Price list and terms
Loco and tender kits
Chassis kits
RTR detailing
Rolling stock
Useful sites
Contact us

This blog will be updated on a regular basis with Brassmasters' developments and in particular will show progress on new products and anything else we think will be of interest. It is in date order, with the latest items first.




We are concentrating our range on locomotive/tender kits (the original LMS kits and the ex-Martin Finney kits), EasiChas and finescale wagon and coach underframes, wagon bodies and couplings. We are no longer selling etched windows, track details, coupling/connecting rods and axle/buffer gauges.

Stocks of accessories will not be replaced once they have been exhausted and these will now only be available at shows and not via mail order. Also, we are closing our PO Box with immediate effect and will therefore only be able to accept orders via email.

Our plans for 2024 include the re-launch of the Austerity/J94 0-6-0ST kit which has been unavailable for many years. It will produce all of the main variants including the 50550, Lambton colliery, Giesl ejector and the early and later LNER J94s.

Following on will be the EasiChas for the Bachmann LMS Ivatt 2MT 2-6-0, a full kit for the Great Eastern J17 0-6-0, a finescale chassis for the Bachmann GCR O4 ROD 2-8-0 and last, but not least, the LMS Coronation.


We are sad to announce that one of our team, Geoff Hurley, died in hospital last week. Geoff joined Brassmasters twenty years ago when he retired from the Manchester police force. An engineer by training and a skilled model maker, he became proficient in etched kit design and pattern making.

He designed our kits for the rebuilt Royal Scot, the LMS 4F and the Princess Royal as well our detailing kits for LMS locomotives. In more recent times before he became ill in 2022, he produced the artwork and the boiler/firebox masters for the LMS Coronation kit. We hope to release the kit in 2024 as a fitting tribute to his work.

08-11-23 We will be attending the Warley NEC show this year with our full product range except for our locomotive kit, although we will have stocks of the GWR 3150 2-6-2T and the GWR 43xx 2-6-0 replacement chassis.

If you want to purchase any of these other than the two mentioned above, you will need to pre-order at least one week in advance of the show and we will bring the kit to the NEC.


We will have supplies of all the new items at Scaleforum but if you want to buy any other kits then we need to know beforehand so we can check if they are in stock or can be packed to bring to the show.  (this only applies to full kits – we will bring supplies of all detailing kits and accessories including all the latest wagon subframes and resin bodies)

Work in progress is now concentrated on the EasiChas for the Bachmann LMS Ivatt 2MT 2-6-0 and a resin-bodied GER J17 and tender – both in conjunction with David Barham. David has also been helping with the Coronation and some of his resin printed components have to be seen to be believed – we will have Jim Smith-Wright’s test build and samples of the components on our stand.

Another project progressing well is a finescale chassis for the Robinson O4 ‘ROD’ 2-8-0. A decent chassis has long been needed for the these, especially as the Bachmann body is pretty accurate (excepting early production runs). There are lots of Proscale and K’s kits out there as well both designed with dreadful ‘chassis’.

Frank Davies has been working together with us, initially for a project at Pendon which produced our new 43xx chassis, now to produce a fully compensated, finescale, Motor-in-Tender (MiT) chassis solution for the Bachmann RTR ROD.  The 43xx model for Pendon (to fit under Guy Williams’ scratch-built body) has proved highly successful in hauling the ‘Long Goods’ on the Vale scene – one of only two engines previously achieving this and we expect our chassis to be pretty powerful too! The ROD MiT chassis is currently at the etchers and we will start the test build (and the dreaded instructions) soon. We hope it will be as successful Frank’s GWR 43xx MiT chassis has proven to be.

25-05-23 At Scalefour North we will have stocks of several new Meon Valley Models  3D-printed wagons for Gloucester Railway Carriage & Wagon opens. These are the 15ft and 16ft 7-plank internal bracing with end door, 15ft and 16ft 7-plank external bracing with end door,16ft 4-plank (round ends) internal bracing - side door.

A reminder that we will not have locomotive and tender kits with us at the show unless these are pre-ordered.

21-04-23 At Expo EM we will have several new Meon Valley Models  3D-printed wagons for Gloucester Railway Carriage & Wagon opens. These are the 15ft and 16ft 7-plank internal bracing with end door, 15ft and 16ft 7-plank external bracing with end door, 16ft 6in 7-plank external bracing - end door, 16ft 4-plank (round ends) internal bracing - side door and hopefully RCH 1907 7-plank side door and end door wagons.

Progress continues with development of the Ivatt 2MT EasiChas, the GWR 3150 kit, the GWR 43xx chassis kit and the LMS Coronation kit, but none of these will be available for some time yet.

A reminder that we will not have locomotive and tender kits with us at the show unless these are pre-ordered.

01-12-22 Andy Vincent of Meon Valley Models has produced for us the best 4mm scale 3D-printed wagons that we have ever seen and these are designed to fit onto our sprung underframes.

The first six types now available are for Gloucester Railway Carriage & Wagon opens, in either 15ft or 16ft body lengths, initially with side doors and internal strapping. We hope to have more types available over the next few months including the 4-plank wagon with curved ends.

01-11-22 Price increases from 1st November.

As many of you will know, the main supplier of etches to the model railway trade went into administration on 2nd September. We have collected all our phototools which safeguards our product range.However, the change to an alternative supplier has caused the average price of the etches to increase by around 60%. We have also had a 50% increase in the price of packaging materials over the summer.We are not able to absorb increases of this size and we have to pass these on, and are therefore will be increasing our prices from 1st November. We have kept the increases to the absolute minimum and are only adjusting prices by the additional cost of the etches, eg locomotive kits are in most cases going up by only £10 and tenders by £5.

* We will be attending the Warley NEC show this year with our full product range except for our locomotive kits.

If you want to purchase any of these you will need to pre-order at least one week in advance of the show and we will bring the kit to the NEC.


The EasiChas for the Hornby 5101 2-6-2T will be on sale at Scaleforum but the Ivatt 2MT EasiChas, the 3150 2-6-2T kit and the 43xx 2-6-0 chassis kit are not ready yet, although all are at the advanced stage of development.

We are not taking the full range of locomotive and tender kits to future shows so if you have any specific kits you want to buy from us, please send an email as soon as possible and at least two weeks before the show so we can make sure we have one packed and reserved for you. We will continue to take all of the EasiChas, detailing kits and accessories, except for some of the Martin Finney castings which are now out of stock. We have restocked all of the wagon underframes which were sold out at Expo EM.


The EasiChas for the Hornby 5101 2-6-2T will be on sale at Expo EM.

We are aiming to have the full range of locomotive and tender kits available at the show but if you have any specific kits you want to buy from us there please send an email as soon as possible so we can make sure we have one reserved for you. We have good stocks of all the detailing kits and accessories, except for some of the Martin Finney castings which are now out of stock.

As with everyone else, we have been subjected to significant price increases from our suppliers, particularly of etched and cast items, and although we have absorbed part of this we have had to increase our prices with immediate effect. Please ensure you use the order form version dated May 2022. Also, note that we have increased the minimum order value for mail order to £15 and have changed the post & packing charges.

Work continues on the Ivatt 2MT EasiChas, the 3150 2-6-2T kit and the 43xx 2-6-0 chassis kit with the aim of having them on sale by Scaleforum in September.


The RCH 1923 Morton braked 9ft wooden solebar sub-frame is now available - specification is the same as for the other sub-frame kits and includes full single-sided brakes activated from both sides by the Morton brake system with a choice of brake levers and brake lever guides. They are intended for wagons with a cross shaft between the ‘V’ hangers. Also included is a second set of push rods for the rare vehicle with brake blocks on all four wheels

The 10' wheelbase wooden framed Morton braked version will be next.

