had distinct echoes of the English part of the 'Night Ferry' Victoria - Paris sleeper.

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Unsurprisingly this model was snapped up by a collector, but it does make the point that it's worth keeping an eye on our 'Pre-Owned Models' page where gems like this occasionally become available.

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Class 52 'Western' crew figures

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In what we believe is an 'industry first', we have commissioned crew figures for our forthcoming Class 52 'Western' diesel-hydraulic from Alan Buttler of Modelu.

We have long admired the work Alan has done in bringing new levels of realism to models of the human form in a variety of scales, but these are the first to be made using an entirely new technique in which colour is applied as an integral part of the 3D printing process. That means they don't have to be painted which avoids overly harsh or unrealistic colours, or clogging detail with poor brush work, to say nothing of saving an enormous amount of time.

Like all Modelu figures, the files for 3D printing are laser scanned from life. Now, however, the actual colours are recorded at the same time. Pigments are introduced at the printing-out stage which colours the surface of the figures in a remarkably accurate way. Because the 3D print comes direct from the scanned CAD data, all the subtlties of light falling on creases in fabric, dirt on shoes etc, are faithfully reproduced.

We took the decision to fit crews in the Western because the cabs are so 'glassy' that the interiors are highly visible. Also, as these models will be highly complex with wiring for headcode boxes, marker lights, cab interior lighting, working fans and other features, we don't recommend that they should be dismantled by the customer, so unless otherwise requested in advance, all the models will be supplied with a driver and second man installed at one end, the other end remaining empty for posing in shed scenes etc.

CLICK HERE for a short video showing the crews being trial-fitted to a pre-production rough sample of the Class 52 control desk.

These crew figures represent an absoulte step-change in the representation of people for our models. Thank you Alan for all your hard work – watch this space for news of more figures for our locomotives..!

To view the full Modelu range, CLICK HERE.

Class52 crew 2

Update 20 November 2020

Class 52 Western Diesel
The Western diesel hydraulics are now in the process of being painted and final assembly has started. We have been working on providing crew for the models. The crew are being sourced and made in the UK. The plan is to ship the crew to Korea next week. We have also been working on the headcodes. We hope to have the models into the UK in January.

Last month Bryan Robertson our sound engineer re-recorded the sound on the decoders to have the effect of two engine starting. This provides a fascinating sound of the second engine on start-up. This required a complete rewrite of the sound chip and replacement of the earlier decoders that I took out to Korea at the end of 2019.

Western painting

Halls and Modified Halls
The bodies are now being detailed by the builders incorporating the changes requested by Bob Meanley. When this work is finished they will go to the paintshop. The chassis have already been painted.

28XX/38XX
The changes requested by Bob Meanley have been sent to the builders to be incorporated into the build. The chassis frames have been painted. The production samples have been returned to Korea.

LBSCR/GNR Atlantics
We have been working on an upgrade programme for the Ivatt and Marsh Atlantics. The objective is to present the builders in the near future with a modified design specification representing a major improvement of the models.

Meanwhile we are requesting those of you who made expressions of interest to confirm the models that you want as soon as possible. There is limited availability of all models, especially the LNER/GNR locomotives. If reservations continue at the current rate there will very few if any engines left. This is not a build with many extra spare locomotives. As soon as the final build order is fixed there will be no flexibility to switch locomotive type nor increase production for extra models. So, if you want an Atlantic I strongly advise you to make a reservation as soon as possible.

John Borkowski/20 November 2020

Update 29 September 2020

Unfortunately the website went down for a short period yesterday, but we are now back online as normal. Thank you very much to all who phoned and emailed us about the problem. Your actions enabled us to fix it more quickly.

Since we last updated the website a month ago much work has been done on finalising changes to the current builds, as well as working on the ‘Atlantics’. The return of more Covid-19 restrictions has prevented me from meeting up with my colleagues to conduct normal work and we are also behind on preparation of a number of orders. We ask you to continue to be patient with us as we are doing our best in the very difficult Covid-19 situation.

Current Build
Class 52 Western Diesel

The Western production sample is being shipped back to Korea this week together with new reference material for the builder to replace what was lost in the factory fire earlier this year. We are also sending new British outline O gauge and Scale 7 track to replace track lost in the fire so that the builder can test the models in conditions as close as possible to the UK.

