Manufacturers' History

On this page we try to capture the history of many of the manufacturers that supplied S-scale modelers with products over the decades. This is an ongoing effort, and your information and corrections are very much welcome.

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A.C. Gilbert


4-6-2 NH/American Flyer Lines
(photo © Ted Hamler)

Founded By:

Alfred Carlton Gilbert

Product Line:

everything

History:

1938: buys American Flyer Mfg. Co.

 

1946: starts producing only S-scale products

 

1965: declares bankruptcy

 

1967: portions bought by Lionel & K-Line

Status:

closed

Notes:

Before WWII, A.C. Gilbert produced S-scale products riding on O-scale wheels under the name of "Tru-Model", so that it was compatible with Lionel's track system. After WWII, the company got rid of HO- and O-scale products, and narrowed the gauge of S-scale equipment to 1/64th of the real thing, to compete with, and offer an alternative to, Lionel's products.

A.D. Imfeld, Co.


PRR GG1
(photo © Gregg Mummert)

Founded By:

Dan Imfeld

Location:

Port Jefferson, New York

Product Line:

PRR GG1

Status:

closed

Notes:

All models were hand-built by Dan.

ACE Model Railroad Company


Archbar truck with 33" wheels
(photo © Roger Nulton)

Founded By:

Walter C. Graeff

Product Line:

trucks, wheels, bolsters, hoppers

History:

April 5, 1978: Walter died

 

1983: bought by Downs Model Railroad Co.

 

1991: bought by ????

Status:

closed

Notes:

Imagine, if you will, that you are an S-scale modeler in the late 1960s. A.C. Gilbert is now gone. Along with it any hope of there being any new S-scale products. There was literally no one producing wheels or trucks in S-scale. Walter Graeff started producing them in both scale and hi-rail versions. These were high-quality castings that didn't require a lot of cleaning. He produced three kinds of truck sideframes and later produced sprung and un-sprung versions. The company also 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. Walter owned a brick-n-mortar hobby shop. 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.

Alco Models


RSD-4/5
(photo © Bob Werre)

Product Line:

imported brass models

History:

1967: started

 

1970s: imported from Kumata Models (KMT), Japan

 

1980s: imported from Samhongsa, Korea

 

1983: closed

Status:

closed

Allegheny Models


Multi-purpose Building #1
(photo © Gerry Evans)

Founded By:

Bert Cutler

Location:

Cincinnati, Ohio

Status:

closed

Notes:

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

Altoona Model Works


Car Maintenance Shop
(photo © Altoona Model Works)

Founded By:

Bob Spaulding

Product Line:

structure kits

History:

started producing S-scale kits

 

stopped producing S-scale kits

Status:

active?

Notes:

Supposedly the owner's father modeled in S-scale, so the company started producing S-scale models and they could be 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.

Ambroid Co.


(photo © Trevor Marshall)

Location:

Boston, Massachusetts

Product Line:

glue; kits

History:

1910: started

 

1940s: started making kits to promote their glues

Status:

closed

American Hi-Rail


RF-16
(photo © Jim Syphax)

Founded By:

Tom Hodgson

Location:

Spring Grove, Illinois

Product Line:

urethane engines, cars

History:

1980s: started

Status:

closed

Notes:

Instrument Design, Inc. dates from the early 1980s, and is still his design and engineering services firm. American Hi-Rail was founded under this company later. Some of the early S-scale passenger car models have the IDI name imprinted.

American Models


PRR FA2 A-B-A Set
(photo © Peter Vanvliet)

Founded By:

Ron Bashista

Location:

Whitmore Lake, Michigan

Product Line:

everything

History:

1980s: started

Status:

active

Notes:

This is one of the main S-scale model railroad manufacturers. From 1989 through 1995 they were in a collaborative effort with S-Helper Service to bring a good number of products to market, most of which they still produce to this day. In 2017 they built a new manufacturing facility.

Amity Star Models


WP Stock Car
(photo © Bob Hogan)

Founded By:

Russ Mobley

Location:

Thomson, Georgia

Product Line:

freight car and structure kits

History:

1971: started

 

1996: bought by B.T.S.

 

August 31, 2001: Russ died

Status:

closed

Notes:

The NASG's Mobley Library was named after Russ Mobley.

Arden Scale Models


SOO Line 40' Wood Reefer
(photo © Edwin Kirstatter)

Location:

Ridgewood, New Jersey

Product Line:

craftsman-style box car, reefer, gondola wooden kits

Status:

closed

Arttista Accessories


Man Pushing Broom
(photo © Tom Henderson)

Founded By:

Dennis DiBattista

Location:

Newark, Delaware

Product Line:

figures

History:

1990: started making S-scale figures

Status:

active

Aztec Manufacturing


(photo © Edwin Kirstatter)

Founded By:

John Claudino

Location:

Carson City, Nevada

Product Line:

track-cleaning cars

History:

1976: started

 

1987: started producing N-scale cars

 

1991: started producing track-cleaning cars

Status:

active

B.T.S.


Coon Gap Sawmill
(photo © Bob Hogan)

Founded By:

Bill and Diane Wade

Location:

Belington, West Virginia

Product Line:

car and structure kits, detailing parts

History:

1979: started Bill's Train Shop (brick-n-mortar store)

 

1984: changed to mail-order

 

1991: produced first kit (an S-scale one)

 

1996: bought Amity Star Models

 

1996: took over SouthWind Models' brass details

 

1997: bought Sn3/On3 Rio Grande Models products

 

1998: bought Master Creations

Status:

active

Notes:

Master Creations was a laser-cut kit manufacturer that started in 1984, and were a sub-contractor for B.T.S.' kits. In 2005 B.T.S. moved to West Virginia. Bill also created and ran the "S/Sn3 Buyers Guide" magazine, published six times per year from 1993 through 1999 (its name was changed to "S/Sn3 Modeling Guide" in 1995).

Backwoods Miniatures


0-4-2ST
(photo © Backwoods Miniatures)

Founded By:

Pete McParlin

History:

2016: closed

Status:

closed

banta modelworks


Indian Trails Garage
(photo © Gerry Evans)

Founded By:

Bill Banta

Location:

Dummerston, Vermont

Product Line:

structure kits

History:

1998: bought Building & Structure Co.

 

2010: stopped producing S-scale kits

 

2014: sold S-scale products to Commercial Scale Models

Notes:

Yes, the name is in all-lowercase.

Berlyn Locomotive Works


DSP&P 2-6-6T
(photo © Bill Winans)

Location:

Denver, Colorado

Best Of Show


(photo © Gerry Evans)

Founded By:

Gerry Evans

Product Line:

custom models

Notes:

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

BK Enterprises

Location:

Buena Vista, Colorado

Product Line:

car and structure kits, track parts

History:

1990: S-scale "Tru-Scale" turnouts

 

1995: bought Tomalco Sn3 kits from Building & Structure Co.

 

1999: bought Classic Miniatures

 

1999: bought Taurus Products

Notes:

The kits are now part of their Trout Creek Engineering line of cars and structures.

