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. Click photos to visit the web sites.
MTH announces that Atlas has bought their O-scale tooling, as well as the RailKing O accessories (presumably that includes the figures collection that many of us are using in S as a cheap option to populate our layouts and passenger cars with affordable figures), and the Proto-Sound 3 system, with the right to sell the DCS components.
Recently-discovered New Zealand manufacturer makes a variety of unique etched-brass kits and parts that can be used by those not necessarily modeling the New Zealand Railways. Most of the products listed on their web site are available in S. Be sure to check out their web site's Gallery page for some very impressive modeling.
This company manufactures a wide variety of products. They primarily focus on HO-scale, but they state that they can produce anything you see in S-scale.
Doug Peck announces that he will be closed the first half of April to take a mini vacation. Shipping of orders, in the order received, will continue after he returns.
He also mentioned that he will no longer allow direct purchases via PayPal, but rather he will send you a PayPal invoice, if you so request, for the final total when your order is ready to be shipped. Therefore, note that there may be some time between when you request a PayPal invoice and Doug actually gets around to processing your order and invoicing you. When you do receive your PayPal invoice, you can then pay as you would normally do when using PayPal.
He requests that you hold off on sending him any more repair work, as he has quite a backlog as of now.
Doug notifies us that American Models has re-run their NH and NYC heavyweight passenger car sets and these are available to order or purchase now (see the first two photos).
He mentioned that all of the promised diesel locomotives that MTH was going to manufacture from their 2019 catalog have now been delivered. Doug is currently shipping the pre-orders he has received (some may be delayed until after his vacation). MTH informed Doug that they have delivered all the S-scale products they were going to deliver (the EVC cabooses had previously already been canceled, and the S-TRAX system speculated re-run was never started). This means that no more MTH/SHS track components are available for the time-being, other than what retailers such as Doug have on hand.
Doug announces the availability of the following AF reproduction items:
- the leather piston rim for the chugger mechanism in some prewar O-gauge tenders
- brass handrail sets for the Franklin and Washington engines
- the smoke worm gear and smoke piston lever for the Franklin and Washington engines
- the Single-Axle Quartering Tool for any standard S-gauge steam engine, plus optional substitute plates for 0-8-0 use (see third photo)
- plated drawbars for all prewar Gilbert engines
- water-decals for most AF "S" tenders, for use instead of dry-transfers
- "332" and "336" cab number water-decals for those Northerns.
Jim King offered to print anyone's .stl or .obj CAD-designed files on his Form3 SLA printer, if possible. Contact him to start the conversation. Click to send an e-mail.
John Wickham hand-makes S-scale turnouts using the Fast Tracks jigs. John does this on a part-time basis, so expect delays, although he does carry an inventory. He also makes HO-scale turnouts, so be sure to ask for S-scale ones. Contact him for current pricing. No web site. Click to send an e-mail.
From Model Railroad Hobbyist magazine:
Caboose Hobbies, the one-time model railroad retail giant in Denver, Colorado, has permanently shut its doors. Caboose Hobbies was established in Denver in 1938 by Glen Brazelton. His son Duane Miller took over in 1969 and built the family business into a world famous model railroad hobby store. After efforts to renew their lease at 500 S. Broadway failed, family members decided in 2016 that it was time to sell the business and retire. Kevin Ruble purchased Caboose Hobbies and reopened at 10800 W. Alameda Avenue in nearby Lakewood in February 2017 as Caboose. The new operation in Lakewood struggled to regain the service level and sales momentum of the original. Government lockdowns pretty much put the final nail in the coffin.
Their web site has been down for at least about 6 months.
CatzPaw Innovations announced that they will be on vacation from March 3, 2021 until April 16, 2021. Orders can be placed while they are out, but they won't be shipped until they return.
Someone who works with the San Juan Model company mentioned that the company now has all of the former Grandt Line products in production. They may not all be listed on their web site, but you can contact them if you know what you are looking for. They are not allowed to use the Grandt Line name anymore, so the division is now called "San Juan Details". The link here takes you to their S-scale parts page.
Shane Wilson, President of ScaleTrains.com, answered a number of customer questions on a live video that is now available on YouTube. Send your request for your favorite engine or car to email@example.com (be sure to mention S-scale). Shane mentioned that they are planning on first doing an S-scale freight car, then later maybe an engine, and only if things go well, later a new product.
