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News: Company Announcements

This page lists announcements related to company-level information, such as new companies that have been formed, existing companies that are closing-up shop, ownership transfers of companies, or any other such information. Click photos to visit the web sites.

September 22, 2022

ScaleTrains Is Moving

The company is moving its facilities from Benton, Tennessee to Cleveland, Tennessee. Their new address is:

4901 Old Tasso Rd NE, Cleveland, TN 37312

September 07, 2022

Archer Fine Transfers Closing

Woody Vondracek, the owner of the company that pioneered the 3D resin strips of rivets (as well as a large military modeling business), is closing up shop on November 30, 2022. If you have been eyeing some of their products, now is the time. Update #2: their web site is ready to accept orders again starting on September 12.

August 09, 2022

Hubert Mask

Hubert Mask, owner of Mask Island Decals Inc., of Pittsfield, New Hampshire, passed away August 8, 2022. While not an S-scale modeler, he did produce a large number of his decals in S-scale for many of us.

August 04, 2022

ScaleTrains Info

ScaleTrains is on a nation-wide tour visiting model railroading clubs and doing presentations. Roger Nulton was able to attend one near him. During their presentation, ScaleTrains indicated that they have every intention of re-releasing the entire MTH product line. The context in which it was stated is likely to be a reference to the HO-scale portion of MTH's product line, but, maybe, they were including S in that statement.

They also stated that they will be at the NASG Convention on Saturday. This is news to all of us, as there had been no official announcement from anyone about this.

Roger asked ScaleTrains president Shane Wilson about their S-scale involvement, and he recommended that we converse with Matt Gaudynski about anything related to S-scale, as Matt is the go-to guy for the S product line. Matt is at the NASG Convention as part of Des Plaines Hobbies.

July 27, 2022

Dan Navarre Announces Retirement

Press Release:

"After 35 years of serving the S scale community, it is time to retire. We have enjoyed designing, manufacturing, and importing brass models that represented the best in S. Over the years we had the privilege of working with some of the best brass builders in Korea, with the last 22 years with Boo Rim Precision. SeHo Jang, owner of Boo Rim Precision, became a great partner with us as we were able to build projects that had many, many versions, all slightly different, for our S scale customers.

River Raisin Models imported its first brass freight car in 1987, the Airslide Covered Hopper in two versions. Since then, we imported 21 different steam locomotives, 7 diesel locomotives in 18 versions, 3 complete passenger trains, freight cars, cabooses, and many different brass freight and passenger trucks. River Raisin also had a line of brass detail parts and decals. All the projects were in S scale and some projects included hi-rail versions.

We will be closing River Raisin Models at the end of 2022.

We will continue to sell our inventory throughout the year. Our website will stay active at least through the end of 2022. Keep watching the website for additional models/parts/decals and books that are being made available. Most items listed on the website are one and only items. Once they are gone, they're gone.

It has been a pleasure serving your S scale modeling needs!"

(editor's note: Dan will be devoting time to his large S-scale layout under construction; see the link below)

July 25, 2022

New S Manufacturer

Yelton Models has been making 3D-printed items for other scales, but has just recently entered the S-scale market. The owner of the company has indicated that they are willing to produce any item you see on their web site in any of the other scale in S-scale. Contact the company for more details. The speeder is a perfect fit for the 2022 NASG Convention car.

July 20, 2022

American Models Has Redesigned Their Web Site

Their newly-designed site is beautiful to look at and clearly organized. All 6,500+ individual links to various pages on the American Models web site that we have here on the NASG web site, have been updated.

July 17, 2022

2022 Catalog Volume 2 by Lionel

Lionel has released their 2022 Catalog Volume 2. In it you will find Baldwin switchers, Alco PA diesels, passenger car sets, autoracks, and flat cars. Retailers are reporting that you must place your order with them before August 14, 2022 to be assured your order. Remember, Lionel has changed their production strategy: if they don't get enough pre-orders for a particular item shown in the catalog, they will not produce it.

June 30, 2022

Rail Scale Models Web Site Update

Rail Scale Models has redesigned their entire web site. This company is the one that took over most of the product line that was created by Rusty Stumps. They now have the "Carolina Craftsman Kits", which were HO-scale kits that have been out of production for a while. Their web sites states that they are planning on bringing out S-scale versions of that kit product line as well. Follow the link to see the HO-scale kits that they already have released.

