NASG Hall of Fame

This listing of people, whom most modelers in S-scale consider to be the scale's pioneers, started off as an informal listing suggested by both late-Bill Fraley and the late-Sam Powell. To keep a more permanent record of these, the NASG's webmaster started this page. The listing is now a formally-recognized list by the NASG BOT. You can contact the Western Vice-President to nominate someone for this list. The listing is shown alphabetical by last name. All photos shown are so done with permission by the photographer.

Contact person: Clay Buckage (western vice-president)

Len Atkins

Len owned Branch Line Models. He produced the first S-scale catalog with lots of products in it.

Ron Bashista

Where would S-scale be today without Ron and American Models? He started the company in the mid 1980s, which is still going strong today, providing a stunning amount of product for us. Unfortunately, Ron passed away in December 2021, but American Models is continuing.

Jesse Bennett

Jesse (pronounced "Jess") showed that S-scale dreams can come true with his fantastic layout and models. He built numerous S-scale steam locomotives from scratch. He also built his own home from "scratch"! Jesse passed away in November 2009 at the age of 96.

John Bortz

John scratchbuilt prize-winning steam locomotives that ran great, pioneering what could be done in S-scale. He was a machinist for Nabisco.

Dave Bulkin

Dave started the S Gauge Herald magazine in 1960.

Wally Collins

Wally took over the S Gauge Herald magazine as publisher in 1961, and put it on solid footing.

Russ Downs

Russ created the Downs Model Railroad Co., which produced a large number of freight cars during the "lean" years. He bought several other companies' product lines, to keep them going for S-scale modelers. Russ passed away in December 2009.

Michael Ferraro

Together with Don Thompson, Michael started S-Helper Service. Michael has been involved in the NASG's leadership for several decades now.

A.C. Gilbert

There would probably not be a modeling scale called "S-scale" without this man. Alfred Carlton Gilbert bought American Flyer in 1938 and integrated it into his A.C. Gilbert company. After WWII he converted the product line to be S-scale (1:64), and competed with Lionel (O-scale).

Walter Graeff

Walter founded ACE Products, which "saved" S-scale when American Flyer went out of business. They produced wheels, trucks, and couplers. Walter was a lawyer.

Don Heimburger

In 1962, at the age of 14, Don started the S Gaugian magazine, which was shut down in 2019 upon Don's retirement. It is a miracle for any magazine to last this long, much less of one covering such a niche topic. He also published the Sn3 Modeler which ran for 36 years. He wrote a number of prototype books, and produced a Walthers-like catalog for S. Don passed away in June, 2022. During the 2023 NASG Convention, the NASG's Perles Publication Award was renamed "Perles/Heimburger Publication Award" in honor of Don's vast contribution to S-scale's published content.

Lee Johnson

Lee, together with Ed Loizeaux, provided the strong support for S-scale modeling on the west coast of the U.S. Lee was always very active in the NASG's leadership.

Dick Karnes

Dick was at the meeting where Claud Wade came up with the idea of what would become the NASG. Dick is the last surviving member of that initial group, and he is a fantastic modeler, a prolific author, and is very active in the NASG.

Joe Kimber

Joe worked tirelessly creating beautiful and professional-looking CAD drawings of many S-scale layouts for both the NASG's The Dispatch and the S Gaugian magazines. Many of these are integrated into the layouts shown in the "Layouts" section of this web site.

Jim Kindraka

Together with Dan Navarre founded River Raisin Models in 1987, which imported a large number of brass models over the decades. Jim retired from River Raisin in 2007. Jim dedicated many years of service to the NASG in various capacities.

Ed Loizeaux

Ed is a former NASG president. For a number of years he spearheaded the S-scale SIG within the NMRA until the group ran out of volunteers in 2021. He is currently enjoying his beautiful NYC-based layout. Ed has always been a strong promoter of our scale.

Tom Marsh

Tom co-founded Overland Models, Inc. in 1975 (together with Tony Wenzel; Tony left and created Oriental Limited in 1982). The company imported a large number of brass models in various scales, including S. Jettie Padgett worked for Tom, and as an S-scale modeler and together with the NASG, he and Tom imported a number of S-scale models for us. Jettie eventually went on to form SouthWind Models, also importing brass models. Overland is still operating, now run by Tom's son Brian. You can see a photo of Tom and his wife Jan on this page.