Work continues on the EasiChas for the Bachmann LMS Ivatt 2MT 2-6-0. The second test build is complete and final changes to the artwork for production are being made.

The production version of the EasiChas for the Hornby 5101 2-6-2T should be going to the etchers by the end of January. This includes a new pony truck. A separate replacement pony truck for 00 for the Hornby 5101 will also be available shortly.

The final artwork for the GWR 3150 2-6-2T went to the etchers at the end of 2021 - unfortunately the three-month turn round continues so we don't expect to see the first production etches until the end of March.


We have been busy on a number of projects over the past six months, all of which are still in progress. We hope some of them will come to fruition before the end of the year but there are no specific release dates – these will be put on the blog as the projects complete.

Hornby GWR 51xx Prairie EasiChas – we now have the second test etch which is ready to build. More pictures of the work done so far have been added to the page. One spin-off will be a separately available GWR pony truck.

We have been working with Martin Needham to produce a full Finney-style kit for the GWR 3150 2-6-2T. This has reached the test build stage and is progressing well.

Another GWR joint project is for a finescale chassis for the Dapol 43xx. This is designed for use with the plastic loco and tender bodies (which can be obtained separately from DC kits), and has a motor mount for tender drive to allow the boiler to be filled with lead to produce a very powerful model. The test build is complete subject to obtaining gears and motor when these are available again. (The 43xx EasiChas has been put on hold until this is in production).

Work is very well advanced on an EasiChas for the Bachmann LMS Ivatt 2MT 2-6-0 featuring scale cylinders and motion. The pictures show the first test build and revised artwork is almost complete. The artwork for the second test etch is now complete.

The test etches for the wagon subframes for 9' and 10' wheelbase wooden framed Morton braked vehicles are being built.

Finally, the Coronation kit is progressing as you may have seen on Jim Smith-Wright’s blog. We are working through the castingscomponents using 3D printing technology to produce patterns for casting but also so that we will be able to sell the smaller components such as lubricators, tender axleboxes/springs, etc separately. The first of these for the Stanier tender fire-iron tunnel and sieveboxes are now available.

Lastly, we now have the Finney inside motion machined brass eccentrics back in stock. We have also made some more of the Finney LSWR whitemetal castings available.

21-02-21 We have now assembled the first test etches  for the Hornby Prairie EasiChas and have done more work on the 43xx EasiChas motion. Pictures of both are on the links.

Work has re-started on the patterns for the remaining Coronation patterns but we can't give any indication of timescales yet.

We have ordered the Finney inside motion machined brass eccentrics and hope to have them back in stock by the end of March.

03-02-21 We have reluctantly suspended sales of the Finney inside motion components until we have supplies of the machined brass eccentrics back in stock. At the moment we don't have a date when these will be available.

The test etches are back from our supplier for the Hornby Prairie EasiChas, replacement slidebars, crossheads and connecting rods for the Dapol Mogul, and wagon subframes for RCH 9' and 10' wheelbase wooden framed Moreton braked vehicles. We will update the blog when we have assembled these.

01-01-21 A Happy and Healthy New Year from the Brassmasters team. Despite the virus, 2020 was a very busy year for us with sales higher than 2019. We have managed to keep most items in stock even though there has been a doubling of lead times from our main etch supplier, but some products may not always be available ex-stock - please check before ordering.

Our plans for 2021 are like everyone's very much guesswork at this date and it is difficult to predict when the exhibition circuit will be able to re-start.

In the first week of January there are a number of test etches going off to our supplier. These are for the Hornby Prairie EasiChas, replacement slidebars, crossheads and connecting rods for the Dapol Mogul, and wagon subframes for 9' and 10' wheelbase wooden framed Moreton braked vehicles. Following requests, we have separated the components for the Finney later type pony truck, again going for a test etch. The Hornby Prairie EasiChas includes an altered version of this to fit the RTR model.

Work is also continuing on the Dapol Mogul EasiChas and we have restarted work on the castings for the Coronation kit.

Unfortunately we can give no release dates for any of these - just watch this space!


The good news is that the slidebars on the 43xx work with our connecting rods fitted even with the sideplay on the 00 wheelsets. The connecting rod big end had to be opened out to fit the Dapol crankpin so no problems there. We made our connecting rod up out of the two etches with a thick boss added front and back which turns out to be the same thickness as the Dapol one (what a shame it is nearly 2mm too long). If it's washered out, it can be done with just one etch thick. The bottom slidebar had to be filed away, just as on the prototype, but not all the way to the front. It will look better with the second etch on the top and bottom of the slidebars on the fold up version.


We have finished our examination of the chassis and motion on the Dapol model of the GWR 43xx 2-6-0. Because of the strange arrangement of the slidebars, which are too close together and are bent outwards at the ends, we have mocked up a set of replacement slidebars together with a GWR crosshead out of our existing kits to see how easy it would be to provide correct replacements.

The drawing work for the the EasiChas for the Hornby large prairie (5101 and 61xx classes) is complete and will be sent for the first test etch shortly.


We have just received our Dapol model of the GWR 43xx 2-6-0. In anticipation of this we had already done some preliminary design work for an EasiChas for this model and a close examination of the model now shows there is plenty of scope for a detailing kit to accompany it.

The drawing work for the the EasiChas for the Hornby large prairie (5101 and 61xx classes) stopped for a short while due to other priorities, but has now restarted A number of new prototype drawings have been acquired which is allowing the previous work to be checked/updated.

We hope to have both of these EasiChas available early in 2021. We will update the blog as we progress over the next few months.


Final corrections have been made to to the J15 EasiChas artwork and we are waiting for the first production etches to be delivered. Our suppliers are back in work but, because they are not at full strength, things are taking longer than normal. We are hoping that we will receive them in the next four weeks.

We are developing an EasiChas for the new Hornby large prairie (5101 and 61xx classes) which will allow the locomotive to be converted to EM and P4 with springing but using the original motor and chassis. The drawing of the prototype frames and brake gear etc. has been completed and work is just starting on the EasiChas design.

19-03-20 The J15 EasiChas final artwork has returned from the etchers so we are on schedule to have it on sale by the end of May, suppliers permitting.

The restrictions on movement due to the coronavirus outbreak mean that orders over the next few months are likely to take longer than usual to process through to despatch. We will advise you by email if there will be excessive delays of more than a couple of weeks.

28-01-20 Progress continues with the J15 EasiChas - we were unable to go into production before Christmas but what we hope is the final artwork went to the etchers last week. This means that we are unlikely to have the kit on sale at Scalefour North now that it is a month earlier than in previous years but we should be ready well before Expo EM in May.

Work on the patterns for the Coronation kit has restarted after several month's delay due to illness - unfortunately no release date can be given at this time. Steady progress continues on the GWR 2361 and 1661.

19-11-19 We hope to have supplies available at Warley of a superb resin moulding for the Stephenson Clarke Private Owner wagons. Produced from a master from Tom Mallard, these were marketed many years ago in a limited edition by Martin Finney.

Latest additions to our range of coupling and connecting rods are for the LMS Black 5 connecting rods and 8F 2-8-0 coupling rods.

Progress continues with the J15 EasiChas - we are checking the final test etch and hope to go into production before the end of the year.

Jim Smith Wright has been assembling the final test etches for the Coronation as described in his blog - see pictures of progress so far.


We now have the second test etch for the the Hornby GER J15 EasiChas. David Barham has assembled this, added the brake gear and fitted the tender chassis and he will bring to Scaleforum.

