PROJECTS CANCELLED  7/1/15  due to lack of interest

Pacific Electric

Detroit Tunnel





 LTD Series double etched brass traction body kits and other car sides on this page can be yoursRESERVE in HO, O, S, N, 1/24 and 1/20.3 Scales to make it happen!


LTD SERIES HO PRODUCTS ARE DESIGNED FOR REVISION OF THE TOOLING TO OTHER SCALES. This retooling requires sufficient advance reservations to justify the kilobuck investment involved. 


 NO DEPOSIT RESERVING IS SIMPLE USING THE SHOPPING CART ON THIS PAGE or FROG email system explained later on this page. Tooling and production are done in the USA when reservations reach minimum levels.


You may reserve by use of the shopping cart buttons on this page that show a price of  $0 !  Or use the simple email FROG system described at the bottom of listings on this page. Please reserve ONLY ONE item sku (any quantity of that item) at an entry –and do NOT mix message with other purchases. This allows us to properly file your reservation. The shopping cart will charge $10 shipping but we will promptly refund that. Your reservation is a firm commitment to purchase when/if available. AVAILABILITY AND SCHEDULING PRIORITY STATUS IS DETERMINED BY THE NUMBER OF RESERVATIONS RECEIVED- Don’t wait for availability- help cause it. You will be notified when payment at a special pre-release price will be accepted and you MAY be asked to simply confirm a long standing reservation. If your email (or shipping) address change a new, replacement, reservation is necessary. Detailed pricing and scheduling information is found farther along on this page. We must receive 1-2 dozen firm reservations (number varies with the models) in O, S or large scale to initiate the retooling to that scale.




INTERURBAN Kits and parts already available in HO (See the INTERURBANS Showroom page for pictures and detailed info) that can be reserved in O, S, N or  large scale:


BALDWIN CLASS B and D STEEPLE CABS are   available in O, S and HO. Please use the FROG system to reserve in N or large scale. Roofs included.


BRILL 55 MOTOR CAR available in O and HO. Please use the FROG system to reserve body kits (less roof) in S, or N. Please use button to reserve large scale.


#7782.2-20-385  Brill 55 Motor Car body kit less roof 1/20.3 scale  $0   



 ILLINOIS TERMINAL CLASS B MOTOR and CLASS C CONVERSION is available in HO. Please use buttons for O or S body kit (less roof) reservations or the FROG system to reserve in N or large scale.


#772.2-48-72       Illinois Terminal Class B body O scale   $0

#772.2-48- 72C    Illinois Terminal Class C conversion parts AND Class B body O scale  $0

#772.2-64-72        Illinois Terminal Class B body S Scale   $0

#772.2-64- 72C     Illinois Terminal Class C conversion parts AND  Class B body S scale $0




These may be reserved in HO at the pre-release special price shown for purchase (and payment) now. Upon release the pre-release price will expire and the HO listing will be moved to the INTERURBANS Showroom page. Reservations in other scales may be made using the FROG system or shopping cart buttons if provided.


We must receive 2-5 dozen firm advanced reservations to finalize tooling and order the first production run. We cannot predict WHEN reservations will reach this threshold. The number required depends upon the complexity of kit tooling (cost), number of brass thicknesses in kit and kit yield required to hold a reasonable price level. Reruns are typically lower volume and higher priced. Reservation levels also determine scheduling priorities.


L&PS Steel Passenger Motors


#772.2-99    L&PS 62 Foot Steel Passenger Car HO Body kit with wood roof  $135.95 


#772.2-99.1  L&PS  70 Foot Steel Passenger Car HO body kit with wood roof $135.95 


#772.2-99.6  L&PS HO Parts 62 ft car Modification $39.95  

To modify 62 ft car to unique car #6 details;  #8 or #10 rounded window doors, #8 sqd baggage doors


#772.2-64-99  L&PS  62 Foot Passenger Body S Scale less roof  $0 


#772.2-48-99  L&PS 62  Foot Passenger Body O scale less roof  $0


#772.2-64-99.1 L&PS 70 Foot Passenger Body S Scale less roof $0 


#772.2-48-99.1 L&PS 70 Foot Passenger Body O Scale less roof $0 




C&LE Steel Freight Motor


#772.2- 3002      C&LE Steel Freight Motor Body  HO Kit  $135.95 


#772.2-48-3002  C&LE Steel Freight Motor Body  O scale kit  $0


BRILL 55 Motorcar 


#772.2-358.2  HO B&M Grills & Guards   $0 


IMMINENT RELEASES   For models on this page with a firm price listed: Tooling is in progress for production in the foreseeable future. They are not shippable until indicated in the INTERURBAN PAGE UPDATES (linked from INTERURBAN Showroom page). These prices are PRE-RELEASE special prices and your order well be charged accordingly when ordered–for shipment upon availability. Upon release of the product, the pre-release price expires. The product may be moved to our appropriate SHOWROOM website page when the pre release price is established. Advanced reservations will determine the release scheduling priorities.  Interurban body kits are double etched brass designed for ACC cement or solder assembly using hand tools. They do not include roofs (unless noted) trucks, grabs, poles/pans, headlight, horn, power or brake system detail castings. Pilot dimples are etched on inside to drill for Tichy grabs where appropriate.




