On this page we want to capture the history of many of the manufacturers that supplied S-scale modelers with products over the decades. This is an ongoing effort, and your information and corrections are very welcome.
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Owned by Walter C. Graeff, who passed away on April 5th, 1978. In the Spring 1983 issue of the NASG Dispatch, Don Thompson reports that Ace's product line was sold to Russ Downs of the Downs Model Railroad Co. In 1991 Russ offered the ACE product line for sale.
The company was owned by Dan Imfeld, a one-man, part-time operation. The GG1 models were all hand-assembled, and in 1986 (two years after their introduction), he was still 20 orders behind.
Was based in Port Jefferson, New York (later East Setauket, New York). They ceased importing brass in early 1983.
This structure manufacturing company, owned by Bert Cutler, was based in Cincinnati, Ohio. (note: this is not the same company as the current-day brass retailer "Allegheny Scale Models" based in Hackettstown, New Jersey).
Tom Hodgson owned both small companies, based in Spring Grove, Illinois. IDI dates from the early 1980s, and is still his design and engineering services firm. AHR was created later especially for the production of his S-scale urethane engine and car models. Some of his early S-scale passenger car models have the IDI name imprinted. The company produced engines that were copied from HO-scale models.
Owned by Ron Bashista. This is one of the main S-scale model railroad manufacturers. They started in the 1980s. Starting in 1989 they started a collaborative effort with S-Helper Service to bring a good number of products to market, most of which they still produce to this day. In 1995 this collaboration ended, and S-Helper Service started producing their own product line under the name "Showcase Line". American Models still makes everything you need to build a functional model railroad in S-scale. In 2017 they built a new manufacturing facility, so the future looks bright.
This company was based in Rowland Heights, California. In 1998 they brought to market the former "Corona Flex" flextrack system, which used code 172 nickel-silver rail (i.e. fully compatible with the A.C. Gilbert equipment), but with realistic-looking plastic ties, spaced matching the prototype.
Owned by Russ Mobley (after whom the NASG's Mobley Library was named). The company was started in 1971 and based in Thomson, Georgia. The company created kits for freight cars and structures (by 1993 they had produced 21 different kits). The product line was sold to B.T.S. in 1996.
The company was based in Ridgewood, New Jersey. It manufactured box car, reefer, and gondola wood kits. Sides were silkscreen painted. Kits were wood construction with early plastic car kits, doors, and centersills. Over the years, the kits' plastic warps.
The company is based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In 1990 they expanded their figures line by starting to produce S-scale figures.
B.T.S. is owned by Bill and Diane Wade, and is located in Belington, West Virginia. The company was started in 1979 as Bill's Train Shop, a brick-n-mortar model railroad hobby shop. In 1984 the company changed to a mail-order company. In 1991 the first B.T.S. kit was created, an S-scale product. Other scales were added starting in 1996. Also in 1996, the company bought the Amity Star Models product line. In 1996 Bill Wade left the partnership of SouthWind Models, and took with him the brass detail castings line. In 1997 they announced the purchase of the Sn3 and On3 logging car product line from Rio Grande Models. In 1998 B.T.S. bought Master Creations (which was a laser-cut kit manufacturer that started in 1984, and they were a sub-contractor for B.T.S.' kits).
(yes, the name is in all-lowercase) This company is based in Dummerston, Vermont, and owned by Bill Banta. In September 1998 they bought the S-scale structures product line from Building & Structure Co. Some of the kits that were part of that transaction could not be reproduced by banta modelworks due to the licensing agreement that Building & Structure Co. had with American Model Builders, Inc. In 2014 banta modelworks got out of S-scale by selling the structures product line to Commercial Scale Models, who are releasing them under the original name "Building & Structure Co".
Based in Denver, Colorado.
The company is based in Buena Vista, Colorado. They introduced the S-scale open- and closed-frog turnouts in 1990 under the label "Tru-Scale". In 1995, they bought the Tomalco Sn3 freight and passenger car kit product line from The Building & Structure Co. In 1999 they acquired Classic Miniatures and Taurus Products (both merged into their Trout Creek Engineering line of Sn3 cars and structures).
This company was an O-scale tinplate manufacturer based in Clifton, New Jersey. They made S-scale track as well as some S-scale models in the 1950s. The rail heights available were code 125 and code 172.
The company was owned by Leonard Atkins.
This company was formed in the mid-1980s by two gentlemen in Fenton, Missouri, John Kalin and Pete Smith. They started producing S-scale kits in 1989. In addition to hydrocal, styrene, and white-metal parts, they were one of the first companies, in S, to use lasers to cut their kits' parts. Their product line's primary focus was on Colorado-based narrow gauge, but they did make some "generic" models. In September 1998 they sold their product line to banta modelworks. In 2014 banta modelworks sold the product line to Commercial Scale Models, based in Rhode Island and owned by Ben Viti. They are in the process of bringing the entire product line back under the old name "Building & Structure Co".
Owned by Tom Hood, this company produced dry-transfer decals, including for S-scale. The product line was sold to Ozark Miniatures in 2011.
Jon Beveridge bought out the Port Able Lines company owned by Delwyn "Jack" Amerine, and then later on bought out Locomotive Workshop to form Cascade Hobby Products. It was based in Sparks, Nevada. The company produced complete locomotive kits from various parts sourced from other companies, or companies bought out. In 1979 P-B-L bought the company.