ScaleTrains.com, Inc., a leading manufacturer of HO- and N-scale model trains, announced the acquisition of M.T.H. Electric Trains HO-scale and S-scale tooling assets. From their press report:
"MTH is recognized as a leading manufacturer of HO scale steam locomotives. The purchase of MTH's HO products also allows us to broaden our product line into passenger cars, track, and more. We believe there is an opportunity to grow the S market as well." said Shane Wilson, President of ScaleTrains.com.
The acquisition includes steam and diesel locomotives, freight cars, and track in both scales. The HO tooling also includes turbine and electric locomotives, subway sets, passenger cars, and more. Engineering schematics for several all-new steam era HO projects were also received as part of the agreement.
"ScaleTrains.com has a great reputation in the industry and the M.T.H. HO tooling will make a great addition to their already impressive HO lineup." Stated Mike Wolf, President of M.T.H. Electric Trains. "S Gauge fans will find the ScaleTrains.com team loaded with talent and model railroading experience."
Both scales are being melded into ScaleTrains.com umbrella of brands including Rivet Counter. Several molds have been transferred to the ScaleTrains.com factory and testing is already underway. Over the next few months design will begin to convert the models to accept the ScaleTrains.com motor and change to ESU-LokSound electronics including DCC and sound. The first models are expected to be available in 2022.
ScaleTrains.com is making significant investments in infrastructure to better service more brick-and-mortar retailers in the future. Although ScaleTrains.com is currently not accepting new retailers, dealers are welcome to send their contact information to firstname.lastname@example.org in anticipation of opening new brick-and-mortar accounts within the next year.
M.T.H. Electric Trains will fulfill all outstanding customer HO and S Scale preorders. In addition, service and support for products sold by M.T.H. Electric Trains will be serviced by the current M.T.H. Authorized Service Center network. This includes part sales.
Products manufactured by ScaleTrains.com will be serviced by Product Support in Benton, TN.
For additional information, please contact Hollie Smith at Hollie@ScaleTrains.com.
Update: ScaleTrains president Shane Wilson posted that they have no plans to extensively rework the MTH tooling. However, if errors are detected and they require major rework, they have learned through experience that is it cheaper and faster to start from scratch rather than rework the tooling.
Update: From the MTH weekly newsletter:
"M.T.H. Electric Trains has announced that it has sold its S Gauge tooling and molds to Scale Trains.com as part of its divestiture of tooling assets as the company prepares to shut down operations later in 2021 on the heels of M.T.H. President Mike Wolf's retirement.
Wolf and ScaleTrains.com president Shane Wilson negotiated the deal over the course of the Fall of 2020, cementing the final points in late December. "I've known Shane for years from his time at Horizon Hobby and I'm confident he and his team will be great stewards of the tooling moving forward", Wolf said. He added, "Shane and his team were great to work with throughout the negotiations. ScaleTrains.com has a great reputation in the industry and S Gauge fans will find the ScaleTrains team loaded with talent and model railroading experience and I'm sure they're excited about moving into such a historical segment of the model railroading hobby."
The tooling sale includes no inventory or parts sales to ScaleTrains and any promoted but not yet delivered M.T.H. S Gauge items featured in the 2019-2020 S Gauge catalogs still need to be released over the course of the next few months. Product support and parts sales for M.T.H. S Gauge items will continue to be handled by the M.T.H. Authorized Service Center network.
The remaining S-scale inventory is still available to order from your local M.T.H. Authorized Retailer. They can also be ordered directly from M.T.H. by calling the M.T.H. Sales Department at 410-381-2580 or by visiting the M.T.H. website."
The company closed on January 5, 2021. They manufactured several S-scale boat-related parts.
Doug Peck reports that MTH estimates that their 2019-catalog locomotives are scheduled to arrive in February and March, and their cabooses in April. Their track components are also going to be shipped, but they offered no dates.
Doug has received the new Lionel ES44AC Legacy locomotives, and that their new heavyweight passengers cars are due to arrive soon.