These will be manufactured in the USA in limited quantities when/if reservation levels reach a required minimum level. That level varies by the number of different brass gauges (thickness) in the kit  but is generally 1-2 dozen in O.S or 1/20.3. In N scale 4-5 dozen.  O & S prices can be expected to be about three- 3 ½  times  the current HO kit price at time of release while N scale would be nearly the current HO price at time of release. Retooling depends on current workloads but typically requires 2-6 months after adequate reservations are received. Announcement of a pre-release price cannot be made until retooling progresses to the point where kit yield per sheet can be determined. Advanced reservations will receive special pre-release prices if paid before release- we’ll send email notices.




Kits that have been NOMINATED for future release (normally will be first released in HO) that are listed on this page as NOMINATIONS have already passed our initial engineering steps and in some cases initial tooling steps. We welcome your nominations too. In most cases assistance with photos or plans is still welcome, even needed —we prefer to hear from you experts BEFORE investing kilobucks in tooling– rather than afterward.






#772.2-3015  New Haven Class EF3 Freight Motor HO Body kit (use GG1 Mechanism)  $0


#772.2-1401 Private car Alabama $0 

#772.2-1402 800 Class wooden cars $0 

Click here for diagram of 800s              www.erha.org/pe800d.htm

#772.2-1403 500 class $0 

Click here for photos of replica car #501   www.railpictures.net/showphotos.php?railroad=Pacific9620




#772.2-1404  Parlor Car #161 blt 1923 by ACF $0 


McGuire Cummings 2- Truck Snow Sweeper

Prototype photos courtesy of John LaRue III

LTD offers a complete parts pack using NE wood roof, etched brass details and broom supports, brooms, Tichy windows and Evergreen scribed siding with construction suggestions.

#772.2-9711  HO McGuire Cummings 2 truck snow sweeper parts  $0 





In 1921 the Grand River Car Shops built six of these cars for themselves (#842, 844, 846, 848, 862, 864) and two for the Lake Erie & Northern (#973, 974). Today’s Grand River Car Shop has built some too, for Supt. Roger Chrysler’s HO road.  Photo & Model by Roger

Suggested links show prototype photos. 

#772.2-3003 Grand River/LE&N Coach double etched brass body kit #842 steel passenger     $0 

LE&N/ Grand River #842 class                          http://davesrailpix.com/odds/on/htm/grndrvr01.htm                


#772.2-3002 C&LE Freight Motor Brass HO body kit     $0 


#772.2-3004     Grand River Steel Freight Motor #622 double etched brass body kit –wood roof.  $0

See the “very large scale” model photo near bottom of this INTERURBAN page




CCI04162013_00002 Detroit Tunnel Motors 2


CCI04162013_00001 Detroit Tunnel Motors 1 

#772.2-3008  Detroit Tunnel Steeple Cab  double etched brass body kit $0 

#772.2- 3009  Detroit Tunnel  “Boxcab”  Motor double etched brass body kit $0 

 GE Boxcab  (L&PS #L1)

#772.2-30010  GE Boxcab Motor  —typical, from L&PS #L1 drawings double etched brass body kit  $0 

Ft Wayne-Lima 90 Series/ Oklahoma Railway Combine 

#772.2-3006     Ft Wayne-Lima/Oklahoma Rwy Combine double etched brass body kit, wood roof  $0 

ISC-Northern  Division #324 series rebuilt


#772.2-3007    ISC- Northern Div    McGuire Cummings semi Lightweight Car double etched brass body kit-wood roof  $0 


FtD & DN Combine #62

#772.2-3012 Ft D & DN Combine HO body kit $0 

Click here for prototype photo


FtD,DM & N Combine #62, arched windows      http://davesrailpix.com/fddms/htm/fddms048.htm

C&LE “Red Devil”


#772.2- 30011    C&LE Lightweight “Red Devil” double etched brass body kit-wood roof $0 


Ft Wayne/CornwallCity Cars 

#772.2-3001 Ft Wayne City Car Brass HO Body kit     $0 

also wcfn023 and wcfn070 Fort Wayne City Car/ Cornwall, ON &              http://davesrailpix.com/odds/in/htm/isc05.htm


W C F & N Observation #102

#772.2-357   WCF&N Observation #102   double etched brass body kit-wood roof $0 

WCF & N Observation combine #101 class    http://davesrailpix.com/wcfn/htm/wcfn078.htm

Click here for prototype photo



C D & M  Parlor Car #500-501

#772.2-3013 CD&M Parlor HO body kit $0 

#772.2-64-3013 CD&M Parlor S body kit $0 

Click here for protototype photo




#772.2-103     Baldwin Class E Steeple Cab double etched brass body kit $0 

 #772.2-48-103 Class E body kit O scale $0 


Baldwin Class B-1 Steeple Cab


 CCI04162013_00000 Baldwin B1

Springfield Terminal Photo from Westinghouse Special publication 1863 dated October 1929

As discussed in our linked page for Baldwin steeplecabs, this lower  cost steeple cab was introduced as sales of Class B and D sagged. Purchased by several interurban lines, it was “too little, too late [for Baldwin & the interurbans both] as the Westinghouse photo date suggests.