Also received this month were the full set of production etches for the Coronation and tenders - see pictures. We will have the etches at Scaleforum and also the production resin parts. Work is now underway on preparing the casting patterns for the kit.

Anyone who wants to buy specific ex-Martin Finney kits at Scaleforum should contact us this week to reserve the kit because we only carry either one or two of each kit.


We are pleased to announce a significant amount of progress on the EasiChas for the Hornby GER J15 which David Barham has been working on with us. It has now reached the test etch stage. Click this link for pictures of the etch and the first trial assembly. David has written a blog on RMweb about the J15 and he will update this as he completes the build.


We are considering whether to do an EasiChas for the forthcoming Hornby GWR 41xx/51xx/61xx which is due out in August, and also for the Dapol GWR 43xx mogul when it comes out at the end of the year.

Work is progressing well on the GWR 2361 0-6-0 kit and we have built the first test etches for the frames. Work is also well in hand to produce an early test etch for the frames for the tank engine version, the 1661 class.

Come and talk to us about all of these at ExpoEM.

We will have good supplies of all four types of Private Owner wagon subframes at the show.

Anyone who wants to buy specific ex-Martin Finney kits at Expo EM should contact us this week to reserve the kit because we only carry either one or two of each kit.

02-04-19 Progress is being made with the new Great Western kit for the 2361 class loco. The design work for the footplate and frames has been completed and a set of development etches ordered to prove what has been done so far. These should be delivered before Scalefour North, where they will be available to see, although there will have been no time to start assembly.

In the research for this kit, as one would expect, there are a number of detail differences, most of which we hope to include in the kit. Most noticeable are a number of different buffer beams, different shape and locations of the lamp irons, different designs of coupling rods and flush and raised rivet heads on both the footplate and outside frames.

Once we are happy with the frames, progress will then be made on the smokebox, boiler, firebox and cab.

All of the production smokebox/boiler/firebox Coronation resins have arrived, and we will bring a sample to Scalefour North. The etches for the engine and tender are now complete and have gone to the etching company. We have now finalised the make-up of the kits; the locomotive will have three alternative smokeboxes: single chimney, double chimney with sloping top and double chimney with cylindrical smokebox. The tender kit will build the de-streamlined tenders and either the welded type (as built with 6230-34) or the part-welded type (built with 6253-55).

The etch drawings for the footplate and below of the GWR 2361 0-6-0 are complete. We hope to have a test etch to show at Scalefour North.

01-01-19 Happy New Year from all at Brassmasters.

Work is continuing on the GWR 2361 0-6-0, with the initial design for the frames and footplate progressing well. A trial etch to see if it all fits together will be produced soon.

The Coronation resin samples have been approved and have gone into production. The etches for the engine and tender will follow shortly.

After a query from a customer about the GWR 3000 gallon tender, we have revised the instructions for this kit. The query was about the position of part 41, 'rear coal plate - rebuilt tender'. The person had found a picture that showed the coal plate in the same position as the un-rebuilt tender. Following a lot of investigation and the study of innumerable photos no evidence has been found, other than loco weight diagrams, that the coal plate was ever moved to the forward position after rebuilding. Therefore the instructions have now been altered to reflect this. The revised instructions and diagrams and will be put on the website.


We now have stocks of the resin mouldings for the Class 24/25 reduced height fuel tank/reduced length water tank and the balanced fuel tank and battery box. These will be on sale at the NEC.

The final pre-production resin samples for the Coronation have arrived and we will bring these to the show.


The RCH 1923 wagon subframes are ready and will be on sale at the Warley NEC show together with supplies of the RCH 1907 and Gloucester 1905 subframes; all of these will be available both singly and in packs of five.

Also ready are coupling rods for the LMS 8F 2-8-0 and the GWR 2251 0-6-0.

A reminder, if you want to make sure of a specific kit please email us before the show.


The RCH 1923 wagon subframes are now complete and the test etches are back from the etchers. We will have these on sale at the Warley NEC show together with supplies of the RCH 1907 and Gloucester 1905 subframes; all of these will be available both singly and in packs of five.

The resin samples for the Coronation boiler, firebox and smokebox have been checked and corrected prior to commencement of the production batch. The final amendments to the artwork are being done at the moment and will go for etching before the end of the year.

We should have most of the Martin Finney kits in stock at the Warley show, but if you want to make sure of a specific kit, email us to check if it will be available and to reserve it.


The design work for the RCH 1907 and Gloucester 1905 wagon subframes is now complete and the first production sheets are back from the etchers. We will have a limited number for sale at Scaleforum, which means that initially we will have to restrict each customer to one of each type; bulk supplies will be ready by the Warley NEC show. Design of the RCH 1923 subframes should be finished shortly and should be available towards the end of the year.

We have sourced an additional batch of coupling chain which has thicker, exact prototype size links and these are now available in lengths of 36 links, in either copper or soft iron. The original finer link chain is still available - this is in lengths of 48 links.

The resin samples for the Coronation boiler, firebox and smokebox have finally been received from the casters, some two months later than promised, and are being checked prior to commencement of the production batch.

We have also received samples of the Class 24/5 resin fuel tanks. These are also being checked prior to production and will be on sale by the end of the year, hopefully by Warley NEC.


Over the last few weeks we have been working on a series of sprung suspension and brake gear subframes for Private Owner coal wagons. Two of these were originally drawn up by Martin Finney but since then we have been able to access a number of RCH drawings (thanks to John Arkell, HMRS Private Owner Wagon steward), which has enabled us to make some alterations. Also, having built them, there were some minor changes made as a result. The subframes were originally designed to go under the pre RCH 1923 Slater's and Cambrian PO coal wagons, and the first two we will be releasing will cover the RCH 1907 wagons and Gloucester 1905 wagons. These will be available for Scaleforum. However, shortly after we will be releasing subframes to cover RCH 1923 coal wagons. One set will fit the later Slaters, Cambrian and Parkside wagons as well as Bachmann RTR wagons, whilst the second will fit Oxford RTR wagons.

Other drawings done have been for the Finney parts E2 Cab Backhead Details and E7 Carriage Brake Van Grills so that we are not dependent on Finney kit production for these items. These will be available ex-stock by the end of the month.


Unfortunately, due to a large increase in very small orders, we have been forced to reconsider our trading terms. After a long debate, we have decided to introduce a minimum order charge of £10, excluding postage and packing. Coupled with this we are also incorporating a small handling charge into our postage and packing charges. The minimum order charge does not apply at exhibitions.

We are sorry we have had to do this but very small orders, often for a single £1 item, coupled with a disproportionate time spent on some customer queries, has forced our hand.

Whilst we are happy to help as far as we can, we would like to say that, as we did not have anything to do with the development of the Finney kits, we do not know for example, if this Finney casting fits this other loco. Please can we ask that you do your own research into the parts you need as you will probably be able to find the answer, rather than us have to tell you, when you turn up at our stand or email us, that we don’t know the answer.

What is currently being worked on? The crane detailing kit is still progressing, albeit slowly, as 3D CAD is mastered. A GWR pony truck is also being developed for 00, EM and P4 to replace the RTR versions, or for use with your kits.

The Black 5 EasiChas and 2-6-4T EasiChas are making slow progress, and the J15 EasiChas is on hold at the moment due to personal circumstances of the designer.

10-05-18 The tender coal pusher 3D artwork is ready to produce the resin master. This is the second largest component we have to produce.

The main resin patterns for the boiler, firebox and smokebox are now with the casters who promise delivery of the first samples by the end of June.