June 19, 2022

New Creations Victorian Railroad Buildings

This company, owned by Alan Rogers, is based in California, and is expanding its product line of structure kits to include S-scale. More kits are in the planning stages.

June 17, 2022

Announcements from ScaleTrains, Fox Valley Models, Scale America

Today was a busy day for complex announcements. After reading through all the material, here's what we can conclude.

Matt Gaudynski, son-in-law of the late Ron Sebastian (of Des Plaines Hobbies and S Scale America), started working at ScaleTrains about a year ago to oversee the transition of the MTH HO- and S-scale product lines to ScaleTrains (MTH closed in May of 2021, and ScaleTrains announced the purchase in January 2021). Matt is the founder of Fox Valley Models.

After a year of working at ScaleTrains, they agreed that ScaleTrains buys out Fox Valley Models. They only specifically mention the HO- and N-scale product lines that Fox Valley Models owns. Update Matt indicated on the Groups.io S-scale list that the S-scale track components were not part of the sale to ScaleTrains.

Matt has decided to continue to stay with ScaleTrains as a product developer, as he enjoys designing and creating engines and cars. ScaleTrains now owns the Fox Valley Models brand name, and they plan to continue to release HO- and N-scale products under that name. The Fox Valley Web site is under transition, which they estimate will take the rest of the year.

However, at the same time, Matt has started a new company called "Scale America". This is effectively what Ron Sebastian used to call "the manufacturing arm of Des Plaines Hobbies". This new company will own the following brand names:
- Red Caboose
- Deluxe Lines
- Des Plaines Hobbies HO- and N-scale parts
- Centralia Car Shops
- S Scale America
- O Scale America

Matt stated on his Facebook page that Des Plaines Hobbies, the hobby store itself, is now working well after recovering from Ron's passing. So, it appears that he has taken over and removed the manufacturing side of the store, so that the store is just the hobby store itself.

June 15, 2022

S-n-S Trains Changes Ownership

S-n-S Trains, formerly owned by Steve Blackburn, is now owned by Bill Sheneman. Consequently, the company has moved from Boise, Idaho to Yerington, Nevada. Steve, who is 84 years young, has retired, but he is remaining on as a consultant to S-n-S Trains. Bill has been trained by Steve over the past 5 years, with the past two years as business partners. Bill has over 25 years of experience repairing American Flyer trains. The S-n-S web site has been updated, but here is the new contact info:

New e-mail address: sflyercrazy@aol.com
New phone number: (775) 344-8242
New postal mailing address:
S-n-S Trains
501 Mason Ave
Yerington, NV 89447

June 10, 2022

Freight Cars Under Development by ScaleTrains

As you may know, when Mike Wolf announced his retirement in 2020, he also announced the closure of MTH Electric Trains effective in May 2021.

ScaleTrains, a well-respected HO- and N-scale manufacturer, subsequently announced in January 2021 that they bought MTH's entire HO- and S-scale product line (remember, MTH bought the entire S-scale product line when S-Helper Service had to close down back in 2010).

Yesterday, ScaleTrains announced that they have completed moving over 800 tools from MTH's factory to their own factory. They have hired a new person to oversee this whole process.

While they wanted to release some HO-scale locomotives a.s.a.p., they realized that it was going to take longer than expected. Instead they have spent time preparing for several freight cars.

For their S-scale efforts, they are able to show pre-production samples of the steel box car and the two-bay hopper (see the included photos). They also mentioned that the former SHS extended-vision caboose is in the works. The latter is going to take a bit longer as they discovered that they are missing some parts, and they want to integrate the electronics for the interior lighting. Lastly, they also announced that they are working on the former SHS track system. This is good news as many people enjoy using the SHS/MTH track system. No time-line was given for the S-scale products.

(speculation: the pre-production photos show AF-style couplers, so it looks like they are going to follow the SHS/MTH approach of shipping the cars with AF-style couplers, but the modeler can replace those with "scale" couplers; since ScaleTrains is a "pure scale only" company, some people were concerned; we'll have to wait and see, of course)

June 09, 2022

KND Enterprises, Inc.