We have carried out extensive layout tests to assess the tightest radius that the production locomotives could negotiate. They were just able to negotiate 5 feet 6 inch (1.676 metres) radius curves at moderate speed, but that was close to the absolute limit for an O gauge locomotive. We think the Scale 7 performance would be similar, but it might need a slightly larger radius. It might be best to plan for 5 feet 9 inches (1.753 metres) in Scale 7 as the brake gear will be factionally wider on these versions.

We have finalised the Western painting schedule to accommodate customer preferences. We are making at least 135 engines and it is simply amazing how many people have reserved engines with the same names and numbers. The livery selection has been adjusted to reflect the numbers of each livery that have been reserved.

There are 3 engines in maroon with the early yellow small buffer beams with no names allocated. If you want one of these locomotives you can choose from 10 engine names/numbers:

D1001 Western Pathfinder
D1005 Western Venturer
D1006 Western Stalwart
D1007 Western Talisman
D1008 Western Harrier
D1009 Western Invader
D1039 Western King
D1040 Western Queen
D1041 Western Prince
D1042 Western Princess

All the other locomotives have liveries and names allocated. So, if you have not yet reserved an engine, your choice may be limited to what we have left. Everyone who has made a reservation (even if you have not yet made a payment) will be able to receive the engine of their choice. Fortunately we still have a very good choice, except for D1015 Western Champion in Golden Ochre livery, for which only one engine is left. The following names are sold out:

D1012 Western Firebrand
D1018 Western Buccaneer
D1026 Western Centurion
D1031 Western Rifleman
D1045 Western Viscount
D1072 Western Glory

The number of models in each livery in our final production schedule is:
Desert Sand, red buffer beams: 6
Green, small yellow ends: 19
Maroon, small yellow buffer beams: 4
Maroon, small yellow ends: 62
Blue, full yellow ends: 41
Golden Ochre small yellow ends: 3

This split has been based on current orders and the level of interest shown thus far in each livery. It is now too late to add any other livery combinations.

Crews and Headcodes:
Based on our initial discussions with the builder we had expected that the cab interiors and headcode panels would be user-accessible. However, the intricacy of the build, combined with complex wiring for the cab, headcode and marker lighting, makes this virtually impossible. Once the models have been assembled in the factory, any attempt to dismantle the cab by the customer would be highly likely to result in damage.

However, many customers have said they would like to have crew in the cabs as the large windows make the interior very visible, so how are we going to accommodate this? Having considered all the options, we have decided to factory-fit a driver and second man in one end, with no crew in the other end. This means that depending on how it’s positioned, the model can still look authentic whether running at the head of a train, or stationary in a MPD. We are planning to commission special laser-scanned figures from Modelu. Study of many photographs shows that drivers seldom wore their uniform caps while driving – the part of the uniform that really differentiated the pre and post-1967 appearance – so we will have the same figures in locos of all periods – a driver in jacket and tie but no cap and a second man in shirt sleeves, no tie. The Modelu figures will be hand painted to a high standard before fitting.

Regrettably the addition of crew figures will incur extra costs. Normally we would have tried to absorb this within the price of the model, but we have already suffered a large cost overrun on this build due to the factory fire and devaluation of the pound. Regrettably, therefore, we will have to pass on the cost of the two painted and fitted figures, so the price of each model will be increased by £50 + vat (subject to final estimates from Model U and the builders in Korea).

The headcode boxes present a similar problem as all the cab fittings and partitioning need to be removed for access which, as noted, could easily result in damage to the internal wiring. With this in mind we have decided to pre-fit suitable headcodes with fairly universal appeal.

Although the Westerns were often used on freight, parcels and – in latter years china clay workings etc – they were primarily express passenger locos and were thus most often seen displaying a headcode starting with 1. The second character was a letter denoting the destination, ‘A’ being an up train bound for London Paddington, and ‘C’ being a down train for points west between Plymouth and Penzance etc. Some of the letters, such as V, M and S were used to indicate an inter-regional workings. The final two numerals are the number of the train from the working timetable, which told the signalman exactly which train it was.

On that basis we will fit 1A48 to one end (the ‘up’ Cornish Riviera Express), and 1C88 to the other end (the ‘down’ Golden Hind). To serve more intrepid customers who would prefer a different headcode, we will supply a sheet of headcode characters and numerals on a translucent material with each loco so they can fit their own – on the understanding that this will be STRICTLY at their own risk!

Covid-19
The virus is back with a vengeance, so do please follow the Government guidelines and regulations and please keep safe.

John Borkowski
29 September 2020