Black Bear Scale Models


(photo © Black Bear Scale Models)

Founded By:

Rich & Donna Dickeson

Location:

Glenwood, Iowa

Product Line:

trestle-building jigs and kits

History:

2018: Rich died

 

2018: closed

Status:

closed July 2018

Bob Peare Engineering Corp.


Boom Tender Car
(photo © Bob Werre)

Founded By:

Bob Peare

Location:

Clifton, New Jersey

Product Line:

Track (code 125, 172)

History:

1950s: started

Branch Line Models


ACL Gondola
(photo © Edwin Kirstatter)

Founded By:

Leonard Atkins

Building & Structure Co.


Pro Patria Mill
(photo © Building & Structure Co)

Founded By:

John Kalin & Pete Smith

Location:

Fenton, Missouri

Product Line:

structure kits

History:

mid-1980s: started

 

1998: bought by banta modelworks

 

2014: bought by Commercial Scale Models

Notes:

The company started producing S-scale kits in 1989. In addition to hydrocal, styrene, and white-metal parts, they were one of the first companies, in S, 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. They sold the company to banta modelworks, and banta later sold the product line to Commercial Scale Models, based in Rhode Island and owned by Ben Viti. They are in the process of bringing the entire product line back under the old name "Building & Structure Co".

C-D-S Lettering Ltd.

Founded By:

Tom Hood

Product Line:

dry-transfer decals

History:

2011: bought by Ozark Miniatures

Canadian Railway Models

Notes:

(no information available yet)

Cascade Hobby Products


PRR PA-1
(photo © Jim Syphax)

Founded By:

Jon Beveridge

Location:

Renton, Washington

Notes:

Jon Beveridge bought out the Port Able Lines company owned by Delwyn "Jack" Amerine (Allentown, PA), and then later on bought out Locomotive Workshop to form Cascade Hobby Products. The company produced complete locomotive kits from various parts sourced from other companies, or companies they had bought out. They also made conversion kits.

CatzPaw Innovations, LLC


NP Snowplow
(photo © CatzPaw Innovations)

Founded By:

Sherri Johnson & Yolanda Hayes

Location:

Locust Grove, Georgia

Product Line:

3D-printed products

Notes:

This company specializes in unique 3D-printed items. The two ladies who own the company started by making only S-scale products, as that is their primary interest. However, as other modelers discovered their product line, they started requesting that they'd make them available in their scales, too.

Central Hobby Supply

Location:

Syracuse, New York

Product Line:

hobby store that produced Sn3 and S freight cars

History:

1987: started

 

2018: closed

Notes:

Owned "West Shore Line" brand.

Century Models


(photo © Bob Frascella)

Notes:

(no information available yet)

Chad Boas


(photo © Edwin Kirstatter)

Notes:

(no information available yet)

Chama Model Shop

Founded By:

Jim Finnell

Location:

Chama, New Mexico

Product Line:

vehicle kits

History:

1986: bought by P-B-L

Chesapeake Models


PRR H39 Hopper
(photo © Edwin Kirstatter)

Founded By:

John Craft

Location:

Bel Air, Maryland

History:

1995: bought by Des Plaines Hobbies

 

June 2000: John died

Notes:

Part of John's Railroad Art company. The company only created a 3-bay hopper.

Chester Industrial Arts


Observation Car
(photo © Alvin Clapp)

Notes:

Chester offered eight Pullman car styles in both 60- and 85-foot versions. They were baggage, baggage-mail, railway post office, combine (coach-baggage), coach, roomette (sleeper), diner, and observation cars. They produced them in the late 1950s in O-, S-, and HO-scales. All featured corrugated aluminum sides, wood floor, wood roof, two wood 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 truck or couplers were included.

Chicago Express Products

Notes:

(no information available yet)

Cibolo Crossing

Founded By:

Al Boos

Location:

Universal City, Texas

Status:

closed

Notes:

They produced craftsman-style structure kits.

Classic Trains

Location:

Rowland Heights, California

Product Line:

"American S Gauge" brand track

History:

bought by Mescher brothers

Status:

active

Cleveland Designs


4-6-0
(photo © Edwin Kirstatter)

History:

1937: started

Notes:

Also known as C-D Models, this company was started in 1937 and are largely considered to be the one who created what would eventually be called "S scale". At first they produced static models, but later on they started making operating models. Model Railroader magazine issues of those years will have 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.

Clever Models LLC


Jefferson Ice Co.
(photo © Gerry Evans)

Product Line:

printed paper structure kits

Notes:

Formerly "Clever Bros Models", which produces printed paper sides for structures.

Clover House

History:

2011 bought by Tom Dempsey

Status:

active

CMX


(photo © CMX)

Notes:

(no information available yet)

Colorado S Scale Connection

Location:

Denver, Colorado

Status:

active?

Notes:

A division of Sundance Publications, this is a brick-n-mortar S-scale-only hobby shop.

Commercial Scale Models


(photo © Building & Structure Co)

Product Line:

structure kits

History:

2014: bought S-scale product line from banta modelworks

Notes:

The company is selling the S-scale kits under the original Building & Structure Co. brand name.

Concept Models


Schnabel Car
(photo © Concept Models)

Location:

Stockton, California

Notes:

They produce unique freight cars. In March 2017 they released their first S-scale product, the Combustion Engineering CEBX 101 Schnabel car kit, along with two separately available loads.

Continental Flyer, Inc.

Founded By:

Wayne Gross, Donald Shea, and Harry Gordon

History:

1976: started

Status:

closed

Notes:

A notice was posted in the June 1977 issue of Railroad Model Craftsman stating that this new company, founded by three ex-Gilbert employees, was starting production of American Flyer items. The company was formed on May 18, 1976. A brief history of the company can be found in The Collector, Volume 20, #4 Winter 1997. General Mills' Fundimensions 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).

Critter Works

Notes:

(no information available yet)

Crown Model Products


PFE Reefer
(photo © Holt Apgar)

Location:

Waltham, Massachusetts

Product Line:

reefers

History:

early 1990s: started making S-scale products

 

closed around 2000

Status:

closed in 2001

Notes:

Port Lines Hobby Supplies hobby shop was their exclusive dealer for S-scale reefers (Port Lines decided on the paint schemes, Crown manufactured and packaged them, and Port Lines sold them both wholesale and retail).

Cryer Gray Foundry


N&W Gondola
(photo © Tom Henderson)

Founded By:

John Botten

Notes:

The company manufactured a number of brass products in S-scale, including freight cars and bridges.

DALLEE Electronics, Inc.

Founded By:

Dallas Gutacker

Location:

Leola, PA

Product Line:

specialty electronics, circuits

History:

1976: started

Dayton Model Products


NYC-prototype Gas-electric
(photo © Dick Karnes)

History:

1947: started

Status:

closed in 1954

Notes:

Manufactured engine, interurban and trolley, and passenger car kits.

Delaware Valley Kits


(photo © Steve Monson)

Notes:

(no information available yet)

Des Plaines Hobbies


Gunderson Well Car
(photo © Bob Werre)

Founded By:

Ron & Sue Sebastian

Location:

Des Plaines, Illinois

History:

1983: started store

 

1995: bought Chesapeake Models (PRR H39 Hopper)

 

1997: bought Plano Model Products (etched roofwalks)

 

bought S Scale America

 

2005: bought S-scale line of decals from Microscale Industries

 

2006: bought Pacific Rail Shops ("Gold Coast" was not part of the sale)

Notes:

This is a brick-n-mortar hobby store. Although they carry all the model railroad scales, the owners are personally interested in S-scale.

