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This page lists all companies that used to sell or manufacture S-scale product items, but they are now out of business or have been bought out. There are a total of 258 entries listed on this page.

A.C. Gilbert

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

New Haven

State:

Connecticut

Founder(s):

Alfred Carlton Gilbert

Products

Notes

Don Thompon (part owner of S-Helper Service), noted that what he thought that was neat about A.C. Gilbert was that they "made state-of-the-art trains for children that were scale models and operated on two rails". He also noted that "if you look at the new plastic cars that A.C. Gilbert made in 1946, many were in the 1937 Car Builders Cyclopedia".

History

The company was started as "Mysto Manufacturing Company" in 1909, to build the now-famous Erector set. In 1916 they changed their name to "A.C. Gilbert Company". In 1938 the company buys "American Flyer Mfg. Co." (a Chicago-based company), and A.C. Gilbert starts producing S-scale equipment riding on O-scale wheels under the name of "Tru-Model", to be compatible with Lionel's track. After WWII in 1946 the company completely stops manufacturing HO- and O-scale products, and starts focusing only on producing S-scale products that are truly proportioned to 1:64th scale. A.C. Gilbert, Jr. became president of the company in 1954. A.C. Gilbert, Sr passed away in 1961, and A.C. Gilbert, Jr. became chairman of the board. The company only posted a $20,000 profit for that year. The next year, Jack Wrather bought a 52% share of the company and he brought in his own leadership. However, unhappy with the results, in 1963 Jack Wrather fires most of his staff and puts A.C. Gilbert, Jr. back in as the president (the company had posted a $5 million loss for 1963). A.C. Gilbert, Jr. passed away in 1964, so Jack Wrather takes over as chairman of the board, while Anson Isaacson takes over as president of the company (brought in due to the company's downward spiral). In 1966 Isaacson was able to obtain a loan to operate for one year, contingent upon the company making a profit for 1966, else the loan would be called. The company wound up with an almost $13 million loss for that year, though. So, in 1967, the A.C. Gilbert company declared bankruptcy and went of out business in February of that year. Gabriel Industries bought the Erector sets assets that year, which paid off some of the debts A.C. Gilbert owed. Also in that year Lionel and K-Line bought portions of the company.

A.D. Imfeld, Co.

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Port Jefferson

State:

New York

Founder(s):

Dan Imfeld

Products

Notes

All models were hand-built by Dan.

ACE Model Railroad Company

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Lebanon

State:

Pennsylvania

Founder(s):

Walter C. Graeff

Products

History

Walter owned a brick-n-mortar hobby shop. In 1968 he decided to bring a line of S-scale trucks to market, of which he had 54 by 1969, available with both scale and hi-rail wheels, thereby single-handedly saving S-scale in the drought period between A.C. Gilbert's demise in 1967 and American Models appearance in 1980.

The company gained access to the original A.C. Gilbert three-bay hopper molds, and so started producing undecorated models of these using high-quality plastics. They also produced floors, bolsters, and other parts to make it easy to convert A.F. rolling stock to "scale" models. The ACE product line provided the S-scale modeler with products until American Models and other companies started coming along. It is the opinion of several S-scale modelers who were actively modeling at that time that, if it wasn't for Walter Graeff's efforts, S-scale would have died back in those days. Walter passed away in 1978, and Downs Model Railroad Co. bought the product line in 1983.

Adapter Coupler

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Bakersfield

State:

California

Products

Locomotives: coupler adapters for AF locomotives

Rolling Stock: coupler adapters for AF cars

Notes

The company's web site is gone as of March 2023.

Alco Models

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Port Jefferson

State:

New York

Founder(s):

Bruce Giles and Charles Santoro

Products

History

The company was started in 1967. They started importing brass models from Kumata Models (KMT), Japan in the 1970s. In the 1980s they started importing from Samhongsa in Korea. The company closed in 1983 due to Bruce's illness. Active projects were transferred to other importers.

Alkem Scale Models

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

Founder(s):

Bernard Kempinski

Products

Structures: C&O Alleghany Cabin Tower

Allegheny Models

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Cincinnati

State:

Ohio

Founder(s):

Bert Cutler

Products

Notes

This is not the same company as the current-day brass retailer "Allegheny Scale Models" based in Hackettstown, New Jersey.

Altoona Model Works

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

Founder(s):

Bob Spaulding

Products

Notes

Supposedly the owner's father modeled in S-scale, so the company started producing S-scale models and they were seen at S-scale events, such as the NASG Convention. When the owner's father passed away, the company stopped producing S-scale kits. They are predominantly an O-scale company. So, the company is still around, but not involved in S anymore.

Ambroid Co.

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Boston

State:

Massachusetts

Products

History

Charles Seavern, president of Howe & French, Inc. a Boston chemical company, in the year 1900 discovered that combining the company's camphor product with the left-over waste product, celluloid, he was able to produce a waterproof, flexible, fast-drying, and strong glue. He created the name Ambroid by combining "amber" (the product's final color) with celluloid. Then in the late-1940s/early-1950s they started making S-scale kits to promote their glues, which are great for porous materials such as wood.

American Flyer Trains

Contact

Business Type:

Online Retailer

Founder(s):

Bob Iannacone

Products

American Flyer accessories

Locomotives: original American Flyer, Lionel, repair parts

Rolling Stock: original American Flyer, Lionel, S-Helper Service, repair parts

History

Bob passed away in 2023. The web site disappeared in 2024.

American Hi-Rail

NASG Charles Sandersfeld Memorial Award

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Spring Grove

State:

Illinois

Founder(s):

Tom Hodgson

Products

History

Instrument Design, Inc. is still the owner's design and engineering services firm. American Hi-Rail was founded in the 1980s under this company. Some of the early S-scale passenger car models have the "IDI" name imprinted. They are no longer actively producing S-scale products.

American Model Builders

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

St. Louis

State:

Missouri

Web Site:

visit

Founder(s):

John Hitzeman

Products

Scenery: hydrants

Structures: laser-cut kits, chimneys, roofing materials

Track Components: wheelstops

History

John passed away in July 2022. In March 2024, Berkshire Valley Models bought the company's product line, which consisted of mostly CAD drawings, instruction sheets, and masters (no inventory available).

American Scale Models

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Minneapolis

Products

History

Bought by Locomotive Workshop.

Amity Star Models

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Thomson

State:

Georgia

Founder(s):

Russ Mobley

Products

History

The company was started in 1971, producing freight car and structure kits. They were bought by B.T.S. in 1996. Russ passed away in 2001. The NASG's Mobley Library was named after him.

Archer Fine Transfers

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Youngsville

State:

North Carolina

Founder(s):

Woody Vondracek

Products

History

The company was started in 1989, creating decals and 3D-decals (resin imprinted on top of decal film, to allow for the creation of strips of rivets). In 2020 they announced that they would no longer produce dry transfer. In 2022 the company closed up completely, with no word on if anyone took over the product line.

Arden Scale Models

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Ridgewood

State:

New Jersey

Products

History

The November 1960 issue of S Gauge Herald asks if anyone knows what happened to the company.

Arkansas Valley Scale Models

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Fort Smith

State:

Arkansas

Founder(s):

Bill Turner

Products

History

The company was bought by Scale Structures LTD sometime in the 1990s.

Aurora Plastics Corporation

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Brooklyn

State:

New York

Founder(s):

Abe Shikes and Joe Giammarino

YouTube Channel:

view

Products

History

The company was started in 1950. In 1968 due to internal leadership struggles, an investment group took over the company. They were bought out by Nabisco in 1970. Then, in 1977 the company's product line was bought by Monogram. A UP train derailment damaged a lot of the Aurora molds during this transition time, but most were salvaged.

Authenticast

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

Founder(s):

Holger Eriksson and Curt Wennberg

Products

History

In 1946, the company was started to produce (largish) S-scale figures. In 1950 their Irish factory burned down. Then, in 1951 it was resurrected as the "Swedish-African Engineers" based in South Africa, producing only 54mm figures.

Aztec Manufacturing

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Carson City

State:

Nevada

Founder(s):

John Claudino

Products

Rolling Stock: track-cleaning car

History

The company was started in 1976. In 1991 they started producing track-cleaning cars in the various scales, including S. The owner retired and closed the company in 2019.

Backwoods Miniatures

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Northumberland

Country:

United Kingdom

Founder(s):

Pete McParlin

Products

History

Their products were distributed in the U.S. by banta modelworks. They closed in 2016.

Berlyn Locomotive Works

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Denver

State:

Colorado

Founder(s):

Theo Berlyn

Products

History

The company was bought by Precision Vintage Classics in 2009.

Best Of Show

Contact

Business Type:

Service Company

Founder(s):

Gerry Evans

Products

Notes

The company focused on doing custom-built projects, painting, and weathering, especially structures, figures, and vehicles.

History

Gerry passed away in August 2023.

BK Enterprises

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Buena Vista

State:

Colorado

Products

History

In 1990 the company produced the S-scale "Tru-Scale" turnouts. In 1995 they bought "Tomalco" Sn3 kits from Building & Structure Co. They bought Classic Miniatures and Taurus Products in 1999. The company is still around, but it operates under the name of Trout Creek Engineering.

Black Bear Scale Models

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Glenwood

State:

Iowa

Founder(s):

Rich & Donna Dickeson

Products

Structures: trestle-building jigs and kits

History

Rich passed away in 2018, which effectively closed the company.

Blue Mountain Hobbies

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Annville

State:

Pennsylvania

Founder(s):

Nevin Bordlemay

Products

Rolling Stock: various loads for specific hoppers

Bob Peare Engineering Corp.

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Clifton

State:

New Jersey

Founder(s):

Bob Peare

Products

Track Components: code 125 and 172 components

History

Started in the 1950s.

Branch Line Models

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer & Retailer

City:

Memphis

State:

Tennessee

Founder(s):

Leonard Atkins

Products

Rolling Stock: freight and passenger car kits

History

In 1960 they bought out the Sylvania Models and Chester Industrial Arts product lines of streamlined passenger cars (see November & December 1960 S Gauge Herald). In the Herald they are identified as "Branch Line Hobby Supply", but in their kit instructions they call themselves "Branch Line Models".


 (image copyright © Tom Lennon; used by permission)
Example box label.

Bub

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

Country:

West Germany

Founder(s):

Karl Bub

Products

Locomotives: European-prototype engines

Rolling Stock: European-prototype cars

Track Components: European-prototype track

History

The company was started as a large toy company before WWII. After the war, in 1948, they started producing S-scale-equivalent products. S-scale production stopped in 1958. The company was closed and sold in 1966.

Building & Structure Co.

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Fenton

State:

Missouri

Founder(s):

John Kalin & Pete Smith

Products

Notes

In addition to hydrocal, styrene, and white-metal parts, they were one of the first companies in S-scale to use lasers to cut their kits' parts. Their product line's primary focus was on Colorado-based narrow-gauge, but they did make some "generic" models.

History

The company was started by two Sn3 modelers in the mid-1980s. In 1992 they bought Tomalco from Robert Sloan, which focused on Sn3 track components. In 1998 the founders sold their company to banta modelworks. In 2014 a new company called Commercial Scale Models bought the former Building & Structure Co. product line from banta modelworks, and sold their structure kits under that brand name. In 2019 "Commercial Scale Models" suddenly closed, and so "banta modelworks" took over the product line again.

C-D-S Lettering Ltd.

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Cedar City

State:

Utah

Founder(s):

Tom Hood

Products

Decals: dry-transfer

History

The owner retired. In 2011 Ozark Miniatures bought the product line, which included the S-scale decals.

CanaDakota

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

Province:

Manitoba

Country:

Canada

Web Site:

visit

Products

3D-printed products

Miscellaneous: custom-designed kits or models

Vehicles: truck detailing parts, truck trailer kit

Notes

TractorFab now owns this brand.

Canadian Railway Model Co.

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Don Mills

Province:

Ontario

Country:

Canada

Products

Rolling Stock: wooden freight car kits

Cascade Hobby Products

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Renton

State:

Washington

Founder(s):

Jon Beveridge

Products

Locomotives: to-scale conversion kits for A.C.Gilbert AF engines

Rolling Stock: trucks, kits

History

Sometime in the 1960s, Delwyn "Jack" Amerine, under the name of Port Able Lines, offered a conversion kit for converting A.C. Gilbert GP7 models to scale. The all-brass kit included a powered chassis with trucks that included the Enhorning F unit sideframes. In addition to the beautifully-detailed ends, the kit included correct steps, railings, and coupler pocket. The only part needed from the donor AF model was the plastic superstructure. In 1970, Jack wanted to sell his company, so Jon Beveridge bought it and named it Cascade Hobby Products. In 1984 they bought part of Locomotive Workshop's stock to add to Cascade Hobby Products. Locomotive Workshop was one of the suppliers that Jon used for his product line. During the 1990s the company gradually started shutting down due to lack of availability of parts from their suppliers. The company relied on as many as 25 different suppliers to provide the materials needed to put together the kits.

Cedarleaf Custom Railroad Decals

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

Founder(s):

Stan Cedarleaf

Products

Decals: custom S-scale decals

History

Stan passed away in January 2022, which closed the business.

Central Hobbies

Contact

Business Type:

Brick-n-Mortar Retailer

City:

Vancouver

Province:

British Columbia

Country:

Canada

Web Site:

visit

Products

Locomotives: Kadee couplers

Rolling Stock: Kadee couplers

Structures: Lehigh Valley Models kit

Track Components: Shinohara flextrack, turnouts, Sn3 track gauge

History

The company closed in 2023. Intercity Trains and Hobbies at 19965 96 Ave, Langley, BC took over their inventory.