Robert Miller

Under the name Robert L Miller Laboratory, he produced locomotives, track, and many other S-scale products in the early days.

Dan Navarre

Together with Jim Kindraka founded River Raisin Models in 1987, which imported a large number of brass models over the decades. Dan announced his retirement in 2022, with the company closing down at the end of that same year.

Jettie Padgett

Jettie started SouthWind Models to continue to import S-scale brass models, as he had done before working at Overland Models.

Bill Peter

Where would three-foot narrow-gauge, Sn3, be today without Bill Peter and P-B-L? It is hard to imagine a world without his continued efforts.

Howard Phillips

Howard was a co-founder of S&P Distributors, which manufactured locomotives and rolling stock.

Sam Powell

Sam was a kind-hearted man who wrote many articles, gave many clinics at NASG Conventions, and was a fantastic modeler. He inspired many in the S-scale world. His early articles is what inspired Ron Bashista to consider that there might be a market in S, and so he founded American Models. Sam suddenly passed away in January 2016. With the help of the Pittsburgh S Gaugers club, Sam's nearly completed home layout was able to be salvaged and transported to the Tri-Town Area Historical Society's facilities, where people can now continue to admire his work. The group is maintaining this layout for all to enjoy.

Ed Schumacher

Ed was an inspirational and artistic modeler. As NASG president, he oversaw the early tumultuous times of the organization, including the formalization into the NASG, Inc.

Ron Sebastian

Des Plaines Hobbies is a name people who are new to S-scale modeling will learn quickly. Ron's brick-n-mortar store caters to all scales, but his personal favorite was S-scale. Des Plaines Hobbies has bought a number of product lines, keeping S-scale modelers supplied for decades. Des Plaines Hobbies manufacturing arm was S Scale America. Ron passed away in October 2019. His son-in-law. Matt Gaudynski, is continuing the S-scale manufacturing arm.

Josh Seltzer

He was an outspoken promoter of S-scale modeling, built and sold fantastic models. Josh passed away in February 2003. His wife, Barbara, was very involved with his efforts, hand-painting a large number of the models. She passed away in December 2020.

John Sudimak

John was a co-founder of S&P Distributors.

Brooks Stover

Brooks is an inspirational modeler, and a prolific author. He is very well known for his Buffalo Creek & Gauley railroad modeling efforts as well as its prototype documentation. In 2022 he helped redesign the NASG's inside-the-cover RMC ad, provided feedback for the redesign of the NASG Dispatch, and volunteered to help American Models' advertisements "pop". If you have any questions about photographing your layout, he's the man to contact.

Bernie Thomas

One of the founders of the NASG. He was the General Director from 1962 through 1965.

Don Thompson

Don started Trainstuff in 1975 producing S-scale products. After selling that company, he and Michael Ferraro started S-Helper Service in 1989, which produced top-of-the-line, yet affordable, S-scale models. Don has been very active in the NASG, including being a driving force behind the S-MOD modular standard.

Frank Titman

Frank was the S Gauge Herald magazine's editor. He created Lehigh Valley Models. A prolific model builder. Frank passed away at the age of 93 on January 15, 2015.

John Verser

Founder of the Pacific Rail Shops company, John's efforts produced a huge quantity of easy-to-build freight car kits that can be found on nearly all S-scale layouts.

Bill Wade

Bill and Diane Wade started Bill's Train Shop back in 1979, which was a brick-n-mortar shop. It eventually morphed into a mail-order company, and then into the full-time manufacturing business it is today, selling direct to the customers. They offer structure kits, cars, locomotives, trucks, figures, and many detailing parts in all of the scales.

Claud Wade

One of the founders of the NASG (the NASG was his original idea). He was the General Director from 1960 through 1962. He created the company "S Scale Locomotive & Supply". Claud passed away in April 2005 at the age of 84.

Bob Werre

Mostly working in the background, Bob, as a professional photographer, provided fellow S-scale modelers with a wealth of photos. He was the official photographer for the NASG for a couple of decades, and so most of the photos you see in the Dispatch magazine issues covering the annual NASG Conventions are his. Not only that, Bob traveled the country visiting home layouts, including many well-known S-scale ones, to photograph them for all of the major model railroading magazines. He also photographed S-scale models for the likes of S-Helper Service and American Models for their advertisements. Bob is always full of stories of his adventures!

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