NWM Meets Skytrex!

While at the Loughborough Model Railway show, the opportunity was taken to catch up with Dave at Skytrex, and take time to explore the inner workings and future plans for this popular manufacturer.

NWM has stocked an ever growing list of the Skytrex model railway detail range for the last 6 years, this exceptionally popular range covers both OO and O Gauges, with a mix of resin and white metal cast products ranging from crates and oil drums to canal barges and water cranes.

After the show had finished for the day on Saturday evening, i made my way over to the Skytrex workshop, as a pre arranged visit I met up with Dave the owner for an after hours factory tour and to share ideas and plans for the future.

Upon entering the workshop i was in awe of the sheer number of moulds, all perfectly placed on their racks labeled ready for the next batch to be made. Starting on the metal castings, its traditional old school techniques, melting white metal and pouring it into moulds which have been created from highly detailed masters. There is more to it but generally thats the principal, the same is similar for the resin casting, although the moulds for this are made of silicone laytex which sadly only survives a few runs through the casting process before becoming unusable. As before theres a lot more to it, and its certainly interesting stuff and you can tell that Dave and his team work hard to ensure the best quallity products all the time.

Its not just model railways that are covered, warhammer and other modeling areas are also covered with fine details readily available with a large range of scales, covering everything from tiny figures to battle ships to space domes. Every where you looked there was models in various states of build/clean up, moulds, previous products and equipment to run the business.

I could tell that Dave is immensly proud of the work done and the team he has at Skytrex, and rightly so, his enthusiasm for the company and the processes was clear to see, especially when he showed me his new toy, an 8k 3d printer! He explained that this will allow him to create and make even better products in any scale, easier and cheaper, especially when it comes to smaller component and detail parts. Its still in the experimental stage but the early results look very promicing.

Stunning O and OO Gauge milk churns fresh off the 8k 3D printer

On the eco friendly side of things sadly the current processes, are not ideal, especially the resin casting, as currently very little can be recycled or re used, however where possible the team does try and keep waste to a minimum, without reducing product quallity. Its hoped that the 3D printer will help reduce the current waste especially for smaller resin components.

So apart from the 3D printer what else was on the plan book? Lots of things is the basic answer, for model railways there will be further growth in both the O and OO Gauge markets with more items becoming available in OO that are already available in O, and they are possibly looking at going into the N Gauge world! With some of their more popular detail items that can be created easily on the 3D printer, Additionally people and animals could also be added to the range with the right scanning equipment similar to that already produced by ModelU3D. Additionally further details and options will becoming available for items like the narrow boats, and the large building kits. Fantastic news alround!

How can NWM help Skytrex? Well simply by sharing ideas of what customers ask for, if you ask for it and its not available, i can chat with Dave and the team and see if something can be created, be it a skip or a viaduct, we want you to share the ideas to add to the very long list of potential products.

What does this mean for NWM? well it means a continued good strong relationship with one of the best model railway detailing manufacturers in the country, which of course means a continued expansion of products stocked in both OO and O. Of course if and when the N gauge range comes online NWM will be there to stock it along with some even larger scales such as those for Gauge 1 and Gauge 3 for use in the garden railway worlds, which is something thats currently being considdered.

The tour ended with a firm knowledge on both sides of continued work together, to bring the ideas and products with the right quallity and detail to the model railway world.

Finally a special thanks to Dave for the factory tour, its always great to see how things are made and the enthusiasm with the team to do so, the range has been popular and consistant with sales for many years and has been a huge factor in the growth and stability of NWM which im sure will continue for many years to come.

To see our current Skytrex range click here: Go to Skytrex


About North Western Models


At North Western Models we believe that it’s the detail that brings a model railway to life.

North Western Models was established in 2015 by Kevin Colley and Christopher Gore as an online model shop based in Stockport, Cheshire. Initially dealing with high quality detailing accessories and kits, North Western Models prides itself in serving the model railway community to promote the notion that detailing helps to bring a model railway to life.

Kevin and Christopher have a lifelong passion with railways in general and also with model railways. Between them, they have planned, built and exhibited a number of layouts in 00 and N gauge at various local model shows. Kevin and Christopher regularly attend a number of exhibitions each year, either trading as North Western Models or with one of their layouts which is currently on the exhibition circuit.

Kevin Colley, North Western Models Co-founder
Kevin Colley, North Western Models Co-founder