News: Our Community

S-scale has a relatively tight-knit group of people, where a lot of us know each other via local clubs, train shows, e-mail, discussion groups, or various forms of social media. This page covers information about specific individuals, clubs, train show reports, personal web site updates, etc.

January 15, 2020

North Penn S Gaugers Update

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The North Penn S Gaugers have changed their web site's domain.

January 09, 2020

S-Trains Yahoo Group Message Archive

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With what looks like Yahoo! Groups slow death, Dale Smith has downloaded all the messages of the S-Trains Yahoo! Group, and has made them available on this web site.

December 31, 2019

A Review of New Products for 2019

Happy New Year everyone! Let's look at what was released during 2019.

New Locomotives

New Cars

New structures by:
(for these, search for the text Year Introduced "2019")
banta modelworks
Greenlight Collectibles
Hidden River Manufacturing
Johnny Lightning
Portland Locomotive Works
Rail Scale Models
Right On Track Models
Sandy Point Models
Scenery Unlimited
Todd Architectural Models
Twin Whistle Sign & Kit Co.

Well over 400 new automobiles by:
(for these, look for the text Model Introduced "2019")
ACME Trading Co. (2)
Auto World (12)
CanaDakota Scale Models (1)
Die Cast Promotions (21)
Diecast Masters (4)
Ertl (19)
First Gear (3)
Greenlight Collectibles (194)
Jada Toys (6)
Johnny Lightning (65)
M2 (40)
Maisto (7)
Racing Champions (9)
SpecCast Collectibles (20)
SZenery Scale Models (12)

And, many new figures.
There were 1,000 entries in this "News" section reported for 2019.

November 29, 2019

The 1:64 Proto Discussion Group is Moving

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Due to Yahoo! Groups' recent policy changes, the "Proto64" Yahoo! Groups discussion group is moving to the discussion group (several other S-scale-related groups have already moved, most notably the "S-scale" group). If you already have an account on, you can quickly and easily join by clicking on the web link above.

November 06, 2019

Larry Covey

Larry Covey of Longmeadow, Massachusetts, a member of the NASG, passed away in his sleep on Friday, November 1, 2019. He was also a member of the local Pioneer Valley Model Railroad Club. Larry's huge basement full of model railroad collections was open as part of the 2018 NASG Convention. Larry's unique personality continues even after his passing, because he wanted no services, and to have his ashes scattered in space! He is survived by his wife, Ellie, who has invited the local group to come and see his basement collection at any time.

October 17, 2019

Yahoo! Discussion Groups Changing, Dramatically

According to an e-mail received from Yahoo!, the Yahoo! Groups discussion forums will change in the following manner:

1. uploading new content will be disabled on October 28, 2019.
2. one can only join a group by being invited by the group's moderator, or by sending a special request to said moderator (i.e. all groups will be made private).
3. all currently stored content will be deleted on December 14, 2019.

The e-mail claims that Yahoo! Groups is not going away, but by making these types of changes, it is our opinion that they might as well have. Existing members will be able to continue to send e-mail messages to each other and to the group in general, but uploading files (and probably attachments) will be gone. Joining a group will also be much more difficult.

A number of S-scale discussion groups have made the move to already, which offers similar features as what Yahoo! Groups (used to) offer.

October 02, 2019

Ron Sebastian Passed Away

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It is with great sadness that we report that Ron Sebastian, owner of the retail store Des Plaines Hobbies, passed away in the morning of October 2nd, 2019. The photo shows him leaning against a pallet of S-scale tank cars that arrived the day before. Our condolences to his family. The link above is to the funeral home's page for Ron.

Ron has been a vital force in our S-scale community. Although his store caters to all scales, he did a lot to help and keep S-scale relevant. The store was started in 1983. In 1994 they bought "S Scale America" (the brand under which they released a lot of S-scale products since then). In 1995 they bought "Chesapeake Models" (PRR H39 Hopper). In 1997 they acquired the S-scale parts of "Plano Model Products". Likewise, in 2005 they acquired the S-scale decals from "Microscale Industries". Then, in 2006 they bought "Pacific Rail Shops". In 2015 they bought Mullet River Model Works.

Without a doubt, the store has been a big supporter of our hobby, and S-scale in particular.

Here is an interview done with Ron back in 1994: web link.

This link is to the March 2016 issue of the Dispatch in which Jim Kindraka describes a visit with Ron at the store.

September 17, 2019

Ted Hamler is Missing!

Ted Hamler, long time NASG member from Las Cruces, NM and contributor to the NASG's Dispatch and the S Gaugian magazines has been missing since April 27, 2019. If anyone has information on Ted, please contact his wife, Judy: (575) 647-1836 or the Las Cruces police department.
Here is the missing-persons report.

August 03, 2019

Emory L. Shughart

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Emory L. Shughart, 87, of Boiling Springs, Pennsylvania, passed away on Sunday, July 28, 2019. He retired from Edwin L. Heim Co. in Harrisburg, and previously worked for 16 years at the former Rufe Chevrolet in Carlisle. He honorably served his country in 1953-54 as Private First Class, Battery C, 265th Field Artillery Battalion, U.S. Army. Emory was a life-long S-scale modeler and was one of the original members of the Circuit Letters. He was a founding member of the Central Pennsylvania S Gaugers, and he was heavily involved in the 1970 Northeastern S Gaugers Association (NESGA) Convention, the NASG forerunner, in Hershey, PA. He was a long-time member of the NASG as well.

June 15, 2019

Richard Kughn Passed Away

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Richard P. Kughn was not an S-scale modeler, but he did run Lionel from 1986 to 1995. He passed away on June 8, 2019 at the age of 89. Born in Detroit and died in Dearborn, he loved cars, and trains. Kughn brought Neil Young into the company, who developed what is now called TMCC.

April 06, 2019

Sn2 in the News

Sn2 Layout Featured

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The event got published in the Lisbon, Ohio newspaper, on the front page, above the fold. The web site link is to their online version, and shows David Keith's Sn2 layout set up at the show.

David Keith's photos of his set-up

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The 27th Annual Midwest Scale Train Show held on March 22 and 23, 2019 drew a record number of people.

March 31, 2019

Michael Ostertag Enters DND2 Weathering Contest

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In a sea of N- and HO-scale models, Michael entered a weathered AM freight car.

March 10, 2019

Piedmont S Gaugers' Last Show

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The Piedmont S Gaugers held their last public show, according to the post on the OGR forum. Only one member is under 70 years of age, and so the workload of train shows was getting to be too much.

February 27, 2019

John Constans' Westside Lumber Sn3 Layout Saved

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John Constans' layout was donated to the San Diego S-Gaugers club and they are in the process of integrating it into their club display. Progress photos are shown on the web site link.

January 27, 2019

Gene Dovenbarger

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Harold Gene Dovenbarger passed away at the age of 74 on January 24, 2019 due to complications from a stroke. Gene served in the U.S. Navy from 1963 to 1986. Gene was the founder of the Golden Spike American Flyer Club. Follow the link to view Gene's obituary. Photo courtesy of Gene's wife, Karen.

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