This page lists announcements related to company-level information, such as new companies that have been formed, existing companies that are closing-up shop, ownership transfers of companies, or any other such information. In general, announcements will stay on this page for up to one year. Click on the "Web Site" link to the left of the announcement to visit the web page. Some photos can also be clicked to take you directly to the web page where that product is listed.
CatzPaw announces that they have consolidated their two web sites (their own and their Shapesways shop) into one, cohesive place to shop for their products (see link on the left; all product links on the NASG web site have been updated to their new shop).
They also announced that NMRA and NASG members will be able to receive a 10% discount for any of their products. Contact them to receive your discount code!
The CatzPaw staff is going on vacation from May 17, 2019 to June 17, 2019. When you place an order during that time, if the item is printed by Shapeways, it will be processed. If the item is printed at Catzpaw, then you will have to wait until June.
Their catalog of just S-scale products is now 29 pages long! Again, see their new web site for all the products. They are nicely organized and easy to browse.
In general hobby news, Lionel reports that 2018 was their best year in the past decade (so the hobby isn't dying). They also announced that they now have the exclusive rights to produce the products that the former company Model Power used to carry (only applies to N-, HO-, and O-scale).
For S-scale, they announced that they are working on passenger cars that should be in the next catalog. They have resolved the issue around the lower-production numbers that passenger cars have.
In general news, MTH announced that the licensing of their tinplate line with the Lionel name on it has come to an end. They plan on continuing their own tinplate product line, though.
For S-scale, they announced that they are working on a new catalog. They are going to come out with the SW9 switcher engine, and some more F3 engines. Also, more freight cars will be in the new catalog. The reality is that O-scale is 80% of their market, HO-scale is 10%, and tinplate, S, and G make up the remaining 10%. So, they consider S-scale to be a niche market, so they will put their efforts into S to match. The only way to fix that is to have more people start modeling in S-scale.
Owner and founder of Aztec, John Claudino, has decided it is time to retire. There is no word as to this being the end of his product line, which includes an S-scale track cleaning car, or if it is up for sale. The web site seems to indicate that he has already sold of his machining equipment.
S-n-S Trains will be closed for most of the summer. Anything received after May 15 will not be worked on until September 11th, which is when the company plans to resume normal operations again.
In 2014 Commercial Scale Models bought the structure kits product line from banta modelworks, specifically the kits that used to be sold under the name "Building & Structure Co." Their web site has been dead for over two weeks (meaning they didn't pay their annual bill). Through the grapevine, we learned that Commercial Scale Models did indeed close, and that Bill Banta is working on getting the structures back to banta modelworks, and hopes to have them added to his web site soon.
Dave Rygmyr, the owner of NorthWest ShortLine (NWSL), posted a notice on his Facebook page stating that after the recent passing of his wife, Lynda, he is unable to continue the business. The company will close on August 30, 2019, and he will accept orders until July 1, 2019.
We offer Dave our heart-felt condolences.
He stated that he doesn't expect there to be anyone who would want to take over the company, but he will entertain any reasonable offers.
Dave bought NWSL from retiring Raoul Martin in 2008. Raoul had started the company in 1959. So, it is sad to see a 60-year old company close its doors.
However, that is not all. NWSL has made some very needed and unique products for our industry, and indeed for the artistic hobbyist in general. Chief among which is the NWSL Chopper. There are two versions of this tool available, and if you do any kind of building with strip wood or strip styrene, this tool is practically a requirement. Also, the Duplicutter, the Sensipress, the Riveter, the Puller, the Aligner, the Quarterer, and the Bender are all tools we have come to know over the decades. Additionally, the company offers the Stanton Drive (motor and gears inside the truck), motors, motor conversion kits, flywheels, wheels, springs, nuts, bolts, etc. They made products for all scales and gauges, so the closing of this company will have a huge impact on our industry.
While we can certainly understand Dave's decision, it is our hope that someone would be willing to take over this much-needed product line in the very near future.
June 30, 2018: A new company has formed called "The San Juan Model Company", which is a merger of the following companies and their product lines:
- Grandt Line Products
- San Juan Car Co.
- San Juan Decals
- American Limited Models
- The Leadville Shops.
The "Grandt Line" name has officially been retired. A new product catalog is planned to be released this Fall. The new company is owned by Doug Junda and Bob Stears, and will be based in Denver, Colorado. They are currently in the process of physically moving the equipment, tooling, and inventory from the various locations to their new location. They ask everyone to please be patient. It is their intent to keep all products in the various companies' product lines. Update: they have created their new web site, so visit the link on the left to see what they are planning. Update #2: Doug Junda reports that as of January 2019 the San Juan Decals are all in production again. The San Juan Car Co. kits are starting to be in production again. The old Grandt Line S-scale parts are back on the shelves again. The rest of the parts and the machinery are still in the process of being moved. They have moved four 28-foot trailers to Colorado, with three more needing to be done. Check their web site for what is available.
