GETTING TO KNOW US AND MEETING THE CREW

 

GETTING TO KNOW US AND MEETING THE CREW

We have been in this business since 1965. Boss Merle (that’s me) holds an engineering degree from Rose- Hulman but moved on to the “high paying” world of college and high school teaching for 37 years.  To afford teaching and model railroading (NMRA life member, joined in 1955), I started a hobby shop in Ft Wayne in the 1960s and was soon manufacturing kits (engineers aren’t happy any other way, I guess). We purchased Red Ball in 1975 and recently sold that pioneering line after having designed and produced over three hundred different additional kits. My wife, Bea, managed the business days and I was on the night shift. Our son managed our painting and pad printing  during the early days of that craft in the US. He has been an Industrial Engineer at the neighboring GM pickup truck plant for nearly two decades now. We had as many as eight employees simultaneously making railroad kits here during many of those years, but I am now trying to do all their jobs while designing new kits and their tooling.  My fun seems to have been designing things others said couldn’t be done because they can’t be- with the way things had always been made.  The challenge is to create fun (not frustration) for you. We try harder. 

Our newest crew member is Robert  Dugan.

Bob is an avid SP, AT&SF and roads dessert

model railroader. He’s working on new

products for like- minded folks. He also is doing

CAD for other brass kits and parts as well as

instruction sheet drawings.

BARB-several of you asked if Bea was the nice lady who takes your calls. Since the answer was no, we caught Barb at the desk in her printing firm two doors north on Main Street. She’s responsible for those realistic new Bristol Series kits (she loves neat architecture) and knows how to make computers and printing presses do neater stuff.  She has also extended her talents in becoming our new webmaster. Creating on screen as well as paper is a challenge she enjoys.

But please don’t ask her for train info (that’s Merle’s expertise). Barb bends over backward to help us with accurate order taking.

 

 

GEORGE AND DOUG-work on kit design with Boss Merle. George Dollens mostly does the tooling for LTD Series Red Ball kits while Doug Hunt mostly does CAD for Red Ball open stock and caboose kit tooling. Both are avid model railroaders who insist on Prototype Specific accuracy. They are seen here during a design team meeting where we ALL 3 review ALL the project work in progress. In following weeks they’ll be cross editing each other’s current CAD work after this meeting-but this evening will find them all enjoying the hobby at the Columbus (IN) Area Model RR Club.

 

CHALLENGER brass imports staff visits with Boss Merle as we wait outside the Seahawk Exhibition Hall one morning of the show. We were never quite sure why the shuttle busses arrived over a half hour before exhibitors could enter, but we renewed friendships during it all. Challenger’s product designer Larry Fuller (L) was a friend of Merle and Bea decades before he landed in Iowa, and Paul-their trouble shooter and expeditor became a new friend.

 

Here  are  additional historic and personal bits info and pictures that were posted on our website over the years.  You’ll see some other folks from  our team in recent years too.

MRRW IS ALIVE, WELL,

& STAYING RIGHT HERE
OUR CURRENT PRODUCT LINES ARE TOO
( BUT  RED BALL (HERITAGE) IS MOVING  )

[As Mark Twain kinda said-our obituary on the internet is quite premature] 
RED BALL IS GETTING READY TO MOVE  (old headline)

Announcement  for release  8/29/09

 

 Red Ball, head-quartered at Roanoke and Huntington Indiana, since 1976,  is packing up to move back out west — to Cheyenne, Wyoming.  Negotiations and preparations (in Indiana and Wyoming) have been underway since October 2007.

