News: Our Community

S-scale has a relatively tight-knit group of people, where a lot of us know each other via local clubs, train shows, e-mail, discussion groups, or various forms of social media. This page covers information about specific individuals, clubs, train show reports, personal web site updates, etc.

July 14, 2020

Dick Kloes

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Richard (Dick) Kloes, a long-time NASG member, passed away due to cancer on June 22, 2020 at the age of 83. Dick was also a key member of the Badgerland S Gaugers club (for 45 years!). Dick's "Root River & Southern" appeared in the NASG Dispatch, the February 2003 issue on page 14. The layout was open during the 2003 NASG Convention. Dick introduced himself in the April 1997 issue of the Dispatch (pg. 13).

July 12, 2020

Bill Oertly

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(this entry was originally posted on April 23, 2020, but more information about Bill has been provided, including the link above)

Long-time NASG member Bill Oertly passed away on April 17, 2020 due to complications from cancer. Bill was 70 years old. Bill, who modeled the Western Maryland (and the B&O), was a fantastic S-scale modeler and a member of the Potomac Valley S Gauge Association. He served the NASG as its Treasurer in the late 1970s (the first full-term one after the NASG, Inc. was created). Bill also wrote two books related to the Western Maryland. He was an expert on tank cars, as he was an inspector for the Norfolk Southern Railroad.

July 10, 2020

Narrow Gauge and Short Line Gazette Article July Issue

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Brooks Stover has an article about the interesting engine house he built for his current layout.

July 10, 2020

Narrow Gauge and Short Line Gazette Article May Issue

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Brooks Stover has an article about the Elk River Coal & Lumber Company Swandale Sawmill on his layout in this issue.

June 17, 2020

C. Lee McCarty

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On June 13 Lee McCarty passed away due to liver disease. Lee was a long-time NASG member. He wrote several articles for the NASG's Dispatch. He was the recipient of the Bernie Thomas NASG award in 2016. Lee served as the NASG's Executive Vice President from 1983 through 1987, was the Eastern VP from 1979 through 1983, and served as the NASG Convention chairman up through 1986 (probably from the start of that position). Lee played college football and semi-pro football, having been drafted by the Dallas cowboys. He changed his mind and decided to proceed to get a PhD in Economics. Lee taught at various levels until retirement. Model railroading was in his blood since he was a small boy. He was an active member of the Cuyahoga Valley S Gauge Assn (he was their president for at least 10 years). Lee assisted others with the operation of local model train shows, coordinated several Spring Sprees (when in the Cleveland area), repaired model trains, and taught others how to do the repairs.

May 30, 2020

Donald Beem

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Long-time NASG member Donald Beem, of Silver City, New Mexico, passed away on March 23, 2020.

May 13, 2020

Skip Sanchez

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The Chicagoland Association of S Gaugers reported that their member Salvador "Skip" Sanchez passed away on May 3, 2020 due to cancer.

May 06, 2020

Tim Benner

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Tim Benner passed away on April 23, 2020 from a battle with cancer. Tim was briefly an NASG member, and a member of the Southeastern Michigan S Gaugers club. He was building an S-scale layout at his home, modeling the PRR.

April 29, 2020

Frank Emiro

Long-time NASG member Frank Emiro passed away recently. Frank lived in Kodak, Tennessee. He was an active member of the Bristol S Gauge Railroaders club.

April 22, 2020

South Jersey S Gaugers Videos

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The South Jersey S Gaugers now have their own YouTube channel. With all of us being locked down in place, you might enjoy watching these!

April 20, 2020

Allen W. Lewis

NASG member Allen Lewis, from Carrolton, KY, passed away recently.

April 20, 2020

Steve Spence

NASG member Steve Spence passed away on April 4, 2020. Steve hailed from Allentown, PA, and has been a long-time NASG member.

March 29, 2020

More A.F. Layout Info Added

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Photos added to Marv Harger's layout.

March 29, 2020

More Layout Info Added

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Information and/or photos added about Frank Criswell's, Rich Gjanak's, Michael Fox', Brooks Stover's (previous and current), and Steve Monson's layouts. Photo added to Steve Doyle's layout. Videos added to Bob Werre's, Michael Fox', Steve Doyle's, and Ken Zieska's layouts.

March 20, 2020

2020 Spring S Spree

The event has been moved to next year, 2021.

March 11, 2020

Sn3 Symposium CANCELED

The organizers of the Sn3 Symposium have decided to cancel/postpone the event.

March 10, 2020

Valley of the Sun S Gaugers Changes Name

The "Valley of the Sun S Gaugers" have voted to change their name to "Arizona S Scale Association".

February 16, 2020

Cascade Rail Supply Closing

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Owner Steve Cox announced on his web site that the company is now closed due to family situations. Cascade Rail Supply provided pre-cut homasote for laying track.

February 16, 2020

Jim Martin Contributes Lindberg Boat Photo

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Jim Martin shares with us a kitbashed model of a Lindberg shrimp boat, which he turned into a Great Lakes fishing tug.