Devore

Location:

South Pasadena, California

Notes:

Manufactured working scale knuckle couplers.

Division Point


(photo © Dan Navarre)

Notes:

(no information available yet)

DMK


GN 2-bay Covered Hopper
(photo © Bob Werre)

Founded By:

Billy Click, Paul Riley, and Gale Hall

Notes:

The letters D, M, and K stand for the first names of the children of the company's three owners. They produced various freight car kits. Later on, the three partners formed Modern Models.

Don Winter


Thrall Gondola
(photo © Jim Kindraka)

Founded By:

Don Winter

Status:

closed

Notes:

Don Winter produced one S-scale kit in 1981, the 54' Thrall gondola. 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 before passing away in 2007).

Downs Model Railroad Co.


GATX 8,000-gallon Tank Car
(photo © Terence O'Kelly)

Founded By:

Russ Downs

Location:

Gloucester City, New Jersey

Product Line:

freight cars, repainted A.F. cars

History:

1983: bought ACE Model Railroad Company

 

2000: bought by Manheim Machine & Tool

 

December 30, 2009: Russ died

Status:

closed

Notes:

Starting in 1980 Russ sold re-painted/re-lettered American Flyer cars ("Silver", "Blue", "Red", and "Gold" line). Sold cars under the name of "RUSTI Model Railroad Equipment" (A.F., REX, Pacific Rail Shops, and home-made body shells). Additionally, Downs owned the S Scale Locomotive & Supply company product line until 1999. Russ announced his retirement in 1999, continuing production until the product supplies ran out.

Downtown Deco


Tobacco Shop & Tattoo Parlor
(photo © Gerry Evans)

Location:

Missoula, Montana

Notes:

Although the owner is/was an S-scale modeler, in 2000 the company indicated that they would stop manufacturing new kits for both O- and S-scale.

East West Rail Service


(photo © Bob Hogan)

Notes:

(no information available yet)

Eastern Road Models


(photo © Eastern Road Models)

Notes:

(no information available yet)

Enhorning


AT&SF F9
(photo © Jim Syphax)

Founded By:

Arthur & John Enhorning

Location:

Ludington, Michigan

Notes:

Apparently EMD approached them to produce an EMD F7 model as a desktop display model, which they did and somehow they chose S-scale (1:64). They had a large selection of decals available in the early 1970s.

Ertl


1937 Cord Convertible
(photo © Peter Vanvliet)

Founded By:

Fred Ertl

Location:

Dyersville, Iowa

History:

1945: started

 

1967 bought by Victor Comptometer Corporation

 

1977: bought by Walter Kidde & Company, Inc

 

1999: bought by Racing Champions

Status:

active

Notes:

Ertl manufactures toy models of vehicles and airplanes, with a special emphasis on farming-related equipment. The company was started in Dubuque, Iowa, but moved to Dyersville, Iowa in 1959. Fred Ertl retired in 1992.

Essence

Founded By:

Ken D. Mackenzie

History:

1998: Ken died

Notes:

A newsletter published and edited by Ken D. Mackenzie under the NMRA's S scale Special Interest Group (SIG). He was a pioneering Sn3 modeler.

Exacta Scale Models


NYC Coach
(photo © Dick Karnes)

Notes:

The company was started as Baker-Scott Railway Models. Produced passenger car kits in O-, OO-, S-, and HO-scale, which appeared in the late 1940s, made out of molded copper. Later, they produced streamlined passenger sides in O-, S-, and HO-scale.

Finest Kind Models


Small Residence No. 2
(photo © Peter Vanvliet)

Founded By:

Jon Stetz

Product Line:

craftsman-style structure kits, details

History:

1985: started

 

1985: bought SS Ltd. (oversized HO parts)

 

1988: bought Triangle Scale Models

 

2005: bought by Turner Model Works

Status:

active

Foothill Model Works

Founded By:

Jerry Kitts

Product Line:

Structure kits, P-B-L decals

Fox Valley Models

Location:

Des Plaines, Illinois

Status:

active

Notes:

They have a substantial product line in N- and HO-scale. In 2016 they announced that they were going to import S-scale flextrack and turnouts. In March 2017 the first shipment arrived. The owner of Fox Valley Models, an S-scale modeler himself, is the son-in-law of Ron Sebastian (owner of Des Plaines Hobbies).

Foxhill Associates

Founded By:

Tom Kelley

Location:

San Mateo, California

History:

1985: started

Notes:

Produced Sn3 equipment kits.

Funaro and Camerlengo


(photo © Jim Kindraka)

Notes:

(no information available yet)

Funrise Toy Corporation


(photo © Carl McAbee)

Founded By:

Arnie Rubin

History:

1997: started

Status:

closed in 2012

Notes:

Under the brand name "Code 3 Collectibles", the company produced fire-related S-scale emergency vehicle models.

G&W Models


NYC Caboose
(photo © Dick Karnes)

Founded By:

Geoff Graeber & Walt Danylak

Location:

Syracuse, New York

History:

2005: Walt died

Status:

closed in 2005

Notes:

In the May 1980 Model Railroader magazine there was an announcement that they had white metal and brass detailing parts available for a variety of diesel engines, as well as a GE U25B body kit (no drive mechanism). The company also produced decals, which were sold to Rail Graphics (which, itself, closed at the end of 2017).

Gardiner Model Railroad Designs


(photo © Gardiner Model Railroad Designs)

Notes:

(no information available yet)

Gilmaur


Conrail U23B
(photo © Colin Stewart)

Founded By:

Mike Calvert

Location:

U.K.

Notes:

They are an O-scale brass kit manufacturer, however, they are now working on converting their kits to S-scale.

Gloor Craft Models


FGEX Reefer
(photo © Edwin Kirstatter)

Founded By:

Stephen & Jeanne Gloor

Location:

Oak Harbor, Ohio

History:

1983: started

 

Bought by Wiseman Model Services

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. They bought the Quality Craft Models line of modern car kits (Quality Craft became Weaver Models, of O-scale fame).

Gold Coast Railway Co.


Extended-vision Caboose
(photo © Brian Jackson)

Founded By:

John & Felix Verser

History:

1995: started

Status:

inactive

Notes:

Owned by the former owners of Pacific Rail Shops. They imported UP and SP brass cabooses in 1995. Under the Gold Coast label they started offering pre-built models of the PRS kits in 2006. When Pacific Rail Shops was sold to Des Plaines Hobbies, Gold Coast Models was not part of the sale. In October 2013, Felix made the announcement that their TT-scale product line had been sold to the German company Lok-N-Roll.

Great Decals

Founded By:

Bill Mosteller

Product Line:

decals

Greenbrier Railroad Models


B&O GP30
(photo © B.T.S. stock photo)

Founded By:

Bill Wade & Geoffrey Graeber

Status:

closed

Notes:

Although the company no longer exists, B.T.S. still lists some of their remaining stock on their web site.