Central Hobby Supply

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer & Retailer

City:

Syracuse

State:

New York

Products

Rolling Stock: manufactured S and Sn3 freight cars

Notes

The company owned the "West Shore Line" brand.

History

The store was started in 1987, and closed in 2018.

Chad Boas

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Lafayette

State:

Indiana

Founder(s):

Chad Boas

Products

Rolling Stock: flat car kit

History

In 2012 Chad created the S-scale base flat car kit, which was later bought out by "The Supply Car", which released it as a complete kit. This is the only S-scale project he did.

Chama Car Shops

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Glendale

State:

California

Products

Rolling Stock: Sn3 car kits

Chama Model Shop

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Chama

State:

New Mexico

Founder(s):

Jim Finnell

Products

Scenery: vehicle kits

History

P-B-L was distributing their kits, but they bought them out in 1986.

Champion Decal Company

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

Owner(s):

Connie Allard

Founder(s):

Richard Meyer and Max Gray

Products

Decals: the main decal supplier

Notes

These may still be available via Des Plaines Hobbies, as they bought the remaining Champion Decal's S-scale inventory when the company closed.

History

Started in the 1940s, and closed in 2010.

Chesapeake Models

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Bel Air

State:

Maryland

Founder(s):

John Craft

Products

Rolling Stock: 3-bay open top hopper kit (PRR H39)

Notes

This was a division of John's "Railroad Art" company.

History

John created the one and only S-scale model he produced, but was unable to financially fully bring the product to market, so Des Plaines Hobbies bought the product's tooling in 1995. They continue to produce this kit with a variety of decals. John passed away in 2000.

Chester Industrial Arts

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Chester

State:

New Jersey

Products

Rolling Stock: passenger car kits

Notes

The company offered eight Pullman car styles in both 60- and 85-foot versions. The shorter versions were intended for AF-based layout, whereas the longer models were closer to the prototype and thus intended for "scale" layouts. They were baggage, baggage-mail, railway post office, combine (coach-baggage), coach, roomette (sleeper), diner, and observation cars. The cars were produced in the 1950s in O-, S-, and HO-scales. All featured corrugated aluminum sides, a wooden floor, a wooden roof, two wooden spacer blocks (to separate the roof and floor), two thick sheet-aluminum ends with four countersunk screw holes each, and eight short flathead wood screws to secure the ends to the floor and roof. Also included were stamped aluminum doors specific to each car, celluloid window material, and a pair of sponge-rubber full-width diaphragms. No trucks or couplers were included.

History

The company starts advertising in Model Railroader magazine in 1950. In 1960 the editor of S Gauge Herald asks if anyone knows what happened to the company (and confirms the rumor that Branch Line Hobby Supply bought them is not true).

Cheyenne Industries

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

Country:

China

Founder(s):

Tom Marsh

Products

Rolling Stock: some brass freight cars

History

Founded in 1995/6, the purpose of this company was to manufacture non-powered models, while Overland Models continued to use Ajin Precision in Korea to manufacture their powered models. Tom and his wife Jan even moved to China to manage the daily running of the company. The venture was not successful and so it closed in 2003 and the couple moved back to the U.S.

Chicago Express Products

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

Products

Rolling Stock: Sn3 EBT hopper

Cibolo Crossing

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Universal City

State:

Texas

Founder(s):

Al Boos

Products

Structures: craftsman-style kits

Cimarron Works (The)

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

Founder(s):

Bill Meredith and Robert Stears

Products

Rolling Stock: Sn3 caboose, and freight and passenger car kits

History

The company was started in 2003, and eventually merged into The Leadville Shops, which in turn was merged into The San Juan Model Company in 2018.

Cleveland Model & Supply

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Cleveland

State:

Ohio

Founder(s):

Edward T. Pachasa

Products

Locomotives: kits

Track Components: track, rail joiners, turnouts, crossings, double-slips

Notes

First S-scale locomotive in the U.S. Really, the first "major" S-scale manufacturer. At first they produced static locomotive models, but later on they started making operating models. Model Railroader magazine issues of those years had "C-D Models" advertisements in them. They also produced track (code 115), rail joiners, and #6 turnouts, as well as crossings, and a double-slip switch. After WWII they also started making code 210 rail, to start being compatible with A.C. Gilbert's equipment.

History

The company is still active, but they aren't involved in the model railroading industry anymore. The company was started in 1927. In 1937 they started selling S-scale kits under the name of "C-D Models" (a.k.a. Cleveland-Designed Models). In 1950 the owner, Edward T. Pachasa, changed his last name to "Packard" to sound more American (he was an immigrant). In 1960 Ed puts a request into the first S Gauge Herald asking for suggestions as to what to produce next. In the November issue of S Gauge Herald it is announced that the company is offering the S product line's tooling for $40,000, as they call it quits on S products. Ed retired in 1996 and sells the company to John Jacox. Ed dies in 1999.

Colorado S Scale Connection

Contact

Business Type:

Publisher & Retailer

City:

Denver

State:

Colorado

Products

History

A division of Sundance Publications, this was a brick-n-mortar S-scale-only hobby shop. There is an online record that indicates that the corporation, Sundance Publications in Denver, CO, was dissolved in October 28, 2022.

Commercial Scale Models

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

Products

Structures: kits

History

In 2014 this company bought the S-scale product line from banta modelworks, after that company had announced that they wanted out of S Commercial Scale Models sold S-scale structure kits under the name "Building & Structure, Co", which was the old name of the company that originally had created the kits and banta modelworks bought out in 1998. In 2019 Commercial Scale Models suddenly closed. Later that year, banta modelworks announced that they had bought back their S-scale product line, and are now actively producing the kits again, although in limited quantity and usually on demand.

Concept Models

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Stockton

State:

California

Founder(s):

David Allen

Products

Rolling Stock: unique, large freight car kits

History

In 2017, the company started producing S-scale kits based on their existing HO-scale product line. In 2020 they stopped selling S-scale products. They then listed their molds for the S-scale product line for $2K on eBay. Did someone buy the product line and/or tooling?...

Continental Flyer, Inc.

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

Founder(s):

Wayne Gross, Donald Shea, Harry Gordon

Products

History

The company was started in 1976 by three ex-A.C. Gilbert employees to continue to produce true American Flyer products again. In 1977 a notice appeared in the June issue of Railroad Model Craftsman stating that this new company was active. A brief history of the company can be found in The Collector, Volume 20, #4 Winter 1997. General Mills' Fundimensions (they had bought Lionel's product line when Lionel went bankrupt shortly after A.C. Gilbert went bankrupt) decided to revive American Flyer, which caused Continental Flyer to go bankrupt. The 2012 March/April issue of S Gaugian magazine has a cover photograph of the three partners in Continental Flyer. They are holding a Franklin Passenger Set and a Barrel Unloader. There is mention of Continental Flyer in Hal Carstens' book 150 years of Train Models on page 84. (information was provided by a number of people on the S-Trains Yahoo! Groups discussion list). So, the company never actually sold any products to the general public.

Corona Flex

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Corona

State:

California

Products

Track Components: realistic, flexible, rubber roadbed and flextrack for code 172 rail

Coronado Scale Models

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Phoenix

State:

Arizona

Products

Decals: Sn3 decals

Locomotives: dealer for V&T Shops conversion kits

Rolling Stock: brass trucks

Creative Laser Design

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

Founder(s):

Dave ?

Products

Structures: laser-cut wooden kits

Crescent Creek Models

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

Address:

P.O. Box 238

City:

Clarkdale

State:

Arizona

Zip Code:

86324

Founder(s):

Dave Meek

Products

Decals: road signs

Structures: kit, scale stucco

History

It appears that in 2023 the owner completely got out of selling kits and detailing parts, in all scales.

Cripplebush Valley Models

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

Address:

264 Saddlemire Hill Road

City:

Sloansville

State:

New York

Zip Code:

12160

e-mail:

send

Phone:

(518) 868-2218

Products

Scenery: rocks (rubber, to be painted; not casting molds)

Critter Works

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

Products

Notes

(no information is known about this company, other than that they produced something in S)

Crown Model Products

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Waltham

State:

Massachusetts

Founder(s):

Don Stubbs

Products

Rolling Stock: reefers

History

The company was started in 1993 by Don who was the owner of Northeast Trains Hobby Shop of Peabody, Massachusetts. The company started making ready-to-run O-scale reefers and box cars. He did all the work himself, initially. In 1994, he started making S-scale products. Port Lines Hobby Supplies hobby shop was the exclusive dealer for their S-scale reefers (as per Doug Peck, Port Lines decided on the paint schemes, Crown manufactured and packaged them, and Port Lines sold them both wholesale and retail; each with three road numbers). In 1996 Mike McCormack had been Don's partner for a little while when he bought the entire product line out from Don. Weaver bought the O-scale tooling in 2000. Crown Model Products closed in 2001. As of 2017 Lionel now owns Weaver's tooling (after that company closed), which includes the Crown tooling (O-scale only; the S-scale tooling whereabouts are unknown).

Crummy Products

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Houston

State:

Texas

Founder(s):

Bert Toro

Products

Layout Scenery: tunnel arches, rubber molds

Scenery: trees

Structures: trestle kits, building fronts/rears

Notes

"Crummy" used to be a nickname assigned to cabooses, due to their uncomfortable nature. The company sold HO-, S-, and O-scale products.

History

Bert passed away in 2014 due to Parkinson's.

Cryer Gray Foundry

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

Web Site:

visit

e-mail:

send

Phone:

(440) 263-4890

Founder(s):

John Botten

Products

Rolling Stock: brass freight cars

Structures: brass bridges

Notes

The company's web site still shows S-scale products, but their last updated date is 2008, so, at best, they are inactive, and maybe closed.

Culp Bros.

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Philadelphia

State:

Pennsylvania

Products

Rolling Stock: freight car trucks

History

Online records indicate that it was registered in 1946 as a corporation. As reported in the November 1960 issue of S Gauge Herald they were still around and producing trucks for Rex Engineering whenever the demand was there. The online records indicate that the company was dissolved in 1993.

Dakin

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

Country:

Japan

Products

Train Sets: litho-metal, battery-powered train sets with track

Notes

The train sets were made in the 1950s and ran on A.C. Gilbert-style track.

Dayton Model Products

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Wilmington

State:

Ohio

Products

Locomotives: engine, interurban, and trolley kits

Rolling Stock: passenger car kits, trucks

History

The company started advertising an interurban kit in the September 1947 issue of Model Railroader magazine, with what appears to be "scale" wheels. In the November 1960 issue of S Gauge Herald the editor reports that the rumor of the company being closed are false; they are just dormant.

We are unclear as to the relationship between Dayton Model Products and Super Scale Models, but we have photographic evidence that Super Scale released a Dayton industrial switcher. The label on that box clearly states both company names. We don't know if they were owned by the same person, or if Super Scale bought out the Dayton product line at or before the time that Dayton closed. If you have any leads, feel free to contact the webmaster.

Delaware Valley Kits

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer & Retailer

City:

Huntington Valley

State:

Pennsylvania

Founder(s):

John Bortz

Products

Rolling Stock: kits, converted trucks, Kadee couplers

Structures: kits

Notes

John converted Kadee HO-scale couplers so that they had a longer trip pin (this was before Kadee started producing their own On3/S couplers). He also converted U.S. Hobbies On3 passenger trucks to S-scale standard-gauge trucks for use under express reefers and Kinsman passenger cars.

History

A 1968 S Gauge Herald magazine ad by the company identified them as "Delaware Valley Kits". In 1976 another S Gauge Herald ad identified them as "Delaware Valley Kits S Scale Supply", presumably to avoid confusion with Frank Titman's Lehigh Valley Models.

Design-Tech Models

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Aurora

State:

Colorado

Founder(s):

Doug Heitkamp

Products

Structures: kits

History

In 2006 their location was Wheatridge, CO.

Devore

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

South Pasadena

State:

California

Products

Rolling Stock: working scale knuckle couplers.

Division Point

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Boulder

State:

Colorado

Founder(s):

Jack Vansworth

Products

Locomotives: reseller of custom-painted brass models

Rolling Stock: reseller of custom-painted brass models

DMK

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Rogers

State:

Arkansas

Founder(s):

Billy Click, Paul Riley, Gale Hall

Products

Rolling Stock: freight car kits

Notes

The letters D, M, and K stand for the first names of the children of the company's three owners.

History

Later on, the three partners formed Modern Models.

Don Winter

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

Founder(s):

Don Winter

Products

Rolling Stock: 54' Thrall gondola kit

Notes

Don Winter was an O-scale kit manufacturer, and only ventured out into S-scale one time to make the gondola kit. Jim Kindraka wrote an article about this kit in the June 2016 issue of The S Scale Resource magazine, which also includes some background on Don (he mostly produced On3 kits, and then switched to G/Fn3 kits).

History

He created and released the kit in 1981. He passed away in 2007.


(image copyright © Bill Lane; used by permission)

Don's Depot

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Monroe Center

State:

Illinois

Founder(s):

Earl Beegle, Don Jaeger

Products

Rolling Stock: reproduction of A.C. Gilbert parts

Scenery: reproduced A.C. Gilbert copies of figures, as well as originals

History

Earl bought Don out at some point in time, to become the sole owner. Earl was a member of the State-Line S Gaugers club. Sometime in the early 2000s Earl retired and moved to Florida. He sold all his molds to another person who had an interest in continuing production (it is unknown who that was).

