Here you will find the latest news and reviews on current or upcoming models, as well as events information.
Rebuilt Merchant Navy News
A video of an assembled production kit can be found here.
Shipping kits (lettered & unlettered) from UK inventory now.
15 October 2014
Now shipping unlettered Rebuilt Merchant Navy kits and lettered kits – 35028 Clan Line from UK inventory.
A specially commissioned set of cabside number transfers are available now gratis to all customers who took (or plan to take) the unlettered option. Guilplates can supply nameplates and smokebox door number plates for your choice of locomotive.
Contact Aster Hobbies UK for all the latest info. Kits price £4250.00 but if you pay with debit Card, cheque or Bank Transfer then deduct £75.
14 August 2014
A new prototype model was shown at the Midlands Garden Railway Show in March to much acclaim. A number of detail changes have been made and the customer response was excellent. Photographs will be posted as soon as the weather improves enough to get some good images. Further adjustments to boiler casing and safety valves are still in progress.
Delivery is anticipated in the Spring of this year. Kits will come first and the very few Factory Built-up will follow. We anticipate kits will be priced at £4250.00. Factory built will be £5250.00. However, I may have already filled my allocation of Factory Built so if you haven’t already registered then please get in touch PDQ. Kits will be available as either 35028 Clan Line or without cabside number and tender crest for your choice. Please indicate by email or phone call which is your preference if you have not already done so. Production run size will be 200 units for Worldwide sale but please note that the Aster Hobby Co reserve the right to make a small additional batch if demand warrants it. So far customer response from all quarters has been excellent and our decision to proceed with a Rebuilt Merchant Navy is vindicated despite the activities of the ‘other lot’ at the launch event and subsequently. We have made a concerted effort to bring to an end this model duplication saga but the other party are determined to plough on as their fictitious website messages indicate. We will continue to do our best for our loyal customers.
4 April 2014
A second prototype model is expected in the UK for evaluation shortly. More pictures will be posted as soon as possible.
From the photographs already received from Aster Hobby Co., we can detect some detailing errors still to be dealt with but they are aware of this and are working hard to get everything perfect.
Pricing and availability are still unclear but we are confident that the waiting will soon be over!
Please download the latest Aster News & Views from N & V Autumn 2013 for all the latest.
29 September 2013
The prototype model arrived in time for the Gauge One Expo on 15/16 June. Although there are several inaccuracies, the overall impression is very good. With a correct 6000 gallon tender, the nameplate correctly fitted and a number of details improved, it will be another winner.
A brief video can be found here
26 June 2013
As reported previously, I visited Aster Hobby Co Inc in August 2012 to resolve the programme for British outline Aster models for the coming years. It is still clear to me that above and beyond all other requests from customers, the Rebuilt Merchant Navy class is still the most wanted British outline model.
The good news is that progress is being made on a prototype model. Hopefully we will have this in the UK for evaluation and customer approval during the summer of 2013.
Our model will be based on 35028 ‘Clan Line’ with 6000 gallon tender. It will have 3 cylinders and fully operational Walschaert valvegear. Factory built-up for the UK will be numbered and lettered – 35028 ‘Clan Line’ whereas kits will not be numbered for customer’s choice.
Price. We have seen a small improvement in the value of ther Pound Sterling against the Yen and if this continues then prices will be a little better than previously indicated.
Delivery date is still a big unknown but hopefully by the end of 2013 but again much depends on the prototype.
I will open a reservation list shortly and when the production prototype arrives, we will take firm commitments.
Aster Hobbies (UK) LLP 20 May 2013
Aster Castle Hints & Tips
A few Hints & Tips based on the experience so far with the new Aster Castle.
My kit built example runs as well as the production prototypes. The exhaust beat is particularly noticeable even with light loads. Generally feedback from customers has been favourable.
There are a few points worth sharing: (more…)