H.D. Scale Models

Location:

Sterling Jct, Massachusetts

Hartoy


1938 Mack Truck BM
(photo © Carl McAbee)

Founded By:

Phil Shaeffer

History:

1991: started

 

2003 bought by Tonkin Replicas

Notes:

Produced 1:64 die-cast vehicles. The company produced the well-known and high-quality American Highway Legend (AHL) and the PEM series of trucks and trailers.

Hobby Loads

Founded By:

Wilson Harrell

Location:

Newsport News, Virginia

Product Line:

hand-crafted coal loads

History:

2017: Wilson died

 

2018: loads bought by DC Rail and Hobby Depot

Status:

closed, bought out

Hobby Surplus


(photo © Ted Hamler)

Notes:

(no information available yet)

Hoquat Hobbies


AT&SF Box Car
(photo © Hoquat Hobbies)

Founded By:

Jeff Wilson

Status:

active

Notes:

A long-time mainstay of S-scale, the brick-n-mortar retail store closed in 2016. However, in 2017 they have resurrected their web site and are selling some of the remaining inventory as well as some new MTH releases, so it is an online mail-order company now.

Instrument Design, Inc.


(photo © Holt Apgar)

Notes:

(no information available yet)

Iron Rail Models


GATX Tank Car
(photo © Ken Garber)

Founded By:

Greg Berndtson

Location:

Voorhees, New Jersey

History:

bought Downs from Manheim Machine & Tool

 

2012: moved to Florida

Status:

inactive

J-C Models


PRR RPO
(photo © Jim Syphax)

Founded By:

Tom Shortall

Location:

South Bound Brook, New Jersey

Product Line:

hand-made passenger cars

History:

1939: started

Notes:

The company purchased the Chester Industrial Arts products, and re-introduced the cars with two significant changes: detailed cast ends, and the option of either corrugated or smooth sides.

JAKS Industries, Inc.

Founded By:

Jon & Kathy Stetz

Location:

Golden, Colorado

History:

1983: started

 

Bought by Wiseman Model Services

Notes:

The name comes from the owners' names (John And Kathy Stetz). The company owned the following product lines by the early 1990s: Scale Structures Ltd., Period Miniatures, FinestKind Mdl's, Triangle Scale Models, Mini-Structures, Mecca Mineral Works, Milepost, and Arkansas Valley Scale Models. In August 1997 the company announced that they would stop producing S- and O-scale products.

John Hall


Scale House
(photo © John Hall)

Founded By:

John Hall

Location:

Wilmington, Delaware

History:

late-1980s: started

Status:

active

Notes:

Decals.

John Huster


L&N Steel Rebuilt Box Car
(photo © Holt Apgar)

Founded By:

John Huster

Location:

Erie, Pennsylvania

Notes:

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

K-Line Electric Trains

Founded By:

Maury D. Klein

Location:

Chapel Hill, North Carolina

History:

1975: started

 

2006: bought by Lionel, LLC

Notes:

This was a brand name owned by MDK, Inc. They made track for American Flyer, which the owner acquired when A.C. Gilbert went bankrupt. K-Line also bought the Marx product line in 1980. K-Line's focus was on the lower-priced products, to compete with Lionel. Most of the S-scale products were made from Marx O27 products, replacing the O-scale trucks with S-scale ones. After Lionel successfully sued K-Line, which led to the company's bankruptcy, Lionel bought it in 2006 (Lionel 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 that?). Because of Lionel's ownership of K-Line, they now actually have the legal right to produce American Flyer track (they didn't before; K-Line did).

Kansas City Kits

Founded By:

F.A. Simons

Location:

Kansas City, Missouri

History:

1940s: started

 

1953: advertised brass S-scale tank car

Status:

closed in 1960

Notes:

Their kits were very spartan; essentially a box of wood. Prices were around $1.20 for a single-dome car.

Kaslo Shop Distributing

Founded By:

John Whitmore

Notes:

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

Kemtron


(photo © Edwin Kirstatter)

Notes:

(no information available yet)

Ken Kidder


(photo © Dick Karnes)

Notes:

(no information available yet)

Kingfield Car Shops

Notes:

(no information available yet)

Kinsman Scale Models

Founded By:

Bob Bloise

Location:

Melrose, Massachusetts

History:

June 1998: Bob died

Notes:

The company manufactured wooden kits of reefers, hoppers, cabooses, and passenger cars. Bob was employed by Northeastern Scale Models, and, while there, he got permission to use the machines in after-hours to produce S-scale cars, which he sold under the name Kinsman Scale Models, named after his son's middle name. Later, Kinsman 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. This all happened around the 1959 to 1964 time-frame. Their 1964 catalog showed an address in Salem, New Hampshire.

KND Enterprises, Inc.


(photo © KND Enterprises)

Notes:

(no information available yet)

Korber Models


(photo © Bill Lane)

Founded By:

Steve Nelson

Location:

Atlanta, Indiana

Product Line:

structure kits

Status:

active (but not in S)

Kris Model Trains Company

Founded By:

Andy Kriswalus

Status:

closed in early 1980s

Notes:

They made freight cars based on A.C. Gilbert products.

Lake Junction Models, LLC


(photo © Edwin Kirstatter)

Notes:

(no information available yet)

Lehigh Valley Models

Founded By:

Frank Titman

History:

early-1960s: started

 

1971: renamed from "Delaware Valley Kits"

 

2003: bought by K&P Brick Co.

Liberty Models

Founded By:

Peter Bellos & Howard Scott

Location:

Independence, Missouri

Notes:

Produced car parts in the 1970s.

Lima Models


(photo © Edwin Kirstatter)

Notes:

(no information available yet)

Lionel


(photo © Rich Gajnak)

Notes:

(no information available yet)

Locomotive Workshop

Founded By:

Jan Lorenzen

Location:

Englishtown, New Jersey

History:

2004: Jan died

 

1984: bought by Hoquat Hobbies

Notes:

Catered mostly to O-scale from the 1960s to the 1980s, with a line of cast-aluminum as well as photo-engraved brass locomotive kits. In the 1980s, the company ventured into S-scale with several brass offerings, but in 1983 they announced that the 4-6-0 project was their last S-scale one. However, as reported in the Fall 1984 issue of the NASG's Dispatch, Wally Metal Products of Parksburg, PA bought the tooling for the S-scale product line, so there appears to be a conflict about who actually bought the product line in 1984.

M.L.W. Services

Founded By:

Andy Malette

Product Line:

freight car kits

Mainline Models

Location:

Pleasant Garden, North Carolina

History:

Bought by Ye Olde Huff-N-Puff

Notes:

Manufactured wooden, silk screen lettering wood kits for box cars, reefers, and poultry cars.

Mainstreeter Trains

Founded By:

Gil Hulin

Location:

Eugene, Oregon

Product Line:

AF-based freight cars, loads

History:

1996: started

Manheim Machine & Tool Co.

Founded By:

Marlin & Judith Becker

Location:

Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Product Line:

freight cars, trucks,

History:

2000: bought Downs Model Railroad Co.