01-05-18 We have re-introduced the superb ex-Martin Finney LSWR van kits which make up into very accurate models of these prototypes; these will be on sale at Expo EM. They include all of the various brake gear options and incorporate a sprung chassis.

We have also making available separately a number of the castings from the Finney LNER kits together with the first of the LSWR/SR castings.

We should have most of the Martin Finney kits in stock at Expo EM, but if you want to make sure of a specific kit, email us to check if it will be available and to reserve it.

Research has been carried out on the 2361 valve gear and it has been found that it is the same as the Dean Goods. The valve gear has has now been added to the 4mm GA drawing and, of course, we already have the etches for the Dean Goods valve gear.

27-03-18 We now have supplies of several ex-Martin Finney detail etches which have been out of stock for some time. The small etches that we are selling separately are normally found on the spare metal around the various loco and tender kit etches. This means that they are only available when etches for complete kits are ordered. The opportunity has been taken to start to produce new phototools for some of the more popular small etches or ones on less popular kits to ensure that we have a more controlled supply. The first ones so produced are E6 GWR cab seats, E8 GWR carriage destination boards and side lamp brackets, E16 Long spring hanger brackets for GWR 2500/3000/3500 gallon tenders as modified from c.1925 onwards (the castings for springs and dampers are also available), and E31 LNER engine lamp brackets. Further ones will be produced plus some new ones - e.g. a different version of the GWR carriage roof boards and LNER tender lamp irons.

We have been asked if we can produce the 2251 chimney that is fitted with a capuchon as this is a much better chimney than is fitted to the Bachmann (or Mainline) RTR model. This was an iron casting and not fitted with a ‘copper cap’ so is a whitemetal casting from the Martin Finney range. It will be available from April priced at £4.

The main pattern work on the Coronation (firebox, boiler and smokeboxes) is complete - see pictures and work is well advanced on the smaller patterns using 3D resin techniques.

We should have most of the Martin Finney kits in stock at the Scalefour North, but if you want to make sure of a specific kit, email us to check if it will be available and to reserve it.


In 2018 we will continue to add to the range of Martin Finney fittings that are available separately. Initial releases will be LNER fittings from the V2, A3 and A4 – anyone for some Gresley padded cab seats or an A3 double chimney?  The superb Finney LSWR wagon kits will be available in the spring, they really do make up to be one of the best model wagons ever available, just look at the one in the mixed goods on the Dawlish ‘Sea Wall’ scene at Pendon when you next go there. There will also be some sprung wagon chassis kits available to fit Slaters pre-1923 wagons to easily convert these kits to P4.

We will also be getting to grips with 3D CAD and 3D printing to help us to produce more complicated items, such as some of the castings for the crane detailing kit, a long-promised item as well as the new patterns need for the Coronation. We also will be progressing the first of our new Great Western loco kits, the 2361 class 0-6-0, based on the standards set by Martin Finney. A bit further away are the Wolverhampton large tanks, the 645, 1501 and 655 classes, but research is well underway and drawing work done.

Happy New Year from the Brassmasters team

14-12-17 Following requests at the recent shows, we will be shortly be producing supplies of several ex-Martin Finney detail etches which have been out of stock for some time. These include the GWR carriage destination boards, GWR cab backhead fittings and LNER lamp irons.

We hope to have John Brighton's first test etch for the LMS Black 5 EasiChas early in the New Year.

The main pattern work on the Coronation (firebox, boiler and smokeboxes) is complete and is being prepared for the resin casting supplier.


Bachmann G2 EasiChas - The kit will be on sale at the Warley NEC show together with the detailing kit (which is included in the EasiChas kit) and replacement whitemetal castings for the tender axleboxes/springs and the LNWR and Stanier pattern chimneys. Two types of coupling rod will also be available - the earlier 3-piece rods and the jointed pattern which are included in the EasiChas kit.

Have a look at our guide pages which include the instructions for everything in the kit together with lots of pictures of the building of our test models and also prototype detail shots.

We should have most of the Martin Finney kits in stock at the show, but if you want to make sure of a specific kit, email us to reserve it.


Couplings - we have added two types of fine scale couplings to our range. Firstly, 3-link couplings incorporating really fine chain links, which we are selling in packs of six pairs with our etched hooks and pockets. Secondly, lost wax screw couplings for locomotives, sold in pairs.

GWR castings - If you want to purchase a large number of individual castings at Scaleforum please email us before the show with your requirements so we can pack your order because it is difficult to do this during the show itself

Bachmann G2 EasiChas - we will have the assembled model including all of the additional details at Scaleforum. The kit will be on sale in late October when we have completed the instructions as we assemble the production etches. We have added more pictures showing the building of the test model.


Finney kits - we have packed another batch of Martin Finney kits for GWR, LNER and LSWR/SR prototypes - they will be on sale at Scaleforum. To be certain of getting the kits you want please email us beforehand to reserve.


GWR castings - Many years ago Martin Finney sold the castings from his kits separately but he withdrew this service as it was difficult to manage.  We have stocks of many of these fittings which are common across most GWR classes and are making these available separately. These include the excellent cab backhead details, some of which are suitable for non-GWR locos.  There are photos of each component so you can select the items you need for your project and also details of which of our kits each casting is used in. We are afraid we will not be able to enter into correspondence over these items (so no “can I have the fittings for a River class cab details as running in 1903” type questions please!). This will not be the entire range as some stocks are very low and therefore will be retained for full kit packing, and some of the parts are in short supply, so it will be a case of when ‘out of stock’ they may remain so for some time. There are nearly 100 of these lostwax and whitemetal castings as used in the GWR kits. At this time we are not selling the individual castings for the LNER and LSWR/SR kits, but may do so in the future.

Bachmann G2 EasiChas - we had hoped the kit would be on sale by Scaleforum, but it has been delayed for various reasons over the summer. However, the final artwork has gone to the etchers and, fingers crossed, we should have the production etches back a day or so before Scaleforum. This means that it will not be on sale until after the show, when we have completed our full test build. In the meantime, there are some photographs of the test build to whet the appetite. Further information will be available on the next blog, in the week before Scaleforum.

Bachmann Stanier Mogul front steps - the replacement front steps for the Stanier Mogul, to help you all get round the curves with the footsteps, are now available; it includes a drilling jig for the front lifting holes. Price £3.

Coronation - progress has been slow over the summer because of illness. The artwork is now finished and the patterns for the resin parts (firebox, boiler and smokeboxes) are almost complete.


Finney kits - we have packed another batch of Martin Finney kits - most will be on sale at Expo EM North, except for the LSWR 4-4-0s which will be ready for Scaleforum.


Following on from Expo EM, we were surprised by the number of purchasers of the LSWR ex-Martin Finney kits, which exceeded the expressions of interest for them, to the extent that we haven't yet supplied everyone who had expressed an interest but couldn't attend the show. Fortunately, we have parts back at base to produce a few more of each kit, so will anyone who did not come to Expo and still wants a kit please contact us.

Bachmann G2 EasiChas - the drawing work is almost finished which leaves only the job of how to squeeze all the components onto a sheet of brass - our least favourite part. Just to remind everyone, the EasiChas will cover all Belpaire-boilered G1, G2 and G2A variants once the standard roof was fitted. It includes the brackets and linkage for the improved brake gear and things like replacement cab doors, direct and indirect valve gear reach rods etc. Available separately will be a replacement set of outside frames, footplate and buffer beams for the tender, similar to the ones we produced for the Bachmann Deeley and Fowler tenders. There will also be a set of Whale frames for those who want a slightly different loco.