Downs Model Railroad Co.

NASG Charles Sandersfeld Memorial Award

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Gloucester City

State:

New Jersey

Founder(s):

Russ Downs

Products

Rolling Stock: freight cars, repainted A.C. Gilbert A.F., and other, cars

History

Russ started selling re-painted/re-lettered American Flyer cars ("Silver", "Blue", "Red", and "Gold" line) under the name "RUSTI Model Railroad Equipment" in 1980. He also did that with Rex Engineering, Pacific Rail Shops, and his custom-made body shells. He bought ACE Model Railroad Company in 1983. Russ announced his retirement in 1999, continuing production until the product supplies ran out. Manheim Machine & Tool bought Downs in 2000. Russ passed away in 2009.


(image copyright © Michael McConnell; used by permission)

(image copyright © Michael McConnell; used by permission)

(image copyright © Michael McConnell; used by permission)

(image copyright © Michael McConnell; used by permission)

(image copyright © Michael McConnell; used by permission)

Downtown Deco

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Missoula

State:

Montana

Founder(s):

Randy Pepprock

Products

Structures: kits

History

The company started in 1993, focusing on hydrocal-based structure kits (the owner was a former professional Hollywood scenic artist). They ventured into the S-scale market in 1996. In 2000 they announced that they stopped manufacturing new kits in S-scale, and currently are no longer active in S (althought active in N-, HO, and O-scales).

DSL Shops

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

Web Site:

visit

Founder(s):

David Lull

Products

Structures: kits

History

The company started in 1993, and the owner retires all kit production in 2021 (continuous to do custom work).

Eastern NY Kits

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Albany

State:

New York

Founder(s):

Timothy Rudzinski

Products

Rolling Stock: wooden car kits

Ed Loizeaux

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

Products

Rolling Stock: passenger car truck

History

In the late-1970s, Ed produced 400 pair of these passenger car trucks from various available parts. In 1980 Fine Scale Trains takes over the project and produces at least one more run of these before retiring the project.

Efsi Toys

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Heerlen

Province:

Limburg

Country:

The Netherlands

Web Site:

visit

Products

Vehicles: Matchbox-style models

Notes

Since this company's products are similar in concept to those of Matchbox (meaning "box-scale", i.e. whatever size fits in the retail box), each model should be individually evaluated to see if it matches your S-scale standard.

History

The company started as "Bestbox" in 1959. In the 1960s the Dutch government created the FSI (social program for employing out-of-work coal miners), and so in 1971 the company started using the name "Efsi", as a pronunciation of the FSI government program name, with which the company worked to help employ mine workers (the company was located in the center of Dutch coal mining). In 1988 the Dutch government discontinued the coal miners employment program, and so the company's name was changed to "Holland Oto", which is still their current name, although they seem to only make HO-scale and 1:50 models nowadays.

Electric RR Co. (The)

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

Products

Locomotives: replacement boards for A.C. Gilbert A.F. circuit boards

Notes

Lionel announced that the company was shut down, mostly because the boards that they produced were outdated, and some of the key components used by those boards are no longer being produced. Note that some retailers may still have new old stock on their shelves.

Enhorning Industries

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Chicago

State:

Illinois

Founder(s):

Arthur & John Enhorning

Products

Decals: for engines and rolling stock

Locomotives: diesel

Notes

The company had a large selection of decals available in the early 1970s. It is believed that Enhorning bought out the Champion Decals S-scale decals product line.

At some point in time the company moved to Ludington, Michigan. Tom Lennon reported that he had a lunch meeting with John in that location.

The company used three different drive mechanisms for their engines. The first one came with hefty cast-metal frames with integral skirts. The next version had the cast-frame with the Pittman DC-94 motor slung in the fuel tank space, slightly visible beneath the skirts when viewed from the side. The motor was held in place with four hefty bolts, two at each end through slots in the fuel tank ends. This version came with a gearbox on one axle of each truck, driven directly by one of the motor's shafts via a neoprene shaft coupling. This coupling was all that kept the gearbox in approximate vertical alignment. The other axle was driven by an O-ring type belt between pulleys on each axle. The last version had two poorly-performing, vertically-mounted motors attached to each truck driving one axle via an exposed worm gear pair, with a belt driving the second axle. No gearboxes. The flimsy floor/frame was plastic. Absence of rigidity was its biggest problem.

The company's F9 model was identical to their F7 model, except that the number boards were flush with the body on the F9, whereas they were raised on the F7.

The much-advertised GP40 was in the works, according to one eye-witness who visited them near the end, but was never actually produced for customers.

History

Apparently Electro-Motive Division of GE approached Enhorning to produce a scale model of the EMD F7 for use as a desktop display model and for promotions. The company made the decision to model it in S-scale. When Arthur had serious health issues, his son John wasn't able to keep it all going, and so that led to the eventual closure of the company.

Essence

Contact

Business Type:

Publisher

Founder(s):

Ken D. Mackenzie

Products

Notes

Published the ESSENCE newsletter/magazine from 1985 through 1988, under the NMRA's S scale Special Interest Group (SIG). He was a pioneer in Sn3.

History

Ken passed away in 1998.

Exacta Scale Models

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Portland

State:

Oregon

Products

Rolling Stock: passenger car kits

Notes

Their unique manufacturing process consisted of electro-deposition of copper in female molds, then coated on their backsides with solder for stiffening. The streamlined kits included a single flat wrapper that included the two sides and roof, to be formed by the modeler. Some of their heavyweight sides found their way into the Super Scale line of S-scale kits. You can tell the difference because the backs of the Exacta sides were ink-stamped "Exacta Scale Models".

History

The company was originally started as Baker-Scott Railway Models in the 1940s, producing heavy-weight and streamlined passenger car kits in O-, OO-, S-, and HO-scale.

Fine Scale Trains

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Berkeley

State:

California

Founder(s):

Graham Henry

Products

Rolling Stock: passenger car truck

History

In 1980 the company purchases the rights to produce the Ed Loizeaux passenger car truck, and does at least one more of run of them.

Finest Kind Models

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Overland Park

State:

Kansas

Founder(s):

Jon Stetz

Products

Structures: craftsman-style kits (i.e. collection of raw materials and instructions), details

History

The company was started in 1985. Later that same year, they bought "SS Ltd" (which had oversized HO-scale parts). In 1988 the company bought Triangle Scale Models. The company moved to Dallas, Texas at some point in time. In 2005, Finest Kind Models was sold to Turner Model Works, who sold it to Coyote Flats Depot (Tim Moat) in 2018. Wiseman Model Services bought the Sn3 rolling stock line, which was part of the original Triangle Scale Models product line.

Foothill Model Works

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

Address:

P.O. Box 470

City:

Willits

State:

California

Zip Code:

95490-0470

Web Site:

visit

e-mail:

send

Phone:

(707) 354-1048

Founder(s):

Jerry Kitts

Products

Structures: kits

Notes

This company is still active, but is solely focused on O-scale and O narrow-gauge. They used to carry S-scale narrow-gauge-themed structure kits, some of which they acquired from P-B-L.

History

At some point in time, they sold their S-scale (only) structure kit product line to Wiseman Model Services.

FOS Scale Limited

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Pawcatuck

State:

Connecticut

Products

Structures: laser-cut wooden kits

Foxhill Associates

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

San Mateo

State:

California

Founder(s):

Tom Kelley

Products

Rolling Stock: Sn3 kits

History

The company was started in 1985.

Funrise Toy Corporation

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Van Nuys

State:

California

Founder(s):

Arnie Rubin

Products

Vehicles: highly-detailed fire emergency diecast vehicles

Notes

Under the trademarked brand name "Code 3 Collectibles", the company produced fire-related S-scale emergency vehicle models. The company still exists, but it is no longer involved in the diecast vehicles market.

History

The company was started in 1987. Code 3 Collectibles was started in 1997 by Arnie, targeting the adult collector. The last year of production of Code 3 Collectibles vehicles was 2011. Arnie retired as CEO in 2015. The owner has been a leader in the toy industry for several decades. He was inducted into the Toy Industry Hall of Fame in 2012.

G and W Models

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Syracuse

State:

New York

Founder(s):

Geoff Graeber, Walt Danylak

Products

Decals: various

Locomotives: metal parts for diesels

Notes

Note that there were advertisements put out by the company that they were going to produce a U25B body kit. The project was started, but it was never actually brought to market.

History

In the May 1980 Model Railroader magazine there is an ad for metal detailing parts available for a variety of diesel engines, as well as a GE U25B body kit (no drive mechanism), thus announcing this new company. In 1981 Geoff took over as the NASG's Dispatch editor. The company closed in 2005 with the death of Walt. Walt helped found the Central New York S Gaugers club. The company also produced decals, which were sold to Rail Graphics (which, itself, closed at the end of 2017).

Gilmaur

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

Country:

United Kingdom

Founder(s):

Mike Calvert, Jason Dickie

Products

Locomotives: brass kits

History

The company was started in the 1970s as an O-scale brass kit manufacturer. Working with Colin Stewart, Gilmaur in 2014 released a few of their kits in S-scale. Mike passed away in January 2021, thus ending the company.

Gloor Craft Models

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Oak Harbor

State:

Ohio

Founder(s):

Stephen & Jeanne Gloor

Products

Rolling Stock: wooden kits

Notes

The company manufactured prototypical kits featuring pre-cut basswood parts, color-coded stripwood, metal castings, and step-by-step instructions with full-size drawings.

History

The company was started in 1983. At some point in time, they bought the Quality Craft Models line of modern car kits (Quality Craft became Weaver Models, of O-scale fame). The company was eventually bought by Wiseman Model Services.

Gold Coast Models

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Coos Bay

State:

Oregon

Founder(s):

John & Felix Verser

Products

History

The company was started in 1994 by the founder of Pacific Rail Shops, primarily to import brass S-scale models. After the sale of PRS to Des Plaines Hobbies in 2006, the father and son team used this company name to sell the remaining built and kit-form cars that they still had in stock from PRS (Des Plaines did not buy their existing inventory; just the tooling and the right to the name). In 2013 Felix made the announcement that their TT-scale product line had been sold to the German company Lok-N-Roll.

Goldline Products

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

Address:

P.O. Box 516

City:

Jamestown

State:

California

Zip Code:

95327

Phone:

(209) 984-4450

Products

Structures: bridge kits

Track Components: bridge kits

History

Their web site disappeared in March 2024.

Grand River Models

NASG Charles Sandersfeld Memorial Award

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Ontario

Country:

Canada

Founder(s):

Barry Silverthorn

Products

Structures: kits

Grandt Line Products

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Concord

State:

California

Founder(s):

Clifford Grandt

Products

Locomotives: detailing parts

Rolling Stock: detailing parts

Scratchbuilding: detailing parts

Structures: windows, doors

Track Components: detailing parts

History

Cliff passed away in 2002 and his family continued the company.
The company closed in 2018. The product line was bought by The San Juan Model Company. However, the "Grandt Line" name is now officially retired and is no longer used with any of their former product line. The Grandt Line web site is still up, but it refers you to the new company.

Great American Locomotion

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Pitman

State:

New Jersey

Founder(s):

Alan J. Friedland

Products

Locomotives: boxcab kit

Notes

The company makes G-gauge products, but in 2010 they took a side tour and created the one and only S-scale kit they made. The company still exists, but is no longer active in S.

Greenbrier Railroad Models

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

Founder(s):

Geoffrey Graeber with Bill Wade

Products

Locomotives: brass GP30, GP30B

Notes

The company produced one engine model in several configurations. The remaining inventory continues to be sold by B.T.S.

History

The company was started as an LLC in West Virginia in 1997. The company closed in 2001.

Grizzly Mountain Engineering

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Estes Park

State:

Colorado

Founder(s):

Randy Lee

Products

Electronics: cam for triggering DCC chuffs

Vehicles: horse-n-carriage wagon laser-cut wooden kits

Notes

The company produced laser-cut wooden kits of 1900s horse-n-carriage wagon kits (i.e. narrow-gauge oriented) in HO, S, and O. They also developed a cam driver kit for enabling chuff sounds for DCC-equipped steam locomotives.

History

The company was started in 2003. Their web site has been gone for a number of years, so presumably they are out of business.

H.D. Scale Models

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Sterling Jct

State:

Massachusetts

Web Site:

visit

Products

Rolling Stock: box car wooden kits

Track Components: turntable kit

Notes

The company was primarily an HO-scale kit manufacturer, but produced a number of S-scale kits as well. The web site link is to an archive web site that shows the instruction sheets of the kits (probably the HO-scale versions).

History

The first kits are identified as having been released in 1966. The S-scale ones came out in 1979 as near as we can tell. The mailing address was a post office box in Sterling Jct, but the shop was in Fitchburg, Massachusetts. It was run out of the owner's house. The company stopped when the owner passed away in around 1980.

Hartoy, Inc

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

Address:

1967 10th Avenue North

City:

Lake Worth

State:

Florida

Zip Code:

33461

Web Site:

visit

e-mail:

send

Owner(s):

Phil Shaeffer

Founder(s):

Elliot Harrowe

Products

Vehicles: diecast tractor-trailers, trucks

Notes

Web site indicates that it was last updated in 1999, so this likely just a forgotten page.