The web site for KND Enterprises, Inc. disappeared in 2021. An S-scale modeler contacted the owner, and eventually received a reply. It turns out that the owner, John, had a serious fall in early 2021 that prevented him from making more castings of the trolleys and boxcabs that he sells (see our Product Gallery for a listing and photos). Some of his molds were worn, so he has had to make new ones, but he is not yet satisfied with how the castings are coming out, hence delays of orders. You can contact John via e-mail. If you have an outstanding order, he's working on them.
Start an e-mail message.

June 07, 2022

A Visit to Lionel Headquarters

This 2019 video by James Wright shows a visit to the Lionel headquarters in Concord, North Carolina. It is nice to put a "face" to the company. It is a fairly well-paced, well-edited video, although shot with a hand-held camera. You'll see some S-scale track and S-scale models in the backgrounds of the shots.

May 26, 2022

American S Gauge Track Status

A fellow S-scale modeler did some digging (phone calls, e-mails, writing a letter) as to the current status of Classic Trains, the California company that produces "American S Gauge" code 172 track components. The company was primarily run by one of the two Mescher brothers. That gentleman passed away in late 2021. Nick Mescher is the remaining brother and he indicated that they still have some track components in stock, most are in limited supply. The web site is outdated and the phone number listed there appears to be disconnected. There is an e-mail address at the bottom of the page. Please note that it may take quite some time before your e-mail is answered.

May 20, 2022

A Tour Of The Bar Mills Shop

Get a behind-the-scenes look at how Bar Mills operates. You will see their Sn2 layout in the background in some of the footage. Bar Mills creates several S-scale structure kits.

May 20, 2022

Intro to Miniprints

Bernard Hellen describes how he got started with Miniprints, and provides an overview of the types of items his company creates. Their items are available in S-scale.

May 16, 2022

WARNING: Scenery Unlimited

We had one link to the old Scenery Unlimited web site, and, unfortunately, one person followed that link. The domain for the old 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. It is no longer owned by Scenery Unlimited (which closed several years ago). The one link we had to the old site has been removed.

May 15, 2022

3D-printing Service by 3DP Train

This company, operating somewhat similar to the Dutch company Shapeways, prints and sells 3D-printed parts and railroad equipment for scale modelers. The products are sold by independent companies or individuals, but printed and shipped by 3DP Train. Models are printed on-demand, meaning that it may take a week or longer before it is shipped. If you have a design that you want printed, contact the company. Not shown here are several Canadian-prototype narrow-gauge cars (passenger, MOW). Click on any of the photos to view the web site's current listings.

April 25, 2022

Kadee Has Redesigned Their Web Site

If you were looking for something before and couldn't find it listed, maybe it is listed there now.

April 24, 2022

Planned S-scale Product Lines by Inter-Action Hobbies

Darryl Jacobs, owner of Inter-Action Hobbies, recently did a video on the "Narrow Gauge Off the Beaten Track" YouTube channel describing his company. The company already produces detailing parts for S-scale. During the video he announced that they have plans for some of their existing structure kits being made available in S-scale. He mentions during the Q&A session that he is planning on producing the vehicles in S-scale. Customer-feedback helps motivate him to add products to his product line. So, if you see something in their product line, please consider dropping them a quick e-mail letting them know what you would like to see in S-scale (your webmaster has already sent him a note wanting to see him produce the Ford Model T vehicles, as I model 1924). The more votes, the better.

April 24, 2022

Rusty Stumps Scale Models For Sale

Rusty Stumps Scale Models' web site has been gone for a while now. However, on their Facebook page they recently announced that the company is for sale.

