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.
Diecast Masters is not a new company (started in 1970), but they predominantly produce 1:50 scale vehicles. However, starting in mid-2019 they are releasing some of their models in accurate 1:64 scale at a reasonable price.
From their web site:
NorthWest Short Line is pleased to announce that the entire line has been acquired by an NWSL employee, effective September 3rd, 2019. All existing back-orders will be filled, and NWSL will be open to new orders as soon as the new web site is rolled out; the primary web site nwsl.com will carry forward as the primary contact point. The line is expected to carry forward largely unchanged although the company will no longer offer phone support. NWSL will be headquartered in Kila, Montana, located near Kalispell, and the new address is PO Box 219, Kila, MT 59920. e-mail contact is through the web site.
Don Heimburger is retiring, so the last S Gaugian issue is the one for November, 2019. If no company picks this magazine up, it will cease after 57 years of continuous publication!
As posted on their web site, Rusty Stumps Scale Models is closing on October 31, 2019. Hopefully their product line will be taken over by another company, because they have some nice S-scale detailing parts. The owners have been scaling back for some time now, and they already sold the structure kit product line in the past year or so. So, if you want any of the items they carry, now is the time.
Australian company Hollywood Foundry has decided to close up shop permanently. They used to make the BullAnt and other motor mechanisms.
Richard P. Kughn was not an S-scale modeler, but he did run Lionel from 1986 to 1995. He passed away on June 8, 2019 at the age of 89. Born in Detroit and died in Dearborn, he loved cars, and trains. Kughn brought Neil Young into the company, who developed what is now called TMCC.
Dave's Twacks & Twains is moving to another town in California, and expects a disruption of processing orders until September 2019.
San Juan Model Co. has bought out the Rail Graphics decal line. Rail Graphics closed their shop in 2017.
CatzPaw announces that they have consolidated their two web sites (their own and their Shapeways 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!
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 off 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.
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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