Good evening all,
It has been a good few weeks since my last newsletter, in-fact it was Newsletter No. 27, which was back at the start of June!
Well since then, as I'm sure you can imagine, we've been incredibly busy and I have been aiming to get this newsletter out for over a week now.
I have a few things to cover, the usual website/eBay shop updates, Darstaed news and a last minute exciting trip to China where, I went to the factory in which Darstaed products are produced and assembled! So lets start there...
It has been my intention to travel out and see the production process of Darstaed models for some time now. I've always felt you can never beat hands on experiences, and although emails between myself and Andries (Darstaed's owner) cover most things, a trip in person cannot be beaten.
Well, what a superb setup. I came away from the trip with oodles of optimism for the future of Darstaed and Ellis Clark Trains. The quality of models produced is, as I'm sure you all will agree, superb.
Processes and manufacturing details which I had never given a single thought were on display all round. For example, each coach side is individually hand painted with 3 - 5 coats, in between each coat the brass-painted side is angled in light and checked for dust speckles. Now, most of us might let a few dust speckles on a painted coach go, but not here, if there is but one tiny piece of dust on the coach side, it is taken away from painting, rubbed down smooth and back in for the next coat. This process is repeated until the colour is perfect, deep and the painted surface smooth.
This is one of many processes these coaches go through, in-fact once assembled the coach sides are checked again for dust and if any is found? You guessed it, the coach is dismantled and the sides go back for painting.
It is a very humbling place to visit, I was treated to a proper local dinner on the night I arrived, the platter of foods laid before us was sublime, as a fish-lover, I was in heaven (the beer and wine was also good...)
After a couple of days of meetings and a few tours of the factory, I left China in the knowledge that products being produced by this growing brand will only get better and better, and our partnership stronger.
An update for you all then: Throughout this month we will be receiving TSO, BCK and FK coaches into stock in the five main liveries. On Tuesday we received the maroon TSOs and FKs (now available on the website) with the blood and custard versions being delivered early next week.
Between August and September we will receive all the catering stock (RMB, RU, RFO and RSO), with the sleepers and 57' BGs arriving early December time.
Unfortunately we are now sold out of Set As (BSKs, CKs and SKs) in blood and custard, Southern green and choc and cream, however available on our website are 2 weathered set As, one in green, the other in choc and cream.
Maroon and blue/grey set As are also starting to run low so we would recommend purchasing soon to avoid disappointment (we are also happy to reserve sets, feel free to ring and discuss).
If you're into Continental O gauge of a high quality then you won't be disappointed at the moment! We've had some superb items into stock and up for sale on our website.
Also coming into stock next week are some stunning professionally built electric gauge 1 and O gauge locomotives, well worth keeping an eye out for these!
If you're a follower of our eBay site then you may have noticed the spike in activity this week. This comes off the back of a remarkable Continental HO collection, mostly of Italian locomotives and rolling stock.
There is some more coaches to come, although most items have now been listed. If you like your HO and you haven't already, it's certainly worth having a look through our eBay shop under the HO category (or most recently listed).
Well That just about brings me up to speed with yourselves and besides, it's probably best to save some content for a newsletter after these 25+ degree days and once England have won the World Cup!
Finally - If you have any pointers or opinions on ECT (Ellis Clark Trains) please drop me a line, I always like to get feedback!
All the best,