Bachmann Stanier Mogul front steps - the test etch for the replacement front steps for the Stanier Mogul to help you all get round the curves with the footsteps on needs a few minor amendments, although several people were happy to buy it at as it stands. The final production etch will be available shortly.

Mitchell Castle sander operating linkage - following a request from a professional loco builder for a set of operating linkage for a Mitchell Castle he was building, we have a few etches left. They are quite small but do add something extra to the loco. Price is £3.50 per etch. Please email us if you are interested.

LMS pattern leading and cab footsteps - these are now available again, having taken the artwork of the side of another kit and produced a separate phototool. Price £1 each (leading and rear)

Finney Churchward 3500 gal tender
- it has been brought to out attention that a few of the riveted tender tank overlays now included in the kits, did not have the the rear face etched. This will probably only cause a problem when you come to push through the rivets for the two rear steps and fit the handrails in the back corner. We now have a supply of correctly etched ones so, if you would like to check your kit,  if you have a defective one, we will replace the etch for you on receipt of the defective one (the very early ones and current sales are all ok).


As we were packing the LSWR ex-Martin Finney kits we couldn't help noticing that these later kits have far more lost wax fittings than the older GWR kits which mainly had whitemetal castings. However it is the selection of wire that amazed us! The lovely T3 kit has no less than 48 small components, 28 of which are unique and all have to be sourced, cut, counted and bagged up. There are 5 different diameters of soft copper wire, 11 different types of brass or nickel silver wire as well as tube, 6 different types of nuts and bolts etc etc. As one of us spent three whole days doing this we wondered if any other range of kits provided such a comprehensive (and prototypically correct) range of fittings? Also at the back of our minds was the fact that due to declining demand for these sophisticated kits, this would almost certainly be the last time we would ever be packing some kits – what a shame.

We will now be able to take credit card payments on both days at Expo EM.

25-04-17 Packing is well advanced on the ex-Martin Finney LSWR/SR kits and we aim to have all of the locomotive and tenders kits on sale at Expo EM next month. Prices and details will be on the website in about two weeks time.

Also available at Expo EM will be an etch for replacement front footsteps for the Bachmann Stanier 2-6-0 and stocks of our LMS locomotive footsteps, separately for the front and cab steps..

We are working on a range of etched doors for the Scalescenes buildings and are waiting for the first test etch. There will be around twenty different doors and they will feature separate frames so that the doors can be modelled in the open position. If the test etch is successful we will have the first one on sale at Expo EM.


Work is nearly finished on the etch design for the G2 0-8-0, and the tender is now being progressed. The locomotive features the major components to model any Belpaire boilered G1, G2 and G2A. The tender will feature as well as the normal inside EasiChas frames, replacement outside frames, footplate, drag and buffer beams as on the 3F and 4F models. There will be two types of replacement frames, the last Bowen Cooke with oval holes and the slightly earlier D shaped ones that go with the Bachmann tender body.

Progress on the Coronation continues with the footplate fitted to allow work to begin on the boiler/firebox pattern.


Best wishes for Christmas and the New Year from the Brassmasters team. We have a number of projects in progress which we hope will materialise during 2017.

In addition to the EasiChas kit for the Bachmann G2 0-8-0, we have been working on kits for the Bachmann Fairburn 2-6-4T and the BR Standard 2-6-4T. These are at the test etch stage, but we don’t have a projected release date because a few issues are not yet resolved – these two prototypes are not as simple as an inside-cylindered 1F 0-6-0T! John Brighton is also developing an EasiChas for the Black 5. This is still in the early drawing stage at present.

We are looking at releasing the remaining loco kits from Martin Finney in the spring, all LSWR prototypes.  If everything goes to plan there should be enough stocks of whitemetal for small batches of the M7, T3, T9 (Narrow and Wide cab versions), Radial Tank and L11 4-4-0 plus the appropriate tenders. Unfortunately, there are no working moulds for the whitemetal castings and although the masters are safe, it is very doubtful if the demand will justify the expense of new moulds. Therefore, this will be a case of producing the kits 'while stocks last' of the whitemetal castings. The etches and lost wax castings are not a problem because there are no set-up costs and production runs are much smaller.

Although we had hoped to have the Coronation kit ready by now, the artwork and test build has taken longer than anticipated. We have now completed all of this and are starting work on the patterns, both large (boiler/firebox) and small (oilboxes, etc). As we have said previously, this is one kit we will not be rushing but we would be disappointed if it is not on sale by the Autumn show season.

We have been frequently asked if we can supply chain to accompany our etched coupling hooks. We have sourced some excellent fine chain which we will package with chemically blackened versions of the hooks. We are also going to sell some nice lostwax screw couplings.

Looking longer term, research and development is underway on further complete kits. Carrying on with the Great Western theme of the Martin Finney kits, we are looking first at the 2361 class, commonly referred to as an 'outside framed Dean Goods' but actually an 0-6-0 version of the Stella 2-4-0. After that, would follow the Wolverhampton large 0-6-0 tanks, classes 645/1501/655. It is hoped to be able to produce saddle tanks for these as well as the pannier tanks. These kits are still a long way off, although having located the frame plans for the 1501 class at the NRM has made this project easier. If anybody knows the whereabouts of any detail drawings/frame plan etc. of the 2361 or its tank version, the 1661 class, then we would love to hear from you.


Work is progressing on the EasiChas for the Bachmann G2 0-8-0. The basic frames for loco and tender have been completed and work is ongoing on the tender side frame replacement. 

The kit will include, as well as the basic EasiChas, provision for both single brake cylinder and double cylinder brakework, and three part and jointed coupling rods. Other options are still being looked at for inclusion on the final production etch.


After a quite severe ‘possession’ of the kitchen table more packing of GWR and LNER kits has taken place. For those of you not associated with kit production, an insight into the high tech world of ‘small suppliers’ is not amiss; little pots, bowls and saucers are all laid out on the table each with one component for the kit in them, some with additional labels saying ‘x2’ et. It is then a matter of going around with a target pot and collating the required components for that kit. The time-consuming bit is filling the pots as there are over 600 small components for Martin Finney kits, many common across several kits, and so there is a check list for each model.

Small batches of the castings and wire ‘bits’ for the 2251 and Stella 2-4-0 classes have been produced and the etches etc are already in stock. While sorting out the 30 odd whitemetal and lost wax castings for these kits we realised that we would probably not be doing another lot of these two until 2018 or even 2019.  It does concentrate the mind somewhat as to how quickly time flies by!

14-11-16 After requests from a number of customers, we will have available for the Warley NEC show separate etches for the Bachmann MR/LMS 1F and Jinty coal rails.

Anyone who wants to purchase a Finney GWR or LNER kit, either at the NEC or at Manchester the following week, please let us know beforehand so we can make sure we have the kit with us. This also applies to anyone who wants a large quantity of the same item, eg windows or Cleminsons or bogie units.

10-10-16 The building of the first test etch for the Coronation is almost complete. The last obstacle was the cab which proved much more difficult than we had anticipated. After throwing away the first two attempts, we finally managed to build it as the picture shows. The outcome was some re-design and a decision to use brass rather than nickel for this part of the kit - the latter is too hard to form the complex curves needed in this area without a great deal of effort.

We have also been looking at various options for the running plate - punching through rivets is difficult and tends to bend the footplate, although it can be done. We will be adding in an etched overlay which has all of the rivet detail and will probably be the choice of most builders - we will leave it up to you.

We are now looking at the patterns and have decided to use 3D printing to produce the smaller items such as the oil boxes and lubricators. We may include them as resin parts in the final kit or merely use them to produce masters for lost wax castings.