This company specializes in unique 3D-printed items. The two ladies who own the company started by making only S-scale products, as that is their primary interest. However, as other modelers discovered their product line, they started requesting that they'd make them available in their scales, too.
The company, based in Bel Air, Maryland, was created by John Craft, and part of Railroad Art (another of his companies). The company only created a 3-bay hopper, which was bought by Des Plaines Hobbies in November 1995, who continue to sell this kit to this day. John Craft passed away in June 2000 at the age of 42.
Chester offered eight Pullman car styles in both 60- and 85-foot versions. They were baggage, baggage-mail, railway post office, combine (coach-baggage), coach, roomette (sleeper), diner, and observation cars. They produced them in the late 1950s in O-, S-, and HO-scales. All featured corrugated aluminum sides, wood floor, wood roof, two wood spacer blocks (to separate the roof and floor), two thick sheet-aluminum ends with four countersunk screw holes each, and eight short flathead wood screws to secure the ends to the floor and roof. Also included were stamped aluminum doors specific to each car, celluloid window material, and a pair of sponge-rubber full-width diaphragms. No truck or couplers were included.
This company is based in Universal City, Texas, and owned by Al Boos. They produced craftsman-style structure kits.
This company is based in California. They originally made Carona (or Corona) track. The two brothers Mescher took over the business and started making S-scale track under the brand name, American S Gauge.
Also known as C-D Models, this company was started in 1937 and are largely considered to be the one who created what would eventually be called "S scale". At first they produced static models, but later on they started making operating models. Model Railroader magazine issues of those years will have C-D Models advertisements in them. They also produced track (code 115), rail joiners, and #6 turnouts, as well as crossings, and a double-slip switch. After WWII they also started making code 210 rail, to start being compatible with A.C. Gilbert's equipment.
Formerly "Clever Bros Models".
This was the brand name for Funrise Toy Corporation, which was owned by Arnie Rubin. They produced fire-related S-scale emergency vehicle models. The product line was started in 1997, and they stopped operating in 2012.
A division of Sundance Publications, based in Denver, Colorado, this is a brick-n-mortar S-scale-only hobby shop.
This company is based in Stockton, California. They produce unique HO-scale freight cars. In March 2017 they released their first S-scale product, the Combustion Engineering CEBX 101 Schnabel car kit, along with two separately available loads.
A notice was posted in the June 1977 issue of Railroad Model Craftsman stating that this new company, founded by three ex-Gilbert employees, was starting production of American Flyer items. The company was formed on May 18, 1976. A brief history of the company can be found in The Collector, Volume 20, #4 Winter 1997. General Mills' Fundimensions decided to revive American Flyer, which caused Continental Flyer to go bankrupt. The 2012 March/April issue of S Gaugian magazine has a cover photograph of Wayne Gross, Donald Shea, and Harry Gordon, the three partners in Continental Flyer. They are holding a Franklin Passenger Set and a Barrel Unloader. There is mention of Continental Flyer in Hal Carstens' book "150 years of Train Models" on page 84. (information was provided by a number of people on the S-Trains Yahoo! Groups discussion list).
Corgi is actually a trademark name, created by Mettoy Playcraft Ltd in the UK in 1956. The company went bankrupt in 1983. However, in 1984 "Corgi Toys Limited" was created, and sold to Mattel in 1989. In 1995 Corgi Classics Limited bought Corgi from Mattel. In 2008 Corgi Classics Limited was bought by Hornby.
Owned by Doug Peck (who now owns Port Lines Hobby Supplies), this company produced a number of ready-to-run reefers.
Manufactured engine, interurban and trolley, and passenger car kits from 1947 through 1954.
Des Plaines Hobbies is a brick-n-mortar hobby store in Des Plaines, Illinois. The owner is very interested in S-scale. In November 1995 Des Plaines Hobbies purchased Chesapeake Models' product line (the H-39 hopper) and tooling from owner John Craft. In 1997 they announced purchasing the S-scale product line from Piano Model Products (etched roofwalks). In 2006 they purchased the Pacific Rail Shops product line. When S Scale America closed up, they purchased that product line as well (they continue to use that brand name for their new S-scale products).
This company, based in South Pasadena, California, manufactured working scale knuckle couplers.
The letters D, M, and K stand for the first names of the children of the company's three owners. The owners were Billy Click, Paul Riley, and Gale Hall. They produced various freight car kits. Later on, the three partners formed Modern Models.
Don Winter produced one S-scale kit in 1981, the 54' Thrall gondola. Jim Kindraka wrote an article about this kit in the June 2016 issue of The S Scale Resource magazine, which also includes some background on Don (he mostly produced On3 kits, and then switched to G/Fn3 kits before passing away in 2007).
Russ Downs started and operated this company, based in Gloucester City, New Jersey, out of his home, but he also had several employees. In 1980 Russ sold repainted/re-lettered American Flyer cars ("Silver", "Blue", "Red", and "Gold" line). In 1983 they bought ACE Model Railroad Company. Downs also sold cars under the name of "RUSTI Model Railroad Equipment" (A.F., REX, Pacific Rail Shops, and home-made body shells). Additionally, Downs owned the S Scale Locomotive & Supply company product line until 1999. Russ announced his retirement in 1999, continuing production until the product supplies ran out. In 2000 the entire Downs product line was sold to Manheim Machine & Tool (Lancaster, PA). Russ Downs passed away at the age of 78 in 2009.