#772.2- 101  Baldwin Class B-1 Steeple Cab double etched brass body kit. $0 

#772.2-48-101 Baldwin Class B-1  body kit O scale $0



Clark Autotram

April 1, 2013

Model Railroad Warehouse is pleased to announce that reservations are being accepted  for double etched brass kits of the Clark “AutoTram” railcar. The prototype car pictured had operated for seven months prior to its exhibition at the 1933 Century of Progress Exposition in Chicago. The air conditioned, aluminum bodied car could carry 40 passengers [if operated by a railroad] at speeds up to 100 mph. It was powered by a 16 cylinder engine, mechanical drive and hydraulic clutch. It rode on Clark-Goodrich resilient wheels with steel tires of ARA contour and had air brakes on all wheels. As with the prototype, models will be produced in any gauge or scale which is justified by the reservations received. Though the Clark firm, of Battle Creek Michigan, is well known for its industrial  fork lifts and produced military vehicles for World War II, the fate or feats of the sole AutoTrain produced seem unknown.

Reserve kits by email to mrrwarehouse (a) yahoo.com with the subject line “AutoTram __Scale” -indicating the desired scale. Pricing will depend upon reservations received but could be between $100 and $200 in HO or N and under $200 and $400 in O or S, unpowered—similar to pricing of our other traction and railcar brass kits.  It could also have an additional zero in the price if there is response somewhat similar to the prototypical response.

#772.2-3014 Clark Car body kit HO $0 

#772.2-48-3014 Clark Car body kit O scale $0 


Special run products marked TBA are  not in the shopping cart. They are possible future kits that await enough reservations to continue tooling efforts (in any scale). E mails to mrrwarehouse (at) yahoo.com with subject line RESERVATIONS FOR # (showing the item number) will be entered. Include your shipping address.  We will request confirmation when it appears we should proceed. We’ll send another  email with request for Paypal payment when the item is ready.

A NOTE REGARDING N and LARGE  SCALE TRACTION KITS. Our brass kits are designed for adaptation to all scales. The tooling cost for adaptation requires several dozen FIRM reservations in that scale. S scalers banded together and placed a pooled order to facilitate GETTING THE Baldwin B and D in S. Specialty train shops or clubs may also adopt this strategy.


We produce all known troop sleeper conversions to US RR revenue service in HO scale and most in N scale etched brass. Our N scale sides are designed to fit MicroScale ® N scale cars. HO sides fit Cannonball core kits or Walthers cars. Also offered: S Scale and O scale brass sleeper bodies.  Our FROG system may be used to reserve O scale sides to fit Weaver cars or other sides we have not produced. Tooling awaits sufficient reservations to produce D&M and Bangor & Aroostook Caboose conversions in HO. Please use our email FROG system to reserve the cabooses or sides we’ve not yet offered in other scales. Refer to the sides & kits shown on our FREIGHT & CABOOSE; PASSENGER (express) and MILITARY showroom website pages



Steel parts (etched brass) to construct Eastern mountain log buggies are offered in O, HO, N and 1/20.3. Use our FROG system to reserve them in S. Steel parts for Mann’s Creek side dump hoppers are offered in O & HO. They may be reserved in other scales.  Circus flat cars are offered on the MILITARY & CIRCUS page. We’ve offered unique Erie and P&LE heavy duty flat cars in O & N in the past and would revive them wioth new tooling upon sufficient demand.



We offer several heavyweight passenger and baggage/express car sides in HO. Please use our email FROG system to reserve them in other scales. Refer to the PASSENGER CAR showroom page.

Tooling has been developed to produce the following passenger car sides for use with BCW KitBits parts to build HO cars. Additional reservations are required to move them into production. They may also be reserved in other scales.

COMPARE–LTD CAR SIDES ARE DOUBLE ETCHED and feature raised belt rail when appropriate.


#772.2-93  B&O  H10  Rail Post Office Sides, doors (raised belt rail) $0 


#772.2-273  CNR BE61K Baggage/Express (#8750 etc) (raised belt rail) $0

3 CNR BE61K Baggage/Express #8750 etc raised belt rail" >



#772.2-78  Baggage Combine- open platform, rib side homebuilt roof-sides wrap  $0 

#772.2-78-1  RPO Combine- similar to Baggage Combine $0 


#772.2-3017 Converted Hospital Car Passenger Train set $0 


#772.2-3016  P70 HW Coach Sides  $0 


#772.2-4412 SP Economy Baggage-built by Pacific Car  $0 

#772.2-4413 SP Economy Baggage-built by St Louis Car $0 

WABASH/ MoPac   

Dome car-same as B&O Columbian Dome

B&O CINCINNATIAN (Etched parts are nickel silver)

Set 1 of 4 car side etchings is currently available on special order. Road name & car name lettering on sides of Cincinnatian NS etchings is raised. Raised belt rail is featured on these sides. See these sides on PASSENGER Showroom page.

#772.2-77L  Locomotive Conversion parts for Mantua Mikado  $0   (assistance needed please) 

#772.2-77.7.1   Observation “Fountain Square” kit $110.95 (kit is only being made to fill advance orders)(see note with etchings) 

#772.2-77.7   Observation  “Fountain Square” side & end etchings $89.95 (Waiting-Must be run when loco is run to hold a reasonable price) 

SECOND CINCINNATIAN TRAIN SET and coaches added later:

#772.2-7Set2  Cincinnatian Set 2: A18ch coaches “Oakley” and “Indian Hills”; A18cg coach “Winton Place” and D15f Baggage, Dorm, Coffee “Hyde Park” $0 

#772.2-7.4  Observation   “Peebles Corner”    $0 

#772.2-7.5     52 seat Coach A18ck “Avondale”  $0 

#772.2-7.5.1  52 Seat Coach A18ck “Price Hill”  $0 

Note: “Picture window” modernized  ex-Cincinnatian coach sides are currently offered.