We will not hit our original target of having the kit ready for Christmas 2016. With a kit of this type it is better not to rush things to hit an artificial deadline but we hope to have a release date some time during 2017.


The 1F EasiChas is complete and should be available for Expo EM North. Further photographs and instructions will be uploaded in the next few days

The LNER Martin Finney kits for the A1/A3,A4 and V2 plus associated tenders will be on sale at Expo EM North and Scaleforum. A small batch of each kit has been produced - they will be allocated firstly to customers who have pre-ordered.

We have been asked to produce a set of etches for the Heljan (Hattons) Class 14 'Teddy Bear' diesel hydraulic. The prototype rods were designed and built at Swindon works in true 'steam era' tradition. The rods were thin and shapely, flaring to huge bosses for the crankpin bearings. One boss was 6" thick! The rods on the Heljan model are thin stampings that really do not capture the proportions of the prototype. The Brassmasters nickel etches are built up from layers including overlays for the bosses. Some degree of filling with solder and filing back is required to get the flare into these bosses. Like the prototype, these rods are hinged with pins and do not articulate on the crankpins (as do the Heljan ones). These rods are designed for use with the excellent replacement wheels made by Ultrascale, although for OO or EM modellers they may be used with the Heljan wheels which have good detail.


The test etch for the 1F EasiChas is back from the etchers and has been checked. The final changes to the artwork are being made this week and the revised artwork is almost ready to be sent off.

The assembly of the Coronation test etch for the chassis is almost complete. Pictures of the bogie have now been added and the cylinders/motion are on the way as is the running plate and cab.

Work continues on the re-release of the LNER Martin Finney kits for the A1/A3, A4 and V2 plus associated tenders. Orders have been placed for the etches and castings with the aim of having the kits on sale for the September show season.


The summer is the traditional quiet time for modellers with the Railex show being the start of the summer for many.  Work has started on the re-release of the LNER Martin Finney kits for the A1/A3, A4 and V2 plus associated tenders. There are new moulds to be made for the whitemetal castings and our casters have done an excellent job of turning these around in record time.  The limiting factor on these, and the LSWR/SR kits, will be the castings that are ‘bought in’ from a well known supplier and caster who is unfortunately very unwell at the moment.  The hobby owes much to Adrian and let's all wish him a speedy recovery to good health following his operation and treatment.

10-05-16 The test etch for the EasiChas for the Bachmann MR 1F 0-6-0 has gone to the etchers. The kit includes, apart from the EasiChas frames, replacement coupling rods and brake gear, ashpan, two different types of balance weights, the correct brackets for the front and rear sandboxes and two different types of replacement coal rails. The test etch also includes a separate etch for the 1F splashers and also the Class 14 diesel coupling rods.
03-05-16 The building of the first test etches for the LMS Coronation 4-6-2 is well underway, starting with the chassis. Even for a "rough" build, it is starting to look impressive.
13-04-16 The five former R&E Models Great Central wagon kits for the GCR/CLC horse box, GCR/CLC 10T van, GCR refrigerator van, GCR bogie fish and GCR bogie brake, are now available.
08-04-16 The last five Martin Finney GWR kits, for the Atbara/Bird, City, 2251, 3232 and Stella, are now ready. If you have already reserved one of these, please contact us to complete your purchase. We have produced a small number of the earlier kits, including the Bulldog and Duke.

We have not yet started work on the LNER or LSWR kits. We will be looking at the LNER castings next month - this will give us a good indication of when the LNER kits will be back in production.

The former R&E Models Great Central wagon kits are progressing and will be ready for Scalefour North at Wakefield.

01-04-16 We have finally received the etches for the GWR Modfied Hall and the GWR coupling and connecting rods. We have also reworked the Finney GWR lamp irons which have not been available for some time.

After requests from several customers, we have produced a separate etch to modify the later pattern of Bachmann LMS Fowler tender into the early type without coal doors.

20-03-16 We have finally received supplies of the castings for the former R&E Models Great Central wagon kits and have ordered the etches. All five kits, horse box, 10T van, refrigerator van, bogie fish and bogie brake, will be available in April at Scalefour North.

The last five Martin Finney GWR kits, for the Atbara/Bird, City, 2251, 3232 and Stella, are almost ready, and again these will be on sale by Scalefour North.


The detailing kit for the Bachmann Modified Hall should go off to the etchers early next week after a final detail check of a prototype engine. The kit now includes a front frame spacer for the bogie.

Research (primarily several hours crawling over 4965 and 7903 at Tyseley Railway Museum followed by much checking of prototype photographs) has clarified what changes would need to be made to the existing Martin Finney Hall kit so that it covers the later batches from loco 5921 onwards. It would appear that a new cab and footplate would be required, plus a fire iron tunnel. The altered coupling rods are already in the Brassmasters' range.

The test etch for the Bachmann 1F EasiChas kit should also be going to the etchers shortly.

We are checking through the test etches for the Coronation kit and hope to have revised artwork completed by the end of March.

The next and final batch of GWR kits is progressing well. Martin obtained his lost wax for his second-ever kit, the 3232 class, from an obscure caster but luckily they are still in business, and have been able to find the masters and produce the required castings - although expensive, they are very nice too!

As you will know we asked for initial 'expressions of interest' (not orders) for all the Finney kits in order to decide the release sequence. This last batch of GWR kits (2251 Collett Goods, 3232 2-4-0, City 4-4-0, Atbara/Flower 4-4-0 and Stella 2-4-0) appear to be the least popular of all the GWR prototypes according to your levels of interest. If indeed this is a case, then we are unlikely to produce a second run of these until there is sufficient demand to re-order and pack a reasonable quantity.  

From the data we currently have, this could be at least 5 years away, and perhaps longer! Therefore, we would advise potential customers to reserve now so we order enough to satisfy demand. Prices are not yet finalised but they will be similar to the other Finney kits. We hope to have the kits on sale by around the end of March.


Looking forward to 2016

Firstly, best wishes to everyone for 2016 and especial thanks to those who supported our re-launch of the Martin Finney kits.

Our plans for the first half of the New Year are currently


·         Detailing kit for Bachmann GWR Modified Hall

·         Re-introduction of more Finney kits – Stella, 3232, Atbara, City and 2251 – which will complete the range of GWR locomotives

·         GCR rolling stock kits (the five kits formerly produced by R&E Models)

·         EasiChas for Bachmann MR 1F 0-6-0T

·         More lostwax and whitemetal components from the Finney GWR kits and the whitemetal castings from the GCR kits


Order your Christmas present (for 2016) now. Work is well underway on the production of a kit for the ultimate LMS locomotive, the Coronation 4-6-2, and has reached the test etch stage. The kit will allow any of the de-streamlined or non-streamlined engines, except for 46256/7, to be built. It will have our usual resin cast smokebox/ boiler/firebox with both semi and round-topped smokeboxes. We hope to have the kit on sale by Autumn next year, but there is much work to do before we can firm up a release date. In the meantime, watch the blog for news on its progress.


Progress on the detailing kit for the Bachmann Modified Hall continues and the transformation is startling. We are finalising the production artwork and hope to have the kit on sale by the beginning of February.


The second batch of Finney kits are going quickly and we have already sold all of the straight framed Bulldogs and are down to the last couple of Dukes and curved frame Bulldogs. We are now running short of some of the whitemetal castings which means that, although we have etches for a few more straight framed Bulldogs we cannot complete them or any more of the other two kits or the 47xx and 51xx kits until we have new castings. These require new moulds to be made so the delay will be at least a month but until then there remain just a handful of the kits from both batches. If you want any of the kits for Christmas please get in touch this week.