History

Founded in 1982, initially to import English diecast vehicles into the U.S. In 1988 the company changed ownership, which added larger-scale models. In 1990 they started their famous 1:64 "American Highway Legends" (AHL)series. In 1993 they started making more modernday trucks, such as Kenworth and Mack models, under the PEM (Precision Engineered Models) product line name. The company was bought by Tonkin Replicas in 2003.

Heimburger House

Contact

Business Type:

Publisher

Founder(s):

Don Heimburger

Products

Miscellaneous: published A.C. Gilbert & American Flyer books, the S Gaugian & Sn3 Modeler magazines

History

The company was started in the early-1980s to publish books and the Sn3 Modeler magazine (Don was already publishing the S Gaugian magazine). The company was closed (not sold) in 2019 when Don decided to retire. Don passed away in 2022.

Hobby Loads

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Newsport News

State:

Virginia

Founder(s):

Wilson Harrell

Products

Rolling Stock: hand-crafted coal loads

History

Wilson died in 2017. In 2018 DC Rail & Hobby Depot bought the product line from the estate.

Hopper Line (The)

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Sarnia

Province:

Ontario

Country:

Canada

Founder(s):

Jim Hopper

Products

Structures: kits in the mid-1980s

Hoquat Hobbies

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer & Retailer

Founder(s):

Jeff Wilson

Products

Rolling Stock: freight car kits and custom S-Helper Service cars

Structures: laser-cut wooden kit

Vehicles: bus kit

History

A long-time mainstay of S-scale, the brick-n-mortar retail store closed in 2016, and they closed their online store in 2019, with most of the remaining inventory going to Des Plaines Hobbies.

Howard' S Trains

Contact

Business Type:

Mailorder Retailer

City:

Fort Bragg

State:

California

Founder(s):

Howard Sheffield

Products

Locomotives: Lionel

Rolling Stock: Lionel

History

Howard passed away in February 2022, thereby closing the shop.

Imlay Train Station

Contact

Business Type:

Online Retailer

Web Site:

visit

Founder(s):

Dave Held

Products

Locomotives: American Models, brass

Rolling Stock: American Models, Pacific Rail Shops, brass

Notes

Dave created this company, mostly to sell his own inventory. The web site is still active, but it hasn't been updated in many years.

Imperial Hobby Productions

Contact

Business Type:

Shapeways Store

Founder(s):

Mike Bartel

Products

3D-printed products

Locomotives: trolley and doodlebug shells, supplemental parts

History

The owner stated on an online forum in 2013 that he is tired of resin casting. Now, in 2023, it appears he has completely removed all S-scale products (trolley shells) from his Shapeways store. The store is still open, but it only lists 1:700 scale ships.

Instrument Design, Inc.

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Spring Grove

State:

Illinois

Founder(s):

Tom Hodgson

Products

Notes

This is the parent company of American Hi-Rail. The company still exists, but it is no longer involved in manufacturing S-scale products.

J-C Models

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

South Bound Brook

State:

New Jersey

Founder(s):

Tom Shortall

Products

Rolling Stock: hand-made passenger cars

History

The company was started in 1939. Sometime in the 1960s they bought Chester Industrial Arts' product line of passenger cars (the new versions had detailed cast ends, and the option of either corrugated or smooth sides). At some point the company moved to Cincinnati, Ohio. Tom passed away in 1980.

JAKS Industries, Inc.

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Golden

State:

Colorado

Founder(s):

Jon & Kathy Stetz

Products

Notes

The name comes from the owners' names (John And Kathy Stetz).

History

The company was started in 1983. Sometime in the 1990s they bought Scale Structures Ltd., Period Miniatures, Finest Kind Models, Triangle Scale Models, Mini-Structures, Mecca Mineral Works, Milepost, and Arkansas Valley Scale Models. In 1997 the company announced that they would stop producing S- and O-scale products. In 2000 Jon was recalled to active duty in the U.S. Navy. At some point in time their product lines were bought by Wiseman Model Services and Turner Model Works (e.g. Finest Kind Models).

Jan Rons

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

Products

Locomotives: Sn3 custom-built steam engines

History

Jan is still around, but he no longer takes orders for custom builds.

Jim Sutter

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Homer City

State:

Pennsylvania

Products

Rolling Stock: custom-painted Lionel box cars

Notes

The cars were painted using Floquil paints, decorated with Champion Decal Company's decals, and sold ready-to-run.

History

Walter Graeff, of Ace Model Railroad Equipment Company, commissioned a number of box car bodies from Lionel in 1971. Starting in 1974 James "Jim" R. Sutter bought these car bodies, custom-painted and decorated them, and sold them at train shows. Jim owned a hobby shop in Homer City, PA, and also worked for the Pennsylvania DOT.

John Huster

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Erie

State:

Pennsylvania

Founder(s):

John Huster

Products

Rolling Stock: SHS-based freight cars

Notes

S-Helper Service manufactured a number of cars specifically for him that he sold directly.

History

John ran a web site called "The Boys' Railroad Club". Through it he sold vintage A.C. Gilbert American Flyer films on VHS video tape, and custom runs of American Models- and S-Helper Service-produced items.

June's Small World

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Edmonds

State:

Washington

Products

Scenery: figures

Notes

It is now believed that Pacific Fast Mail was the company that actually manufactured the unpainted figures. They sold them, unpainted, to other companies. June bought these wholesale and then hand-painted each of them and sold them under her own name. She produced figures in HO-, S-, and O-scale. P-B-L's Keren Booth did the same thing, so that explains why duplicates of the same figures appeared under different brand names. Note that there appears to be significan discrepancies between the back-of-the-packaging numbering system and the actual figures.

History

June's product line was sold when her health started to fail, but so far no one has positively identified to whom. KLM Creations appears to be a successor, as their packaging was very similar to June's, and they appear to have expanded on June's product line a little bit. Bill Winans recalls that that company didn't last very long, maybe a year or so. P-B-L still has "KLM" figures listed on their web site.


 (image copyright © Gaylord Gill; used by permission)
The back of the packaging showed their entire list of S-scale figures.

(image copyright © Gaylord Gill; used by permission)

K-Line Electric Trains

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Chapel Hill

State:

North Carolina

Founder(s):

Maury D. Klein

Products

Locomotives: 0-4-0, end-cab switcher (never sold to the public)

Rolling Stock: various cars

Track Components: A.C. Gilbert-compatible track (27" curved, 10" straight, 36" straight)

Train Sets: maybe?

History

MDK, Inc. was started in 1975 and operated under the name K-Line Electric Trains (not to be confused with the famous "K Line" shipping containers owned by a Japanese company). The company acquired the rights to the A.C. Gilbert S-scale track components after Gilbert's demise, which they continued to produce. K-Line bought the Marx tooling in 1980 at that company's bankruptcy sale. The company was set to release an 0-4-0 steam locomotive and an end-cab industrial switcher, when Lionel discovered that K-Line's factory was using the Lionel designs to make their S-scale and other products. Lionel, LLC successfully sued K-Line in 2006 and was awarded all of the assets of K-Line as the judgment against them was more than what the company was worth. The interesting bit of back-story is that Lionel, LLC was itself in a state of bankruptcy, so actually Sanda Kan, who made all of the K-Line products, bought the company, and licensed it back to Lionel. Got it? Good! K-Line's S-scale products were based on Marx' O-27 product line, replacing only the trucks. Lionel was only allowed to use K-Line's track for three years, so they produced American Flyer-labeled track during that period. When that expired, they created their FasTrack system. The dies to the S-scale products were sold off and never heard from again.

Kanamodel Products

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Coquitlam

Province:

British Columbia

Country:

Canada

Products

Structures: CPR M.O.W. shed kits

Notes

The company produced N-, HO-, and S-scale kits, all based on Canadian prototypes.

History

The owner passed away in 2017, thereby closing the company.

Kansas City Kits

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Kansas City

State:

Missouri

Founder(s):

F.A. Simons

Products

Rolling Stock: freight car kits

History

The company was started in the 1940s, and in 1953 they advertised a brass S-scale tank car. Their kits were very spartan; essentially a box of pre-shaped wood pieces. Prices were around $1.20 for a single-dome car.

Kaslo Shop Distributing

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

Country:

Canada

Founder(s):

John Whitmore

Products

Rolling Stock: several resin kits

History

They produced a couple of S-scale rolling stock kits, but seem to be focused on HO-scale only now.

Kemtron

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Fresno

State:

California

Products

Rolling Stock: locomotive, tender, and freight truck kits

Ken Kidder Railroad Models

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

San Francisco

State:

California

Products

Rolling Stock: three S-scale GP7 bodies

History

Started in the late-1940s.

Kingfield Car Shops

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

West Hartford

State:

Connecticut

Products

Rolling Stock: Sn2 wooden freight car kits

Kingmill Enterprises

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Charlottesville

State:

Virginia

e-mail:

send

Founder(s):

Christopher Jessee

Products

Structures: wooden kits

History

The company is no longer active, and the owner now has a company that makes wall-hanging art and seems to no longer be involved in model railroading.

Kinsman Scale Models

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Melrose

State:

Massachusetts

Founder(s):

Bob Blois

Products

Rolling Stock: craftsman-style kits of freight, passenger cars, trucks

History

Bob Blois was Northeastern Scale Models' shop foreman. He had received permission from Jim Doyle (owner of Northeastern) to use the shop's tools, during after-hours, to produce S-scale car kits. Bob named his venture after his wife's maiden name, "Kinsman Scale Models". Bill Boucher did the Kinsman instruction sheets. When Jim Doyle passed away, his heirs took over in the early 1960s and were not as lenient. They discovered that Bob had been using the Northeastern materials without paying for them. Bob went to jail for embezzlement. Presumably the company continued, after that, as they also sold the "Quality Craft Models" line of modern freight cars. Kinsman also sold Andrews and Bettendorf truck kits that had been part of the "Ambroid S Gauge" kit line made by Northeastern Scale Models. Their 1964 catalog showed an address in Salem, New Hampshire, which included a listing of the many parts that they carried as well as metal figures. Bob passed away in 1998.

KLM Creations

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

Products

Scenery: figures

History

This company appears to be a successor to June's Small World, as they sold similar figures and even expanded the product line. Bill Winans recalls that they didn't last very long. P-B-L, on their web site, identifies some of their figures with the "KLM" product ID, which are unpainted. Both June's Small World and KLM Creations sold painted figures. Some have speculated that unpainted figures were sold wholesale.

Korber Models

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Atlanta

State:

Indiana

Founder(s):

Steve Nelson

Products

Rolling Stock: structure kits

History

Bought by Mr Muffin's Trains in 2016.

Kris Model Trains Company

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Endicott

State:

New York

Founder(s):

Andy Kriswalus

Products

Rolling Stock: former A.C. Gilbert freight cars

History

The company was started in 1968. The owner was an avid Lionel collector, and purchased a lot of the tooling that Lionel had when it went out of business in 1967. Although primarily an O-scale company, in 1969 the company received around 3,000 American Flyer freight car shells, which were painted, decorated, and sold under the "Kris Model Trains" (KMT) name. Advertisements appeared in the 1970 and 1971 issues of the S Gauge Herald. The models came with either Pikemaster trucks and couplers, or American Flyer knuckle couplers. The company closed in 1982. Andy passed away in 1990.

Leadville Shops (The)

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Lakewood

State:

Colorado

Founder(s):

Doug Junda, Bob Stears

Products

Locomotives: tender truck

Rolling Stock: Sn3 freight car kits, freight car trucks

Structures: kits

Track Components: frog kits

History

The company was merged into The San Juan Model Company in 2018.

Liberty Models

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Independence

State:

Missouri

Founder(s):

Peter Bellos & Howard Scott

Products

Rolling Stock: parts

History

Produced car parts in the 1970s.

Lima Models

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Columbus

State:

Ohio

Products

Rolling Stock: caboose kits

LITCo

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

Web Site:

visit

Products

Track Components: Sn2 turnouts

History

The company is now opened by Berrett Hill Trains, but doesn't appear to carry track anymore.

Locomotive Workshop

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Englishtown

State:

New Jersey

Founder(s):

Jan Lorenzen

Products

Locomotives: 4-6-0

Rolling Stock: freight cars, caboose

Notes

The company was primarily an O-scale manufacturer from the 1960s through the 1980s, adding S-scale products in the early 1970s. Both Hoquat Hobbies and Wally Metal Products of Parksburg, PA (Fall 1984 issue of the NASG's Dispatch) are listed as having bought the S-scale product line.

History

In 1983 the company announced that the 4-6-0 project was their last S-scale one. Then in 1984 part of the product line was bought by Hoquat Hobbies. Jan died in 2004.

Main Line Models

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Pleasant Garden

State:

North Carolina

Products

Rolling Stock: wooden box car, reefer, poultry car kits

Notes

Their kits were sold by the Kinsman Models' retail arm.

History

The company was bought by Ye Olde Huff-N-Puff (any now its new owner LaBelle Woodworking).

Mainstreeter Trains

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Eugene

State:

Oregon

Founder(s):

Gil Hulin

Products

Rolling Stock: AF-based freight cars, loads

History

The company was started in 1996.

Manheim Machine & Tool Co.

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Lancaster

State:

Pennsylvania

Founder(s):

Marlin & Judith Becker

Products

Rolling Stock: freight cars, trucks

History

In 2000 the company bought Downs Model Railroad Co (which included the ACE product line owned by Downs). Marlin did some machining work for Russ Downs, hence the connection. Marlin died in 2009 (the company was offered for sale by his lawyer). In 2010 Iron Rail Models bought the company and the rights, which included the MMT, Ace, and Downs product lines.