 

M. Dale Newton founded the Red Ball kit firm in 1939 and operated it from his printing business in Los Angeles, Ca. He moved to Medford, Oregon, during World War 2 and continued operations there. John Anderson, later a leading fotce at Kemtron then founder of Cal Scale, milled hundreds of the crisply detailed solid metal Red Ball molds during the post war years. Red Ball was briefly located in Elkhart, Indiana, but returned to Medford prior to its purchase in 1955 by Howell Day. Mr. Day was a pioneer model rail shop proprietor in Dunellen/Piscataway, New Jersey, He had manufactured O scale kits and had introduced an HO PRR K4 kit prior to World War 2 under the “H Owen” brand.. The Red Ball line was expanded to include dozens of unique prototype kits, well over 200 billboard refrigerator cars and  over a hundred wood style boxcars during the New Jersey era. Red Ball was also an early importer of Japanese made brass motive power and specialty cars. Upon his retirement in 1975 the parts and kit line was acquired by Wabash Valley Lines, Inc. and has been operated by Merle Rice’s Model Railroad Warehouse for the past 34 years.  Rice added dozens of additional prototype specific kits and engineered the use of most Red Ball molds to produce injection molded styrene parts and kits.  During this era, the wood and metal Red Ball line was differentiated from the styrene kits by introduction of the “Cannonball Car Shop”  brand for styrene kits and parts. Red Ball, at seventy years old, is one of the handful of remaining pioneer kit makers and has been particularly notable for introducing a wide variety of detailed unique prototype cars and carsides to the hobby. As Red Ball enter its seventy -first year of kitmaking it will be conducted by LaBelle Woodworking Company’s Rick Steele.

 

Metal and plastic molding machinery, hundreds of solid metal molds and many tens of thousands of parts are being packed at the Model Railroad Warehouse for this undertaking. LaBelle Woodworking Company, the future caretaker/ proprietors of this historic line of unique model railroad kits, have set an ambitious goal to release their first Red Ball kits by December 2010. Please patiently watch for their kit announcements later in 2010.  

 

Next month, Model Railroad Warehouse will announce special limited edition 70th Anniversary Red Ball kits of the Pile Driver and open platform passenger cars for release the winter of 2009-2010.  These will be upgraded revisions of previous Red Ball kits based on styrene bodies with and metal castings. These anniversary kits will be “the last MRRW Red Ball” offerings. The Signature Series and LTD Series kits will continue as kit offerings by Model Railroad Warehouse under the LTD and Signature Series brands.  

 

Model Railroad Warehouse has listed several Red Ball “factory closeout” offerings on the “YARDSALE” page of its website since 2008. Some have not yet emerged in the packing process for shipment but have been reserved by modelers. These reservations will be honored as the listed items are located and prepared for shipment in the fall. Red Ball factory closeout reservations will still be accepted through September 15, 2009. After that date inventory accessibility will no longer be continued to service individual orders.   

 MEETING YOU AT CINCINNATTI NATL. SHOW & NMRA CONVENTION

Cincinnati’s National Train Show July 5, 2005

The Boss and Bea arose [too] early for the MRIA Breakfast meeting so we got to play tourist at 5:30 AM our time. Here is Bea at Fountain Square-about our only chance to play tourist. It was a busy train time.

 

 

 

Our booth (202-203) featured (on the left side) Oregon Rail crossing flasher and cantilever Signal bridge that were welcome sights to many.

On the same panel were the NEAT CMA and Tichy ‘minikits’ for tell tales, mail cranes, water plugs, ice blocks, burlap bags, milk cans, fire escapes, wheel stops and the like. We nearly sold out of Tichy/CMA.

Next was City Classics display and those kits went whoosh. Folks saw their quality and couldn’t believe the reasonable prices. Next to that was a board showing the Bethlehem Car Co. truck selection and a group of BCW passenger car kits and hard to find books by Silver Brook Junction Press. Yes, we STOCK BCW parts and trucks.

In the corner was the Cannonball Car Shops display of the new WWII Hospital car, Hospital kitchen car and a ‘converted’ heavyweight Pullman to hospital car using CCS conversion kit. We started with a stack of styrene GE steeple cab kits and a builtup model. The display model came back to Indiana but the kits went far and wide. There were CB&Q, Monon, and N&W express cars made with the CCS kitchen car and several other interesting troop conversions. RED BALL’s converted troop sleepers were next on the right. Folks seemed to really enjoy studying the many different brass sided cars that ran every where from the 1950-70’s era (many are still in special service.) N scalers saw THE first announcement of brass sides to convert Micro Trainsy troop sleepers-and snatched up the sample sides that were for sale.

