Since the Reading show we have been very busy both on the 45XX/4575 and the major locomotive programmes.The builders have prepared detailed drawings of the tank engines and a first set of the CAD drawings for the 28XX/38XX and 47XX 2-8-0 tender locomotives as well as the 49XX Hall and 68XX Granges.
On the larger engine types the Hall, Grange, 28XX/38XX and 47XX, the builder is now studying the drawings and photographs that we provided and has already started on the input for the CAD drawings. We supplemented comprehensive published information with a series of detailed photographs taken on site at Didcot and on the Severn Valley Railway to assist the builders with various details. The photos also covered the 45XX/4575 types. We also visited the sites to measure up the dimensions of the actual locomotives around the some of the details to check these against the works drawings.
We are increasing the choice of tenders for the GWR tender locomotives. So in addition to the Churchward 3500 gallon tender and the Collet 4000 gallon tender, we are now committed to offer the Collet 3500 gallon tender and the Hawksworth 4000 gallon tender. Furthermore for those who order early there will be the opportunity to order 2 or more tenders for a chosen locomotive. For example if a customer wants to choose a Grange and would like to order 6844, it ran with at least 3 different tender types including the Churchward 3500 gallon, the Collet 3500 gallon and finally with the Hawksworth 4000 gallon tender. Bearing in mind the frequent tender changes with the Granges and Halls, customers might want to have two or more tender types to run or put behind their locomotives. Similarly there were also tender type swaps with some of the 28XX/38XX freight engines even some with the Collet 4000 gallon since preservation. We think that offering this option of extra tenders gives customers the opportunity to vary their chosen models. We hope that you like this idea!
Complementing the tender engines, which will take some time to produce, we have also commissioned 100 70XX Castles with either Collet or Hawksworth 4000 gallon tenders for earlier delivery. We will cover every engine from 7000 Viscount Portal to 7037 Swindon. We will produce all engines except for the original 4082 Windsor Castle in early form when it first switched identity with 7013 Bristol Castle. However, we will do 7013 in its original single chimney form and 7013 (ex 4082) in its final double chimney form. All other 70XX locomotives in double chimney form will also be made. The popular names will be offered in several examples so that more of these particular models are available for individual customers. We are offering these models at £3,100 or £3,700 with two tenders.
We have also studied the existing drive train in the larger models as more advanced motors are now available offering better performance for no increase in size. We are looking to carry out some layout trials in some existing Masterpiece Models using a modified drive train before we make any final changes here.
In early January 2016 we received the preliminary sample of the 45XX from the builders. Since its arrival it has been studied very carefully by our team of experts who have provided me with a long list of comments and changes to take back to the builder. Everyone has been very kind and helpful to me and I am very grateful for all the technical input and advice. The model will be on display at the Bristol O gauge Show on Sunday 31 January for everyone who attends to see. In February I am returning to Korea and expect to pick up the first sample model of the 4575 to bring back to the UK.
I am sorry that our communication by web has been somewhat limited since I took the helm at Masterpiece Models. Essentially the old website was not adequate for our needs and needed renewing, which of course takes time. The new website will display the full offering of the 2016 locomotive programme including the 45XX/4575 and all the GWR tender engines: the 70XX Castle, the 28XX/38XX and 47Xx 2-8-0s and the Grange and Halls. You will be able to reserve the models as available and see what is available for reservation at a given time. We will also put future builds on the web including the A3s, the Rebuilt Royal Scots/Rebuilt Patriots/Rebuilt Jubilees, B17s, 57XX Panniers and BR9Fs.
We will build all these models in due course, but I hope that you will all understand that there is a limit to how many locomotive programmes can be managed at the same time! Once again I would like to thank many of you who have made contact with me and have let me have their views on Masterpiece Models and offered kind goodwill messages. I have tried to answer everyone individually as quickly as I can.
26 January 2016