February 06, 2020

Don McGinnis

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From the South Jersey S Gaugers' newsletter, they reported that their club member Don McGinnis, from New Jersey, had passed away on December 16, 2019. Don was an elementary school music teacher for 32 years. He was an NASG member, who enjoyed modeling the Union Pacific.

January 31, 2020

Marty Wik

NASG member Marty Wik of Cave Creek, Arizona, passed away in the evening of January 29 due to cancer. Marty was a key member of the Valley of Sun S Gaugers club in Arizona. Marty (on the right) is shown admiring Bill Winans layout during the club's visit in 2019. Marty was an expert at getting old American Flyer products running again. He collected trains of all sizes, but his favorite was always S. He was also a car enthusiast, building hot-rods, and restoring cars from the 1960s.

January 15, 2020

North Penn S Gaugers Update

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The North Penn S Gaugers have changed their web site's domain.

January 09, 2020

S-Trains Yahoo Group Message Archive

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With what looks like Yahoo! Groups slow death, Dale Smith has downloaded all the messages of the S-Trains Yahoo! Group, and has made them available on this web site.

December 31, 2019

A Review of New Products for 2019

Happy New Year everyone! Let's look at what was released during 2019.

New Locomotives

New Cars

New structures by:
(for these, search for the text Year Introduced "2019")
banta modelworks
Greenlight Collectibles
Hidden River Manufacturing
Johnny Lightning
Portland Locomotive Works
Rail Scale Models
Right On Track Models
Sandy Point Models
Scenery Unlimited
Todd Architectural Models
Twin Whistle Sign & Kit Co.

Well over 400 new automobiles by:
(for these, look for the text Model Introduced "2019")
ACME Trading Co. (2)
Auto World (12)
CanaDakota Scale Models (1)
Die Cast Promotions (21)
Diecast Masters (4)
Ertl (19)
First Gear (3)
Greenlight Collectibles (194)
Jada Toys (6)
Johnny Lightning (65)
M2 (40)
Maisto (7)
Racing Champions (9)
SpecCast Collectibles (20)
SZenery Scale Models (12)

And, many new figures.
There were 1,000 entries in this "News" section reported for 2019.

November 29, 2019

The 1:64 Proto Discussion Group is Moving

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Due to Yahoo! Groups' recent policy changes, the "Proto64" Yahoo! Groups discussion group is moving to the discussion group (several other S-scale-related groups have already moved, most notably the "S-scale" group). If you already have an account on, you can quickly and easily join by clicking on the web link above.

November 06, 2019

Larry Covey

Larry Covey of Longmeadow, Massachusetts, a member of the NASG, passed away in his sleep on Friday, November 1, 2019. He was also a member of the local Pioneer Valley Model Railroad Club. Larry's huge basement full of model railroad collections was open as part of the 2018 NASG Convention. Larry's unique personality continues even after his passing, because he wanted no services, and to have his ashes scattered in space! He is survived by his wife, Ellie, who has invited the local group to come and see his basement collection at any time.

October 17, 2019

Yahoo! Discussion Groups Changing, Dramatically

According to an e-mail received from Yahoo!, the Yahoo! Groups discussion forums will change in the following manner:

1. uploading new content will be disabled on October 28, 2019.
2. one can only join a group by being invited by the group's moderator, or by sending a special request to said moderator (i.e. all groups will be made private).
3. all currently stored content will be deleted on December 14, 2019.

The e-mail claims that Yahoo! Groups is not going away, but by making these types of changes, it is our opinion that they might as well have. Existing members will be able to continue to send e-mail messages to each other and to the group in general, but uploading files (and probably attachments) will be gone. Joining a group will also be much more difficult.

A number of S-scale discussion groups have made the move to already, which offers similar features as what Yahoo! Groups (used to) offer.

October 02, 2019

Ron Sebastian Passed Away

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It is with great sadness that we report that Ron Sebastian, owner of the retail store Des Plaines Hobbies, passed away in the morning of October 2nd, 2019. The photo shows him leaning against a pallet of S-scale tank cars that arrived the day before. Our condolences to his family. The link above is to the funeral home's page for Ron.

Ron has been a vital force in our S-scale community. Although his store caters to all scales, he did a lot to help and keep S-scale relevant. The store was started in 1983. In 1994 they bought "S Scale America" (the brand under which they released a lot of S-scale products since then). In 1995 they bought "Chesapeake Models" (PRR H39 Hopper). In 1997 they acquired the S-scale parts of "Plano Model Products". Likewise, in 2005 they acquired the S-scale decals from "Microscale Industries". Then, in 2006 they bought "Pacific Rail Shops". In 2015 they bought Mullet River Model Works.

Without a doubt, the store has been a big supporter of our hobby, and S-scale in particular.

Here is an interview done with Ron back in 1994: web link.

This link is to the March 2016 issue of the Dispatch in which Jim Kindraka describes a visit with Ron at the store.

September 17, 2019

Ted Hamler is Missing!

Ted Hamler, long time NASG member from Las Cruces, NM and contributor to the NASG's Dispatch and the S Gaugian magazines has been missing since April 27, 2019. If anyone has information on Ted, please contact his wife, Judy: (575) 647-1836 or the Las Cruces police department.
Here is the missing-persons report.

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