Reference Material

On this page you will find a listing of all known catalogs, books, and S-scale magazines (both print and digital, with links to article indexes). The NASG's Mobley Library can provide copies of magazine articles, and has other features (NASG membership required).

Contact person: webmaster

Catalogs

American Models

American Models has their products listing on their web site, but they will mail you a printed catalog for $10. Generally, if you have bought a product directly from them recently, they will mail you a free copy of their catalog when it is updated.

B.T.S.

B.T.S. has their catalog available online, which you can order in printed format for $8. It lists all their kits and their detailing parts in all the scales they carry.

Lionel

Lionel typically produces two catalogs per year. They used to have separate catalogs for their different scales, but a few years back, they merged them into one. The only problem with that idea was that S-scale products were near the back of their catalog. This is not a problem for the print version, but the digital PDF version required you to page-flip one page at a time to get to the back. There was no way to jump to the S-scale section directly. Thanks to the urging of the NASG's Promotions committee, Lionel decided to make a separate PDF file available listing just the S-scale products. These are linked to below. Starting with the 2020 catalog, Lionel has decided to no longer make a printed version of their catalogs; you can only get the online PDF version, but they did make a separate one for their American Flyer product line.

MTH

MTH's newest catalog is available online, or you can go to the page to find out how to receive a printed version.

Scenery Unlimited

Scenery Unlimited produces a Walthers-style catalog that lists almost all S-scale products available (at least through distributors and dealers). It covers all flavors of S-scale modeling. This $17.95 catalog can be ordered via mail, fax, or by calling in with your credit card. In 2019 Don Heimburger announced his retirement, and thereby the closing of Scenery Unlimited. However, their web site seems to remain active. So, when you contact them, make sure that the products in which you are interested are indeed still available.

Older Catalogs

For those who enjoy collecting older A.C. Gilbert A.F. catalogs, they are available in print versions from various sources, and RFGCO sells PDF versions.

Books


© Kalmbach

Kalmbach's "Greenberg's American Flyer Pocket Price Guide". This guide covers current market values of original A.C. Gilbert and, later, Lionel American Flyer products. It is updated every other year. Kalmbach seems to no longer list it on their web site, hence the link to Amazon.com; a lot of other retailers will stock or be able to get you a copy as well.


© TM Books & Video

The "American Flyer Price & Rarity Guide" provides in-depth analysis of pricing trends for A.C. Gilbert and Lionel American Flyer products. Originally released in 2004, this second edition was released in 2012. Note that this company also sells the Kalmbach guide (above), so you can order both at the same time for savings in shipping, if your local hobby store doesn't carry these.


© Thomas S Barker

The "Gilbert American Flyer S Gauge Operating and Repair Guide" book is now in its third edition. This book covers how to mechanically and cosmetically restore your A.F. cars and engines, as well as accessories, by an author who has real-world experience.


© Thomas S Barker

The "Gilbert American Flyer S Gauge Operating & Repair Guide: Volume 2" continues from the first volume (above) with more details, new information, and an index to content provided in both volumes. These are a "must have" if you are new to collecting or operating A.F. trains.


© Bibliographic Press

The "Gilbert American Flyer Instruction Book" is a re-release of the original 1952 book published by A.C. Gilbert themselves. It offers information about how to operate and maintain your A.F. trains and how to build A.F. layouts.


© Krause Publications

The "Standard Catalog of American Flyer Trains" book was released in 2007 and covers the pre-WWII American Flyer HO- and O-gauge-compatible trains, and the post-war S-scale products produced by A.C. Gilbert.


© Trainrefs

The "A.C. Gilbert's Postwar American Flyer S-Gauge Reference Manual" was released in 2001. It provides detailed information about how to perform repairs on A.F. products. It features photos that are actual size in the book.


© Heimburger House

The "A.C. Gilbert's Famous American Flyer Trains" provides historical information about A.C. Gilbert and his company's American Flyer S-scale trains.


© MDK

The "Complete Service Manual for American Flyer Trains" was written by the owner of K-Line Trains. It features wiring diagrams, schematics, repair, and operating instructions for American Flyer products. This book was published a long time ago, so it might be hard to find and pricey.