April 23, 2022

About Walthers ProtoMax Couplers

There are a number of us that are using the Walthers ProtoMax couplers on our S-scale models. The Walthers coupler is a bit oversized for HO-scale, which makes it a possible candidate for S-scale. Size-wise, it fits in between the Kadee #5 and the Kadee #802/808 couplers. However, of concern lately has been that Walthers now no longer sells the coupler boxes, just the coupler and the spring (as shown in the photo). It turns out that the history behind this coupler was that it is intended to be used as a replacement coupler, as some HO-scale couplers are plastic, and therefore prone to breaking under load. The Walthers ProtoMax couplers are metal. So, if you have been, or are planning on, using Walthers ProtoMax couplers, you can try any of the stand-alone Kadee draft gear boxes: #232, #233, #234, #242. The boxes that come with Kadee #5 and #148 may work as well. Some slight filing may be necessary, so plan on needing to do some initial experimentation. Woody Mitchell had previously posted on the S-scale mailing list that Walthers spring will not fit the #5 boxes, but his work-around is shown on this web site (see "Woody's Photo Guide" link).

April 17, 2022

Dave's Twacks & Twains Update

Clay Buckage, owner of Dave's Twacks & Twains, reports delays in processing orders due to health issues. If you are waiting on something, he will process your order a.s.a.p., but he asks us to be patient. Call him if you have any concerns: (925) 679-4887.

April 14, 2022

Lake Junction Models Active Again

Bill Hoss, owner of Lake Junction Models, announced that he has recovered from a tree falling on his house, and he is now ready to resume kit production. Lake Junction Models created the B&O I-1 caboose kit, which was originally sold by The Supply Car. But when Bob McCarthy, owner of The Supply Car, passed away, Bill took over the sale of the kit directly. The I-1 kit is available for orders, and he is planning kits for the B&O I-5 caboose soon (there are three variations). He is also planning on producing more S-scale structure kits.

March 20, 2022

P-B-L's Hotip

According to the P-B-L web site, their resistance soldering system is no longer available. The company through which they contracted their "Hotip" system has had to close down due to "covid". Note, however, that all is not lost, as there are other such systems available on the market, such as American Beauty, Esico-Triton, and Micro-Mark. And, of course, if you are brave, you could make your own.

February 06, 2022

Foam Cradle by B&B Hobby Supplies

Founded in 1990 by Bill and Brynne Allcorn, B&B Hobby Supplies can be seen at local train shows. The company produces a foam repair cradle that fits S-scale models.

February 04, 2022

Rusty Stumps Scale Models Closed?

The Rusty Stumps Scale Models' web site is completely gone. The owners had sold most of their product line to "Rail Scale Models", retired, but then came out of retirement to make some more new products in 2020. However, with their site gone, it appears that they must have completely shut down the company. If anyone has some more facts, contact the NASG webmaster.

January 29, 2022

Crusader Rail Services

Ray Kaminski, owner of Crusader Rail Services, announces his retirement after 25 years of running the company. They will remain active until all inventory has been sold. The company is a retail dealer seen at many local train shows, and offers quite a few S, Sn3, and Sn2 products.

January 28, 2022

Ragg's... to Riches? Is Closing

The owners of Ragg's... to Riches? are retiring, and thereby closing up shop. Their web site indicates that they are no longer producing kits, and are only selling remaining inventory. If you have been eyeing one of their kits, now is the time to act.

January 22, 2022

Promotional Video by The Model Railroad Resource

The Model Railroad Resource has produced a promotional video showcasing their O Scale Resource and S Scale Resource online digital magazines. This 5-minute video shows examples of both O- and S-scale modeling as featured in their bi-monthly magazines. In addition to it helping to promote their magazine, it may also help to promote S-scale modeling to non-S modelers. Additionally, Jim Martin has created a QR code. QR codes can be printed and displayed at a local train show, for example, on a sheet of paper. Visitors to the show can then use the camera built into their cell phones to scan this QR code, which will take them directly to the video, so that they can watch it on their cell phone, or bookmark it for later viewing. On Windows PCs, right-click on the image to save the file, so that you can use it in your club's display materials for train shows.

January 16, 2022

Stan Cedarleaf

Stan Cedarleaf, who ran a custom decal shop called Cedarleaf Custom Railroad Decals, passed away on December 30, 2021 at the age of 83. Many S modelers have his decals applied to their models.

January 16, 2022

Updates by Port Lines Hobby Supply

Doug Peck reports that Fox Valley is experiencing production and shipping delays, but will have track and turnouts available later this year. He also got word that Scale Trains is committed to S, but that it may be a year or more before we see anything.