We have completed the work necessary to re-introduce more of the Finney range. There are five more locomotives and another tender: GWR 28xx 2-8-0, GWR Hall 4-6-0, GWR Straight framed Bulldog/Bird 4-4-0, GWR Curved frame Bulldog 4-4-0, GWR Duke 4-4-0 and the GWR 3,500 gallon tender which can now build either the plain or the snap-headed riveted version. The later cast brake hangers are also now included in kit. The riveted overlay for the 3,500 gallon tender and the cast brake hangers are available separately for those who may have bought a flush riveted version and want to build it as the later type.

We already have expressions of interest for nearly all of the kits we have packed, so in fairness to everyone we will have to make these available on a first come, first paid basis. If you can collect at Warley or Manchester, then please let us know and if possible send payment before the show - we will confirm your reservation and make sure the kits are there for you.

We know some of you didn’t manage to get hold of kits from the first batch so we have produced a small number of these kits too.

The Hall kit was designed to cover the range 4900 – 5920 but we have found that the coupling rods were jointed in the rear rod rather than the front rod from 5901 onwards. To ensure that the kit can cover the original number range, we have produced a new set of rods for locos 5901 – 5920 which are also available separately.

We have been researching why the Hall kit did not cover the locos from 5921 to 6958 and the only reason we have been able to discover is that they had a fire iron tunnel on the left hand side behind the splashers and that the coupling rods were jointed in the rear rod rather than the front rod. We will shortly be producing an etch to add the fire iron tunnel but if anyone has any more information on any other differences, please contact us.


Packing is well underway for the next batch of Martin Finney kits.  The new lost wax castings have been delayed but will be ready next week, so fingers are still crossed. To be fair we did mess around with the quantities so the delay is justified. A large quantity of boxes was delivered yesterday and several hundred etches have been chopped up and wrapped ready to drop into them along with the instructions which have been printed.

The morning has been spent pressing out 4mm GWR washout plug covers from shim brass, not the highly automated process you would expect from a well equipped machine shop, but one at a time on my lathe adapted to be a vertical press –the failure rate is high as and is accompanied by much bad language! The next job will be cutting all the little lengths of tube, wire and all the other bits. This will be followed by ‘taking possession’ of the kitchen table to lay each component out in little dishes, then it is a case of “1 of these, 2 of those, 4 of this” until the components for that particular kit is packed. It is surprising how many different components are in each kit, and how different the components are between different kits.

.........and the website pages are ready but we won't tempt fate to launch these until the castings arrive!

11-11-15 The first enhancement to one of the Martin Finney designed kits is now in hand. A test etch for a riveted overlay for the GWR 3,500 gallon tender has now arrived and is being checked against the framework of the original tender. Apart from a couple of minor adjustments this has worked well and the production drawing should be updated and sent off this week. Similarly, an etch for the later cast version of the brake hangers is being produced.

A set of test etches has been produced to modify the front end of the Bachmann GWR Modified Hall. This will allow the correct level footplate between the frames to be modelled. The etches also include the covers for the side of the smokebox saddle, dummy frames for below the footplate and the brackets behind the buffer beam. Still to be trialled are the replacement curved footplates with the correct detail and a replacement smokebox footstep. (see photo)
26-10-15 The white metal castings have arrived, the etches are due this week and the lost wax castings are promised for next week for the second batch of Martin Finney kits. So fingers crossed, we should have the kits on sale by the Warley NEC show.

The inside motion crank castings have also arrived.

08-10-15 Orders have been placed for the white metal and lost wax items for the second batch of Martin Finney kits. Our casters are quiet at the moment so a very heavy parcel will be winging its way northwards in the near future.

The lead times for the other components are a little longer, especially so for the inside motion crank castings, so don’t get too excited yet. However reservations are of course welcome!

30-09-15 Following requests for riveted overlays for the Churchward 3500 gallon tender, work has nearly finished on producing the necessary drawing. The outstanding issues are simply researching which of the various odd items need including and where, based on preserved examples and photos of tenders in traffic.

Also being looked at are etches to reproduce the replacement cast brake hangers for all the early GWR tenders.

22-09-15 The first batch of Martin Finney kits has almost gone with only a couple of kits left. If you missed out on one of these please let us know ASAP.

All except two of the final few Princess Royal kits were sold at the weekend. It was great to see on Sunday afternoon no less than four almost finished models - 10% of those sold!

We delivered around 30 patterns for GWR fittings to our lost wax caster last week. As soon as these are ready we will be able to produce the next batch of GWR kits which we hope to have on sale by the Warley NEC show. These will be for the 28xx, Hall, Duke and Bulldog (both types) and the Churchward 3500 gallon tender.

10-09-15 As promised several months ago, we will be selling the first batch of kits from the Martin Finney range at Scaleforum. We are starting off with five locomotives and three tenders, all for the GWR. Final packing will take place during the quiet periods at Expo EM on Saturday so anyone going there may be able to purchase a kit towards the end of the day.

Please be aware that we will be producing the locomotive kits in small ‘batches’, and when a batch is sold out there may be a break of about 12 months before the next batch is available.

We have taken the opportunity to include in those kits with inside motion, the etches for the inside motion which allows construction of a non-working ‘dummy’ inside motion.  An additional kits are available to convert this to working inside motion - these include; lost wax axle cranks, turned brass eccentrics, rivets and detailing parts and instructions.

For those disappointed that their choice of kit is not yet available, don't worry because we aim to release another group of kits before the end of the year.

04-09-15 Things are progressing well on the Martin Finney range and we should have five GWR locomotive kits and three tender kits on sale at Scaleforum this month.  Following a small, heavy and very expensive delivery of brass, steel and thin walled brass tube two entire days have been spent cutting wire and tube to the required lengths, and forming mud hole covers in the press tool for the first batch of kits.

Look out on the website in the next few days for announcements on what will be in the first batch of kits.


Spent a couple of days sorting the new whitemetal castings into individual parts and then pre-packing them for the first batch of kits to be released. These will only be a few of the extensive range and only GWR at first (sorry everyone else!). We have concentrated on the kits for which there were the most ‘expressions of interest’ and these will come first.

The first batches of lostwax castings have arrived so we can now confirm which ones go in each kit. Production quantities of these and the etches for the first kits to be released were ordered lat the start of the month.

The flexichas bearings are the next problem to solve - the previous supplier cannot make them because the old machine they used is now broken. We are hopeful these can be sourced from another firm they have put us in touch with who supply other manufacturers in the model railway trade.


A small, heavy and expensive parcel arrived today – the GWR whitemetal castings!  They were the first spin for approval from the new moulds and they have come out very well. We have ordered many spins of all the GWR components we need and await another even heavier parcel….……

The new lost wax GWR castings are the limiting factor now. We have made the decision to cast in lost wax some of the more awkward smaller components that either have undercuts, thin long sections or are tiny as these were the most difficult to cast in whitemetal. We have had discussions with our caster and will sprue these up in the next week or two - there are about 30 very small but superbly mastered patterns to attach to very fine tube etc.


Another trip around the M25 today, just for variety clockwise delays meant we had to go anticlockwise on the outward journey and come the other way on return. Oh the joys of the British road system! At least the A roads of Sussex were clear. The purpose was to drop off the masters for the new whitemetal moulds for some of the GWR locos. They are still tiny wee castings and we hope they can be cast ok. One of the guys removing the castings from the old moulds was honest and said he could not see the tiny little components that were coming out, just the feeds!

Time is ticking on now if we are to get anything available for the autumn, but at least the casters say it is a quiet time of the year for them.