Based in Missoula, Montana. Although the owner is/was an S-scale modeler, in 2000 the company indicated that they would stop manufacturing new kits for both O- and S-scale.
Owned by Arthur and son, John Enhorning. The company was based in Ludington, Michigan. Apparently EMD approached them to produce an EMD F7 model as a desktop display model, which they did and somehow they chose S-scale (1:64). They had a large selection of decals available in the early 1970s.
Ertl manufactures toy models of vehicles and airplanes. The company was started by Fred Ertl in 1945 in Dubuque, Iowa, and moved to its present Dyersville, Iowa in 1959. In 1967 it was bought by the Victor Comptometer Corporation. In 1977 Victor Comptrometer Corporation merged with Walter Kidde & Company, Inc. of Clifton, NJ, and thus Ertl became part of Kidde. In 1987 Kidde Inc. merged with the British Hanson Trust PLC. In 1999 Racing Champions (a publicly-traded company, originally founded in 1989) purchases Ertl. This is where it stands today. Fred Ertl retired in 1992.
A newsletter published and edited by Ken D. Mackenzie under the NMRA's S scale Special Interest Group (SIG). Ken passed away in 1998. He was a pioneering Sn3 modeler.
The company was started as Baker-Scott Railway Models. Produced passenger car kits in O-, OO-, S-, and HO-scale, which appeared in the late 1940s, made out of molded copper. Later, they produced streamlined passenger sides in O-, S-, and HO-scale.
Owned by Jon Stetz. The company manufactured craftsman-style S-scale structures using wood and styrene materials and details, as well as instructions. In 1988 they purchased Triangle Scale Models' line of S and Sn3 car kits and detailing parts. The product line was eventually bought by Turner Model Works.
The company is based in Des Plaines, Illinois. They have a substantial product line in N- and HO-scale. In 2016 they announced that they were going to import S-scale flextrack and turnouts. In March 2017 the first shipment arrived. The owner of Fox Valley Models, an S-scale modeler himself, is the son-in-law of Ron Sebastian (owner of Des Plaines Hobbies).
The company, based in San Mateo, California, produced Sn3 equipment kits.
Geoff Graeber, before starting Greenbrier Railroad Models, partnered with Walt Danylak to form G&W Models (using the first letters of their first names). The company was based in Syracuse, New York. In the May 1980 Model Railroader there was an announcement that they had white metal and brass detailing parts available for a variety of diesel engines, as well as a GE U25B body kit (no drive mechanism). Walt passed away in 2005, which stopped the business. The company also produced decals, which were sold to Rail Graphics (which, itself, closed at the end of 2017).
Gilmaur, owned by Mike Calvert, is an O-scale brass kit manufacturer. They are now working on converting their kits to S-scale.
Gloor Craft Models was located in Oak Harbor, Ohio, and founded in 1983 by Stephen and Jeanne Gloor. Gloor Craft Models manufactured prototypical craft train kits featuring precut basswood parts, color-coded stripwood, metal castings, and step-by-step instructions with full-size drawings. They bought the Quality Craft Models line of modern car kits (Quality Craft became Weaver Models, of O-scale fame). The Gloor product line was sold to Wiseman Model Services.
Based in Coos Bay, Oregon imported UP and SP brass cabooses in 1995.
Started by John and Felix Verser (of PRS) in 2004 to import brass models. In October 2013, Felix made the announcement that their TT-scale product line had been sold to the German company Lok-N-Roll. Gold Coast Railway is now listed as inactive.
Greenbrier was originally a partnership between Bill Wade and Geoffrey Graeber. Bill moved on to form B.T.S. Although the company no longer exists, B.T.S. still lists some of their remaining stock on their web site.
This company was based in Sterling Jct, Massachusetts.
This company, started by Phil Shaeffer in 1991, produced 1:64 vehicles. The company produced the well-known and high-quality American Highway Legend (AHL) and the PEM series of trucks and trailers. In 2003 Tonkin Replicas bought out Hartoy.
A long-time mainstay of S-scale product available at their retail store, owner Jeff Wilson retired and closed up shop in 2016. However, in 2017 he has resurrected his web site and is selling some of his remaining inventory as well as some new MTH releases.
Owned by Greg Berndtson of Voorhees, New Jersey, Iron Rail Models bought the original Downs Model Railroad Co. product line from Manheim Machine & Tool. However, Iron Rail Models appears to be on an indefinite hiatus after a move to Florida.
J-C Models was a company in South Bound Brook, New Jersey in the late 1970s, owned by Tom Shortall. The company purchased the Chester Industrial Arts products, and re-introduced the cars with two significant changes: detailed cast ends, and the option of either corrugated or smooth sides.
Owned by Jon and Kathy Stetz, based in Golden, Colorado, and established in 1983. The name comes from the owners' names (John And Kathy Stetz). The company owned the following product lines by the early 1990s: Scale Structures Ltd., Period Miniatures, FinestKind Mdl's, Triangle Scale Models, Mini-Structures, Mecca Mineral Works, Milepost, and Arkansas Valley Scale Models. In August 1997 the company announced that they would stop producing S- and O-scale products. These product lines were eventually sold to Wiseman Model Services.
Based in Erie, Pennsylvania, John Huster had S-Helper Service manufacture a number of cars that he sold directly.