 

2009: Marlin died (company for sale by lawyer)

 

2010: bought by Iron Rail Models

Marker Light Productions

Founded By:

Wayne Hills

History:

1997: started

Notes:

Produces brass passenger car sides replacements for American Models passenger cars.

Master Creations

Founded By:

David & Trish Spence

History:

mid-1980s: started

 

bought by B.T.S.

Matchbox

History:

1953: started

Notes:

Matchbox is actually a trademark name, created by Lesney Products in 1953 in the UK. The models are designed so as to fit in their boxes, so some scale out close to 1:64, but preferences and judgment will have to be used to see how close they really are to S-scale (the models are scaled as "1:box"). Very early models were about 2" long (to fit within a matchbox), but by the late 1960s, the models were around 3" long. The company went bankrupt in 1982. Jack Odell bought some of the company's product line to form the Lledo brand name. David Yeh formed Matchbox International Ltd., which bought most of the Matchbox product line, and became a publicly-traded company in 1986. They also bought the famous Dinky toys (previously owned by Meccano, but it, too, had gone bankrupt in the early 1980s). In 1985 Matchbox products were entirely made in mainland China. The product line was sold to Tyco Toys in 1992, which was bought by Mattel in 1997, combining Hot Wheels and Matchbox within one company. The plan was to make Hot Wheels be "fantasy" cars, and Matchbox be models of "real" cars. By the way, the Dinky brand is completely dead now.

Mettoy Playcraft Ltd

Location:

U.K.

History:

1956: started

 

1989: bought by Mattel

 

1995: bought by Corgi Classics Limited

 

2008: bought by Hornby

Status:

bankrupt in 1983

Notes:

Corgi Toys is a trademark name.

Midgage Models

Founded By:

Bill Stewart

Location:

Portsmouth, Rhode Island

History:

1950: Gene Fletcher bought company

 

1950: renamed to Sylvania

 

2003: Gene died

Status:

closed

Notes:

Most interestingly, it was set up in one end of one of the two New Haven box cars that Bill owned and placed on his property. The company produced box car, express reefer, and smooth-side aluminum-extrusion passenger car kits. He also produced a kit for a scale PRR K-5 Pacific that used American Flyer Pacific boiler and tender superstructures. The company sold cast white metal kits for superstructures for the Alco S-4 and EMD SW-1, which were intended to be powered by Miller power trucks. In 1950 "Midgage Models" became "Sylvania" when Gene Fletcher, who had joined Bill as the company's accountant, took over the company as Bill was closing it. Gene kept only the passenger car line. He lived in Rehobeth, MA. Gene help found the Bristol S Gauge Railroaders club in 1948 (for more history about this club see the October 1997 NASG Dispatch issue).

Milestone Autos

Notes:

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

Founded By:

Robert L Miller

Location:

Valparaiso, Indiana

History:

1988: Robert died

 

bought by Sunset Mfg. Co.

Notes:

They 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 unique design of those trucks was that everything was contained between the sideframes (similar to today's 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 Dispatch magazine.

Miller Engineering & Design

Founded By:

Doug Miller

Location:

Vestal, New York

Notes:

They advertised an Sn3 EBT coach in 2011.

Mini-Structures

Founded By:

Hansel Maine

History:

1985: bought by Dwight Wortman

 

1988: bought back by Hansel Maine

 

1990: bought by BK Enterprises

Status:

dormant

Miniature Locomotive and Car Shop

Notes:

(no information available yet)

Miniature Machine

Founded By:

Barney Daehler

Location:

San Lorenzo, California

History:

2010: Barney died

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. 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.

Model Memories

Founded By:

Don Silberbauer

Location:

Powhatan, Virginia

Notes:

Model Memories does have a web site, but they don't specifically list S-scale products. That is because they will produce S-scale items, originally introduced in 1998, but now only by special commission.

Model RR Warehouse

Notes:

The company owners were also the owners of the Wabash Valley Lines company, and still carry the S-scale shells that they produced back then, which were used by Omnicon to create their F-units.

Model Tech Studios


Generators
(photo © Peter Vanvliet)

Location:

North Hampton, New Hampshire

Product Line:

detailing parts, structures, pre-painted models

Models by Miller


(photo © Dick Karnes)

Notes:

(no information available yet)

Models by Roger Schenck

Founded By:

Roger Schenck

Location:

Long Beach, California

Modern Models

Founded By:

Paul Riley

Monster Model Works

Founded By:

Jimmy Simmons

Location:

Colorado Springs, Colorado

History:

2012: started

Status:

closed 2018

Notes:

Produced structure and detailing kits, as well as scratchbuilding materials.

Mount Blue Model Co.


(photo © Mount Blue Model)

Notes:

(no information available yet)

Mountaineer Precision Products

Founded By:

Andy Lester

Location:

Florence, Kentucky

History:

2002: started

Mt. Albert Scale Lumber

Founded By:

Gerry Cornwell

Location:

Stoney Creek, Ontario, Canada

Product Line:

scale lumber

History:

1991: started by Al Collins

 

2017: bought by Fast Tracks Hobbyworks

Mullet River Model Works

Founded By:

Glenn Guerra

History:

closed 2015 (sold S-scale products to Des Plaines Hobbies)

N.J. Custom Brass

Notes:

(no information available yet)

NE Prototypes

Founded By:

Bill Morris

Location:

Rutland, Massachusetts

Product Line:

decals, Kinsman reproduction parts

Nevada-California Car Shops

Notes:

(no information available yet)

New Zealand Finescale


(photo © New Zealand Finescale)

Founded By:

Lawrence Boul

Location:

New Zealand

Product Line:

mostly-S-scale detailing parts

Nixon Model Co

Founded By:

Ben Nixon

Location:

Southampton, Pennsylvania

History:

bought by Broadbent family

 

1963: bought by Northern Industries

Notes:

Often found abbreviated as "Nimco" (Nixon Model Company). The company was the leading manufacturer 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. The company manufactured conversion parts, wheels, and drivers for converting American Flyer locomotives to scale. They also produced box car kits, and a line of passenger trucks were made out of soft metal (which are still 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. Ben Nixon's estate sold the business to the Broadbent family, which continued the retail hobby store but stopped producing S-scale products. Northern Industries, St Albans, Vermont bought the S-scale product line in 1963. 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.

Northeastern Scale Models

Founded By:

Jim Doyle

Location:

Andover, Massachusetts

History:

1946: started

Notes:

It was started during or before WWII (we have a report from one gentleman visiting the shop in 1946; models in the show room were of S-scale ones, built by Jim's brother John). The company later moved to Ballardvale, MA into a triangular brick building. The Ambroid glue company got involved, and kits were sold under the Ambroid name.

Northwest Model Railroad Co.

Founded By:

Jesse Bennett

Location:

Sandpoint, Idaho

NorthWest Short Line

Founded By:

Raoul Martin

Location:

Seattle, Washington

History:

1959: started

 

2008: bought by Dave Rygmyr

Notes:

They produce gears, wheels, and other items for S and Sn3. They were the first company to import a brass car for S-scale in 1972 (a three-dome Jones & Laughlin tank car). In 2008 Dave Rygmyr bought the company from Raoul who was retiring. Dave moved the company to Hamilton, Montana. Dave also owns Oso Publishing and Evergreen Hill Designs.