While modernizing heavyweight cars for its other trains, B&O ordered their lightweight streamliner-the Columbian. These sides are thin enough to use as overlays on plastic cars. We suggest using  the IHC smooth side dome car for the dome; combine for the Baggage Dorm Coffee and observation. These are no longer made but found at train shops and shows.

#772.2-75set  Columbian Set of one each all cars except coach  $0 

#772.2-75  Baggage Dorm Buffet D15g   $0 

#772.2-75.1 Boat Tail Observation $0 

#772.2-75.3 Dome Coach Lounge (also suited for Wabash, MoPac) $0 

#772.2-75.5 Diner F10  $0 

#772.2-75.6  Coach A40   $0 

#772.2-75.7 Baggage Dorm Coffee D30  $0 

B&O NATIONAL LIMITEDheavyweight/modernized HW w/raised belt rail.

A18cg “Picture Window” Coach sides and ends are currently available on PASSENGER Showroom page.

#772.2-76 Baggage Dorm Buffet D14aa #1307  $0 

#772.2-76.1 River Series Observation  Z5 overlay  $0 

#772.2-76.2 Pullman 14 Section  $0 

#772.2-76.3 54 Seat Coach A18cd   $0 

#772.2-76.4 Pullman 12-2   $0 

#772.2-76.5  Diner F4cc   $0 

#772.2-76.9  Rear Fins to backdate Walthers Solarium car $0 




Reservations may be placed by email to mrrwarehouse (at) yahoo.com. Please use subject line “RESERVE name of model and SCALE” and send a separate email for each different item you wish to reserve. We file these emails by the items reserved and may respond with updates. We WILL respond using PayPal advising when it is time to remit. Tell us quantity wanted, your shipping address and phone. If your email or shipping address change, please submit a new replacement reservation as we can only locate reservations in the model’s file by email address AND date.


Reservations guarantee the best possible pricing for you and they are necessary to actually cause production of a model- and priority of a model in the work schedule. We cannot predict WHEN enough reservations will arrive to move a particular model into tooling or production. We WILL announce when this is VERY near or IN PROGRESS  (and when reservation payments are due) on the MONTHLY UPDATES page linked to the appropriate INTERURBAN, FREIGHT & CABOOSE , PASSENGER or MILITARY & CIRCUS  Showroom page. Please refer to these updates for the latest word rather than sending “When?” emails.  Pre-release prices expire when the first run is posted on the showroom page.  A small over run is stocked from first run. Reruns typically are smaller in volume resulting in price increases.


A discussion of the FROG system (and its name) follows for those who love to read things on the screen.





THE LTD SERIES of distinctive, prototypically specific models  produced using Model RR Warehouse’s  FROG system


One of the great fascinations with the hobby of model railroading is the wide variety of things we can model. In fact there is so much variety every modeler has a favorite  item they are anxiously awaiting, wondering why no manufacturer has yet recognized how needed it is. Our LTD series was developed to fill these needs the mass production model companies could not consider. We have developed the FROG system to assure that WE can consider them.  The FROG system has some similarities to the advanced reservations once required to place oriental, hand produced brass locomotives into production—but we require no deposits.  And the FROG system has some similarities to the advanced reservations  volume model producers utilize to determine the color of paint and decorating scheme to apply to a mass produced model already in the marketplace  in dozens of other paint jobs—but we don’t expect hundreds of reservations before doing “another  prototype.”


We’d like to explain our FROG system—it is designed to allow interested model railroaders to decide which UNIQUE DESIGN products should be made– AND to give you a listing of ALL the requested items with their status. So why the FROG name?  There is a parable here in Hoosierland called the Parable of the Croaking Frog: A farmer came into town and asked the owner of the restaurant if he could use a million frog legs. The proprietor asked the farmer where could he find so many frogs?  “I’ve got a pond at home just full of them” was the farmer’s reply, “They drive me crazy night and day.”  The chef agreed to accept a hundred frogs the next week to introduce his new menu item. The farmer came back Monday with two scrawny frogs and a foolish look. “There was just two frogs in the pond, but they sure made a lot of noise.”


When we hear the noise of a needed KIT, we’ll place it down in the FROG system lineup of LTD kits IF the technical info (photos, plans) is available and IF our preliminary engineering determines we can make it a kit that can be reasonably assembled and reasonably priced. We normally develop LTD kits in HO scale in a manner that allows us to use the same engineering and design to also produce the kit in O and S scales, even possibly in N and 1/24 or 1/20.3 scales should demand justify the required  tooling. This means ANY LTD ITEM (either available in HO or in the FROG list) can be reserved in any of these scales. Pre release anticipated prices are listed when the model is in tooling process. After release and frequently on reruns the price will be increased. Reruns are made in smaller quantities as demand justifies—LTD Series model kits are made in batches to fulfill firm reservations. Some are noted “Produced to special order” on our webpage UPDATES and can usually be delivered with 4-8 weeks.  We do make overruns so moist models are available in limited numbers from stock.  Webpages with LTD products have current availability on a linked update page. UNRELEASED model news is found on this page.