In stock at Port Lines are:
- white dry transfer lettering for the #951 REA baggage cars.
- triangular insert clip that secures the 8B maroon bakelite handle to the post.
- new, full-size reproduction rerailers (see photo below).

AC can motor conversions are temporarily not available due to supply shortages.

Lionel announced their 2022 AF catalog, but there appears to be a problem with their web site link. Hopefully they'll fix that soon.

January 15, 2022

A Tour of banta modelworks

Bill Banta does a short presentation of his shop, and then takes a number of questions.

January 15, 2022

Doug Junda Presents San Juan Model Company

On the Narrow Gauge Off the Beaten Track YouTube channel, Doug Junda makes a short presentation about who San Juan Model Company is. Doug, himself, is an S-scale modeler.

January 09, 2022

Doctor Ben's Scale Consortium For Sale

Richard Bendever is selling his business. Details about what is for sale, how much he is asking, and a inventory overview video, all can be seen on the linked-to web page. The company makes products for various scales, including S-scale details and structures.

December 21, 2021

Co-op Program by Leadville Designs

Leadville Designs announces their "Modeler's Co-op Program" as a way of having something made that is currently not being produced. Here's the plan:

Basically, it is an arrangement between an interested party (one or more people) and Leadville Designs whereby the interested party underwrites the development costs of a particular subject kit. In return, that party receives a substantially-reduced price on each kit. Leadville Designs will then offer the kit as part of their product line. For every kit sold to the general market, those who underwrote the costs receive a commission. If the kit sells well, the investors could recover their out-of-pocket costs and possibly even make money.

If the design is readily adaptable to other scales, and the investor covers the scale conversion costs; then the investor will receive commissions for those sales as well.

As a manufacturer, Leadville Designs primarily works with wood, etched metals, and 3D-printed resins. The wood is laser- and saw-cut. The metals are usually brass or nickel, and chemically etched. There is no size limit. Nothing is too small or too large.

Investor costs are tied directly to the complexity of the project. This can typically vary in the $500 to $800 range.

December 10, 2021

Updates by Port Lines Hobby Supply

Port Lines Hobby Supply's Doug Peck announced that they have received the following Lionel products:
1. Two-bay coal hoppers.
2. Single-dome tank cars.
3. 2021 Christmas box car.
4. Christmas musical box car.
5. Christmas Santa searchlight car.
6. Batman Gotham City searchlight car.
7. American Flyer 75th Anniversary box car.

He announced that Classic Toy Trains magazine will go from monthly to every other month.

November 09, 2021

Micro Engineering For Sale

In the December 2021 issue of Model Railroad magazine there is an ad indicating that Micro Engineering is up for sale.

November 07, 2021

Sidetracks Web Site Open For Business

Steve Wolcott, owner of Pre-Size Model Specialties, doesn't live to far from where Sidetracks' owner, Tom Henderson, lives. He is now helping Tom, who has some health issues, with the actual shipping of orders placed on the Sidetracks web site. Steve has the inventory at his place and will ship your order as soon as it is received. Tom has been working at selling his large inventory of S-scale products for a while now, even at reduced prices. If there is something you have been looking for, be sure to check out his web site.

October 21, 2021

2021 Catalog #75 by Dallee Electronics

The company announces their latest catalog. You can order a printed copy for $10 with an order, or $15 without. Or, you can follow the link here and view the PDF version for free. Be sure to look through their catalog as they offer a lot of unique products that may solve your layout problems, such as throttles, speakers, timers, a turntable indexer, lighting strips, detection systems, connectors, components, LEDs, etc.

October 21, 2021

Fox Valley Models Web Site

Fox Valley Models entered the S-scale market a few years ago with track components. They have recently revamped their web site, and the S-scale product line is now fully featured on their home page along with their HO- and N-scale products.

October 21, 2021

New Web Site by Port Lines Hobby Supply

Port Lines Hobby Supply's Doug Peck announced that they have completely revised the web site. It looks cleaner, more up-to-date, and things are easier to find. All of their contact information is available right on the home page, and includes a handy search feature. If you haven't been to the site recently, take a look and browse around. Doug mentioned that there are over 8,000 products listed.

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