Old Pullman Model Railroads, Inc.

Location:

Pompano Beach, Florida

Notes:

Manufactured track and turnouts.

Old Shanty

Notes:

(no information available yet)

Omnicon Scale Models

Founded By:

Charlie Sandersfeld & Dave Netherton

Location:

Elk Grove Village, Illinois

Notes:

A brass import company. When Charlie died, Dave and Charlie's wife continued with the company. 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.

Oriental Limited

Founded By:

Evansville, Indiana

Notes:

A brass import company.

Overland Models, Inc.

Founded By:

Tom Marsh

Product Line:

imported brass cars

Ozark Miniatures

Notes:

This company produces mainly garden-scale models and parts, but in 2011 they purchased the C-D-S Lettering product line of dry transfers, including the ones for S-scale.

P-B-L

Founded By:

Bill Peter

Location:

Ukiah, California

History:

1971: started

Notes:

Originally known as "Peter-Built Locomotive Works", named after the owner Bill Peter. The company was based in Chama, New Mexico, but in 1990 moved to Ukiah, California. It was started in 1971 originally to upgrade HO and HOn3 locomotives to their "foreground" standard. Their first Sn3 locomotive was the K-37 in 1980, followed by the K-27 (#453 and 461). They bought the Cascade Line of Sn3 kits and trucks in early 1981. They also purchased the C&S plastic car kits from Overland Models, Inc. (who, it is believed, in turn got them from Berlyn Locomotive Works). In 1986 P-B-L bought Chama Model Shop from Jim Finnell (which produced the white metal castings that came with P-B-L's kits); the product line was integrated into P-B-L's Triangle Scale Models product line; the automotive vehicle kits were integrated into the new Milestone Autos product line. George Hall wrote an article published in the July 1995 issue of Model Railroader magazine describing the history of P-B-L and their current status (as of 1995, that is). When Tomalco was sold off, P-B-L acquired the Sn3 track products (and Tomalco Track took over the standard-gauge track products).

Pacific Fast Mail

Founded By:

Bill Ryan

History:

early-1950s: started

Notes:

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

Founded By:

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

History:

1985: started

Notes:

The partners later also founded Intermountain, which was the actual sub-contractor for producing the kits (as well as HO- and O-scale models). Jerry eventually left the company, which was then run by John, his son, and their accountant (see the NMRA's S Scale SIG for a complete article on the history of this company). The company produced easy-to-build freight car kits where the bodies were pre-painted and lettered. Intermountain's efforts shifted more to their HO- and O-scale products, and in 2006 John sold his interests to Des Plaines Hobbies (the PRS cars were then starting to be made in China and sold under the S Scale America brand name). Note that Des Plaines Hobbies currently owns the Pacific Rail Shops name and tooling.

Palace Car Co.

Founded By:

Mark Malmkar

Notes:

This company produces S-scale passenger car seats and kits.

Pecos River Brass

Founded By:

John Smith

Product Line:

Sn3 brass freight cars

Pennsylvania Heritage Models

Founded By:

Tom Doherty

History:

December 6th, 2012: Tom died

Status:

closed

Notes:

The company produced some unique products for S-scale, especially related to traction modeling. 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).Pennsylvania Heritage Models, this abruptly ended the company.

Perma-Bilt

History:

bought by ACE Model Railroad Company

Notes:

Manufactured lithographed metal box car and reefer kits.

Phillips' Models


(photo © Phillips' Models)

Notes:

(no information available yet)

Pikesville Models

Founded By:

Dave Blum

Product Line:

RTR freight cars

Pine Canyon Scale Models

Founded By:

Keith Blanchard

Location:

California

History:

2003: started

 

2008: bought by Michael Greene

Status:

dormant

Plasticville

History:

1947: started

Notes:

This a brand/product line owned by Bachmann Industries. The easy-to-assemble kits were manufactured in Pennsylvania from 1947 through 1984, at which point the manufacturing moved to China. The buildings are scaled to 1:64, but their windows and doors are scaled to 1:48 (O-scale), providing a compromise between American Flyer (S) and Lionel (O). With some custom work, these kits can be modified to use the correctly-sized doors and windows. There is also a Plasticville Collectors Association.

Pope Imagineering

Notes:

(no information available yet)

Port Able Lines


(photo © Jim Syphax)

Notes:

(no information available yet)

Port Lines Hobby Supplies

Founded By:

Doug Peck

Location:

6 Storeybrooke Drive, Newburyport, MA 01950-3408 (see web site for hours)

Notes:

An online and brick-n-mortar S-scale retail store.

Portland Locomotive Works


(photo © Portland Locomotive Works)

Notes:

(no information available yet)

Pre-Size Model Specialties


(photo © Bob Hogan)

Notes:

(no information available yet)

Precision Scale Co

History:

1986: started importing brass Sn3

Precision Vintage Classics


(photo © Precision Vintage Classics)

Notes:

(no information available yet)

Prototype S Parts

Founded By:

Ladd Houda

Location:

Florida

Product Line:

passenger car details

History:

2003: fire destroyed masters, inventory

 

2018: Pre-Size Model Specialties buys product line

Status:

closed

Putt Trains

Founded By:

Terry Putt

History:

1996: bought Rex product line

Status:

indefinite hiatus

Quality Craft Models

Location:

Northumberland, Pennsylvania

History:

bought by Gloor Craft Models

Notes:

The company manufactured wooden kits car kits. Kinsman Scale Models was the dealer for the kits. Quality Craft Models was the original name of Weaver Models. Quality Craft Models was sold to Gloor Craft Models.

Queen Tool & Mfg. Co.

Founded By:

Dave Felmley

Location:

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

History:

April 2017: Dave died

Notes:

They manufactured a gondola and a boom tender car kit, based on Rex Engineering flat cars.

R.S.S.V.P. Models

Founded By:

Jerry Rivet

Location:

Tyngsboro, Massachusetts

Product Line:

sold freight cars produced by other manufacturers

History:

bought by John Porter

 

June 1995: John died

Railmaster Exports


RS-1 Kit with North Yard Chassis
(photo © Peter Vanvliet)

Founded By:

John Agnew

Location:

New Zealand

Product Line:

pewter metal kits, figures, vehicles

Status:

active

Notes:

For a few years in the 2000s, a company in California, "Railmaster Hobbies", served as the company's U.S. distributor. In 2017, John Agnew indicated that they are no longer his U.S. distributor. To order from the company, contact him directly (see our S Resources button on the left).

Railroad Art

Founded By:

John Craft

Location:

Bel Air, Maryland

Notes:

In the April 1995 Model Railroader magazine, the company announced a run of the PRR H39 three-bay hopper car. John died shortly after getting the project started, and it was taken over by Des Plaines Hobbies.