FIRM, no deposit, RESERVATIONS are necessary for us to proceed in design and tooling. We must know whether enough frogs are in the pond to justify the expense, time and effort to “print new menus”.


To reserve ANY prototype (on our website or not) simply send an email to mrrwarehouse (a) yahoo.com with the subject line  “RESERVE name of prototype, scale”. In the message tell us the quantity WANTED and  your name, address, phone and whether you can loan or provide (or help locate)  photos, plans etc.  We will send FROG updates when there are changes of status for your specific model and when a kit is ready for shipment we will send a Paypal request for payment. You will be guaranteed the eprice anticipated (and posted) at the time your reservation is received. Send separate emails for each different prototype wanted, please. No deposit is requested BUT if you change your email address a new (update) reservation is required—reservations are filed by address and cancelled if appropriate FROG updates to you are undeliverable.   The number of reservations primarily determines position on the schedule for all models. Sales of previous models finance the kilobuck investment for new models. To speed YOUR favorite along, please encourage others to join you in the pond and place reservations (without enough it won’t happen) and help us promote existing LTD models by telling others the quality you find in them (without their sales, next models must wait).  Croaking louder (or asking “when?”) to us won’t help speed up your favorite.


Your email address will ONLY be used for messages related to your specific reservation normally as FROG updates in the form of attached Word files ( like this page) as a reply to your reservation when status of your item  changes—or Paypal request for payment. If you cannot open WORD 7 files please advise that with your reservatioin and we will send text file or basic Word file. We do not maintain, share or email lists.




FROG LISTING of recently released kits and car sides. We’ve attempted to notify all who placed reservations so they can pick up their items at pre- release prices:


O & HO Brill 55 Motorcar


HO Illinois Terminal B Freight Motor


HO C&NW Baggage Car sides (2 dif)


HO B&O B8, B18 and B27 baggage car sides






FROG LISTING of unreleased kits    updated Jan 2014


These products are eminent. Tooling has progressed to test sheet status. We are building test models to double check tooling and design. Rush advance reservations to receive prerelease prices:


HO Illinois Terminal Class C motor- conversion porches for use with class B kit. Expected release late winter if all is well with test build. Pre release special price: $ 94.95 HO. Porch Deck and B kit include rooftop detail brackets, headlight brackets, etc. Not included: Handrails sandboxes, markers, headlights, poles, nuts and bolts. This kit requires more experienced skills than the B kit as it requires modification of the B frame and attachment of the porches to the B cab assembly. 




These products are eminent. Tooling has progressed or is nearly ready for editing in preparation for HO test sheets. Reserve promptly for prerelease special price:


HO C&LE Freight Motor  (bsku #97) pre release special price $135.95 HO


HO L&PS Steel Passenger 62 and 70 foot cars (bsku 99, 100) pre release special price  $135.95 each HO  Note: L&PS cars have a special wood roof stock. We have a limited supply of the roof stock and understand it cannot be rerun. There will be a limit of about 125 L&PS kits (combined total) before we can only supply the brass etching sets.


HO B&O Observation “Fountain Square” kit or sides. This nickel silver model is delayed because it must be produced simultaneously with Cincinnatian loco conversion for Mantua Pacific in order to maintain a reasonable price. Kits will ONLY be made initial run, then sides only. See loco notes below.




These products in other scales await enough firm reservations to justify starting complete retooling from HO design. Reserve now to move them up the schedule – and receive prerelease special prices:


O Scale Troop Conversion sides to fit Weaver cars (bsku per HO  conversion side numbers found on Passenger & Freight  car showroom pages)


S  & 1/20.3  Brill 55 Motor Car (bsku #358)


O & S  Illinois Terminal Classes B and C (bsku 72, 72Cor 98)




We have heard enough croaks that we are working on design or even tooling these products – but need a few more reservations in scale noted before the even more  expensive tool editing and test sheets can be justified:




HO Cincinnatian locomotive conversion. Early tooling in progress. Certain technical assistance needed. Please email if you can help.


HO  Bangor & Aroostook Caboose bay window troop conversion (bsku 95)


HO D&M Caboose troop sleeper conversion  (bsku 94)






HO Baldwin Westinghouse Class B1 Freight Motor (bsku 101)


HO Baldwin Westinghouse Class E Freight Motor (CSS&SB)(bsku 103).   Illinois Central version lagging way behind in reservations (bsku 104).




These products have several croaks but not yet enough to get up to that list [above] of “serious design and tooling”:


N scale—several products have single croaks. We suggest groups get together (or get a dealer to decide on exclusive product)  like the S folks did to get Baldwin Steeple Cabs and troop cars and focus on something a few dozen folks would buy as a bulk order . Prices should be in the HO price range.


In LARGER scales we need at least 2- 3 dozen reservations, in N, SEVERAL dozen.