Well our casters have had a good attempt at casting from the old moulds (that are designed to spin the wrong way), but the result was a failure.  There are too many items that simply fail to come out and the ones that do are unreliable.  This means the investment in moulds was a waste of money.  The way forward is of course to make new moulds for all the whitemetal castings, and even transfer some to lost wax. There are some items where we have sufficient stocks of whitemetal to ‘see us out’ for all future production of that kit, however what it will mean is where there is low demand for a kit the full cost of producing new moulds (both time and effort) has to be spread over a low number of customers.  

When we do finally manage to get a kit available, we would strongly advise customers to “get it while you can”, the barriers to re-issue might be very high.
19-06-15 We have updated the 4F EasiChas instructions section dealing with the Fowler tender and also the 4F detailing kit for the Fowler tender. We strongly recommend that anyone with the original instructions should download these because there are many changes and a large number of photographs not available on the first version of these.

Another fun day travelling around the M25 and rural ‘A’ roads delivering moulds for the Martin Finney whitemetal components to our casters. Of course I could have posted them but I do not want to risk the movement of moulds nor masters through the postal system, whatever the service paid for they would still have the risk of them getting lost or destroyed.

Martin's previous caster is retiring from the business and lead times had become unpredictable, so the only choice was to move to alternative casters. The choice of professionals willing to cast whitemetal is decreasing every year and I can see a situation in a few years time when no-one is performing this time consuming and skilled function. It certainly is not a ‘young mans’ profession! 

One ‘feature’ of Martin's caster is the moulds are spun in the opposite direction to everyone else! Thus the feeds for the whitemetal to flow no longer work with conventional casting machines. This means each mould has to be hand re-cut and even then there is a risk they will not work. Only time will tell. Otherwise it is a complete new set of moulds which of course is even more time and expense.

If we said the moulds had ‘evolved with time’ it would be kind to the manufacturing process. In the perfect world one mould produces all the whitemetal for one particular kit, so one spin gives say a Stella, or a 3000 Gallon tender. Not so with these moulds! There seems to be a random selection of components on each mould depending on which components cast well, the demand for them and the date of production. Thus if there was a shortage of GWR steam ance cocks, curved spring tender axleboxes and buffers, then these would be on the mould for the latest kit plus a couple of spare backheads etc. No record of what is on each mould seems to exist so the next job, assuming the casting works, will be to audit the output from each mould and see we get from ‘Mould No1’  - most were not even numbered or identified until yesterday!

Better news on the lostwax castings - our supplier has started to produce our first order which was for one of each sprue so we can confirm what is on them - we don't anticipate similar issues from these. Once we receive the samples and have checked them, we will place a production order which should mean we have them in plenty of time for the Autumn shows.


The last week almost every spare hour has entirely been taken up sorting and counting miscellaneous Martin Finney whitemetal castings. If you imagine a bag of mixed castings that could be for any GWR kit, there are 300 masters cast in whitemetal and any (but not all) of these could be in that bag. It is basically a 300 way sort! Those of you who have built one of his kits will know that some of the castings are tiny (the A4 brackets hold the record as these are about 1.5mm x 0.5mm) but what you probably are unaware of is that several are ALMOST identical. loco springs with 6 leafs or 7, sandboxes of similar dimensions, some with some without relieving holes etc, etc.  

The process has been slow and tedious. Stock levels are interesting, there are hundreds of some components, zero of a few and less than 20 of many. The next stage is to examine the 20 odd moulds and attempt to work out what comes out of each mould.

03-06-15 We have obtained the remaining stocks of the Finney accessory etches and sundry lostwax castings and these are now available for sale. We have arranged them separately under GWR, LNER and LSWR/SR - they include a few rolling stock items and miscellaneous items. Note these do not yet include those included in the locomotive and tender kits which will be available later in the year.

Work has started on documenting the Martin Finney masters. Most are truly wonderful pieces of craftsmanship. The aim of this exercise is to fully record them before they disappear off to the new casters, this way we should all know what we are talking about when we talk about GW Four Cone Ejector versus the Single Cone Ejector, etc. Have a look at these examples - GW Tapered Chimney, GW Combined Ejector & Brake and GW Sandbox. We have just short of 300 masters identified and photographed with just a handful still to locate.

22-05-15 Another trip to deepest Dorset to see Martin Finney. The aim was to collect the 4mm GW and LSWR masters and some miscellaneous items. Most masters were collected and are in excellent condition. A few masters were still at the casters who have become rather attached to them! Hopefully these can be extracted in the next few weeks.


We have updated the instructions for the replacement splashers for the Bachmann 4F. These can now be downloaded as can those for the Bachmann 3F.


It was good to meet many of you at ExpoEM this weekend - it is always a useful source of ideas including the introduction of this blog!

The retrospective entries below cover some of the things discussed with those who visited our stand at Expo EM.

We have had feedback on the 4F EasiChas which confirms our own thoughts - the Bachmann chassis design, which is different to their 3F chassis, does not take readily to EM or P4 wheels because for some reason they have put a cast mazak filler insert into the splashers which means there is no clearance for the wider wheels without gouging out a large quantity of metal. We have devoted almost a whole page to this in the instructions and to do this you need to use a mini-drill and burr.

The good news though is that our final pre-production model in P4 ran perfectly around a layout for over 3 hours and pulled 35 wagons including about a dozen cast whitemetal vehicles.


We have now checked all the Martin Finney phototools and are ready to produce etches from them as soon as we require them. Our major issue is with the whitemetal castings where we have only today taken possession of the first moulds which cover some of the kits. We hope to pick-up the other moulds in two weeks time, after which we will be in a position to see whether we need to have any new moulds produced to put individual kits back into production.

It is still our intention to try to produce the GWR kits first but we may sneak in one of the other kits as well if the components are available.


A number of people have been in touch asking whether we will be producing EasiChas kits for any of the prototypes in the Finney range. The answer to that is no, but we do intend to make the chassis etches available for those who want to convert one of the Ready to Run models to EM or P4.

Candidates for this are the GWR Hall, 2721 Pannier, 41xx/51xx/61xx and 28xx, and the SR M7 and T9.

Perhaps the Adams Radial is another possibility for the future?

Most of the full kits include chassis parts on the body etches so this might be a little ‘messy’ and therefore they will not be a cheap replacement, but as you know the quality is superb.

If you are interested in any of these please drop us an email.


4F EasiChas instructions - an updated version of the instructions has now been loaded onto the site.

This contains additional pictures and minor corrections. A page of the pictures has been added to the site.

There will be a further update by the end of the month with minor amendments and more photos for the Fowler tender.


There was a minor glitch in the etches for the 4F EasiChas. One of the tender axleboxes inadvertently "disappeared" between the final test etch and the production etch so the latter only has five axleboxes!

Also, we were unhappy with the size of the holes in the brake hangers which were under-etched.

To correct these two issues, we have produced a supplementary etch which is available for those who purchased a kit at Scalefour North and which is now included in the kits - please contact us and we will post the etch to you.


Following the announcement from Martin Finney of his retirement, Brassmasters are pleased to announce that we have acquired the 4mm range of Martin Finney kits. These high quality kits have been admired by ourselves and fellow finescale modellers since their introduction, and this will ensure their future production.

It is our intention to make some of the castings and sundry components available as soon as possible and, in the longer-term, to introduce further kits.

Martin is working with us to ensure a smooth handover and when this is completed we will set out our future plans.

However, it is unlikely that any of the existing kits will be available again until the Autumn.

We will provide regular updates via the website. If you do not already receive our newsletter, please email us to register and ensure you are alerted as the kits are re-introduced.

Copyright © 2024 Brassmasters Scale Models