The center of our booth featured Red Ball LTD, Red Ball Heritage and Red Ball SIGNATURE series cars. From LTD: our first modernized / betterment train, the Cincinnatian was shown with nickel silver etched sides (with raised lettering like the prototype). LTD’s first traction model, the Baldwin B steeple cab, was shown and available for purchase and a pre-production B&O C15 baggage car was there. A 1980’s vintage Wreck Crane kit represented the old favorites being upgraded for reruns as ‘Heritage Series.’ Signature cars included a train of Mann’s Creek HO hoppers, the B&O Wagontop boxcar, PRR H30 Covered Hopper, PRR Troop Sleeper, PRR Depressed Center Flat and Mann’s Creek Log buggies in G, O and N. The Mann’s Creek Hopper in O scale was also on display.

Over on the right we featured the HOMETOWN Bristol Backgrounder buildings and 11 x 17 brick sheets, factory walls and ‘Insulbrick’ Sheet. There were folks crowded around this most of the time. We sneaked in some of the Hometown Studio Series parts and Hoosier Byways postcards from the area too. We’ll tell more about those things on this website soon. Insulbrick? That’s the tar/asbestos sheeting they used to use to cover old buildings.
It looks like ugly brick with black mortar-from afar.
Those brick sheets are in HO, N,. O, S and G!!

In our booth this year you will meet Boss Merle, his wife Bea and George Dollens and his wife Mary Ann. That’s George in the red shirt. He’s the lead man on most of the LTD projects. After Merle does basic design George does the special CAD work for etching the brass. He works from the plans and pix we’ve assembled. We’re proud of the Cincinnatian he developed (it’s hiding between them).
But that’s only the beginning. All of George’s work is then ‘edited’ by Doug Hunt. [He stayed back in Indiana working on caboose molds]. On projects when Doug is lead man, the editing is George’s to do. Doug was in charge of the raised lettering on the Cincinnatian cars. May sound simple to you but that alone took a couple weeks! Preparation of the exhibit was Doug’s job over a month so the cabooses were calling him. George got to see the show too. There were so many of you the Boss didn’t know. That’s good-we came to meet you. IF we are able to be in Philly it will be Doug’s turn. Most of us smaller companies have to shut down for over a week to do a show, and it can easily cost a tenth of the year’s income. That alone should explain why we told so many of you we wouldn’t be at a show you asked about. We’d love to-but. . .

It is super to be able to visit layouts the evening after a long & tiring day of setting up the booth.

The day starts with long waits at a loading dock and continues non stop. We did well this year – Only forgot to pack one display model and only had one new kit (Brill 55) that didn’t make the deadline to be in the show. We were showing over a hundred new products for the first time!

Thank you to our Cincinnati hosts for a job well done. We’ll honor you with a train well done-the Cincinnatian by Red Ball. Here are two other Prototype Specific manufacturers we’re proud to count as our friends-as well as suppliers. They’re proud of the new models shown for good reason-coming soon. For some, designing new kits is much of the fun in model railroading. As seen at Cincinnati—-

City Classics’ Jim Sacco didn’t want his picture on the website until we agreed to include his new HO neighborhood supermarket. Of course we wanted to show IT. His booth display was also impressive.

 

 

 

 

Don Tichy is the ‘giant’ holding those little N jewels. He’s the proud parent of new N scale Water tower and Signal tower kits [in his hands]. All those parts behind Don are his-and we stock them–ALL.

 

 

MEETING YOU AT SEATTLE NATIONAL SHOW and NMRA CONVENTION

Click for Larger Picture

  The MRRW Prototype Specific Products    Booth displayed 26 HO models on the left not available from any other source-as well as O scale TROOP SLEEPER (also available in S) and Mann’s Creek Cars. There’s a Mann’s Creek Log Buggy (F scale –1/20.3 scale) standing there to the left of Boss Merle and a whole flock of the new HOMETOWN Bristol Series kits to the right (her left) of his wife Bea. We really had a lot packed in -folks who checked out the Bristol construction sheets were amazed at seven colors of HO brick. And YES, there will be several stone sheets soon, and N and O and S. We also represented City Classics and Bethlehem Car Works who were unable to attend. 

