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. Click photos to visit the web sites.
Michael McConnell has been working with Joe Kimber (the former track plan designer for the NASG Dispatch and S Gaugian magazines) on getting a collection of photos of Joe's layout up on the South Jersey S Gaugers' web site. Those photos on their site nicely complement the photos we have of Joe's layout here on the NASG web site.
Ron Kemp informs us that John Wackerman of Alpharetta, Georgia, passed away on September 13. He was 73. He was an NASG member and a member of the Atlantic Coast S Gauger (Georgia Division). John obtained a Mechanical Engineering degree and worked for GM for 42 years, retiring in 2008. He was in the army reserves for 6 years. We offer our condolences to his wife, Joy, children, grandchildren, and the many friends who knew him well.
This video shows how to convert a close-to-S McDonald's Formula 1 race car toy into a radio-controlled model... with a driver whose head turns when the car leans into a corner!
Joe Fuss, owner of Ragg's... to Riches has updated his web site with the recent changes to his large Sn3 layout. The link takes you to just the update page.
If you enjoy toy trains, including some S, you may enjoy this 10-minute video report, by S-scale modeler Mark Klemens, of the TCA Convention held this month in Burbank, California. Includes hotel layout and home layout visits.
The deadline for the Fall S Fest early registration has been extended to September 30th, 2021. The event is to take place from November 5 through 7, 2021.
Don Thompson reports that Robert Weaver, who established Quality Craft/Weaver Model Trains with his wife, Shirley, in 1965 and over the next half-century manufactured plastic and brass O-scale two- and three-rail locomotives and rolling stock, died on August 7, 2021, at the age of 93. The Weavers launched their business in Northumberland, PA, and eventually came to specialize in state-of-the-art replicas of, particularly Pennsylvania RR, steam, diesel, and electric prototypes, along with familiar and uncommon freight cars seen on railroads across the U.S. The manufacturing side of the business ended operation in 2015, with Atlas O and Lionel later purchasing some of the Weaver tooling. Bob made a few S-scale kits for Bob Bloise formerly of Kinsman, and he also supplied paint to American Models for many of the joint American Models/S-Helper Service projects.
We were informed that John passed away, but we have no further details. John was a long-time NASG member.
Tom Hess passed away on April 22, 2021. Tom was a member of the Southeastern Michigan S Gaugers (where he hosted the January club meeting every year for 20 years) and the NASG. He had a beautiful home layout, some photos of which are available for viewing on this web site.
Luther Stephens informed us that Fritz Gemeinhardt passed away at the age of 97 on May 21, 2021. Fritz was a retired Marine Corps Master Sergeant, having served in four wars, retiring after 36 years. He wrote a book about his experiences. He was a prolific model builder in several scales, including S. According to Luther, Fritz, along with Ed Shumacher and a few others, started the Potomac Valley S Gaugers club, and also helped the early effort to build what is now the NASG. Fritz built a lot of SSL&S locomotive kits for others.
David Avedesian's layout has been captured with two videos now available on YouTube. This layout has lots of animation and interesting details.
Mark Klemens took a video of B&O trains running on Larry's large "Nothern Florida Railway" layout.
John Frankforther shows his construction steps for scratch-building a bridge in S.
Gaylord Gill and Randy Bosscher did a Zoom presentation about using the 1-kit by Bar Mills. A sample of the presentation is available on YouTube.
Roy has started a new web site, focusing mostly on modeling the three-foot narrow-gauge EBT railroad.
Train Show Inc. has been closed permanently. Owner, Randy Bachmann, has moved on to a different field. However, a new corporation, called Great American Train Shows, Inc, which was created by David Swanson, and also includes other veterans of train shows, Bill Grove, Frank Hicks, and Dillon Goble, is now open. The new corporation is now the parent company of these train shows:
- Greenberg's Train & Toy Show (to resume operations on July 24th).
- The Great Midwest Train Show (to resume operations on August 8th).
- Great Train Shows (to resume operations on August 14th).
- World's Greatest Hobby on Tour Shows (to resume operations in January of 2022).
The TrainShow.com website will remain the primary website for all the shows. They are hoping to keep the format the same for these shows.
Ed Loizeaux' has a dedicated web site for his fantastic S-scale model railroad.
Danton ("Dan") Albright Ponzol, 69, passed away on March 2, 2021. He had a vast knowledge of A.C. Gilbert and Lionel American Flyer products, and also knew how to repair them. He wrote the book Lionel: A Century of Timeless Toy Trains. Dan was an NASG member for 20 years.
Indirectly we learned of the passing of Rollain Mercier at the age of 83. This happened on March 14, 2021, after a brief illness. Rollain was very active in the NASG, especially the early years. He was an NASG "life" member, having received the NASG's "Bernie Thomas" award in 1987. Rollain was the NASG president from 1981 through 1985, prior to that the executive vice-president from 1979 through 1981, and prior to that served as the NASG Convention chairman from 1972 through 1979. Rollain was part of the "Brass Car Committee", which in 1984 oversaw the commission for Overland Models to import two-bay, rib-sided, covered hoppers, and the five tank cars imported in 1986. In 1986, Rollain re-starts the S Gauge Herald, but that effort was short-lived (through 1988). He tried again in 1994, but only a single issue was published.