This was a brand name owned by MDK, Inc. out of Chapel Hill, North Carolina. MDK (Maury D. Klein) started the company in 1975, making track for American Flyer, which the owner acquired when A.C. Gilbert went bankrupt. K-Line also bought the Marx product line in 1980. K-Line's focus was on the lower-priced products, to compete with Lionel. Most of the S-scale products were made from Marx O27 products, replacing the O-scale trucks with S-scale ones. After Lionel successfully sued K-Line, which led to the company's bankruptcy, Lionel bought it in 2006 (Lionel was itself in a state of bankruptcy, so actually Sanda Kan, who made all of the K-Line products, bought the company, and licensed it back to Lionel - got that?). Because of Lionel's ownership of K-Line, they now actually have the legal right to produce American Flyer track (they didn't before; K-Line did).
Kansas City Kits was active in the late 1940s until around 1960. Their kits were very spartan; essentially a box of wood. Prices were low too at around $2 each.
Based in Canada and owned by John Whitmore. They produced a number of S-scale kits, but seemed to be focused on HO-scale only now.
Owned by Bob Bloise of Melrose, Massachusetts. The company manufactured wooden kits of reefers, hoppers, cabooses, and passenger cars. Bob was employed by Northeastern Scale Models, and while there he got permission to use the machines in after-hours to produce S-scale cars, which he sold under the name Kinsman Scale Models, named after his son's middle name. Later, Kinsman sold the Quality Craft Models line of modern freight cars. Kinsman also sold Andrews and Bettendorf truck kits that had been part of the Ambroid S Gauge kit line made by Northeastern Scale Models. This all happened around the 1959 to 1964 time-frame. Their 1964 catalog showed an address in Salem, New Hampshire. Bob passed away in June 1998.
Owned by Andy Kriswalus. The company closed in the early 1980s.
Frank Titman started the company in the early 1960s, basically making kits out of copies of structures he had built for his own layout. The company's product line continues with K&P Brick Co. owned by Phil Kehr (no web site, but can be found attending conventions). The change of ownership was covered on page 4 of the May/June 2003 issue of the S Gaugian.
The company, owned by Peter Bellos (passed away in 2008) and Howard Scott, produced car parts in the 1970s, and was based in Independence, Missouri.
The company, owned by Jan Lorentzen, catered mostly to O-scale from the 1960s to the 1980s, with a line of cast-aluminum as well as photo-engraved brass locomotive kits. In the 1980s, the company ventured into S-scale with several brass offerings, but in 1983 they announced that the 4-6-0 project was their last S-scale one. The company was located in Englishtown, New Jersey. In 1984 they sold all of their S-scale product line to Hoquat Hobbies. However, as reported in the Fall 1984 issue of the NASG's Dispatch, Wally Metal Products of Parksburg, PA bought the tooling for the S-scale product line, so there appears to be a conflict about who actually bought the product line in 1984.
This company was based in Pleasant Garden, North Carolina, and manufactured wooden, silk screen lettering wood kits for box cars, reefers, and poultry cars. Ye Olde Huff-N-Puff still manufactures the line.
This company, started in 1996/7, was based in Eugene, Oregon and owned by Gil Hulin. It produced S-scale gondolas that were based on A.C. Gilbert bodies, with some additional detailing, and they produced loads for those cars. They also produced loads for the American Models gondolas.
Owned by Marlin and Judith Becker, and based in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. In 2000 they bought out the Downs Model Railroad Co. product line. Marlin Becker passed away in 2009, and the product line was sold in an estate sale in January 2010 to Iron Rail Models.
Owned by Wayne Hills, producing brass passenger car sides replacements for American Models passenger cars, starting in 1997.
Owned by David and Trish Spence since the mid-1980s, the line was sold to B.T.S., who continue to integrate and sell their product line.
Matchbox is actually a trademark name, created by Lesney Products in 1953 in the UK. The models are designed so as to fit in their boxes, so some scale out close to 1:64, but preferences and judgment will have to be used to see how close they really are to S-scale (the models are scaled as "1:box"). Very early models were about 2" long (to fit within a matchbox), but by the late 1960s, the models were around 3" long. The company went bankrupt in 1982. Jack Odell bought some of the company's product line to form the Lledo brand name. David Yeh formed Matchbox International Ltd., which bought most of the Matchbox product line, and became a public-traded company in 1986. They also bought the famous Dinky toys (previously owned by Meccano, but it, too, had gone bankrupt in the early 1980s). In 1985 Matchbox products were entirely made in mainland China. The product line was sold to Tyco Toys in 1992, which was bought by Mattel in 1997, combining Hot Wheels and Matchbox within one company. The plan was to make Hot Wheels be "fantasy" cars, and Matchbox be models of "real" cars. By the way, the Dinky brand is completely dead now.
This company was started by Bill Stewart in the late 1940s. It was located in Portsmouth, RI. Most interestingly, it was set up in one end of one of the two New Haven box cars that Bill owned and placed on his property. The company produced box car, express reefer, and smooth-side aluminum-extrusion passenger car kits. He also produced a kit for a scale PRR K-5 Pacific that used American Flyer Pacific boiler and tender superstructures. The company sold cast white metal kits for superstructures for the Alco S-4 and EMD SW-1, which were intended to be powered by Miller power trucks. In 1950 "Midgage Models" became "Sylvania" when Gene Fletcher, who had joined Bill as the company's accountant, took over the company as Bill was closing it. Gene kept only the passenger car line. He lived in Rehobeth, MA. Gene help found the Bristol S Gauge Railroaders club in 1948 (for more history about this club see the October 1997 NASG Dispatch issue).