Clay Buckage announces that the following parts for the new MTH fishbelly hoppers are in stock:
1278-05-01 Plate, Top Corner, Hopper, Unpainted each 1.00
1278-05-03 Platform, Brake each 1.00
1278-05-04 Support, Brake Platform each 0.50
1278-05-05 Housing, Brake, Ajax, w/Chain each 2.00
1278-05-09 Divider, Bay, Rib Side each 1.50
1278-05-11 Latch, Door, Left, Hopper, Unpainted each 0.50
1278-05-12 Latch, Door, Right, Hopper, Unpainted each 0.50
1278-06-07 Divider, Bay Offset each 1.50
1278-06-11 Support, Brake Lever each 1.00
1278-06-12 Brakewheel, Ajax, Hopper each 2.50
1278-08-06 Hanger, Brake Line, Hopper, Unpainted each 0.50
This company offers tools for use with restoring engines, cars, and track.
Speira Miniatures is a company based in Helsingborg, Sweden. They offer 3D-printed figures in various scales. After communication with the owners, they are happy to produce figures in S-scale. All you have to do is indicate that with your order. Take a look at their "28mm" version of figures to get an idea of how much the S-scale version costs. Important: Europe has a value-added tax (similar to sales taxes in the U.S.) of 25%. The prices that you see on their web site already include that 25% tax. So, when considering ordering and you live outside of Europe, use roughly the 75% price of what is quoted, but also realize that they quote in Euros, so account for the exchange rate. While this makes ordering from them more complex, their choice of figures is quite large. Also note that they are able to do custom work for you, so if you are looking for a very specific figure, they will be able to work with you, and quote you their fee. You can learn more about the figures that they produce via this blog posting (1:48 and 1:72).
M2 announced that they will have some of their models exclusively available at your local O'Reilly Auto Parts stores starting in the fourth quarter of 2020. These will include the 1965 Ford Econoline Truck, 1967 Chevrolet Nova Gasser, 1968 Ford Mustang, 1968 Plymouth Barracuda, 1973 Chevrolet Truck, and 1970 Nissan Fairlady Z.
Dallee Electronics announce that they have catalog #71 available. It is 40 pages long with color. The printed catalog is $10 with orders, or $15 without. Of course, their entire product line is listed on their web site, with lots of high-quality product photos, for free.
Scott Lupia started KV Models in 1998, and he is now expanding into S-scale. His initial offering is two different sets of steam locomotive tool sets. Scott has indicated that he is willing to design his existing line of products from the other scales he manufactures, into S-scale. So, if there is a particular part or set that you would like to see in S-scale, be sure to drop him a note.
Doug Peck reports that he has these new American Flyer parts in stock:
- late-style axle wipers for passenger cars with eyelet-mounted 4-wheel trucks (listed under "Trucks" in their AF PARTS Inventory catalog).
- the S-283 shoulder screw, black, for the 761 Semaphore flag mounting (listed under both "Semaphores" and "Screws").
- the XA10941A black pin for the 761 Semaphore flag (listed under "Semaphores").
- the striker/plunger for the solenoid relay to ring the bell in the 759 Bell Danger Signal (listed under "Crossing Signals").
- the bracket that holds the bell in the 759 Bell Danger Signal (listed under "Crossing Signals").
- the black & white "Train Schedule" for the Baggage Smasher and the Suburban Station; available as either peel&stick, or printed card-stock (listed under "Stations" or "Stickers").
- TIMKO flywheel can motors are back in stock (listed under "Motor Parts").
- red large-globe blinking bulbs (listed under "Bulbs").
Port Lines has the "Miracle Chair Company" kit, formerly from Scenery Unlimited, in stock at $135 (listed under "Structure Kits").
From the company's web site, they announced in February 2020 that their 1:64 vehicles will now be available at Target stores. In May 2020 they announced that their RV-related 1:64 models will be stocked by Camping World stores.
Port Lines Hobby Supply announces that they are still behind on processing orders, so please be patient if you are waiting on something. The Lionel Berkshires are in. They have not heard anything from MTH about their products nor any potential sale of the company. These are the expected delivery dates for upcoming Lionel products:
Lionel, 4th quarter, 2020:
- Polar Express cars
- 2020 Christmas car
- Legacy ES44ac diesels
- Flyerchief Northerns
- Flyerchief EP5 diesels
- Heavyweight Pass cars
- Flyerchief sets
- Stock cars
- Side-Dump cars
- PRR Walking Brakeman car
Lionel, 2nd quarter, 2021:
- Polar Express cars
- Baldwin switchers
- USAF cars and set
- Depressed Center cars
- Wood-sided reefers
Port Lines has the actuator wire to operate the 591 Xng Gate in stock.