 

Click for Larger Picture

 

 

AMTRAK runs lots of trains with lots of passengers along Puget Sound. This is the talgo train Merle and Bea rode back to Seattle from Portland after a quick excursion (Coast Starlight) down to visit Oregon Rail after the show. We thought you’d like to see a train here. It was a LOT more comfortable than the Boeing 747 and 757 experience to & from Seattle-with all due respect to Seattle’s Boeing family.

 

July 16, 2004    A personal note from “Boss Merle”

I want to thank our many “internet friends” who stopped by booth 351 during our 39 hours there last weekend. We took a couple pictures of the booth that Shambles will put in here as soon as I can get them ready for him. That’s me, “Boss Merle” and my bride of 40 years, Bea, in our booth. For our “Anniversary Cruise,” we did take an Amtrak sidetrip to Portland on Monday, calling on Oregon Rail Supply and returned to Seattle for a bit of “touristing” Tuesday. The view from Smith Tower, walking through Pioneer Square, riding route 99 (Waterfront Trolley) and eating Ivars fish at the dock were most enjoyed before taking express bus 194 (with our two carryons each) to SeaTak for the Red Eye United return flight. Neither of us had been to the Northwest before. We were impressed by the friendliness we experienced. Two nights as the shuttles returned us from the Seahawks Hall to “Hotel Row” really special drivers took routes deliberately to show us your city. And since we were not staying at a top dollar hotel they even got us to 160th. The ONE night it was raining that was especially appreciated. The one routing past the docks and Boeing will result in special Bristol Series kits. Another driver went a few blocks extra to pass through Pioneer Square at night (we were too tired to walk it every night), the International district, and a rail yard. Your Exhibitor’s Layout Tour on Wednesday night was our only opportunity to do any convention activity after flying in Tuesday and setting up the exhibit Wednesday. It was most enjoyable and Bob Burger’s guided tour of Seattle North was relaxing after a strenuous day. We are quite certain that a good many of you model rails in Seattle ( and Cincinnatti and Detroit) were working such long hours to produce the convention that you can relate to this-iI hope you were able to find little tidbits of enjoyment too. Your tunnel trolley buses and the diesel/trolleys that are phasing out got caught on our film as well as some COLORFUL locos. (Black is too common around here). Now I just ask that you get those orders in before our credit card billing comes. Some of you asked if the show was good— well the UPS to ship our booth BACK was nearly $500. It is a major multi kilobuck investment for smaller manufacturers to prepare for a show, ship it, completely shut down a week and all. We were happy to also represent Bethlehem Car and City Classics this year at Seattle-two of the fine Prototype Specific Product lines we carry. Other PSP folks were there. We’ll be posting pictures of the folks & their booths from Broadway Limited, Stewart Hobbies, Tichy Trains/CMA and Oregon Rail on their pages of our website. We are all people though some say we couldn’t be normal people to go into this business. We hope to be in Cincinnati next year.
 I’ll put a summary of our news here. Then scrolling on down you’ll find as many of the questions asked as I can remember.

 

Model RR Warehouse had 24 BRAND NEW HO CAR MODELS; 3 NEW O CAR MODELS; 1 NEW 1/20.3 scale Car model; 15 new structure kits AND 11 NEW HO brick (7 colors) wall and roof sheets on display. Thats 54 brand new products folks saw in our booth + pictures and announcements of more.  RED BALL LTD SERIES MODELSBaldwin Class B Steeple Cab (HO) The first in our new series of custom produced kits will be The B we showed. This kit is $59.95 for those ordering on the first run. LTD kits are made in batches to fill orders on hand each time. Also coming this summer are the Baldwin Class D and class B1 steeple cabs. Illinois Terminal class B and class C as well as the Brill Type 55 motor car are this fall. All five of these will be run in HO on first run; Brill also in S and O; Illinois Terminal & Baldwins in O. More reservations are needed for other scale runs yet. LTD Passenger car announcements were posted-right off our website.