The company was based in Valparaiso, Indiana. They manufactured an Alco S-4 diesel switcher, powered trucks, and plastic tie strips. The powered trucks were manufactured from the 1940s through the 1960s. The unique design of those trucks was that everything was contained between the sideframes (similar to today's NWSL Stanton Drive). The patented Miller tie strip was an early form of flextrack. It came with code 126 rail. Bob Miller passed away in 1988. More information about Bob Miller and a sample catalog from 1952 can be found in the December 1996 issue of the NASG Dispatch magazine.
The company is based in Vestal, New York. They advertised an Sn3 EBT coach in 2011.
Owned by Barney Daehler and based in San Lorenzo, California, this company offered brass 50-ton arch bar freight trucks for Sn3, according to their announcement in the September 1980 Model Railroader. They also produced twenty 2-8-0 brass engines modeled after the Sierra RR #18. J.D. Rustermier bought the dies and remaining castings from Barney, however, by that time S-Helper Service and American Models were making similar products much cheaper, so there wasn't much demand for them anymore. Barney passed away in 2010 just a few days shy of his 90th birthday.
Owned by Hansel Maine. Bought by Dwight Wortman in 1985, and purchased back by Hansel in 1988. In 1990 it appears to be owned by BK Enterprises.
Model Memories does have a web site, but they don't specifically list S-scale products. That is because they will produce S-scale items, originally introduced in 1998, but now only by special commission. Model Memories, originally based in Bethel, Connecticut, is owned by Don Silberbauer and now based in Powhatan, Virginia.
The company owners were also the owners of the Wabash Valley Lines company, and still carry the S-scale shells that they produced back then.
After Roger sold Triangle Scale Models to P-B-L in 1985, he started this company. It was based on Long Beach, California.
Owned by Paul Riley.
Founded in 2002 by Andy Lester, the company is based in Florence, Kentucky.
Often found abbreviated as "Nimco" (Nixon Model Company). The company was based in Southampton, Pennsylvania, and was the leading manufacturer of "scale" equipment from the late 1940s up to about 1960. Paul Culp and his brothers were the ones who actually made the tooling and dies for Nixon. The company manufactured conversion parts, wheels, and drivers for converting American Flyer locomotives to scale. They also produced box car kits, and a line of passenger trucks were made out of soft metal (which are still offered by Scenery Unlimited), as well as an extruded aluminum heavy-weight passenger kit. The six-wheel Pullman truck still had Strafford Scale Models stamped on them, suggesting that Nixon had bought the Strafford product line. Ben Nixon's estate sold the business to the Broadbent family, which continued the retail hobby store but stopped producing S-scale products. Northern Industries, St Albans, Vermont bought the S-scale product line in 1963. Al Hall, owner of Northern Industries, moved to California. Later, in the August 1981 issue of RMC, "The Hobby Shop", a division of Northern Industries, of San Jose, California offered the Nimco S-scale conversion wheels for American Flyer diesels.
The Nord Company was based in Minneapolis. The Nord name was part of the Stinson Model Co., operated by Bob Stinson. Nord engines were produced after WWII and continued to be sold under the Stinson name into the 1950s.
The company was located in Andover, Massachusetts and owned by Jim Doyle. It was started during or before WWII (we have a report from one gentleman visiting the shop in 1946; models in the show room were of S-scale ones, built by Jim's brother John). The company later moved to Ballardvale, MA into a triangular brick building. The Ambroid glue company got involved, and kits were sold under the Ambroid name.
The company was located in Sandpoint, Idaho and owned by Jess Bennett.
The company is based in Seattle, Washington, and imported a brass Jones & Laughlin tank car. They also, at one point, manufactured S-scale turnout frogs.
Manufactured track and turnouts. They were based in Pompano Beach, Florida.
A brass import company, owned by Charlie Sandersfeld and Dave Netherton. When Charlie died, Dave and Charlie's wife continued with the company. Charlie helped create the concept of the "Gang of 100". This consisted of a group of individuals who firmly committed to purchasing a brass locomotive that Omnicon agreed to have produced in Korea. Every member of the group had to agree to purchase one or more models, regardless of what the group decided to have manufactured. A minimum order of 100 individual models had to be placed for it to make economic and practical sense for the manufacturer and Omnicon. Only a couple of engines were so manufactured. Charlie had his own S-scale home layout, and he was involved in a 50-foot square layout built by the "S-Team" at the Omnicon office.
A brass import company based in Evansville, Indiana.
Owned by Tom Marsh. Jettie Padgett started with Overland Models, but eventually left to form SouthWind Models.
This company produces mainly garden-scale models and parts, but in 2011 they purchased the C-D-S Lettering product line of dry transfers, including the ones for S-scale.