Greg Berndston, the owner of Iron Rail Models LLC, announced he has decided to put his Iron Rail Models business up for sale. The sale would include all rights and assigns for Ace, Down's Model Railroad (DMR), and Mannheim Machine Tools (MMT) products. All molds, dies, parts and labeling inventory would be a part of the sale. In addition, display shelving, display modules, and signage are included. Greg's asking price is $9,500. Interested parties can contact Greg at email@example.com for details.
Jeff Wilson announced that he has sold all of his inventory, and so Hoquat Hobbies is now officially closed for good.
Pat Turner, of Turner Model Works, announced that he sold the Finest Kind Models product line to Tim Moat, owner of Coyote Flats Depot. No information about when this transaction occurred, but Pat did say that Tim is working on the O-scale products first (as On3/On30 is Coyote Flats Depot's primary business).
Central Hobby Supply's web site announced that they are closing after 31 years. This hobby store helped produce some S-scale products over those years. In 1992 they produced a number of EBT Sn3 freight cars. They also had Funaro and Camerlengo produce some standard-gauge freight cars, which they sold under their "West Shore Line" brand name.
Crystal River Products, which makes structure kits mostly geared toward narrow-gauge scenes, has changed hands from Tom Fitzgerald to father-and-son team Rand and Seth Johnson. They are working on getting their product line set up again. The plans are to make the previous products available as soon as possible, and then they will start to expand it. They are interested in finding out what you would like to see done soon, so see their web site and take their survey.
Precision Flyer Repairs is now closed indefinitely. No new projects are being accepted. Furthermore, all remaining items are for sale (see web site).
Several major HO-scale manufacturers are reporting that a Chinese factory, AFFA Technologies, has unexpectedly shut down due to the owner's ill health. S-scale manufacturers may be affected by this sudden event as well. Much like what happened in 2010 with Sanda Kan, manufacturers are going to need to find a different factory, so everything, regardless of scale will be delayed. We will all just have to wait and be patient. Update: changed the link to the Con-Cor web site announcement, as the owner of Con-Cor gives a lot more background and details.
Andersen Model Kits' web site is gone and for sale, so it leads one to the conclusion that the company itself has stopped operating. This was a mom-n-pop (literally) operation that produced some fine adobe-style building kits in S-scale. There is a story involving the couple on the Half Moon Bay Patch newspaper.
After 20 years of producing kits, including several S-scale ones, the owner has decided to call it quits and spend time building his own layout.
Due to the passing of the owner's wife, the company is on indefinite hiatus. The company produces the Electrical Transmission Tower, and Cantilevered Signal Bridges etched-brass kits.
Tractor Fab no longer sells direct, so to order their parts and kits, contact Bossen Implement.
Stephen Gardiner's fourth-best-selling 3D-printed design item is the S-scale Canadian National Fairmont Speeder Car.
Trout Creek Engineering/BK Enterprises had some problems with their previous web site's domain, so they have changed it to be
(note the missing "m" at the end). The site has been refreshed.
Black Bear Scale Models is closing. The owner, Rich Dickeson, recently passed away. His widow continued to fill orders, but on June 29th decided to stop the business. If a suitable company can be found, the business is for sale. The company is primarily known for making jigs with which you can build trestle bents for your bridges, including for S-scale.
Monster Model Works' owner, Jimmy Simmons, has decided to return to the corporate world and so effective June 17, 2018 the company will be closed. Update: he is confident that he has identified one or more companies or individuals who want to take over his business, so the product line should be continuing. However, he mentioned that when he made the announcement, he received a large number of orders, so he is processing those orders first, before talking with potential new owners.
For the past few months Toys'R'Us has been liquidating their stores' inventory due to their bankruptcy. If your local store is still open, you may be able to pick up a nice deal on some diecast models or scenery items. Basically, the company had a tremendous amount of debt, despite making around $11 billion annually. It was reported that about 97% of their profits went into servicing their debts. A private-equity company bought them out, laid off a large number of people, and redesigned a number of the stores to make them more appealing and competitive. However, the private-equity company only added to the overall debt load, until Toys'R'Us collapsed. In November 2018 their web site became just a corporate shell. During April 2019, their web site was completely removed.
This company manufactured a running stand that allowed you to run your locomotive on a stationary stand.
Precision Scale Company, based in Montana, announced that its owner, Mark Mogensen, has decided to retire. PSC manufactured lots of small brass detailing parts, mostly geared toward the narrow-gauge modeler in S-scale. Division Point has agreed to buy out a portion of the company.
On April 20th at the York Spring show, Dave Olson, Lionel's Director of Engineering, announced that their Electric Railroad Upgrade kits will no longer be sold after May 2018. The reason is simply that the components used are of an older vintage, and some parts may no longer be available in the near future. Update: Scott Mann, of 3rd Rail, will be taking over the distribution of ERR products. His company has been using the products for over 10 years, so it is a natural fit.
Tom Henderson, owner of the online retail site, Sidetracks, is offering his business for sale. Please see the company's home page for more details.
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