© Friedman

"American Flyer: Classic Toy Trains" provides an illustrated guide to the American Flyer product history.


© Heimburger House

"A.C. Gilbert's Heritage" offers one-of-a-kind product photos, a history of the Gilbert family, inside information, and the original price list from 1951.


© AmericanFlyerExpress.com

"Gilbert American Flyer Factory Memos to All Service Station Technicians" provides insight into the changes made to specific models thanks to the preservation of the company's memos. 198 pages, spiral-bound.


© AmericanFlyerExpress.com

"Gilbert American Flyer Steam Locomotives Photographic Directory" contains photos of every AF steam engine, with identification of all its features. 312 pages, spiral-bound.


© AmericanFlyerExpress.com

"Gilbert American Flyer Steam Locomotive Exploded Views and Parts Listings" is an update of the original volume, without wiring diagrams. Spiral-bound.


© AmericanFlyerExpress.com

"Gilbert American Flyer Diesel Locomotive Exploded Views and Parts Listings" is an update of the original volume, without wiring diagrams. Spiral-bound.


© Port Lines Hobby Supply

"Gilbert American Flyer Locomotives Developed But Never Produced" covers information about ten steam engines and one diesel which A.C. Gilbert planned, but never put into final production. 74 pages, spiral-bound.

S-scale Magazines

This is a complete listing of print and online magazines that cover S-scale solely or routinely, both current and old, in alphabetical order. The "Frequency" column indicates the number of issues published per year.

Name
Publisher
Active
Freq.
Notes
1:64 Modeling Guide
DEBenLLC Publications
2003 - 2008
4
Richard Bendever bought "S/Sn3 Modeling Guide" from Billy Wade, and renamed it
1:64 Modeling Guide
RLN Publishing
2008 - 2012
4
Robert Nalbone bought it from Richard Bendever, eventually converting it to a digital-only format, but it was financially un-sustainable
3/16 'S'cale Railroading
Ed Loizeaux
1989 - 1992
6
financially un-sustainable
Canadian S Scale Quarterly
Charles Hicks
1991 - 2013+
4
dormant
Classic Toy Trains
Kalmbach Publishing
1988 - present
12
toy train enthusiast; has S occasionally
Essence
Ken D. Mackenzie (d)
1985 - 1989
12
NMRA S-scale SIG; "scale" modeling only
Narrow Gauge and Short Line Gazette
White River Productions
1975 - present
6
occasionally has S-scale articles
Railroad Model Craftsman
White River Productions
1933 - present
12
occasionally has S articles; NASG's inside-the-cover ads
S Gauge Herald
Wally Collins
1960 - 1978
?
printing costs too high (Wally paid for the entire run of the magazine)
S Gauge Herald
Rollie Mercier
1986 - ????
6
restarted
S Gauge Herald
Rollie Mercier
1994 - ????
6
restarted again
S Gaugian
Heimburger House Publishing
1962 - 2019
6
longest-running S-only magazine; closed due to retirement
S/Sn3 Buyers Guide
Billy Wade
1993 - 1999
6
1995: became "S/Sn3 Modeling Guide"
Slim Gauge News
(unknown)
1970 - 1974
4
started as Sn3 only, but grew to be general narrow-gauge, and morphed into The Narrow Gauge and Shore Line Gazette
Sn3 Modeler
Heimburger House Publishing
1984 - 2018
2
Sn3; closed due to retirement
The Dispatch
NASG
1978 - present
6
requires NASG membership
The S Scale Resource
The Model Railroad Resource
2014 - present
6
digital, free; "scale" modeling only.

Magazine Indexes

NASG Dispatches

We have a complete article index for all of the publicly-available NASG Dispatch issues. You can find that in the Articles Index section of the Dispatch's Back Issues page.

Non-S Magazines

The indexes below only list S-scale articles (all flavors) in non-S magazines. If you are new to S and you happen to subscribe to any of these magazines, this would be a great way to learn more about what modeling in this scale is about.

External Indexes

These are external links to listings maintained by this web site's webmaster, but on his own, personal web site. These are by no means an exhaustive listing, but every little bit helps.

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