MoPac & Wabash Domes – see B&O Columbian HO


Milwaukee Ribbed Side Open Platform carside, roof wrap HO


Combine (sku 78)


Combine RPO (sku 78-1)


B&O Columbian Carsides HO


D15g Baggage Dorm Buffet #1309 (sku # 75)


Z5 Boat Tail Observation overlay for IHC smooth boat tail car (sku #75-1


F10 Diner (sku #75-5)


Dome Coach Lounge overlay for IHC smooth dome car) (sku #75-3)   note also for Wab, MoPac


D30 Baggage Dorm Coffee (sku #75-7) overlay IHC combine


A40 Coach (sku #75-6)


Note:  the A18 modernized coach side is currently available.


B&O National Limited car sides HO


F4cc Diner (sku#76-5)


D14aa #1302 Baggage Dorm Buffet Lounge (sku #76)


River series Boat Tail Obs (sku # 76-4)


Solarium Car fins to backdate Walthers Solarium car.


B&O Cincinnatian HO set (nickel silver, raised letters)


Indian Hills, Winton Place, Oakley, Avondale, Hyde Park, Peebles Corner


B&O Cincinnatian HO set brass unlettered   6 cars




Alaska RR Heater- Refer (sku94)


Canadian headend HW RPO, Baggage cars.








Waterloo,Cedar  Falls & Northern  combine obs #101(bsku 357)


CD&M Parlor #500-501 (bsku 352) in HO and S


FtD&DM combine 62 arch window (sku 353)


Grand River #842 series/LE&W cars




These products are in danger of croaking if more reservations don’t appear. Preliminary design has determined we could add them to the menu:


CB&Q Combine/RPO #30001-30003 (sku #79)  HO, O


N&W Baggage/mail storage Ms3 class  turtle roof, M3 Mail (sku 82 & 93)HO


Monon passenger cars- rebuilt hospital cars: Coaches #21-26; Deluxe Coaches #27-34; Dining-Bar-Lounge #51-53; Dining Parlor (rear car) #58-59; Grill Coach  #65-69; Parlor #71,72; Mail-Baggage #11,12 (Note: Hospital car wrap is available now-these are halfway ready )


Clark AutoTram  motorcar  (shown on interurban page)


Circus Flat Cars O & HO




Baldwin Class A Steeplecab  (sku 106)


Indiana Service Corp #342 series rebuilt McGuire Cummings lightweight


Fort Wayne City Car (sku #105)/ Cornwall, Ont.


Sand Springs revision of CL&A Coach (sku#91)


CL&A Coach


Ft Wayne-Lima Lightweight 90 series (sku #271)/ Oklahoma Rwy


Indiana RR #378 Combine (sku #269)


CSS & SB Line Car Indiana RR Combine rebuilt (sku #268)


Indiana RR RPO (sku #269-1)


Indiana RR Parlor  (Wabash Valley Flier w/ car 378) (sku #270)


McGuire Cummings 2 truck Sweepers O&HO  (bsku 9711)



These products have been requested but more plans, photos etc. are needed (as well as reservations to determine priorities)  to consider continuing preliminary designing of them:




South Shore Cars


Lake Shore Cars


Pittsburgh Jones cars


Cincinnati Curved Siders


Detroit Peter Witt3851-3980; 3 unit artic 99-1; 3500; 3009 suburban


North Shore 313-315; 351-360


Cleveland Rwy #5000 2 unit artic


Central Calif #7/ Balt Annapolis boxmotor


PE Electra Steeple Cab


CNS&M dual power steeple cab


Great Northern Z1






Michigan 51’ #7530 series Kuhlman


Michigan trailer #7544 for 7530 series


Eastern Michigan #7555 Pottawatomi lightweight


Detroit United #7533


Detroit Tunnel (NYC) heavy elec boxcabs and steeple cabs


C&LE Red Devils


NYC standard steel series built 1928


TMER&L #1100 series/ L&PS;


Springfield Terminal 32’ Combine #16


Red Arrow Brill side doors #65-76


NYC M14 Brill Gas Electric


Brill Gas Electric print A726 pass/bag/mail


Lake Shore Elec class 170


Michigan Ele Parlor 401


Northern Indiana 351-360/ IND RR  90-99 lightweight


Northern Ohio Cleveland Arrow deluxe coach rebuild


North Shore 750 series; 170-184,700—734 series; 250 series combines; parlor care


Montreal & S Counties combine


Indiana RR #430 rebuilt


CH&D Curved siders #107-109 coach; #100-106 combine/D&T, I&SE, LVT, Speedrail


Michigan open platform boxmotor #1939


Indiana RR/Interstate/Portland Elec Pwr  4000 lightweight


Spokane Inland M1-M6/WalaWala,Tacoma Mun Belt, Skag, Bamberger boxmotor


Great Northern boxmotor 603-604


L&PS GE Boxmotor L1




These requested products have officially croaked:


KIT for Indiana Service #817 in O & HO. Cost analysis showed that the volume of kit sales would lead to a kit higher in price than custom built models. Custom built models are available now on special order O & HO.


In coming months the long list above will be analyzed for items not receiving second, third or fourth reservations. Preparation of CAD tooling for double etching is far more involved than basic line drawings. Multiple layers are required for front and backside drawings for each pass, each size rivets, seams, insets, , dimples, openings,  window sashes, belt rails, fold lines, lap joints, details, stirrup setback —each requiring its own set of coordinated drawings by our shilled CAD folks coordinated with our kit designer and his criteria. There is a practical limit to the number of projects we can justify even if cost was not a consideration. But it is.




So what does FROG mean?    



Loud croaking just can’t make the menu.