Regal Kits

Founded By:

Wayne Riggle

Location:

Benton Harbor, Michigan

Product Line:

wooden freight car kits

History:

November 1970: closed

 

1971: bought by Wisconsin Central Supply

Rem's Railroad Models

Location:

Grand Blanc, Michigan

Rex Engineering

Founded By:

Bert Carpenter

Location:

Birmingham, Michigan

History:

October 2012: Jack died

 

1960: bought by John Sudimak and Howard Phillips

Notes:

Produced the 0-4-0 (the company's first product) in 1951. Paul Culp and his brothers were the ones who actually made all the tooling and dies for Rex. When Bert died, the business was sold to John Sudimak and Howard Phillips of Akron, Ohio in 1960. They operated as "S&P Distributors" (earliest catalog was dated 1968). Sometime later they split, and John Sudimak, then in Northfield, Ohio, resumed the product line under the name of "Rex S Gauge Models". Upon his death (January 1984), his son Jack Sudimak took over the business and eventually moved it to Medina, Ohio. Jack ran it for many years before selling it to Terry Putt of Putt Trains in 1996. In 2014 Terry indicated that he might revive the line after his retirement, but for now it is dormant.

Ridgehill Scale Models

Founded By:

Oliver Clubine

Location:

Ontario, Canada

History:

April 22, 2014: Oliver died

Notes:

Oliver's son, David, also an avid S-scale modeler, will continue the company.

Rio Grande Models

Founded By:

Eric Bracher

Location:

Santa Clara, California

Notes:

Its specialty was D&RGW Maintenance-of-Way equipment.

River Raisin Models


(photo © River Raisin Models)

Founded By:

Daniel Navarre & Jim Kindraka

Location:

West Bloomfield, Michigan

Product Line:

brass locomotives, freight cars, structures, parts

History:

1987: company started

 

????: Jim retired from the company

Rocky Mountain Model Works

Founded By:

Jim Wild

Location:

Loveland, Colorado

History:

1997: Jim died

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.

RSLaserKits


(photo © RSLaserKits)

Founded By:

Richard Shepard

Location:

Salem, Oregon

Product Line:

laser-cut structure & freight car kits

History:

2004: started

Notes:

An article with photos of the facilities appears in the July 2016 issue of the NASG's Dispatch.

S DeSignS

Founded By:

Don DeWitt

Location:

Mahwah, New Jersey

History:

1989: started

Notes:

Produced high-quality S-scale decals.

S Scale America

Founded By:

Larry Jackman

Location:

Kenmore, Washington

Product Line:

modern-era freight cars

History:

2009: Larry died

 

1995: bought by Des Plaines Hobbies

Status:

operated by Des Plaines Hobbies

Notes:

He sold his Smokey Valley HO-scale product line in 1991 to devote all efforts to S-scale. Des Plaines Hobbies continues to produce new models under that label. The Budd passenger cars project was started by Jack, but failed. However, the trucks for that project were already designed and ready for manufacturing. Des Plaines Hobbies continues to produce these trucks, although they are usually done in batches (i.o.w. if you want them, put your name on their waiting list).

S Scale Locomotive & Supply

Founded By:

G. Claud Wade

Location:

St. Louis, Missouri

History:

April 2005: Claud died

 

bought by Bob Hartzel

 

bought by Russ Downs

 

1999: bought by Fred Rouse

 

2016: bought by ????

Status:

dormant

Notes:

Bob Hartzel (Downs Model Railroad Co.) bought the company in 1989, and the plan was to work with John Bortz as consultant. They realized that the product quality wasn't there for the market at the time, so the company was closed for a while to plan the upgrade of the product line. In 1992 they announced that the company was producing product again, and selling directly. Russ Downs sold the company to Fred Rouse in 1999, who moved to Florida in 2003. Fred sold the company in 2016, but has yet to identify the new owner.

S-Helper Service

Founded By:

Don Thompson, Michael Ferraro

History:

1989: started

 

2012: bought by MTH

Notes:

Originally founded to provide financial support for projects that American Models produced (hence the company name), in 1995, they started their own "Showcase Line" product line. In late 2012 Dave's Twacks & Twains has completed negotiations to purchase the parts inventory and shop tools from the former S-Helper Service Repair Department.

Owned by Don Thompson and Mike Ferraro, the company was started in 1989. The purpose, initially, was to help manufacturers bring new products to market by providing the initial funding. This bought them the exclusive right to the project until the investment was paid back. 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. The passenger cars were originally sold in S-Helper Service boxes. After this period of collaboration ended (late 1995), S-Helper Service started producing their own product line under the brand name "The Showcase Line". In 2010 Sanda Khan, which was the primary Chinese company contracted to produce products for most model railroading manufacturers, including S-Helper Service, sent out a notice to all small manufacturers that they would no longer produce their products. This included S-Helper Service. However, the Chinese government does not allow tooling owned by companies such as S-Helper Service to leave China, so companies are required to find another Chinese company if they wish to continue to produce their products. As a result of this, in May 2012 Don announced that MTH Electric Trains had bought all of S-Helper Service's tooling, with the intent of taking over the product line. The first of the MTH products, released in early 2014, were produced using S-Helper Service's original tooling.

San Juan Decals

Founded By:

Dan Peterson

History:

2017: Dan died

 

2017: bought by San Juan Car Company

Notes:

His wife vowed to continue the business, but due to her own health issues, she decided to sell the company to the San Juan Car Company (located in Garden Grove, California) in August 2017. In mid-2018 San Juan Car Company is offering the company up for sale again.

Sandy River Car Shops

Notes:

(no information available yet)

Scenery Unlimited

Founded By:

Don Heimburger

Notes:

Released their standard-gauge flex track in 1986.

Schreiner Scale Models

Founded By:

Norm Schreiner

History:

2004: Norm died

Notes:

The company manufactured resin kits for passenger cars. He worked on the Scenery Unlimited display layout.

Seltzer's


(photo © Dick Karnes)

Notes:

(no information available yet)

Sloan

Notes:

(no information available yet)

Smoky Mountain Model Works

Founded By:

Jim King

History:

1990: started

Notes:

It was started as a part-time business building and designing HO-scale kits. It became a full-time business in 2002. In 2006 he expanded the product line to include S-scale rolling stock kits and parts. The company continues to produce S- and O-scale kits.

SouthWind Models

Founded By:

Jettie Padgett, Billy Wade

Location:

Plant City, Florida

Product Line:

imported brass cars & engines

History:

1985: started

 

1996: Billy Wade left

Standard Railway Castings Company


(photo © Edwin Kirstatter)

Notes:

(no information available yet)

Star Hobby Products

Location:

Bronx, New York

Notes:

Produced a line of colorful card stock lithographed and embossed box car sides.

Star Models

Location:

Paris, Kentucky

Steam Depot

Founded By:

John Chappell

Location:

Ashland, Pennsylvania

History:

2008: John died

Notes:

For a while they were the U.S. distributor of some of New Zealand's Railmaster Exports' product line.

Stewart Locomotive Works

Location:

Phoenix, Arizona

Stewart Products

Location:

Portsmouth, Rhode Island

History:

Bought by Ye Olde Huff-N-Puff

Notes:

Manufactured a line of cast-metal freight and passenger car parts, right-of-way details, people, and a watchman shanty kit. Car parts were used in Kinsman Scale Models kits.

Strafford Scale Models

Notes:

Active in the late 1940s through early 1950s.

