The swansong of the magnificent 'Castle' class 4-6-0s was marked by the production of the 70XX series, built at Swindon between 1946 and 1950. The very fact that a design that first appeared in 1923 – with its DNA going back to Churchward's 'Stars' of 1906 – should still have been in production in British Railways days is extraordinary, but even more remarkable is that the type was still turning in performances that outshone much later designs. As the engines got older and were modified so their performance improved.
These final 'Castles' embodied many refinements that had been introduced over the years, but it was following the introduction of revised draughting, double chimneys, reprofiled outside steam pipes and four-row superheaters that they really attained their ultimate form. They truly were the 'Super Castles'.
To complement the earlier 50XX 'Castles' already produced by Masterpiece Models, we commissioned a strictly limited run of 108 models of 70XX 'Castles' (and a few 50XX Castles all with double chimneys) covering the engines in GWR and BR guises where applicable as single and double chimney variants. It must be stressed that this is a COMPLETELY NEW model and sets standards hitherto unseen on any RTR GWR 4-6-0. Split axles, hornblock pickups, fully enclosed gearbox with ball bearings on all shafts and a state of the art aerospace grade Swiss coreless motor were unique features of these locomotives.
Ten of these models were built as the Davies and Metcalfe valveless mechanical lubricator double chimney engines with an oil tank reservoir fitted on the smokebox side. These engines included 7014 Caerhays Castle, 7013 Bristol Castle, 5084 Reading Abbey, 4088 Dartmouth Castle and 4087 Cardigan Castle. Despite naysayers predicting that nobody would want this configuration, these engines were in high demand and sold out immediately!
We also produced three other double chimney 50XX engines , 5043 Earl of Mount Edgcumbe, 5066 Sir Felix Pole and 5092 Tresco Abbey. 5092 is still available as of October 2019.
All the models have now been made and most have already been purchased, so the availability of what is left is limited, especially in the case of double chimney engines. We still have a good choice of single chimney engines and can provide some name changes where required, subject to the configuration of the engine being authentic to what we have in stock. In terms of livery we have several engines in early BR form with GWR lining and BRITISH RAILWAYS on the tender, as well as the later BR livery with the Lion-over-Wheel and the later BR Totem.
The tenders have been allocated based on photographic evidence showing which type of tender was coupled to each locomotive at different periods. Where possible the correctly-numbered tender is supplied. If you wish, you can purchase an additional tender at the same time so that you can run your model with either Collett or Hawksworth types as these tenders were frequently switched in real life.
If you are interested in a particular locomotive please let us know your requirement and we will try to match your needs from the available stock. As all the models are now ready to deliver we only take payments in full. EU Customers can enquire about paying in Euros.
If a particular engine is of interest and you would like help on its specification (early or late steam pipes, type and position of mechanical lubricator, buffer type etc.) please email or telephone and we will be happy to give you all the details and see if we can provide it for you. Please note we only have one new 50XX engine still available (5092) and that all the other engines will only cover 5098 to 7037. These models were recently reviewed in Model Rail and received an outstanding recommendation “If you buy a model like this if you want the very best.” What more can we say?
70XX 'Castle' prices