Sandhouse Session                         JULY 2012

In the 35 years Red Ball lived here, so did Hostler Ginchell. He came here from Dunellen Jersey and there from Medford, Oregon. The old geezer sprung more leaks than a Washington politician about what was coming along at Red Ball. Since he moved to Wyoming we haven’t heard a peep. But we have heard lots of peeps from some of our visitors here at the Sandhouse. About lots of topics. So Boss Merle decided to visit one topic a month that folks have emailed about. If you’d like to respond to any of the Sandhouse discussion please send the boss an email to mrrwarehouse (at) yahoo.com with subject line “SANDHOUSE.” We’ll print your thoughts with your name (as long as you keep it clean and civil) and delete your email address since some folks crawl websites for addresses to send their spam. [Which is why the (at) instead of @ since a link would bring us a ton of it to manually filter through]. Boss Merle has a friend Jason who has a question or ten every week. A lot of them lately have focused on the future of the hobby and of the businesses that supply model railroad products. We’ve discussed the catch 22 situations and saved the emails. Lets start here.

Boss Merle often judges “Model Building” projects at 4H Fairs in northern Indiana and has done so for years. He says….

Over the years I have only once judged a model railcar and never a scenic diorama despite the possibilities (of using popular die cast tractors in the agricultural counties). I know there are adults making “Homestead models” in some of those counties because they were patrons of my Fort Wayne hobby shop over the years—but they were selling the models at fairs. No one ever saw one being built.

 Why not trains? Well, do you suppose the store where they hunted a kit to build had actual KITS of railcars?  Or if there WAS a model railroader at home, do you suppose these kids ever saw a kit being built in the last six or eight years?

The really sad part of this story is that the number of ANY kits being built by 4Hers had dropped tremendously. One nearby county has had me judge for the last six or eight years (most counties rotate judges). I was there this week and it happened again. The number of entries has dropped each year during that time. The only store in the county with ANY kits is Walmart so the 4H families make an annual trip to the remaining hobby shop forty or more miles from home.  Jason tells me that shop has a pathetic selection except RC planes. (They know we are here, but stopped ordering kits from us several years ago). When judging I give the kids tips on how to glue plastic planes together (they are notorious for ill fitting parts) and how to spray paint. Too bad some adult in that county doesn’t volunteer to the Ag Agent’s office to give model building clinics.  The price of some kits (and the locally sold spray cans) I saw entered this year could have purchased a couple or three  Hometown and Design Pres buildings and a couple of Jordan vehicle kits for the street in front.

Looking back over the decades I realize that a middle aged man befriended me and two other teens (not friends at first) when we showed up at a local railfan meeting announced in the newspaper. Sixty years later I can still see (in my mind) some of the train slides I saw at that meeting. The other teens became friends and we visited each other’s HO layouts learning we weren’t alone with our interests. Another teen from my own high school discovered/was discovered to share interests and he has since helped design some kits. So did that “middle aged man” after he retired. And as I look back, I realize that my friends and those who frequently visited the train shop I had for years had pride in the kits they built or bashed and their later scratch built projects. Over those years there was often a “human interest” story in the newspaper about someone’s gigantic train collection worth thousands of dollars with hundreds of this and dozens of that and engines worth $500 and more…on and on.  And the pictures told you Woolworth had had a regular, uh, visitor. I doubt those stories inspired anyone nearly as much as the man who filled a semi trailer with a model circus HE BUILT—and opened to visitors– when I was a kid. Too many kids today do not have a sense of accomplishment—unless they push buttons and move joy sticks. While teaching in an inner-city high school I was in a salvage team that made headlines with our success story. It started the first day of class when we literally tricked the kids into building something with their hands that their brains had to figure out.  Yes, a very few were still losers at commencement time. But we typically salvaged 80-90% of the lowest 15% of a junior or senior class for several years until the program was cancelled. It showed me there is a potential value to a hobby, like ours, that is being lost. After they learned they could really succeed at doing something, attitudes changed.

Since most of our own products are for more mature model railroaders MRRW is limited in what we can do to help reach out as I have suggested. I do know that my son Jon, during his early teen years, gave one evening clinics (usually to 6 or 8 adult men) in my hobby shop on how to build the Cannonball PS1 boxcar kit. The customers loved it—and having a kid teach them didn’t allow many excuses.

I hope these comments will help give you ideas that are more apt to do more good than complaining can, about kids today or the state of the hobby. Our brand new website has been designed to make a difference.  We are being suggestive—about kit bashing (see linked information pages) , about club activities (see bulk freight cars), and about getting up interest ( Galleries for sharing your photos)—and Challenges on the new CHALLENGE page. One that’s there right now is about leading a group of youth (scouts, church, school club, boys&girls club, Y ….) building a simple HO demo layout for public display this coming Christmas season. Check it out on the Challenge page. Do it, get some local publicity, and we’ll award $35 of Yardsale merchandise for the layout. We have Hometown structures waiting for your town or farm.


Your emails on this topic—encouraging youth to build– are welcome.