Photo of the Baldwin B will be posted on INTERURBSAN page

HOMETOWN BRISTOL SERIES
We showed builtups and production kits for fifteen new releases: Miller’s Saltbox with laundry, picket fence and flowers (HO); Delta Sharecropper’s Saltbox with outhouse & board fence (HO); Missouri Mule Barn with FoJo Photo sign (N and HO); Glen’s Mule Barn with See Rock City roof (N & HO); Chicago St. Bungalow (HO); Markle Mill grain elevator (HO & N); Sewell Engine House (HO&N); NKP Freight Station (HO); Quonsett Hut (HO/N); Mail Pouch Barn (O/S and HO suited to N).

Photos of actual production run Bristol Series models are posted on the STRUCTURES page of our website. Many more will be there soon, too.

 

Q&A Oh, so YOU do Red Ball now??  Well, we’ve made tons of the Red Ball kits since 1975-longer than its founder, M Dale Newton (1939-55) or Howell Day (1955-75). The trucks and some old time kits were sold at various times by all three owners. Today’s Red Ball is a new generation of multi media kits heavily relying on injection molded styrene and photoetche brass to continue the tradition of unique, specific prototype kits. There have been pirates over the years copying our extensive line of billboard carsides, even making rubber molds from our parts. Patronage of such firms simply encourages them to continue stealing from those of us who work to bring you neat new kits. Do you still make those cardboard and lead kits? (A publisher who didn’t bother to stop by to see us, but cashes our advertising space checks)No. Red Ball cardsided kits have not been made since 1975. Much existing inventory was sold out as “QuicKits” in the late 70s when we switched Red Ball to wood sides.  Are those express cars painted? Do they include decals? Etc  We are developing decals for many of our kits now days. Microscale DOES have suitable decals for all the express cars we showed painted. Most roads had 2-4 paint schemes for them over the years-so. We do have a reasonably priced custom builder (in USA) available for our unpainted kits if you’d like. , Did you build those ?  Before going blind three years back I built many of the railcar models we showed, Alaska RR fans recognized two as Durand built. Doug Hunt,( who works with George Dollens and I on kit design ) built many of them more recently. After doing a couple of HO troop cars I got their time under an hour each and ready to be painted. Barb built most of the Bristol buildings. I’ll introduce her farther down the page.When are you doing these in Western roads?  Troop cars in western express service were owned ONLY by Rock Island, Burlington (and D&FtW, C&S), Frisco and M&StL. NYC and B&O cars would cross the Mississippi to enter St Louis. Many others did come west in off line interchange service. The REA cars were common on your lines but other western US roads did NOT have them in revenue service. Some had them in MofW use. We ARE zeroing in on other headend cars for you-the SP “Economy Baggage” are listed in next year’s ballot being posted in August. Our LTD series will feature specific unique western cars as well. Available plans & photos can motivate us. Designing the kits and tooling AFTER digging up the reference is all three of us can handle, so help in the digging can get the kits you want rolling.Are you rerunning the plastic Steeple Cab?  The molds are steel and as good as new– more can be made. We hear there may be new HO power trucks coming into the market. If so– YES. If YOU will buy a few hundred-YES, just for you. If we run a thousand only to sell a handful a month-NO.

I’m looking for stone sheets.
       I’m looking for N scale brick sheets. Or S or OWell they aren’t yet available – but we’ve got a wide selection of them coming soon.Are you the charming lady on the 800 phone? No, this question was addressed to Bea, not me. The charming lady is Barb. She operates a specialty printing business two doors from our building on Main St in Roanoke, IN. Barb fed our cat while we were in Seattle, takes your orders and produces our Bristol Series kits and Red Ball Christmas cards. We’ll put a photo of her smile in here. Please call her with your ORDERS M-F 8-4EST at 1-800-672-8762. Please don’t call her for information though (I pay her for every call you know-800 isn’t on Bell ). Please email us for information. I read & respond daily when kitmaking needs a break (or next day if off at a show, meeting with molders, researching a prototype, meeting with George, Doug, mold makers , etc-that’s why my phone isn’t posted). Some of you have asked for me to CALL and I’ve tried–talked to YOUR machines, wives, secretaries and office mates as many as a half dozen times.). 