They also have the solenoid coil for the 759 Bell Danger Signal. It is mounted on the fiber base, and ready to replace your burned-out coil. This coil is probably the coil most-often to be overheat and needing replacement, due to trains being stopped or stalled on the BDS track trip. They also have replacement plungers ("dingers") for those coils.
Finally, they also have the "plunger pins" for the 716 red side-dump hoppers in stock.
Back in January 2020, Rio Grande Models showed a large "CLOSED" image on their web site, leading to all sorts of speculation. They clarified what happened on their Facebook page:
"Some of you may have noticed the large "CLOSED" sign on the RGM website. The website will be closing in 2020, but Rio Grande Models is still operating for now and will eventually be winding down as it is in its current form. Due to the amount of orders coming in, we're limiting fulfillment to what we have on hand, or, kits we can assemble with the components on hand. This might result in some orders that are less than you requested, but you will only be asked for payment on what we can ship."
The update to this announcement is that on October 24, 2020, they posted this on their Facebook page:
"A deal has been made and Rio Grande Models will continue to operate, produce kits, and ship to customers all over the world. We're in the process of getting all the essentials packed up and ready for transfer to the new owner and operator so that narrow gauge enthusiasts can continue to enjoy the model kits created by NMRA Master Model Railroader #23 for years to come. This process may take several months given the 50+ year span of RGM, so stay tuned to this space."
No mention was made of who the new owner is.
Dave's Twacks & Twains offers a 10% discount on orders when you indicate that you are an NASG member, involved in a particular S-scale club, or are or have been in the military! Visit their web site for a listing of S-Helper Service parts that they have in stock such as 18-wheeler trailers (unlettered), building materials loads, electronics parts, mechanical parts, switcher bodies (NW2, SW9, SW1), detailing parts, etc.
The owner, Brian Weisman, has sent us a document listing his trolley-modeling-related items for sale. The company does not have a web site. Follow the link for a listing of products, and additional contact information. Note that most products are HO- or O-scale, but a creative modeler should be able to adapt them for S-scale. Also, it won't hurt to ask Brian if he can produce an item you want specifically in S-scale. Manufacturers are often motivated by demand, so if you are modeling trolleys in S-scale, consider asking him.
Phil Kerr, owner of Lehigh Valley Models, has announced that he has created a web site for this product line. Prior to this, the former Frank Titman product line was only available through mail-order or at local train shows. Please note that as of this writing, each kit is listed at $1, which, I am sure, is a side-effect of a new web site that isn't quite finished yet. Please contact the company for the real price of a particular kit.
CatzPaw Innovations, LLC has been revising how they operate, because they have found that having their items printed by Shapeways was getting more expensive, and Shapeways' quality has not been consistent. The company has purchased several resin printers and are now moving most of their production back in-house. Their S-scale product line continues to grow, so they have made available an S-scale-only catalog.
Since they make products in various scales, they have provided us with a price list for the S-scale only products.
Port Lines Hobby Supply announces that they have these new products in stock:
- the PA8961 early cast metal box car brake wheels with the larger hole for the pin. Listed under "BOXCARS" parts on their web site.
- Greenberg's 2021 AF Price Guide; ($16 MSRP); $12.95
- Greenberg's 2021 Lionel Price Guide; $23 MSRP; $18.95
- reproduction 14.5" red & white passenger car boxes; $5
- the SHS/MTH connector which joins the turnout cable to the extension cable.
- reproduction plated axles for pre-war cars and tenders both 1-7/8" and 2" lengths.
- actuator wires to operate the 592, 592A, and 600 Crossing Gates (these are not for the 591; those are still in the design stage).
They also announced that GarGraves has increased their prices for track.
Tru-Color Paints has announced plans to begin offering their paint line in 4-1/2oz aerosol cans, retailing for under $10.
Motrak Models has released a new laser-cut model of the Alton Bay, NH Fire House circa 1894.
Keith Wiseman announced that due to the continuously increasing costs of doing business on eBay, he has closed his eBay store. You can continue to purchase items directly from the company's web site, or through his new store on eBid.net.