Originally known as "Peter-Built Locomotive Works", named after the owner Bill Peter. The company was based in Chama, New Mexico, but in 1990 moved to Ukiah, California. It was started in 1971 originally to upgrade HO and HOn3 locomotives to their "foreground" standard. Their first Sn3 locomotive was the K-37 in 1980, followed by the K-27 (#453 and 461). They bought the Cascade Line of Sn3 kits and trucks in early 1981. They also purchased the C&S plastic car kits from Overland Models, Inc. (who, it is believed, in turn got them from Berlyn Locomotive Works). George Hall wrote an article published in the July 1995 issue of Model Railroader magazine describing the history of P-B-L and their current status (as of 1995, that is). When Tomalco was sold off, P-B-L acquired the Sn3 track products (and Tomalco Track took over the standard-gauge track products).
PFM was founded in the early 1950s by Bill Ryan. When the owner passed away, his son took over. By that time Don Drew became involved with the company (mid-1960s). In the early to mid-1970s the company was among the first to import brass Sn3 equipment. The company got out of the brass importing business around 1980, and continued to sell books and their Sound System II until around 1990.
Started in 1985 by Jerry Porter (in California) and John Verser (in Oregon) as an equal partnership. They later also founded Intermountain, which was the actual sub-contractor for producing the kits (as well as HO- and O-scale models). Jerry eventually left the company, which was then run by John, his son, and their accountant (see the NMRA's S Scale SIG for a complete article on the history of this company). The company produced easy-to-build freight car kits where the bodies were pre-painted and lettered. Intermountain's efforts shifted more to their HO- and O-scale products, and in 2006 John sold his interests to Des Plaines Hobbies (the PRS cars were then starting to be made in China and sold under the S Scale America brand name). Note the Des Plaines Hobbies currently owns the Pacific Rail Shops name and tooling.
Owned by Mark Malmkar, this company produces S-scale passenger car seats and kits.
The company produced some Sn3 brass cars, but the one standard-gauge car advertised was never produced.
Owned by Tom Doherty. The company produced some unique products for S-scale, especially related to traction modeling. In the 2011 Spring 1:64 Modeling Guide issue there is a note stating that effective January 1, 2011, PA Heritage Models will no longer produce S-scale products (the company was predominantly an O-scale manufacturer). On December 6th, 2012 Tom unexpectedly passed away. Since Tom was Pennsylvania Heritage Models, this abruptly ended the company.
Manufactured lithographed metal box car and reefer kits. The product line was purchased by Ace Model Railroad Equipment Co. of Lebanon, Pennsylvania.
This a brand/product line owned by Bachmann Industries. The easy-to-assemble kits were manufactured in Pennsylvania from 1947 through 1984, at which point the manufacturing moved to China. The buildings are scaled to 1:64, but their windows and doors are scaled to 1:48 (O-scale), providing a compromise between American Flyer (S) and Lionel (O). With some custom work, these kits can be modified to use the correctly-sized doors and windows. There is also a Plasticville Collectors Association.
An S-scale retail store owned by Doug Peck.
This was a Florida-based company owned by Ladd Houda that produced some scale detailing parts, such as passenger car seats.
Owned by Terry Putt. In 1996 they bought the Rex product line. The company is on indefinite hiatus.
Based in Northumberland, Pennsylvania, the company manufactured wooden kits car kits. Kinsman Scale Models was the dealer for the kits. Quality Craft Models was the original name of Weaver Models. Quality Craft Models was sold to Gloor Craft Models.
This company was owned by Dave Felmley, and based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. They manufactured a gondola and a boom tender car kit, based on Rex Engineering flat cars. Dave passed away in April 2017.
The company, started by Jerry Rivet and then owned by John Porter, was based in Tyngsboro, Massachusetts. John passed away in June 1995. The company produced freight cars, generally manufactured by another company (Downs, for example).
Owned by John Craft, and based in Bel Air, Maryland. In the April 1995 Model Railroader magazine, the company announced a run of the PRR H39 three-bay hopper car. John died shortly after getting the project started, and it was taken over by Des Plaines Hobbies.
The company was based in Benton Harbor, Michigan, and owned by Wayne Riggle. It manufactured wooden single dome tank cars, mill gondolas, 45-foot gondolas, composite gondolas, and 50-foot composite box car kits. The kits were later manufactured by Wisconsin Central Supply.
The company was based in Grand Blanc, Michigan.
Rex Engineering was started by Bert Carpenter of Birmingham, Michigan, producing the 0-4-0 (the company's first product) in 1951. Paul Culp and his brothers were the ones who actually made all the tooling and dies for Rex. When Bert died, the business was sold to John Sudimak and Howard Phillips of Akron, Ohio in 1960. They operated as "S&P Distributors" (earliest catalog was dated 1968). Sometime later they split, and John Sudimak, then in Northfield, Ohio, resumed the product line under the name of "Rex S Gauge Models". Upon his death (January 1984), his son Jack Sudimak took over the business and eventually moved it to Medina, Ohio. Jack ran it for many years before selling it to Terry Putt of Putt Trains in 1996. Jack passed away in October 2012. In 2014 Terry indicated that he might revive the line after his retirement, but for now it is dormant.
An Ontario, Canada company that is a dealer for some product lines, and also produced some of their own cars. Owner Oliver Clubine passed away on April 22, 2014. Oliver's son, David, also an avid S-scale modeler, will continue the company.
This company was based in Santa Clara, California and owned by Eric Bracher. Its specialty was D&RGW Maintenance-of-Way equipment.
Owned by Jim Wild, and based in Loveland, Colorado, this company produced some S-scale structure kits, primarily focused on narrow-gauge territories. Jim's Sn3 Colorado & Southern layout was open as part of the 1997 NASG Convention layout tours. He passed away shortly after this Convention.