Stratford Metal Products Company

Location:

Bristol Ferry, Rhode Island

Status:

closed 1948

Notes:

It manufactured stock car, box car, and reefer kits, track and tie strip, and a day coach, baggage, Pullman, and diner car sides (which were made by Exacta in California). The parts were sold under the name Franklin Trains.

Sunset Models, Inc.

Location:

Campbell, California

Sunshine Models

Founded By:

Steven Monson

Location:

Brooklyn Park, Minnesota

History:

1972: started

 

bought by Scenery Unlimited

Notes:

They manufactured five S-scale maintenance-of-way kits and an 85' auto rack. The first two, bunk and kitchen car, sold well over 100 each. Most bought them together as they were sold as double kits for $12.00, or singly for $6.95. The SL-SF auto rack looked like a hard kit with lots of long tees, channels, and hat sections, but was actually easy to build. About 120 were sold. In the July 1980 Model Railroader there was a statement that Scenery Unlimited had purchased the Sunshine Models line of cars and structures kits, and is marketing them under their own brand. But they never actually re-ran any of them.

Super Scale Models

History:

1952: started

Notes:

The Super Scale Models passenger car kits were quite similar to Exacta's kits. Super Scale appeared around 1952 after the demise of Exacta.

Sylvania Models

Founded By:

Gene Fletcher

Location:

Rehobeth, MA

History:

1950: started

Notes:

Gene Fletcher took over Midgage Models and renamed it to Sylvania.

Tauros Products


(photo © Tauros Products)

Notes:

(no information available yet)

The Cimarron Works

Notes:

(no information available yet)

The Hopper Line

Founded By:

Jim Hopper

Location:

Sarnia, Ontario, Canada

Notes:

Manufactured structure kits in the mid-1980s.

The Nord Company

Founded By:

Bob Stinson

Location:

Minneapolis

Notes:

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.

The Supply Car


(photo © Bob Hogan)

Notes:

(no information available yet)

Thomas A Yorke


(photo © Gerry Evans)

Notes:

(no information available yet)

Tomalco


D&RGW Industrial Switcher
(photo © Tomalco stock photo)

Founded By:

Tom A Lindholm

Location:

Houston, Texas

History:

1946: started

Notes:

The company produced TT-scale, and HOn3, Sn3, and On3 kits and parts. In 1979 the company was owned by Robert Sloan and was located in McCracken, Kansas. After that, Avery "Swede" Norlin bought the company (still in McCracken, Kansas), and produced code 100 standard-gauge and narrow-gauge flextrack. The tooling for both types of track was done by Ken Hatheway in San Diego, CA. In 1992, Swede announced his retirement at the age of 81, and the company was sold to the Building & Structure Co. in Fenton, MO. Pete Smith, owner of Building & Structure Co., announced the sale of the product line to banta modelworks in September 1998. In 2001 banta modelworks sold the narrow-gauge track products to P-B-L, but that they are keeping the standard-gauge products. In 2003 Bob McCarthy (Columbia, South Carolina) bought the standard-gauge product line from banta modelworks. Larry Morton, needing track for his own S-scale layout, contacted Bob and learned that Bob was interested in selling the company due to his health problems. Larry subsequently bought the standard-gauge track and turnout parts portion of the company in 2004, and currently operates it as Tomalco Track. In 2015 the remaining Tomalco Parts Line (locomotive and car detailing parts, and narrow-gauge track components) was taken over by Paul Vaughn, of Precision Vintage Classics, Graham, Washington.

Top Shelf Replicas

Founded By:

Alan Chestnut

Location:

Illinois

Notes:

The company focuses on die-cast and resin trucks and farming equipment in S-scale. The models are highly-detailed.

Train & Trooper

Founded By:

Matt & Nancy Sharp

Location:

Phillips, Maine

Notes:

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. Reportedly Crusader Rail Services bought most of the company's inventory. At the 2018 Midwest Narrow Gauge Show, Train & Trooper announced their return, and the owners are considering producing an Sn2 steam locomotive.

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

Founded By:

Don and Robin Thompson

Location:

Oceanport, New Jersey

History:

1975: started

 

1982 bought by Wayne & Diane Pier

Status:

closed 1988

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. 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. 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.

Triangle Scale Models

Founded By:

Roger Schenck

Location:

Long Beach, California

History:

1985: bought by P-B-L

Notes:

It was active from the late 1970s onward. In 1984 they bought Village Depot's product line. In 198? the company was sold to FinestKind Models. Starting in 1985, P-B-L, in their literature, seems to indicate that they owned the product line. The product line is now owned by Wiseman Model Services.

Trout Creek Engineering

Founded By:

Clifford Mestel

Notes:

The company bought the Classic Miniatures product line of S-scale structures in 2003.

Tru-scale Models

Location:

San Dimas, California

Notes:

They manufactured milled roadbed, switch blocks, assembled turnouts, and milled roadbed with track in S-scale.

Turner Model Works


(photo © Bob Hogan)

Notes:

(no information available yet)

V&T Shops

Founded By:

Dale Darney

Location:

Reno, Nevada

History:

Bought by Wiseman Model Services

Notes:

Produced products in HO-, O-, and S-scale. For the S-scale market they mostly focused on Sn3 products, although they did venture into standard-gauge on occasion. Among their standard-gauge offerings are T-section Bettendorf trucks, USRA house-car roofs and chassis in urethane, and kits for SP 40' and 53' flat cars.

Village Depot

Founded By:

Ken Carlson

History:

bought by Steve & Dorothy Bishop

Notes:

This brick-n-mortar store produced kits and detail parts. They 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. The company bought the Triangle Scale Models product line in the early 1980s.

W.A. Drake & Co.

Founded By:

Bill McClung

Location:

Johnstown, Colorado

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.

Wabash Valley Models

Founded By:

Charlie Sandersfeld

Location:

Huntington, Indiana

Notes:

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


Conrail Covered Hopper
(photo © Funaro and Camerlengo stock photo)

Founded By:

Central Hobby Supply

Location:

Syracuse, New York

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.

Western Car Shops

Founded By:

Bob Sherwood

Location:

Cheyenne, Wyoming

Notes:

Kits were made by Pacific Rail Shops, which Western Car Shops repainted for other railroad names.

Wild West Scale Model Builders


(photo © Wild West Scale Model Builders)

Founded By:

Mike ????

Location:

Englewood, Colorado

Product Line:

structure kits, detailing parts

History:

2004: started designing kits

 

2013: bought Western Scale Models

William Flatt


(photo © Dick Karnes)

Notes:

(no information available yet)

Willy Monaghan


(photo © Willy Monaghan)

Notes:

(no information available yet)

Wisconsin Central Supply

Founded By:

Bob Ristow

Location:

Waukesha, Wisconsin

Notes:

It produced wood-based freight car kits.

Wiseman Model Services

Founded By:

Keith Wiseman

History:

2008: started

Notes:

They bought the V&T product line.

Yarmouth Model Works


(photo © Yarmouth Model Works)

Notes:

(no information available yet)

Ye Olde Huff-N-Puff

Location:

Cheyenne, Wyoming

Product Line:

freight car kits

History:

2002: bought by Gene & Dorinda Metzgar

 

2017: Gene died

 

2018: bought by LaBelle Woodworking

Status:

active

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