 (image copyright © used by permission)
Russ Downs on the left and Marlin Becker on the right. Taken in April 2001.

Marker Light Productions

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Wilmington

State:

Massachusetts

Founder(s):

Wayne Hills

Products

Rolling Stock: photomilled and plated brass sides for streamlined passenger cars

Notes

They produced nickle-plated passenger car sides replacements for American Models passenger cars.

History

The company was started in 1996.

Mask Island Decals

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

Web Site:

visit

Owner(s):

Jim Abbott

Founder(s):

Hubert Mask

Products

Decals: locomotives & cars decals; custom-design

History

Founder Hubert Mask passed away in 2022. In August of that year Highball Graphics bought the Mask Island Decals product line from Hubert's family, and is continuing to produce these decals under the Mask Island Decals brand name.

Master Creations

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

Founder(s):

David & Trish Spence

Products

Locomotives: parts

Rolling Stock: parts

Structures: laser-cut kits and parts

History

The company was started in 1984. They were the supplier to a number of parts that B.T.S. used and sold, so in April 1998 B.T.S. bought them out.

Mettoy Playcraft Ltd

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

Country:

United Kingdom

Products

History

The company was started in 1956. In 1989 they were bought by Mattel. Then in 1995 Corgi Classics Limited bought the product line. In 2008 they were bought by Hornby. Corgi Toys is their trademark name.

Midgage Models

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Portsmouth

State:

Rhode Island

Founder(s):

Bill Stewart

Products

Locomotives: PRR K5 conversion kit, cast-metal superstructure kits for diesels

Rolling Stock: freight car kits, smooth-side aluminum passenger car kits

History

The company was started by Bill Stewart (unknown year). In 1950 Gene Fletcher joined the company (he was the accountant), and when Bill wanted to sell it, Gene bought it, renaming it "Sylvania Models". Gene only kept the passenger car line. He was located in Rehobeth, MA, and helped found the Bristol S Gauge Railroaders club in 1948 (for more history about this club see the October 1997 NASG Dispatch issue). Gene died in 2003. Most interestingly, the company was set up in one end of one of the two New Haven box cars that Bill owned and placed on his property.


 (image copyright © Ed Kirstatter; used by permission)
An example box label.

Midlin Models

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Scotch Plains

State:

New Jersey

Founder(s):

Fred Chemidlin

Products

Rolling Stock: track components

History

In 1938 the company's HO-scale track system was announced in the Model Railroader magazine. In 1949 they announced their first S-scale components. The company was sold to Gnome Models in 1959.

Midway Model Makers

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

St. Paul

State:

Minnesota

Products

Rolling Stock: craftsman-style freight car kits

History

One modeler bought a kit that contained typed instructions dated March 20, 1948.

Milepost 169

Contact

Business Type:

Mailorder Retailer

Founder(s):

Tom Lennon

Products

Milepost Models

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

Web Site:

visit

Founder(s):

Tim Moat

Products

History

Tim Moat bought the entire product line from Turner Model Works in 2018. This included, for S-scale, the Finest Kind Models product line. He also owns Coyote Flats Depot, which appears to be only an On30

Milestone Autos

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

Products

Vehicles: vehicle kits

History

This was a product line by P-B-L. When P-B-L bought the Chama Model Works company from Jim Finnell in 1986, they also bought his S-scale vehicles product line. They continued to have Jim produce the vehicles and released them under their own name "Milestone Autos".

Miller Engineering & Design

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Flat Rock

State:

North Carolina

Founder(s):

Doug Miller

Products

Rolling Stock: track sweeps, easement sweeps, back-to-back wheel spacer

History

Doug passed away in 2020.

Mini-Structures

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

La Palma

State:

California

Founder(s):

Hansel Main

Products

Structures: wooden kits

History

Three men started the company in 1956, but could not make the business profitable. Hansel Main and a partner bought the company in 1960. The partner revived the company in earnest 12 years later. Dwight Wortman (Denver, CO) bought the company in 1985. Hansel Main bought the company back in 1988. In 1990 he sold the company to BK Enterprises. The company appears to be dormant now.

Miniature Locomotive and Car Shop

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

Products

Miniature Machine

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

San Lorenzo

State:

California

Founder(s):

Barney Daehler

Products

Locomotives: 2-8-0 brass locomotive

Rolling Stock: Sn3 trucks, Archbar truck kit

Notes

This company offered brass 50-ton arch bar freight trucks for Sn3, according to their announcement in the September 1980 Model Railroader. They also produced twenty 2-8-0 brass engines modeled after the Sierra RR #18.

History

J.D. Rustermier bought the dies and remaining castings from Barney, however, by that time S-Helper Service and American Models were making similar products much cheaper, so there wasn't much demand for them anymore. Barney passed away in 2010.

MinuteMan Scale Models

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Nashua

State:

New Hampshire

Founder(s):

Shawn Cavaretta

Products

Miscellaneous: Scalecoat paints

Structures: several wooden kits

History

The owner bought Scalecoat paints. Word has it that the regulatory burden of making paints became too much to handle. This happened sometime in late 2022, and all who placed an order in that time have lost their money.

Model RR Warehouse

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Columbia City

State:

Indiana

Founder(s):

Merle Rice

Products

History

In 2020 the owner experienced serious health issues and so has closed up the web site, offering up parts of his business for sale in March 2020. The company owners were also the owners of the Wabash Valley Lines company, and were still carrying the S-scale shells that they produced back then, which were used by Omnicon to create their F-units.

Model Tech, Inc.

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Medina

State:

Ohio

Products

Rolling Stock: laser-cut structure and wagon kits

History

The company was started in 1985.

Model Train Stuff

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

Address:

243-A Cockeysville Rd.

City:

Cockeysville

State:

Maryland

Zip Code:

21030

Phone:

(888) 872-4675

Products

Locomotives: Lionel

Rolling Stock: Lionel

Structures: Bar Mills Scale Model Works kits

Track Components: Lionel

History

Founded in 1913 as M.B. Klein and by the 1970s what had started as a hardware store had transformed into a model train store. The company closed in 2024.

Models by Miller

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

Products

Rolling Stock: passenger car kits

History

The company lasted from 1961 through 1969. It was founded by two gentlemen from Cleveland who were in the printing business and who were O-scale model railroaders in the early 1960s. They debuted their O- and S-scale photo-engraved brass heavyweight passenger car kits at the Cleveland NMRA Convention in 1961 (Dick Karnes was there and bought four of the kits).

Models by Roger Schenck

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Long Beach

State:

California

Founder(s):

Roger Schenck

Products

Rolling Stock: Sn3 flat car kit

Modern Models

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Peabody

State:

Massachusetts

Founder(s):

Paul Riley, Gale Hall, Billy Click

Products

Rolling Stock: brass caboose

History

Three guys, modeling in S, who became friends while in Vietnam.

Monon Shop (The)

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Battle Ground

State:

Indiana

Products

Structures: wood structure kits

Mountaineer Precision Products

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Florence

State:

Kentucky

Founder(s):

Andy Lester

Products

Structures: wooden laser-cut kits

History

The company was started in 2002.

MTH Electric Trains

NASG Charles Sandersfeld Memorial Award

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

Web Site:

visit

Founder(s):

Mike Wolf

Products

Rolling Stock: everything

History

Mike Wolf founded the company in 1980 as a mail-order online store. In 2012 they bought the S-Helper Service tools & product line, with the first products appearing in 2014. In 2020 Mike Wolf announced his retirement, with the intent of closing the company. In 2021 MTH releases the fishbelly hopper, which was their first new S-scale product (designed by SHS), which sold out very quickly. In January 2021 MTH and ScaleTrains announced that ScaleTrains bought the MTH (former S-Helper Service) tooling. Meet the Manufacturer is a video to learn more about the company. Interview with Mike Wolf. Interview with Andy Edleman.

The additional bit of history that is significant in MTH's history, was the event that they got sued by Union Pacific Railroad for using slogans and logos of current and fallen-flag railroads on models, which the UP owned. UP demanded a 3% royalty fee from all model railroad manufacturers for any model that they made that was decorated for any UP-owned logo. Mike Wolf, negotiated with UPRR and eventually in November 2006 managed to get them to drop the 3% royalty fee. Model railroad manufacturers do have to state on their official literature that the trademarks are owned by the UPRR.

Mullet River Model Works

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Plymouth

State:

Wisconsin

Founder(s):

Glenn Guerra

Products

Rolling Stock: structure kits, rolling stock kits

History

Glenn closed the company and sold it to Des Plaines Hobbies in 2015.

N.J. Custom Brass

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

Products

Rolling Stock: brass tank car

NEO Scale Models

(last reviewed on 06/11/2023)

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

Founder(s):

Jaap van Dijk

Products

Vehicles: high-quality resin vehicles

Notes

The company predominantly made 1:43 cars, but they also branched out in S-scale. Only 500 models of each vehicle were created.

History

The Dutch company was founded in 2008, and had one additional employee, Mark Asbreuk. In 2011, they sold the company to Model Car World GmbH out of Florsheim, Germany, while the two NEO gentlemen went on to form Matrix Scale Models (which only produces 1:43 scale resin models).

Nevada-California Car Shops

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

Products

Rolling Stock: Sn3 stock car kit

History

Released an S-scale kit in 1992.

Newgard Model Industries

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

Country:

Canada

Founder(s):

Peter Newgard

Products

Vehicles: 1936 Yellow Coach bus kit

History

The company's web site disappeared sometime in 2022.

Nixon Model Co.

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Southhampton

State:

Pennsylvania

Founder(s):

Ben Nixon

Products

Locomotives: tender truck

Rolling Stock: freight and passenger car kits and trucks

History

The company was started in 1946 or 1947. Ben died in 1960. Later that year, Ben Nixon's estate sold the business to the Broadbent family, which continued the retail hobby store, under the name "Delaware Valley Hobby Shop", but stopped producing S-scale products. Then in 1963 Northern Industries (out of St Albans, Vermont) bought the S-scale product line. Al Hall, owner of Northern Industries, moved to California. Later, in the August 1981 issue of RMC, "The Hobby Shop", a division of Northern Industries, of San Jose, California offered the Nimco S-scale conversion wheels for American Flyer diesels.

Often found abbreviated as "Nimco" (Nixon Model Company), their trade name for their S-scale product line. The company was the leading manufacturer and a dealer of "scale" equipment from the late 1940s up to about 1960. Paul Culp and his brothers were the ones who actually made the tooling and dies for Nixon.

Nixon produced conversion kits for American Flyer locomotives, such as the 0-8-0, the PRR K5 (released as a complete kit by Midgage Models), the NYC Hudson, the RDG 4-4-2, and the UP Northern. These kits contained replacement wheels/axles for tender, pilot, and trailing trucks as well as scale drivers and axles. The axles had "D"-shaped ends, and the zamac driver centers had "D"-shaped openings to match. This design assured proper quartering. The modeler had to remove the AF drivers, axles, and worm gear, then use the reverse procedure to install the scale versions. The modeler had to press the drivers onto the axles between vise jaws to keep the drivers perpendicular to the axles. Rectifiers were separately available to allow for DC reversing of these converted locomotives.

Nixon was a retailer for Super Scale Models' box car kits. The company also produced a line of passenger trucks were made out of soft metal (which continued to be offered by Scenery Unlimited), as well as an extruded aluminum heavy-weight passenger kit. The six-wheel Pullman truck still had Strafford Scale Models stamped on them, suggesting that Nixon had bought the Strafford product line.

Nord Company (The)

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Minneapolis

State:

Minnesota

Founder(s):

Bob Stinson

Products

Locomotives: steam locomotive kits

Notes

In the March 1945 issue of Model Railroader magazine, on page 147, there is a half-page ad by Nord introducing S-scale, but they gave no specifics; they merely asked readers to send in for info. Click the file to view the ad, and the booklet that one received once one asked for the info.

History

The Nord name was part of the Stinson Model Company. Nord engines were produced after WWII and continued to be sold under the Stinson name into the 1950s. In 1960, Bob Stinton announces the desire to sell the company (source: December 1960 S Gauge Herald).

Supplemental File

The 1945 Nord Booklet Scanned by Chuck Kinzer

Northeastern Scale Models

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

Products

Rolling Stock: craftsman-style wooden caboose and freight car kits, diecast trucks

History

The company was active in the 1950s.


 (image copyright © Rodney Pierce; used by permission)
Example box.

Northwest Model Railroad Co.

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Sandpoint

State:

Idaho

Founder(s):

Jesse Bennett

Products

Rolling Stock: brass box car kit

Notes

Jesse (pronounced "Jess") was a master craftsman who built many steam locomotives from scratch for himself and many other lucky modelers.

Old Pullman Model Railroads, Inc.

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Pompano Beach

State:

Florida

Products

Track Components: track and turnouts

Old Shanty

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

Products

Rolling Stock: wooden box car kit

Olson Hobbies

Contact

Business Type:

Brick-n-Mortar Retailer

Address:

16150 41st Ave NE

City:

Lake Forest Park

State:

Washington

Founder(s):

Dan Olson

Products

American Flyer accessories

Locomotives: Lionel

Miscellaneous: reference materials, A.C. Gilbert catalogs, A.F. bumper stickers, shirt buttons

Rolling Stock: Lionel

Track Components: Lionel

Trackside: semaphores, signals

Train Sets: Lionel

History

The store was started in 1966. We're unsure of when it closed, but Dan passed away in April 2023.