The company was owned by Don DeWitt, and produced high-quality S-scale decals, some of which still circulate on the secondary market. The company was started in 1989. It was based in Mahwah, New Jersey.
The company was originally owned by Larry Jackman, and based in Kenmore, Washington. He sold his Smokey Valley HO-scale product line in 1991 to devote all efforts to S-scale. Des Plaines Hobbies bought the product line in 1995, and continues to produce old and new models under that label. Larry passed away in 2009. The Budd passenger cars project was started by Jack, but failed. However, the trucks for that project were already designed and ready for manufacturing. Des Plaines Hobbies continues to produce these trucks, although they are usually done in batches (i.o.w. if you want them, put your name on their waiting list).
Started by G. Claud Wade to produce S-scale steam locomotive parts and kits. Located in St. Louis, Missouri in the 1980s. After Claud's passing, Bob Hartzel (Downs Model Railroad Co.) bought the company in 1989, and the plan was to work with John Bortz as consultant. They realized that the product quality wasn't there for the market at the time, so the company was closed for a while to plan the upgrade of the product line. In 1992 they announced that the company was producing product again, and selling directly. Russ Downs sold the company to Fred Rouse in 1999, who later moved to Florida. Fred sold the company in 2016, but has yet to identify the new owner.
Owned by Don Thompson and Mike Ferraro, the company was started in 1989. The purpose, initially, was to help manufacturers bring new products to market by providing the initial funding. This bought them the exclusive right to the project until the investment was paid back. They started working with American Models. This allowed American Models to produce S-scale versions of the Alco FA-2/FB-2, PA, and RS-3 engines, the EMD GP35, the GG1, and the 4-6-2 engines, and the heavyweight passenger cars. Most of these are still available via American Models and their dealers. The passenger cars were originally sold in S-Helper Service boxes. After this period of collaboration ended (late 1995), S-Helper Service started producing their own product line under the brand name "The Showcase Line". In 2010 Sanda Khan, which was the primary Chinese company contracted to produce products for most model railroading manufacturers, including S-Helper Service, sent out a notice to all small manufacturers that they would no longer produce their products. This included S-Helper Service. However, the Chinese government does not allow tooling owned by companies such as S-Helper Service to leave China, so companies are required to find another Chinese company if they wish to continue to produce their products. As a result of this, in May 2012 Don announced that MTH Electric Trains had bought all of S-Helper Service's tooling, with the intent of taking over the product line. The first of the MTH products, released in early 2014, were produced using S-Helper Service's original tooling.
San Juan Decals' owner Dan Peterson unexpectedly passed away in 2017. His wife vowed to continue the business, but due to her own health issues, she decided to sell the company to the San Juan Car Company (located in Garden Grove, California) in August 2017.
Released their standard-gauge flex track in 1986. They import Shinohara turnouts. This company is also a full-blown distributor of products (somewhat similar to Walthers in the HO-scale world), and they produce an S-scale catalog.
A brass importing company owned by Jettie Padgett. Jettie started working with Tom Marsh at Overland Models, but then started SouthWind Models with Bill Wade. Bill Wade left in 1996. SouthWind Models is now dormant.
This company was based in Bronx, New York, and produced a line of colorful card stock lithographed and embossed box car sides.
This company was based in Paris, Kentucky.
Owned by John Chappell and based in Ashland, Pennsylvania. This were the U.S. distributor of some of New Zealand's Railmaster Exports' product line.
This company was based in Phoenix, Arizona.
This company was based in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, and manufactured a line of cast-metal freight and passenger car parts, right of way details, people, and a watchman shanty kit. Car parts were used in Kinsman Scale Models kits. Ye Olde Huff-N-Puff still manufactures the line.
Active in the late 1940s and early 1950s.
The company was based in Bristol Ferry, Rhode Island, and also in Rochester, New York. It manufactured stock car, box car, and reefer kits, track and tie strip, and a day coach, baggage, Pullman, and diner car sides (which were made by Exacta in California). The parts were sold under the name Franklin Trains, and the business closed in 1948.
Was based in Campbell, California.
Sunshine Models was owned by Steven Monson of Brooklyn Park, Minnesota. Starting in 1972, they manufactured five S-scale maintenance-of-way kits and an 85' auto rack. The first two, bunk and kitchen car, sold well over 100 each. Most bought them together as they were sold as double kits for $12.00, or singly for $6.95. The SL-SF auto rack looked like a hard kit with lots of long tees, channels, and hat sections, but was actually easy to build. About 120 were sold. In the July 1980 Model Railroader there was a statement that Scenery Unlimited had purchased the Sunshine Models line of cars and structures kits, and is marketing them under their own brand. But they never actually re-ran any of them.
The Super Scale Models passenger car kits were quite similar to Exacta's kits. Super Scale appeared around 1952 after the demise of Exacta.
In 1950 Gene Fletcher took over Midgage Models and renamed it to Sylvania. The company was based in Rehobeth, MA.
Owned by Jim Hopper, and located in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada. Manufactured structure kits in the mid-1980s.