As you may know, MTH's CEO is retiring and closing the company. Whether or not the company's product lines will be taken over has not been announced. They are planning on closing in May 2021, so items in the latest MTH S-scale catalog are going to be produced. However, they have announced that the following items will not be manufactured (either due to lack of demand, or due to them not being able to get them delivered by May, 2021):
- 20051-1, 20052-1: CSX NW2
- 20029-1, 20030-1: EMD DEMONSTRATOR SW8
- 20065-1, 20066-1: Southern F7 powered A-unit.
- 20067-1: Southern F7 powered B-unit.
- 20066-4: Southern F7 non-powered A-unit.
- 20065-3: Southern F7 non-powered B-unit.
Due to the corona virus reactions and lockdowns, delivery dates stated on MTH's web site are no longer valid. The current estimates are as follows (which may continue to be delayed):
September, 2020: fishbelly hoppers.
October, 2020: SW8 locomotives.
November, 2020: NW2 locomotives.
December, 2020: F7 locomotives.
Port Lines Hobby Supply now has the following parts back in stock:
- gray, non-polarized transformer cords.
- AF #591-592-600 Crossing Gate arms.
- improved bulbs for "Sam the Semaphore".
- cast box car brake wheels with correct large mounting hole.
- re-stock of all their LED bulbs.
- re-stock of the entire Arttista S-scale figures line.
- #751 Log Loader solenoid coil rod & plunger.
- crane crank wheels with handle.
- 1.5" rod and collar for the side of the tin #606-906 cranes.
- box car metal brake wheels with the large hole for pin.
- the SHS/MTH connector which joins the turnout cable to the extension cable.
Port Lines Hobby Supply has received the following Lionel items:
- BAR sound box cars.
- TP&W sound box cars.
- WM three-bay hoppers.
- UP three-bay hoppers.
- Polar Express milk container flat car.
- Rutland box cars.
- GN box cars.
- GB&W box cars.
- Renkins container flat cars.
- Bordens container flat cars.
- Sealtest container flat cars.
- Florida Juice container flat cars.
Walt announced in his newsletter and on his web site that the company is open again. They took a bit of a break when they announced that they closed late last year. Walt mentioned that the reason for re-opening the company is that they are looking for something to do. The previous product line of S-scale 3D-printed and resin casts are available again. He did ask to be patient with their shipping. Rusty Stumps offers a large collection of detailing parts for buildings (including HVAC piping systems) for both interiors and exteriors, and a lot of general scenery detailing parts.
Monster Model Works went on hiatus when the owner found a fulltime job. However, he appears to be back again. They have a new web site with a new name. So far, they have one S-scale structure listed.
Testors has indicated that they are discontinuing their Pactra, Aztek, and Model Master brands of paint due to continuing decline of demand for those brands.
Clayton Buckage, owner of Dave's Twacks & Twains, explains his long absence in an e-mail. During his last move (Spring 2019) he was seriously injured and required hospitalization for most of the year since. The sudden event caused him to be unable to communicate his situation, and he apologized for that in his e-mail. He is now resuming his business at his new location, and he has returned to his full-time job, although he is limiting his Dave's Twacks & Twains activities to the weekends only. He expects to be fully operational with the business by around October 2020. His new contact information is as follows:
mailing address: 685 Bartlett Court, Brentwood, CA 94513
telephone: (925) 679-4887 (calls returned on weekends only)
email@example.com for general inquires.
firstname.lastname@example.org for placing orders.
Mike Wolf announced that he will retire and close MTH Electric Trains at the end of May, 2021. At this moment there are no plans for selling the company, its property rights, or an any announcement of a successor.
Odds are pretty good that if you are into trains, you are also into cars. While Mattel's HotWheels brand is flagged as 1:64 scale, the individual models may vary in actual scale-correctness. Nonetheless, they are a major force in the model automobile market. The link is to a recent video where they are announcing their 1:64 Jaguar F-type model, which is slated to be released in about a year's time. The Mattel executive being interviewed mentions that 2019 was a record year for them, selling 500 million individual models during that year! There has got to be room for some bleed-over into S-scale model railroad modeling!...
The company closed several years ago. They produce photo-realistic backdrops. They are back, and they have a page dedicated to O- and S-scale backdrops.
Doug Peck announced that he will not be attending any more train shows as a vendor, this includes the York, PA show. The good news is that you can contact Doug via his web site, e-mail, or phone more, and place your order at any time. HOWEVER, please see the Port Lines web site's home page for Doug's backlog of processing orders. Apparently he's been getting lots of orders from those of us stuck at home!