Merle Rice





Jason is a fan of ExactRail “modern” rolling stock kits. He found them at a hobby shop 60 miles from his home and was elated. Then they announced they would be distributed from Milwaukee. His joy was amplified, now they might be found closer to home. Then they announced they were no longer selling to hobby shops and his email to me was a dirge. This roller coaster ride went on for him just about six months before crashing. It came when they announced prices on their website that were lower than list price. He asked me “If they are the only place to buy, isn’t their price list price?” Well, I can’t speak for the ExactRail folks but I suggested maybe they were making the point that their direct selling was a move to hold the price line. His reply was to the effect “how can people really know about them if they can’t see them in a train shop anyhow?”  That was interesting to me because we at MRRW have fought that battle for a long time too. We spent thousand$ advertising the GE Steeple Cab kit when it was introduced several years ago yet the editors (who we helped pay) couldn’t remember it existed when listing traction products in their magazines. And modelers are still discovering it as if it is still new. Could say the same for our Hometown Bristol series structures (a secret despite our ads even when editorial focus was on superdetailing such kits). There are many innovative products from us “small timers” that just rate one line of type.  The MODEL RAILROAD NEWS magazine does give coverage to things kept secret elsewhere. But back to ExactRail and this thread.  They are buying HUGE and EXPENSIVE kilobuck$ ads.  They have to.  BUT THEY ALSO HAD TO BEFORE GOING DIRECT SALE ONLY.


Once upon a time the dealer’s “profit margin” was roughly equal to what the kit manufacturer received for the kit. The maker had to buy the ads, buy the tooling, rent or own the building, pay the labor to make product (whether it was hired or not- we once had 8 plant employees and 3 field reps. Now we is me, 3 subcontracting suppliers and an order taker paid per call), design the product and put prepaid raw material into the machines before the first sale.  The dealer was being paid to invest in stock so people could see the product and promote the product (so he could recover his investment).  The system worked well for decades. Distributors (the go –between shops and manufacturers) were paid to stock between production runs, promote and supply. They had to police WHO was a real dealer and that became a sticky problem at times, especially when travelling hucksters made brick and mortar obsolete. Brass importers were careful about who really was a dealer but next came the Chinese plastic importers.  They needed to empty their containers in time to pay (in advance) for the next containers. That dealer’s margin didn’t mean much anymore.  Dealers (who I knew) who tried to STOCK like the old days were inundated with so many road names and models they couldn’t choose the “right ones” to stock and had to cut prices to compete with the hucksters.  Their climate controlled museums were showplaces for the folks to make their wish lists so they could buy at the train show, the internet auction house or the full pages advertiser selling below dealer cost somehow. The “no-admission charge” museums began closing. The mode of operation became “advance order if you want it.” So shops seldom stocked it or promoted it. Their “profit margin” was too high a commission for order takers yet too low (after the necessary deep discounts) to pay the rent & utilities and still visit the grocery store. There wasn’t enough money left to stock and promote the slower moving detail parts, 56 colors of paint, decals and kits people weren’t buying because of the next Chinese model they wanted when it arrived.

LOST: Friendly local hobby shops with kits that could start a lifelong interest in the hobby. (Remember the notation last month- those of us who’ve done this for years have pride in the things we’ve built).

LOST: More mature modelers who could befriend younger folks building their interest and skills. (A prime meeting place was the friendly local hobby shop).

FOUND: Train collectors whose heirs may struggle to dispose of estates at reasonable prices since the potential consumer market is shrinking instead of growing.  (Brass prices already show us this trend—Remember Avon bottles ? They made lots of them for the collectors who quit collecting). 


ExactRail may be the most obvious example right now but the question “What Is List Price?” is echoing in the ears of your hobby suppliers. Some have just cut the dealer margin on their products typically reserved rather than stocked. That should limit drastic discounting while holding to a more reasonable advertised “list price.”  One major train firm has just announced they will not knowingly sell to dealers who advertise their product below certain prices starting this fall. Yet, one of the newest Oriental train importers started out with a price structure that protected retail shops then shifted gears and openly undersold (direct) at lower than dealers cost. Most small US manufacturers (like us) deliberately have held our own retail sales at msrp to protect dealers, those that still stock us. A result often has been suffering at hands of order takers who were advertising at low prices but not delivering anything but excuses promptly—they hadn’t ordered product till they got a bunch of orders to fill. Rumors by “middlemen” about “unavailable products”, even “out of business” companies travelled faster than truthful messages. There is no doubt in my mind the model industry is changing a lot. No one seems to have a clear vision of “how,” however. There are two or three large companies who COULD shape the change but they are so involved with their own Oriental sourcing there is little or no leadership showing on the horizon.

If you were making products and spending thousand$ to advertise them would you be happy with the folks who

Rely on your ad dollars do their selling;

expected you to deliver to them at a fraction of msrp after they received the orders

from their bargain listing ads that often cheapened the image of your product (never enhancing or informing, only cheap pricing)

and usually made it appear that you were ripping folks off with high advertised list prices?

Your emails about this topic to mrrwarehouse (at) yahoo.com with subject line “SANDHOUSE-AUG” are welcome. We’ll print them here with your name (without your email address) as long as you are clean and civil. We will not print material that casts doubt on any hobby firm’s quality or honesty and hasten to repeat: ExactRail is simply the most recent public example of the dilemma being addressed privately by most of the folks who try to make your hobby more fun.

Merle Rice

Disclosure: We are a professional review site that receives compensation from the companies whose products we review. We test each product thoroughly and give high marks to only the very best. We are independently owned and the opinions expressed here are our own.

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