Several people remember this company's name being derived from the founding owner, Tom A Lindholm Company, and that it was originally based in Houston, Texas. It was started in 1946. The company produced TT-scale, and HOn3, Sn3, and On3 kits and parts. In 1979 the company was owned by Robert Sloan and was located in McCracken, Kansas. After that, Avery "Swede" Norlin bought the company (still in McCracken, Kansas), and produced code 100 standard-gauge and narrow-gauge flextrack. In 1992, Swede announced his retirement at the age of 81, and the company was sold to the Building & Structure Co. in Fenton, MO. Pete Smith, owner of Building & Structure Co., announced the sale of the structure kits product line to banta modelworks in September 1998, but they retained the track-related products and continued under the name "Tomalco". Somehow Tomalco was sold to Bob McCarthy (Columbia, South Carolina). Larry Morton, needing track for his own S-scale layout, contacted Bob and learned that Bob was interested in selling the company due to his health problems. Larry subsequently bought the standard-gauge track and turnout parts portion of the company, and currently operates it as Tomalco Track. In 2015 the remaining Tomalco Parts Line (locomotive and car detailing parts, and narrow-gauge track components) was taken over by Paul Vaughn, of Precision Vintage Classics, Graham, Washington.
Owned by Alan Chestnut, this Illinois-based company focuses on die-cast and resin trucks and farming equipment in S-scale. The models are highly-detailed.
Train & Trooper was a full service model train shop specializing in New England Railroading and the Maine narrow gauge. Owned by Matt and Nancy Sharp. The company was based in Phillips, Maine. For the S-scale market, they specialized in narrow-gauge products, including Sn2 and Sn3. Reportedly Crusader Rail Services bought most of the company's inventory, although their web site doesn't specifically list the Sn2 products (you might want to consider contacting the company, though, if interested). At the 2018 Midwest Narrow Gauge Show, Train & Trooper is expected to make a major announcement (the company has been on hiatus for a number of years).
The company, located in Oceanport, New Jersey, was started in the 1970s by Don and Robin Thompson, which produced a variety of S-scale cast-resin contemporary freight and heavyweight passenger car kits. This is a quote from Don as posted on the Yahoo Groups S-scale discussion list. "The resin castings were made of polyester poured into RTV molds. The metal parts were spun-cast in black rubber molds with pewter or white RTV molds in zinc S1 alloy. The patterns were made by several S-scale friends, Stan Stokrocki, Dick Lind, Bill Boucher, and Pat Conlin come to mind. At one point, we were releasing a new kit every 2 months. This way a new ad was needed for each issue of the S Gauge Herald and S Gaugian. At first we thought we were doing pretty good with runs of about 100 kits. But, I became increasingly frustrated that our products were not injection molded styrene and I thought this was our greatest challenge to increasing the popularity of our scale. We had a joint offer with Jan Lorenzen of LocoMotive Workshop to produce S-scale injection molded 50-foot box cars for Pickens Railroad. These were to be give-aways to their clients. They wanted the box cars on a piece of flextrack on an oak base with a plexiglass case. We contacted several tooling and injection molding houses, but were unable to seal a deal. We were not interested in helping in a project using an HO-scale car, so we backed out. A few months later, Wayne and Diane Pier offered to purchase "!#@*?! Train Stuff" and we were more than happy to sell." The sale occurred in 1982.
This company was originally founded by Bob Schenck and based in Long Beach, California. It was active from the late 1970s onward. In 1984 they bought Village Depot's product line. In 198? the company was sold to FinestKind Models. In the 1986 the product line appears to be owned by JAKS Industries, Inc. The product line is now owned by Wiseman Model Services.
The company was based in San Dimas, California. They manufactured milled roadbed, switch blocks, assembled turnouts, and milled roadbed with track in S-scale.
V&T Shops, based in Reno, Nevada, and owned by Dale Darney, produced products in HO-, O-, and S-scale. For the S-scale market they mostly focused on Sn3 products, although they did venture into standard gauge on occasion. Among their standard-gauge offerings are T-section Bettendorf trucks, USRA house-car roofs and chassis in urethane, and kits for SP 40' and 53' flat cars. Wiseman Model Services bought the product line from the Darney family.
This brick-n-mortar store was started by Ken Carlson. The company produced kits and detail parts as well. They carried quite a bit of Sn3 products, including P-B-L, until P-B-L started selling direct. Steve and Dorothy Bishop bought the store and moved it into a former depot building. The company bought the Triangle Scale Models product line in the early 1980s.
This company was owned by Bill McClung and located in Johnstown, Colorado. He was also the store manager of the large Denver-based Caboose Hobbies model railroad store. Bill's S-scale standard-gauge layout was open as part of the 1997 NASG Convention layout tours.
This company was located in Huntington, Indiana, and owned by Charlie Sandersfeld. Charlie also owned Omnicon Scale Models during the mid 1980s. Wabash Valley Models acquired the Enhorning F unit molds. The molding processes were improved to eliminate a hump in the roof of the Enhorning shells. The company Model Railroad Warehouse, which is owned by the same individuals who owned Wabash Valley Models, still has the original F-unit shells available.
This was a brand name/product line created by Central Hobby Supply of Syracuse, New York to sell products they had commissioned to be made by Funaro and Camerlengo. These were resin kits of specific steel cars built by prototype railroad shops in the 1920s.
Based in Cheyenne, Wyoming and owned by Bob Sherwood. Kits were made by Pacific Rail Shops, which Western Car Shops repainted for other railroad names.
The company was located in Waukesha, Wisconsin. It produced wood-based freight car kits.
Gene and Dorinda Metzgar bought the company in 2002.
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