 

SEATTLE NATIONAL TRAIN SHOW BOOTHS OF OTHER PROTOTYPE SPECIFIC PRODUCTS WE PROUDLY CARRY  OREGON RAIL brought in a large operating layout that demonstrated their Prototype Specific signals (and new signal bridges coming soon). That’s Dick Yager, THE MAN who does the signal thing. His trains ran continuously for three days without a derailment-one of them featured our Mann’s Creek Hoppers. We were right next door and for some reason people who saw them running on Dick’s standard gauge layout decided they needed them too. We ran out of the McHoppers we’d taken-early. Thank you

TICHY TRAINS/ CMA Don Tichy has some of the best kept secrets in the hobby. We took a big bunch of his finely detailed $5-10 kits (tell tales, jib cranes, water columns, crossing signs, fire escapes, outhouses, burlap bags, ice chunks, pallets-the list goes on) and he had them there too. Well, they were real hits-few came back home to Indiana..

STEWART HOBBIES Steve Stewart has been a friend since his early days of Prototype Specific diesel production (he and Boss Merle were both secondary teachers back then-as well as their train businesses–they shared all kinds of problems). Doing business with real people has been a mutual plus for both of us.-there are times when it isn’t as pleasant having all those trains around as you might think-and we can understand each other.

 

BROADWAY LIMITED has really kept us jumping here at MRRW with a constant flow of new values. We knew BLI ‘s President years ago when he ran other hobby businesses in Indiana and we distributed his products-but he has someone else trying to keep us up with everything happening there now-Sales Manager Tim Nissley slowed down long enough for a picture at their Seattle National Train Show booth. He and Boss Merle communicate two or three times a week-so with all the ducks in all the other puddles, he must run in high gear 24/7 ! Look carefully, their new EMD switcher was running and there’s a UP steamer sitting there too. We didn’t discuss the UP.

 

 

 


Opened in 1965, Model Railroad Warehouse was built on a single foundation…Providing unique and high-quality model railroad products.  The people behind such brands as HomeTown, Cannonball Car Shops, New River Models and Red Ball products, we have dedicated our efforts to the modeler, so that every layout or closet collection could contain the quality and prototypical effects that has come to represent the hobby.
   IN THE 1970s available structures were European prototype plastic, printed cardboard, soldered sheet metal, false front wood buildings or “exquisite” HOMETOWN pioneered American prototype, popularly priced kits (masonry, corrugated and wood( with state-of-the-art Grandt  and proprietary details The Hometown concepts are still widely imitated in the styrene kits of 1990-2000 vintage in other lines.  In the future, this website will announce new pioneering steps as  the warehouse returns HOMETOWN  with some old favorites and brand new releases. The quality will be museum.  The price and assembly —  popular.  The availability– limited editions NOT widely advertised.     Visit us often.

Red Ball, founded in 1939 by M. Dale Newton, is currently owned by Wabash Valley Lines, Inc.  We here are the Model Railroad Warehouse serve as the operators of this line of unique prototype designs.  While “mainstream” manufacturers were stuck in the limited-selection rut, Red Ball set the pace by introducing tank cars with plastic detail parts dating back before the second World War!In the 1950’s, Red Ball was owned by Howell Day.  Under Day’s leadership, the product line grew to nearly three hundred different prototype-specific kits, fifty different decorated woodside boxcars and over two hundred decorated wooden reefers.  Although widely copied, Day’s Red Ball line was never replicated.  His attention for detail resulted in appropriate doors, hatches, ends, underframes and prototypical-specific sizing.  Serious modelers continue to seek this superb detail, hailing Red Ball as “years ahead” of the mass-produced competition.During the 1990’s, BC Models of Florida purchased the “Old-Time” and narrow-gauge divisions of Red Ball.   Under the BC Model direction, these kits were reunited with earlier cousins sold to Binkley in the 1950’s.  In the 1970’s, much of the truckmolds were sold by Howell Day to Cape Line.