Omnicon Scale Models

NASG Charles Sandersfeld Memorial Award

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Elk Grove Village

State:

Illinois

Founder(s):

Charlie Sandersfeld & Dave Netherton

Products

Locomotives: brass locomotives

Rolling Stock: brass cars

Notes

Charlie helped create the concept of the "Gang of 100". This consisted of a group of individuals who firmly committed to purchasing a brass locomotive that Omnicon agreed to have produced in Korea. Every member of the group had to agree to purchase one or more models, regardless of what the group decided to have manufactured. A minimum order of 100 individual models had to be placed for it to make economic and practical sense for the builder and Omnicon. Only a couple of engines were so manufactured. Charlie had his own S-scale home layout, and he was involved in a 50-foot square layout built by the "S-Team" at the Omnicon office.

History

The company was started in 1985. When Charlie died, Dave and Charlie's wife continued with the company. In 2012 Dave Netherton passed away.

Oriental Limited

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Evansville

State:

Indiana

Products

Locomotives: brass engines, truck

Rolling Stock: caboose, freight car truck

Pacific Fast Mail

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Edmonds

State:

Washington

Founder(s):

Bill Ryan

Products

Locomotives: brass Sn3 steam locomotives; Sn3 Goose

Rolling Stock: brass Sn3 caboose and passenger cars

Scenery: figures

Notes

It is believed that Pacific Fast Mail manufactured unpainted figures (in HO-, S-, and O-scale), which they sold directly, and also sold wholesale to P-B-L and June's Small World.

History

The company was started in the early 1950s. When the owner passed away, his son took over. By that time Don Drew became involved with the company (mid-1960s). In the early to mid-1970s the company was among the first to import brass Sn3 equipment. The company got out of the brass importing business around 1980, and continued to sell books and their Sound System II until around 1990.

Pacific Rail Shops

NASG Charles Sandersfeld Memorial Award

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Coos Bay

State:

Oregon

Web Site:

visit

e-mail:

send

Founder(s):

Jerry Porter (in California) & John Verser (in Oregon)

Products

Rolling Stock: freight car kits

History

The company was started in 1985 as a 50-50 partnership between Jerry Porter and John Verser (they met at that year's NASG Convention). In 1988 Jerry moved from California to Colorado and created Intermountain Railway Company (IRC) to act as the manufacturing arm of Pacific Rail Shops (the kits were made in Oregon). At some point in time, Jerry sold his share of PRS to John Verser, and held a smaller share in IRC to afford bringing on additional personnel at IRC. At some point in time both John and Jerry sold their share of IRC back to IRC, as S-scale became less appealing to IRC. Jerry went on to create HO-scale models under the name "Innovative Model Works", and John focused on PRS. John created Gold Coast Railway in 1992 for the purpose of importing brass models. In 2005 the person PRS used for painting and lettering retired, so John switched to having the models painted and lettered in China, and also contracted with them to have some models be fully assembled. In 2006 Des Plaines Hobbies (DPH) bought the PRS product line while the work in China was progressing. So, PRS, itself, never sold any assembled cars. DPH started selling the assembled-in-China models, which were already in PRS boxes. These were only a number of PRS reefer cars that were assembled and sold in PRS boxes. Subsequently, DPH started having the cars made and sold under their "S Scale America" brand. DPH did not buy any of the Gold Coast Models (remaining inventory of PRS kits were sold by John's son, Felix, under this name on eBay). Please note that Des Plaines Hobbies currently owns the Pacific Rail Shops name and tooling (which is why this company is listed as "active"). The company produced easy-to-build freight car kits where the bodies were pre-painted and lettered. See the NMRA's S Scale SIG for a complete article on the history of this company.

Pazan Hobbies

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

Founder(s):

? & Sandra Pazan

Products

Rolling Stock: super-detailed 1:64 diecast vehicles

Pecos River Brass

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Lewisville

State:

Texas

Founder(s):

John Smith

Products

Rolling Stock: Sn3 brass freight cars

Pennsy Mainline Models

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Allentown

State:

Pennsylvania

Products

Rolling Stock: PRR caboose kit

Pennsylvania Heritage Models

NASG Charles Sandersfeld Memorial Award

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Birdsboro

State:

Pennsylvania

Web Site:

visit

Founder(s):

Tom Doherty

Products

Locomotives: trolleys/traction, PRR H-24-66, Eagle 1 modular chassis with motor and scale or hi-rail wheels

Notes

The company produced some unique products for S-scale, especially related to traction modeling. Surprisingly, the web site is still up.

History

In the 2011 Spring 1:64 Modeling Guide issue there is a note stating that effective January 1, 2011, PA Heritage Models will no longer produce S-scale products (the company was predominantly an O-scale manufacturer). When Tom passed away in 2012, this abruptly ended the company.

Perma-Bilt Models

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Chicago

State:

Illinois

Products

Rolling Stock: lithographed metal box car and reefer kits

History

The earliest confirmed year that the company appeared was in 1952. The company bought the Super Scale Models product line when they went out of business. At some point in time they were bought by ACE Model Railroad Company.

Phillips' Models

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

Products

Rolling Stock: New Zealand-prototype based freight and passenger car kits

Pope Imagineering

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Chicago

State:

Illinois

Founder(s):

Ron Papierz

Products

Locomotives: trolleys/traction

Port Able Lines

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Morrison

State:

Illinois

Founder(s):

Delwyn "Jack" Amerine

Products

Locomotives: conversion kits for A.C. Gilbert-based diesels

History

Around 1970 Jon Beveridge bought the company and renamed it Cascade Hobby Products.

Prototype S Parts

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

State:

Florida

Founder(s):

Ladd Houda

Products

Rolling Stock: passenger car details

History

A 2003 fire destroyed masters and inventory. Pre-Size Model Specialties buys the product line in 2018.

Putt Trains

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

Founder(s):

Terry Putt

Products

Locomotives: locomotive kits

History

In 1996 the company bought the Rex product line. In 2014 Terry indicated that he might revive the line after his retirement, but for now it is dormant.

Quality Craft Models

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Northumberland

State:

Pennsylvania

Founder(s):

Bob Weaver

Products

Rolling Stock: wooden freight car and caboose kits

Notes

Quality Craft Models was the original name of Weaver Models, with the latter producing only O-scale models and the ScaleCoat paints. Weaver Models closed in mid-2015 (Minuteman Scale Models took over the ScaleCoat paints product line, which was closed in 2022).

History

The company was started in 1965. The changed their name to Weaver Models sometime around 1980. At some point in time Gloor Craft Models bought the Quality Craft Models' S-scale product line.

Queen Tool & Mfg. Co.

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Pittsburgh

State:

Pennsylvania

Founder(s):

Dave Felmley

Products

Rolling Stock: freight car kits (mid-1960s)

History

Dave passed away in 2017.

R.S.S.V.P. Models

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Tyngsboro

State:

Massachusetts

Founder(s):

Jerry Rivet

Products

Rolling Stock: custom freight cars produced by other manufacturers, such as S-Helper Service

History

The company was bought by John Porter at some point in time.

Racing Champions

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Glen Ellyn

State:

Illinois

Founder(s):

Robert Dods, Boyd Meyer

Products

Rolling Stock: diecast vehicles.

History

Racing Champions was founded in 1989. In 1999 Racing Champions purchased the Ertl Company and changed its name to Racing Champions Ertl. TOMY International eventually bought the company, and that's where it stands today. In 2015 the company Round 2 obtained the rights to use the Racing Champions name to produce its line of diecast vehicles, as sold today.

Ragg's... to Riches?

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Middlebury Center

State:

Pennsylvania

Web Site:

visit

Founder(s):

Joe & Lori Fuss

Products

Miscellaneous: tools

Scenery: detailing parts

Structures: laser-cut kits

History

Joe started designing laser-cut kits in 1993, primarily for other companies. Then in 2004 they decided to start their own kit manufacturing business. In 2022 they announced their retirement, remaining open until all inventory is sold. Joe models in Sn3.

Railroad Art

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Bel Air

State:

Maryland

Founder(s):

John Craft

Products

History

In the April 1995 Model Railroader magazine, the company announced a run of the PRR H39 three-bay hopper car. John was unable to financially see the project through, so it was taken over by Des Plaines Hobbies (which still sells this today). John died shortly after that.

Regal Kits

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Benton Harbor

State:

Michigan

Founder(s):

Wayne Riggle

Products

Rolling Stock: craftsman-style wooden freight car kits

History

The company was started in 1961 and closed in 1970. In 1971 Wisconsin Central Supply bought the product line. At some point in time they were located in Champaign, Illinois.

Rem's Railroad Models

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Grand Blanc

State:

Michigan

Founder(s):

E. Hugh Heck III

Products

Rolling Stock: craftsman-style freight car kits

Renoster Scale Models Limited

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Sevenoaks

Province:

Kent

Country:

United Kingdom

Products

Locomotives: Sn42 South African Railways steam engine

Republic Locomotive Works

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

Products

Decals: narrow-gauge decals

Notes

Their web site seems to be gone as of March 2023.

Rex Engineering

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Birmingham

State:

Michigan

Founder(s):

Bert Carpenter

Products

Locomotives: locomotive kits

Rolling Stock: freight car kits; trucks

History

The company was started in 1951, and the 0-4-0 was their first product. Paul Culp and his brothers made all the tooling and dies for Rex. Some time in the 1960s Bert passed away. The company was subsequently bought by John Sudimak and Howard Phillips (a founding member of the Cuyahoga Valley S Gaugers club), operated as S&P Distributors. In 1968 the earliest known product catalog was created. Some time in the 1980s Howard Phillips withdraws from the company due to health reasons, and John Sudimak continued it under the name Rex S Gauge Models. John Sudimak dies in 1984. His son, Jack, continues the business, moving it to Medina, Ohio. Howard Phillips dies in 1987. Jack adds a partner to the company in 1993. In 1996 Jack sells the company to Putt Trains (Terry Putt). Jack Sudimak died in 2012. In 2014 Terry indicated that he might revive the line after his retirement, but for now it is dormant.

Ribbonrail

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Wood

State:

Pennsylvania

Products

Track Components: alignment gauges for S and Sn3

Notes

The company produced metal gauges that the modeler fits in between two rails when handlaying track to get the desired gauge. They were available straight and curved for various radii. When used, the modeler could then spike the outside of the rail in position on both rails, and then follow up by spiking the inside of the rail after removing the gauge. The company has been closed for some time, but retailers still have some of these in stock.

Ridgehill Scale Models

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

Province:

Ontario

Country:

Canada

Founder(s):

Oliver Clubine

Products

Rolling Stock: Fowler box car, caboose (van) kits

Structures: CPR-based kits

River Leaf Models

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

Web Site:

visit

e-mail:

send

Products

Structures: kits

History

The company closed its shop in 2022.

River Raisin Models

NASG Charles Sandersfeld Memorial Award

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

West Bloomfield

State:

Michigan

Founder(s):

Daniel Navarre, Jim Kindraka

Products

Decals: decals for their products

Locomotives: brass diesel, steam, detailing\replacement parts

Rolling Stock: brass freight cars, trucks

History

The company was started in 1987. Jim sold his partnership back to Dan in 2007, as he wanted to retire. In 2022 Dan announced his retirement, and their web site was closed down in February 2023.

Robert L Miller Laboratory

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Valparaiso

State:

Indiana

Founder(s):

Robert L Miller

Products

Locomotives: Alco switchers, special-design powered trucks

Track Components: plastic tie strips

Notes

The unique design of those trucks was that everything was contained between the sideframes (similar to the NWSL Stanton Drive). The patented Miller tie strip was an early form of flextrack. It came with code 126 rail. More information about Bob Miller and a sample catalog from 1952 can be found in the December 1996 issue of the NASG's Dispatch magazine.

History

Robert Miller manufactured an Alco S-4 diesel switcher, powered trucks, and plastic tie strips. The powered trucks were manufactured from the 1940s through the 1960s. The company was bought by Sunset Mfg. Co. In 1979 Scenery Unlimited bought the Sunset. Robert died in 1988.

Rocky Mountain Model Works

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Loveland

State:

Colorado

Founder(s):

Jim Wild

Products

Structures: kits

Notes

This company produced some S-scale structure kits, primarily focused on narrow-gauge territories. Jim's Sn3 Colorado & Southern layout was open as part of the 1997 NASG Convention layout tours.

History

Jim died in 1997.

Roy Meissner

Contact

e-mail:

send

Products

Vehicles: custom-made models

Notes

Roy manufactures automobile kits based off of various models. e-mail him to see if he carries a specific model. The DIVCO delivery van is one such kit which costs $20. To see Roy's available kits, go to the NASG Convention or other S-scale related events.

Rusty Stumps Scale Models

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Fishers

State:

Indiana

Founder(s):

Walt Gillespie

Products

Structures: cast-, 3D-printed- resin detailing parts

History

The company was started in 2002. In 2018 the company sold their kits and laser-cut parts to Rail Scale Models, and Walt retired. However, in 2020 Walt came out of retirement (because he was bored) and switched to producing detailing parts in cast and 3D-printed resin. But then by 2022 the company's web site completely disappeared.

S DeSignS

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Mahwah

State:

New Jersey

e-mail:

send

Founder(s):

Don DeWitt

Products

Decals: for freight cars

Rolling Stock: replacement doors for Pacific Rail Shops box cars

Notes

In 1991, the company manufactured polyurethane replacement doors for the Pacific Rail Shops' 50-foot single-door box cars (designed by Stan Stockrocki). These were the 10' Youngstown door, two versions of the 9' Youngstown doors, the 9' Superior door, the 10' Superior door, and the 10' Pullman-Standard door. Note that the company had planned to produce custom-painted and decorated GP9/GP18 (based on American Models engines), and box cars and hoppers (based on Pacific Rail Shops cars), but they never received enough request to warrant the commercial effort.