Gaylord Gill sent in a couple of photos while visiting this Society/museum, which features the late Sam Powell's S-scale layout.
As an FYI, if you have visited a museum that has an S-scale layout or display and took some photos of said display, feel free to contact the webmaster about having your photos added to this web site; it might help others decide whether it is worth their effort to visit the museum or display.
Long time NASG member, Robert (Bob) Greengrove of Nutley, NJ, passed away on April 13, 2021 at the age of 91.
The O & S Scale Midwest Show has been moved from September 17 through 19, 2021 to October 8 through 10, 2021.
Michael Eldridge visited the recently-opened "Magic of Model Railroading" exhibit, sponsored by the NMRA, at the California State Railroad Museum.
Kathy, who is an NMRA MMR from Great Britain, has a fantastic YouTube channel with tons of how-to videos. She models the NH in HO-scale, but this particular video is centered around a 1:64 model. In the description of the video, she states, "It is in S-scale (1/64) which is a lovely model railroad scale if you haven't seen it".
Barb Seltzer, wife of Joshua Seltzer, passed away on December 20, 2020. Barb and Joshua were co-recipients of the 1977 Bernie Thomas Memorial Award, and therefore life members of the NASG. Josh preceded her in death in 2003. They were a well-known couple for taking A.C. Gilbert American Flyer cars, converting them to "scale", re-lettering them, and then offering them for sale to the S-scale community. According to Jim Kindraka, "Barb has to hold the world record for the number of cars she hand-lettered in those early days!" She also will be remembered by Midwest folks for opening their modest house to 40 or more guys that Josh would invite for breakfast Sunday mornings after every Cleveland-area Spring Spree and a couple of NASG Conventions. (Thank you, Don Thompson, for bringing this announcement to our attention.)
Gaylord Gill sent in the article about his TW Tower to RMC several months back, and more recently his article to the NASG's Dispatch (two different topics). Both just happened to come out at the same time. The Dispatch article is in the March 2021 issue, and the RMC's March 2021 issue is out now. Follow the link to see a preview of the article on their web site.
Mike Calvert passed away on January 27, 2021. He was believed to be in his 80s. He owned and operated Gilmaur Models in England, since the 1970s. He produced etched-brass locomotive kits of American-prototype locomotives. He was most active in O-scale. However, thanks to the encouragement from fellow countryman Colin Stewart, Mike expanded his product line into S-scale in recent years. Their efforts produced the U18B, U23B, and SW1500 engine kits in S-scale.
Don Thompson reports that William "Bill" Clark passed away on January 20, 2021. Bill was 78 years old. Most of us will know of Bill, as he was involved in helping S-Helper Service with their web site (Bill worked for IBM), as well as helping people figure out the electronics in engines. Bill was a member of the Bristol S Gauge Railroaders club, as well as a member of the NASG.
S-scale modeler and NASG member Rhett George, of Hillsborough, North Carolina, passed away on December 14, 2020 at the age of 87. Dr. George was a professor emeritus of Electrical Engineering at Duke University. The unfortunate news was that his wife, Joanna, passed away on January 2, 2021. They were both members of the Atlantic Coast S Gaugers - Carolinas Division. The photo was taken by Jack Ruth, showing Joanna and Rhett working on repairing an AF accessory.
Outstanding Sn3 modeler and NASG member, Mike Schwab, unexpectedly passed away due to a heart-attack.
The Sn3 Symposium has been moved from May to August due to the likelihood that New Mexico is still in a lockdown situation in May.
Robert B. "Bob" Nicholson passed away on August 13, 2020 at the age of 79. It has been reported that his wife passed away just three days before he did. Bob received the highest award that the NASG offers its members, the Bernie Thomas Memorial Award, in 2014. Bob lived in Fort Madison, Iowa. He was a conductor and engineer for several railroads in his career, including the AT&SF, the IC, and the CNR. He retired in 2001. Some had the privilege of knowing him personally, but a good number of S-scale modelers got to know Bob "virtually" through his participation in the Yahoo! Groups "S-scale" discussion mailing list. All in good fun, he was known as "string boB". The "string" part was because he believed in running his layout without all the complicated electronics, such as DCC. He wrote his name backwards, so as to differentiate his e-mails from all of the other Bobs on the list. For one of the NASG Conventions, Bob Werre had Bob pose in front of a real locomotive with a rope attached to the engine's coupler, to make it look like he was pulling the engine, an elaborate inside-joke about his nick-name on the mailing list. Bob was a fun person and enjoyed his hobby. He created his own layout and named his railroad the "Shabbona" Railroad. Several S-scale modelers were able to buy his equipment in recent years and will have a model of "his" railroad that he worked on, running on their layouts. Update: see more photos and info about Bob in the February/March 2021 issue of The S Scale Resource online magazine.
If you know how to read a little bit of German, you might find this interesting. The web site is of a (former East-)German club of S- and O-scale modelers that collect information about models produced in the Germanies in the 1960s.
Trainshow.com is now the combined web site for the following annual train shows:
- "Great Train Shows"
- "Great Midwest Train Show"
- "World's Greatest Hobby on Tour"
According to their web site, they have cancelled all future shows until they are reasonably able to open up for the expected crowd levels again.