First I would like thank everyone who came to visit our stand at Telford. It was great pleasure to meet new friends and to renew friendship with previous visitors. I am sorry this update is so late, but I have only just returned to the office as I have spent a week taking our Korean builder around sites in the UK where he has been able to research and photograph future Masterpiece Models projects. So I regret not having been able to respond promptly to all of you who requested information or required acknowledgement last week, but you at least now know the reason for this delay.
I would like to apologise to anyone who felt that they did not get an opportunity to speak to me, Adrian or Kevin due to the crowding around the stand. As an exhibitor it’s always difficult to give people enough time to ask and respond to their questions or points of view in full. Although we try to talk to as many people as possible we sometimes don’t achieve that, even when we do our best.
However, if you have any points that you would like to raise or discuss, please do contact us by email, telephone or letter. We want to know your views and issues that concern you.
We were delighted to have our principal builder Mr Lee at the show and he really did pull a rabbit out of the hat. Despite much time pressure in advance of the show, not only did he bring three painted 70XX Castles and five 45XX/4575 Prairies, but he also arrived at London Heathrow Airport with another suitcase full of pilot models of other projects in the pipeline. We only discovered the extent of his work when we unpacked the models at Telford on Saturday morning!
These included two 28XXs, one 38XX, one 47XX, one 49XX and one 68XX. These were all early pre-production models in brass, but in the case of the 49XX and 68XX they were almost completely detailed. They will be examined by our panel of technical experts led by Bob Meanley.
Guildex was also the occasion of the launch of our new range of Superwheels for those who want the ultimate realism in their locomotives. These superb wheels are made by Tony Wall of Allendale Components and are fully machined front and back to the correct profiles. 15 sets will be offered on the Castles (ScaleSeven only) and the take-up so far has been very encouraging. Our plan is to offer these wheels on all future large locomotives, including the Great Western Tender Locomotives that are the subjects of the pre-production models shown at Guildex.
We are very pleased with the pre-production painted engines both the 70XX Castles and the 45XX Prairies, and while there still are some further minor changes to make, the general execution of works, especially in the cabs and in the tubeplates behind the smokebox doors, is very fine indeed.
In the rush to get everything done before Telford some errors did creep in (for example some of the chimneys and buffers are not correct and you will see porthole windows on some of the 45XX locos which should not have them), but these are details that will all be correct on the engines when they are delivered. Smokebox numberplates, nameplates and shed plates are not yet properly painted either.
The fact that the models brought to Telford made the journey from Korea in Mr Lee’s suitcase rather than in proper packaging meant that some components such as steps and slidebars were bent, but we thought you would like to see our progress on all these models anyway.
We now realistically expect the 45XX/4575 Prairie Tanks to be shipped by the end of October, with the ‘Castles’ following very shortly afterwards.
We are constantly striving to improve our models and your input has been vital, together with the support we have received from our builders. So please continue give us your views so that we can incorporate them constructively in our future planning. Please tell us your interest in our current and planned models and don’t be afraid to put up your own suggestions for future models.
On the sales side, all the Davies and Metcalf 70XX Castle locomotives have now been sold and we have a waiting list to see if we can squeeze out an extra locomotive. On the Prairies we have only a few Types 1 & 2 left and very few Type 4. Types 3 (packed wooden rear buffer beams-my favourite) and Type 5 4575 sloping tank versions are still reasonably available.
We have now gone ahead with the Western diesel (shortly to be laser scanned) and the Panniers and will follow up with the Standard Class 5, the A1 and A3s and also the LMS 4-6-0s. There has been a huge interest in both 60113 A1/1 Great Northern and the rebuilt Fury 46170 British Legion, so we plan to offer both of these two locomotives as part of their respective builds.
12 September 2016