History

The company was started in 1989 and closed in 2017. The castings for the cars were done by a local company called And-Kon, which has been closed for a long time, too.

Supplemental File

Doors


 (image copyright © Tom Lennon; used by permission)
An example of the separate doors the company produced.

S Scale Locomotive & Supply

NASG Charles Sandersfeld Memorial Award

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

St. Louis

State:

Missouri

Founder(s):

G. Claud Wade

Products

Rolling Stock: locomotive kits, parts, detailing

History

In 1962 Claud Wade starts producing parts for S-scale steam locomotives (patterns were made by various modelers; castings were made by external contractors on bids). Bob Hartzel bought the company in 1989 and moved it to New Jersey. Bob owned a machine shop that made tugboat parts. Claud then retires. Bob made the parts, but Russ Downs (ACE) did the selling of them and dealt with the customers, as Bob had no interest in doing that. By 1998, Bob had lost interest in the company and Russ Downs couldn't get Bob to make more parts, so the business and inventory was sold to Fred Rouse, who re-built the inventory (patterns were made by Simon Parent, but Fred started to cast himself, as external contractors were too expensive). In 2003 Fred moved the company to Florida. Claud passed away in 2005. Fred sold the casting business, machinery, and inventory (the purchaser was not announced) in 2016; Fred retains the "S Scale Locomotive & Supply" name. Simon Parent makes the public announcement in 2021 that he was the one who purchased the tools and inventory from Fred Rouse (he did not buy the SSL&S name). He has retired from his day job, and is now interested in making the parts that he can from the masters he acquired. He will sell them under the name Miniatures From The North. A side note: Steam Depot never owned SSL&S. They had a lot of parts in their inventory. Fred Rouse bought out Steam Depot's inventory of SSL&S when he took over SSL&S, as he found that he could buy them cheaper than having to make them again.

S Scale SIG

Contact

Business Type:

Publisher

Web Site:

visit

Products

Miscellaneous: the NMRA's S-scale Special Interests Group

History

The site was moved into inactive status sometime in 2020/21. In 2022, members of the S Scale SIG agree to have most of the pertinent content of the site moved over to the NASG web site. This was completed in July of 2023 (see the web site link).

S-Helper Service

NASG Charles Sandersfeld Memorial Award

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

Web Site:

visit

Founder(s):

Don Thompson, Michael Ferraro

YouTube Channel:

view

Products

Locomotives: many ready-to-run types, tender trucks

Rolling Stock: many ready-to-run types, loads, freight and caboose trucks

Scenery: locomotive crew members

Track Components: flextrack, straight, curved, and turnouts on ballast-based snap-track

Vehicles: land-movers, semi trailers (to act as loads)

History

Don Thompson recalls that when the 1988 NASG Convention hosted by the Central Jersey S Scalers completed, they used the profits to produce several box cars and hoppers. After that American Models o
The company was started by Don Thompson and Mike Ferraro in September of 1989 and they built a collaborative relationship with American Models. The purpose of S-Helper Service (a.k.a. SHS), initially, was to help manufacturers bring new products to market by providing the initial funding (hence the company's name). This bought them the exclusive right to the project until the investment was paid back. When they started working with American Models, this allowed American Models to produce S-scale versions of the Alco FA-2/FB-2, PA, and RS-3 engines, the EMD GP35, the GG1, and the 4-6-2 engines, and the heavyweight passenger cars. Most of these are still available via American Models and their dealers. This working relationship stopped in 1995, and SHS started their own product line under The Showcase Line brand name. In 2010 Sanda Kan (the main Chinese manufacturer) stopped making models for many companies, including S-Helper Service. Nearing retirement age and not being able to retrieve their tooling from China, in 2012 Don announced that MTH Electric Trains bought the company's tooling (the tooling remained in China but was moved from one factory to another). Dave's Twacks & Trains bought the remaining parts inventory and shop tools in 2012. In 2014 MTH released their first S-scale products based on the original S-Helper Service tooling. Mike Wolf (MTH) announced his retirement in 2020, with the intent to close the company. MTH released the fishbelly hopper in 2021, which was their first new S-scale product (SHS designed that car and was going to put it in production when Sanda Kan forced them to close). In January 2021 MTH and ScaleTrains.com announced that ScaleTrains bought the MTH (former S-Helper Service) tooling. In 2023 ScaleTrains announced their first S-scale product to be the fishbelly hopper, and their S-scale product line now goes by the brand name of S-Helper Service. Don Thompson reported that all of the prototype research and documentation that they had amassed during S-Helper Service's existence was transferred to MTH. However, it is his understanding that none of that research material was transferred to ScaleTrains.

Sanda Kan

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

Products

Notes

This was the Hong Kong-based company that manufactured many of the model railroading hobby's products, including for S-Helper Service, American Models, S Scale America, and Lionel, and many others.

History

The company was started in 1973 by WaiShing Ting and Sol Kramer, of Life-Like Products, to produce better quality motors for model locomotives. WaiShing Ting, however, continued to work as the managing director for Cox International, which he and Ron Cox, a California toy maker, had formed in 1965. WaiShing Ting officially moved from Cox to Sanda Kan in 1979, which at the time had 200 employees, but eventually had ten factories in China, with 10,000 employees. In 2004 the company was sold to the Hong Kong-based JP Morgan Partners, and again in 2009 to Kader Holdings, the parent company of Bachmann Industries. In 2010, Kader made the decision that Sanda Kan was to no longer manufacture products for the smaller clients, which affected many model railroading companies, but disproportionally so the S-scale ones, such as S-Helper Service.

Sandy River Car Shops

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

Products

Rolling Stock: Sn2 car kits

Scenery Unlimited

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Forest Park

State:

Illinois

Founder(s):

Don Heimburger

Products

Locomotives: brass Doodlebug

Rolling Stock: loads; freight, passenger car, and caboose kits; trucks

Scenery: figures

Structures: kits

Track Components: was the sole importer of Shinohara S and Sn3 flextrack and turnouts

Notes

This was the manufacturing arm of Don Heimburger's companies.

The web site domain for the former Scenery Unlimited web site has been taken over by a malware scam operator, which when you go there, will install a virus on your computer. DO *** NOT *** GO *** TO *** THE *** OLD *** WEB *** SITE.

History

The company started importing Shinohara S and Sn3 track in 1983. In 1985 they imported their first flextrack in both S and Sn3. In 2018 Don announced the Sn3 Modeler magazine has been stopped. In 2019 Don announces his retirement and with it the closing of this company. Port Lines Hobby Supply bought the remaining inventory, including resin kit molds. Don passed away in 2022.

Schreiner Scale Models

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Melrose Park

State:

Illinois

Founder(s):

Norm Schreiner

Products

Rolling Stock: resin passenger car kits

Notes

The owner worked on the Scenery Unlimited display layout.

History

Norm passed away in 2004.

Seltzer's

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

State:

Ohio

Founder(s):

Josh and Barbara Seltzer

Products

Rolling Stock: ready-to-run freight cars; passenger car kits

Notes

painted them

History

Starting in 1973 and through 1977, Josh and his wife Barbara Seltzer custom-painted and sold A.C. Gilbert-based freight cars. They were instrumental in keeping S-scale alive in the drought period between A.C. Gilbert's demise in 1967 and American Models' appearance in 1980. The story goes that Vince Amoto, owner of Hobby Surplus Sales, bought up the remaining inventory of A.C. Gilbert freight car bodies at the A.C. Gilbert company's bankruptcy auction, for literally pennies on the dollar (several truck trailers full of them, requiring dedicated storage). Details are unclear of whether Josh Seltzer was hired by Hobby Surplus to paint these car bodies, or if Josh Seltzer bought the car bodies, painted them, and then sold them back to Hobby Surplus. The subjective opinion at the time was that the work that Josh did was on par with what A.C. Gilbert would have done with the cars. Josh painted the cars with Floquil or Scalecoat, and Barbara decorated them with C-D-S dry-transfer decals. The second effort that Josh was involved with was the Budd passenger cars. That story goes as follows. Dick Karnes recalls that Bill Geracci, one of Josh Seltzer's friends, took a couple of the American Flyer Budd car bodies and spliced them into an accurate 80-foot version of Budd coaches (the AF ones were too short, so as to allow them to navigate typical AF curves). Josh used this car body as a pattern and contracted for a run of them from this pattern. Josh sold these with an American Models 80-foot Pullman floor in the same box. Josh passed away in February 2003. You can find a "Last Run" column on him in the April 2003 issue of the NASG's The Dispatch. Barbara Seltzer passed away in December 2020.

Sergent Engineering

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

Founder(s):

Frank Sergent

Products

Rolling Stock: realistic looking and functioning couplers

Notes

Frank released his coupler design into the public domain, so anyone can take that design and create an S-scale coupler based on it. Currently, Inventive Models is the only one that has done so commercially.

History

The company's web site disappeared sometime in 2023, and appears to now be owned by another company.

Sheepscot Scale Products

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

Products

Scenery: Three-drum steam hoist

History

The company has merged with Gandy Dancer Hobbies, which no longer carries S-scale products.

Sidetrack Laser

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

Products

Structures: laser-cut wooden structure kits, all by special requests

Sierra-Built Models Co.

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Gardena

State:

California

Products

Notes

Listed as one of the major suppliers of S-scale products in the 1960 S Gauge Herald.

Sloan

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

Founder(s):

Bob Sloan

Products

Locomotives: brass body kit for a motor car; Sn3 brass steam locomotive kits, Sn2 SR&RL #23, 24 etched-brass kits

SouthWind Models

NASG Charles Sandersfeld Memorial Award

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Plant City

State:

Florida

Founder(s):

Jettie Padgett, Billy Wade

Products

Locomotives: imported brass engines

Rolling Stock: imported brass cars

History

The company was started in 1985. In 1996 Bill Wade left the company, but took over the SouthWind Models' detailing parts line, to supplement his own B.T.S. product line, while Jettie continued to focus on producing brass cars and engines. Although the company is dormant now, Jettie still owns the name.

Standi Toys

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Somerset

State:

Wisconsin

Founder(s):

Stanford and Sandi Krueger (hence the name "Stan" and "di")

Products

Structures: farm-related structures

Notes

Their products are carried by many retailers. Stan Krueger was inducted into the National Farm Toy Hall of Fame in 2006.

History

The company was started in 1981. Sandi passed away in 2015. In 2016 Mini Truck & Tractor, LLC purchased Standi Toys Inc. Stan passed away in 2021.

Star Hobby Products

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Bronx

State:

New York

Products

Rolling Stock: card stock lithographed and embossed box car sides

Star Models

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Paris

State:

Kentucky

Products

Rolling Stock: Sn3 passenger car kits

Steam Depot

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer & Retailer

City:

Ashland

State:

Pennsylvania

Founder(s):

John Chappell

Products

Locomotives: 44-ton switcher kit, Alco RSD-4/5 kit, locomotive trucks

Rolling Stock: freight car kits, caboose kit, freight and passenger car trucks

History

For a while they were the U.S. distributor of some of New Zealand's Railmaster Exports' product line. Jim Whipple indicated that he bought the patterns for making brass 4-wheel, 8-foot wheelbase trucks that Steam Depot sold. John died in 2008.

Stewart Locomotive Works

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Phoenix

State:

Arizona

Products

Rolling Stock: brass Sn3 cars and trucks, dummy coupler, freight car loads

Stewart Products

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Portsmouth

State:

Rhode Island

Products

Rolling Stock: cast-metal car parts

Scenery: figures, trackside details

History

Bought by Ye Olde Huff-N-Puff. Then in 2018 they were in turn bought by LaBelle Woodworking.

Stoney Creek Designs

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Reading

State:

Pennsylvania

Founder(s):

Roger Malinowski

Products

Structures: custom-designed freelance structure kits

Strafford Scale Models

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Rochester

State:

New Hampshire

Products

Rolling Stock: freight, passenger car kits, passenger car truck

History

Started in the late 1940s.


 (image copyright © Ed Kirstatter; used by permission)
An example box label.

Stratford Metal Products Company

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Bristol Ferry

State:

Rhode Island

Products

Rolling Stock: freight car kits, passenger car sides

Track Components: track, tie strip

Notes

The parts were sold under the name Franklin Trains.

Sunset Models, Inc.

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Campbell

State:

California

Founder(s):

Mort & Scott Mann

Products

Rolling Stock: brass locomotives, passenger cars

History

The company was started by Mort Mann in 1975. Scott Mann continues to run the company under the name Golden Gate Models.

Sunshine Models

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Brooklyn Park

State:

Minnesota

Founder(s):

Steven Monson

Products

Rolling Stock: MOW & auto rack car kits

History

The company was started in 1972, and bought by Scenery Unlimited in 1980.

Super Scale Models

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Glenview

State:

Illinois

Products

Locomotives: diesel switchers

Rolling Stock: passenger and freight car kits

History

Started in the 1940s. When the company went out of business, Perma-Bilt Models bought their product line.