 

Cannonball Car Shops, originally a division of Wabash Valley Lines Inc., was established to provide the same high-quality and superbly-detailed parts synonymous with Red Ball in plastic.  The same metal molds used by Red Ball were used to produce these superior plastic parts.  WVL assisted in the design of these plastic injection molders, so that the same high quality and low rejection rates could be realized.  While most metal molders were using rubber molds incapable of casting the plastic, Cannonball Car Shops would only settle for the best the metal mold industry had to offer.  This combination of superb design and premier equipment produced parts with unmatched consistency, finish and fine-detail.Cannonball Car Shops also returned the Kurtz Kraft styrene kits to market.  With their respective detail parts, the 40′ PS1 Boxcar with 7′ door and the MDT steel reefer kits are believed to be the first all-styrene rolling stock available to the HO modeler.  These preceded even the infamous Athearn “Shake The Box” kits of the mid-50’s.Model Railroad Warehouse continues to improve on the long-term quality of the Cannonball Car Shops.  Serious kitbashers continue to hail our “plugged roofwalk holes” as a technical innovation allowing them to begin the assembly process without having to disassemble other manufacturer’s rolling stock.

New River Models, solely owned and operated by the Model Railroad Warehouse, serves as a contract printer for major model railroad manufacturers.   Limited-run productions from power-house names such as Stewart Hobbies and others have employed our superior-technology pad printing process.  Make no mistake, perfection is the ONLY acceptable quality at New River Models.

©MRRWAREHOUSE
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Announcement  for release 8/29/09

Red Ball, head-quartered at Roanokeand HuntingtonIndiana, since 1976,  is packing up to move back out west — to Cheyenne, Wyoming.  Negotiations and preparations (in Indianaand Wyoming) have been underway since October 2007.

 

M. Dale Newton founded the Red Ball kit firm in 1939 and operated it from his printing business inLos Angeles, Ca. He moved toMedford,Oregon, during World War 2 and continued operations there. John Anderson, later a leading fotce at Kemtron then founder of Cal Scale, milled hundreds of the crisply detailed solid metal Red Ball molds during the post war years. Red Ball was briefly located inElkhart,Indiana, but returned toMedfordprior to its purchase in 1955 by Howell Day. Mr. Day was a pioneer model rail shop proprietor in Dunellen/Piscataway,New Jersey, He had manufactured O scale kits and had introduced an HO PRR K4 kit prior to World War 2 under the “H Owen” brand.. The Red Ball line was expanded to include dozens of unique prototype kits, well over 200 billboard refrigerator cars and  over a hundred wood style boxcars during theNew Jerseyera. Red Ball was also an early importer of Japanese made brass motive power and specialty cars. Upon his retirement in 1975 the parts and kit line was acquired by Wabash Valley Lines, Inc. and has been operated by Merle Rice’s Model Railroad Warehouse for the past 34 years.  Rice added dozens of additional prototype specific kits and engineered the use of most Red Ball molds to produce injection molded styrene parts and kits.  During this era, the wood and metal Red Ball line was differentiated from the styrene kits by introduction of the “Cannonball Car Shop”  brand for styrene kits and parts. Red Ball, at seventy years old, is one of the handful of remaining pioneer kit makers and has been particularly notable for introducing a wide variety of detailed unique prototype cars and carsides to the hobby. As Red Ball enter its seventy -first year of kitmaking it will be conducted by LaBelle Woodworking Company’s Rick Steele.

 

Metal and plastic molding machinery, hundreds of solid metal molds and many tens of thousands of parts are being packed at the Model Railroad Warehouse for this undertaking. LaBelle Woodworking Company, the future caretaker/ proprietors of this historic line of unique model railroad kits, have set an ambitious goal to release their first Red Ball kits by December 2010. Please patiently watch for their kit announcements later in 2010.  

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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