Swiss Dog Studios

Contact

Business Type:

eBay Store

City:

Woodstock

State:

Illinois

e-mail:

send

Products

Structures: various structures (both kit and pre-built)

Sylvania Models

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Rehobeth

State:

Massachusetts

Founder(s):

Gene Fletcher

Products

Rolling Stock: passenger car kits

History

In 1950 Gene Fletcher took over Midgage Models and renamed it Sylvania Models, but he only continued the company's streamlined passenger cars. In 1960 Branch Line Hobby Supply took over the Sylvania Models streamlined passenger cars product line.

SZenery

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

Facebook:

visit

Products

3D-printed products

Vehicles: motorcycles, bicycles

History

As of December 2020, the company is on hiatus (the owner is a college student).

Taurus Products

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Orange

State:

California

Products

Rolling Stock: Sn3 cars

Structures: kits

Notes

Owned Classic Miniatures product line.

The Supply Car

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

Founder(s):

Bob McCarthy

Products

Rolling Stock: freight and passenger car kits

History

After Bob McCarthy's passing, Bob Hogan took over the remaining inventory, and may have additional information, so contact him if you have any specific requests. Bob Hogan can also custom-build you a finished model.

Thomas A Yorke

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Dunwoody

State:

Georgia

Products

Rolling Stock: hopper kit

Structures: several kits

Notes

His roots were in S, but he was mainly an O-scale manufacturer and modeler.

History

Tom is retired now.

Tom's Turnouts & Trackwork

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Dresden

State:

Maine

Founder(s):

Thomas Stoltz

Products

Rolling Stock: pre-made turnouts, wyes, and crossings

History

Tom starts the business in 2005. Tom retired in 2019. The web site closed down in April 2024.

Tomalco

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Houston

State:

Texas

Founder(s):

Tom A Lindholm

Products

Rolling Stock: narrow-gauge parts and kits

History

According to Bruce Blalock, in his December 2018 article in the S Scale Resource magazine, Tom Lindholm, from Houston, Texas, created the Tom Lindholm Company, or "Tomalco" ("Tom" "A." middle initial, "L" last name, and "Co"). The company was started in 1946. Tom focused on custom-made TT-scale products. When he saw narrow-gauge diagrams in the printed media that were scaled to 1:64, he became hooked and switched to Sn3. Avery "Swede" Norlin, McCracken, Kansas, bought the company in 1964 because he, too, was pursuing TT-scale. When he saw what Tom had done (but never sold) in Sn3, he started to focus on Sn3 as well. Swede bought both the company name as well as all of the Sn3 patterns that Tom had created, as part of the deal of buying all of the TT-scale items. Swede introduced the code 100 standard-gauge and narrow-gauge flextrack product line. Bruce Blalock states that he designed and produced Tomalco first catalog after he had moved to Houston. In 1976 they imported 500 models (total) of D&RGW C-16 #223 in both Sn3 and Sn42. Robert Sloan bought the company in 1979. Building & Structure Co. bought the company in 1992. They introduced the #6 code 70 Sn3 turnout (reviewed in the October 1996 issue of the S/Sn3 Modeling Guide magazine). In 1998 they sold their brass parts product line to banta modelworks; car parts were sold to Tru-Scale Models. In 2001 P-B-L bought the narrow-gauge track product line. In 2003 Bob McCarthy bought the standard-gauge track product line. In 2004 Larry Morton bought the standard-gauge track product line from Bob McCarthy, which he runs as Tomalco Track. In 2015 Precision Vintage Classics (Paul Vaughn) bought the remaining Tomalco Parts Line (locomotive and car detailing parts, and narrow-gauge track products).

Tomalco Track

(last reviewed on 08/28/2023)

NASG Charles Sandersfeld Memorial Award

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

Web Site:

visit

Founder(s):

Larry Morton

Products

Track Components: code 70, 83, 100 flextrack, turnouts, wyes, double-slip, crossings; rail, rail joiners, spikes, track gauges, joint bars, bumping posts, Gapmaster, roadbed, re-railer

History

Larry Morton bought the standard-gauge track products, only, from Bob McCarthy in 2004 to form Tomalco Track (the narrow-gauge product line was eventually bought by Precision Vintage Classics. In August 2023, Larry sold the company to Shane Lambert, who renamed the company "S Scale Track".

Top Shelf Replicas

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Ridge Farm

State:

Illinois

Founder(s):

Alan Chestnut

Products

Rolling Stock: diecast farm and trucking equipment

History

Bought by Matt Cassety in 2018.

Topper Corporation

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Elizabeth

State:

New Jersey

Products

Rolling Stock: diecast vehicles

History

The company started the Johnny Lightning brand of diecast vehicles in 1969. In 1994 Thomas Lowe, owner of Playing Mantis based in Cassopolis, Michigan, bought the rights to the Johnny Lightning name. Thomas Lowe sold Playing Mantis (including the Johnny Lightning brand) to RC2 Corporation in 2004. RC2 Corporation was bought by Tomy (of Japan) in 2011. In 2013 Tomy discontinued the Johnny Lightning brand. In 2016 Round 2 LLC, a new company owned by Thomas Lowe, bought the rights to produce the Johnny Lightning brand of diecast vehicles again.

Train & Trooper

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer & Retailer

City:

Mount Vernon

State:

Maine

Founder(s):

Matt & Nancy Sharp

Products

Locomotives: brass Sn2

Structures: Maine-based kits

History

Train & Trooper was a full service model train shop specializing in New England Railroading and the Maine narrow gauge. For the S-scale market, they specialized in narrow-gauge products, including Sn2 and Sn3. Crusader Rail Services bought most of the company's inventory when they closed. At the 2018 Midwest Narrow Gauge Show, Train & Trooper announced their return, and the owners are considering producing an Sn2 steam locomotive. As of 2021, their web site is now, once again, gone with no notification, so we're assuming they are out of business again.

Train Cat Model Sales

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

Web Site:

visit

Products

Structures: Electrical Transmission Tower, Cantilevered Signal Bridges etched-brass kits

Trackside: signals

Notes

(the company is on hiatus)

Train Stuff (!#@*?! Train Stuff)

NASG Charles Sandersfeld Memorial Award

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Oceanport

State:

New Jersey

Founder(s):

Don and Robin Thompson

Products

Rolling Stock: rolling stock kits; later resin structure kits

Notes

They produced a variety of S-scale cast-resin contemporary freight and heavyweight passenger car kits. Don Thompson reported that the resin castings were made of polyester, poured into RTV molds. The metal parts were spun-cast in black rubber molds with pewter or white RTV molds in zinc S1 alloy. The patterns were made by several S-scale modelers: Stan Stokrocki, Dick Lind, Bill Boucher, and Pat Conlin. Liberty models made the brake details and Northeastern provided the lumber. Herald King resized their HO-scale decals and provided them for these kits. The kits came with either code 125 (old NMRA-gauge standard) wheels and Kadee #5 couplers, or hi-rail wheels and couplers. Don said that at one point they were releasing a new kit every two months. They were doing runs of about 100 kits, but Don wanted to switch to injection-modeling, to increase the number of items he could produce. He said that they worked with Jan Lorenzen of Locomotive Workshop to produce S-scale injection molded 50-foot box cars. They contacted several tooling and injection molding houses, but were unable to seal a deal. Later, Wayne continued to expand the line to include a heavyweight 12-1 Pullman and several vintage freight cars including the PRR X29, and a single and double sheathed ARA box cars, as well as several structure kits.

History

The company was started in 1975, and sold to Wayne & Diane Pier (Larsen, WI) in 1982, who closed the company in 1988.

Triangle Scale Models

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Long Beach

State:

California

Founder(s):

Roger Schenck

Products

Rolling Stock: Sn3 cars, detailing parts

Structures: metal detailing parts

History

The company was started in the late-1970s. In 1984 they bought the Village Depot product line. Finest Kind Models bought the company in 1988, and moved it to Dallas, Texas some time later. In 2005, Finest Kind Models was sold to Turner Model Works, who sold the structure product line to Coyote Flats Depot (Tim Moat - primarily O-scale) in 2018. Wiseman Model Services bought the Sn3 rolling stock product line from Pat Turner in 2019, which was part of the original Triangle Scale Models product line.

Triple S Supplies

(last reviewed on 01/31/2024)

Contact

Business Type:

eBay Store

Address:

123 W. Washington Ave

City:

Clifton Heights

State:

Pennsylvania

Zip Code:

19018

Web Site:

visit

e-mail:

send

Phone:

(484) 251-1646

Products

Locomotives: repair parts

Miscellaneous: AF books

Rolling Stock: repair parts

Tru-Scale Models

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

San Dimas

State:

California

Products

Track Components: manufactured milled roadbed, switch blocks, assembled turnouts, and milled roadbed with track in S-scale

Notes

The company manufactured sectional track components that were made out of wood. These had the integrated ballast slope, ties, and tie plates. A flextrack component was available that had kerfs cut every three ties (which easily broke, by the way). A bridge track component was available which had length-wise beams instead of the integrated ballast slope. The system was designed to be used with either code 125 or 172 rail.

Turner Model Works

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

e-mail:

send

Founder(s):

Pat Turner

Products

Scratchbuilding: detailing parts

Structures: wooden kits

History

The company bought several other companies' product lines over the years, with Finest Kind Models being one of the S-scale companies. Pat Turner sold the company to Coyote Flats Depot (Tim Moat, https://coyoteflatsdepotcom.fatcow.com/store/index.html) in 2018, but he indicates that that person has done nothing with the product line. That sale included all of the companies that he had purchased over the years.

V&T Shops

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Reno

State:

Nevada

Founder(s):

Dale Darney

Products

Rolling Stock: narrow-gauge kits

History

The company was bought by Wiseman Model Services, who continues to release their products.

Village Depot

Contact

Business Type:

Brick-n-Mortar Retailer

City:

Cottage Grove

State:

Oregon

Founder(s):

Ken Carlson

Products

Rolling Stock: Sn3 car kits; detailing parts

Notes

This brick-n-mortar store carried quite a bit of Sn3 products, including P-B-L, until P-B-L started selling direct. Steve and Dorothy Bishop moved the store into a former depot building.

History

Sometime in the 1980s they bought the Triangle Scale Models product line. Later, the company was bought by Steve & Dorothy Bishop.

W.A. Drake & Co.

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Johnstown

State:

Colorado

Founder(s):

Bill McClung

Products

Rolling Stock: brass gondolas and tank cars

Structures: resin SP passenger station kits

Notes

Bill was also the store manager of the large Denver-based Caboose Hobbies model railroad store. Bill's S-scale standard-gauge layout was open as part of the 1997 NASG Convention layout tours.

History

The company was started in 1997.

Wabash Valley Models

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Huntington

State:

Indiana

Founder(s):

Charlie Sandersfeld

Products

Locomotives: resin body shells

History

Charlie also owned Omnicon Scale Models during the mid-1980s. Wabash Valley Models acquired the Enhorning F unit molds. The molding processes were improved to eliminate a hump in the roof of the Enhorning shells. The company Model RR Warehouse still has the original F-unit shells available. Some more details can be found in an article by Gerry Evans in the October 2006 issue of the NASG Dispatch.

West Shore Line

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Syracuse

State:

New York

Founder(s):

Central Hobby Supply

Products

Rolling Stock: resin kits of freight cars and cabooses

Notes

This was a brand name/product line created by Central Hobby Supply to sell products they had commissioned to be made by Funaro and Camerlengo. These were resin kits of specific steel cars built by prototype railroad shops in the 1920s. In this web site's Product Gallery, they are listed under Center Hobby Supply.

Western Car Shops

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Cheyenne

State:

Wyoming

Founder(s):

Bob Sherwood

Products

Rolling Stock: box car kits

Notes

The kits were made by Pacific Rail Shops, which Western Car Shops repainted (pad-printed) for other railroad names, and then sold to customers as kits.

History

The company was started in 1999.

Western Scale Models

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Richland

State:

Washington

Founder(s):

Evie & Bill Gustafson

Products

Rolling Stock: loads

Structures: laser-cut wooden kits

History

The company was started in 1983 in Northbridge, California. In 2013 they were bought by Wild West Scale Model Builders.

Whiteoak Models

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

North Hinksey

Province:

Oxford

Country:

United Kingdom

Founder(s):

Kelvin White

Products

Track Components: code 100 #4, #6, #8 turnouts

Notes

The turnouts were manufactured for Whiteoak Models by Marcway and use Peco flat-bottom code 100 rail soldered to gapped printed-circuit-board ties. Frogs are powered by the contact with the stock rail. Except for electrical contact surfaces, the turnout is spray-painted black. Left- and right-handed.

History

The owner needed re-usable turnouts for his own use, and so set up a special commission with Marcway in England to produce these turnouts for him in the year 2000.

William Flatt

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Campbellville

Province:

Ontario

Country:

Canada

Products

Locomotives: steeplecab and boxcab brass kits

Notes

William builds his own electric-locomotives-based S-scale layout, and made the models available for sale as kits to others.

History

William retired from making kits in 2020.

Wisconsin Central Supply

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

Waukesha

State:

Wisconsin

Founder(s):

Bob Ristow

Products

Rolling Stock: freight car craftsman-style kits

History

In 1971 they purchased Regal Kits.

Yarmouth Model Works

Contact

Business Type:

Manufacturer

City:

St. Thomas

Province:

Ontario

Country:

Canada

Products

Rolling Stock: box car kits

Notes

The company released a number of box car kits that were based on the Pacific Rail Shops' bodies. Unfortunately, this had to be stopped, because Des Plaines Hobbies owns the PRS rights, and so copies cannot be sold legally. Yarmouth owner, at the time for their release, was unaware that there was a copyright claim in effect. The few kits that were sold received glowing reviews.

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