If you would like email regarding any MTH Gauge-1 related news, offers or alerts then please send a message to
If you are interested in items from MTH's other product ranges, their various O gauge lines and/or HO gauge then please take a look at what they are producing.
For general articles, news and views on Gauge 1 standard gauge (1/32 or 10mm/ft) we would recommend the Gauge 1 Model Railway Association. The G1MRA website hosts a short messageboard alongside a more verbose Yahoo group. The membership encompasses most eras and countries but with the bulk of the information relating to live steam. Electric power and american outline does get a look in on a less frequent basis. In terms of magazines Finescale Railroader, an american publication, might be worth tracking down. The magazine itself was extinguished in early 2007, the bulk of the coverage always was for G scale but 1/32 scale featured from time to time. In terms of British magazines both Continental Modeller and Garden Rail cover 1/32 scale items in their trade news section and may also feature 1/32 on an occasional (CM) or pretty much consistent (GR) basis. Both of these magazines, I am very happy to report, contain more pages nowadays than ever before.
It is worth pointing out that the appearance of the production item can change (on a few occasions quite markedly) from the initial publicity and subsequent pre-production images. The most obvious examples have been with the european O gauge models, some examples of changes are given here.
Do you have happen to have and are willing to sell:
-REA boxcar #70-74048
-ATSF boxcar #70-74004
-ATSF Baldwin VO1000 #70-2046-1
-Couplers.I know that some of you prefer to couple up with Kadee, please get in touch if you would you like to sell some of your spare MTH couplers back
[ If you are interested in any of the Hornby Hobbies brands, our french companion site MonsieurVapeur.com can supply
Hornby, Rivarossi, Jouef, Lima, Arnold, Electroten along with Scalextric, Airfix and Corgi ]
The situation with MTH seems to be stabilising. As mentioned on other pages the Ho and S gauge ranges have been sold to Scale Trains, along with a licence to use Protosound 3. A portion of more modern era O gauge rolling stock was sold to Atlas and more recently some other O gauge items have been sold to Lionel (I'm not sure which). Whilst I would prefer that the MTH designs not be watered in to the Lionel range I do understand that this is one of the ways that Mr. Wolf can convert his financial interest in MTH to cash. From what MTH has mentioned recently some 80% of the total historic MTH O gauge product designs and tooling now remains with MTH. The gauge 1 product line has apparently not been shelved, for which I am grateful, but there were no hints as to new products. I have heard precious little regarding the tinplate ranges, it might make sense if Lionel picked those up. The development of DCS is with the originators of the system in their enclave in Michigan. The spares department has been given a complete overhaul and spare parts can be ordered from mthpartsandsales.com, Mike Reagan has been powering through a massive task to rationalise the ordering system by determining which parts (such as motors) are common between several models and updating the code numbers on the exploded diagrams. The spares department should only be contacted by email. The heavyweight paper catalog(ue)s are probably a thing of the past, there will be new offerings made via the various email newsletters that you can subscribe to and the quantity per year will probably be halved from the six hundred or so new items that was the usual crop.
With the retirement of Mike Wolf only weeks away now a little more information has come out regarding the MTH product lines. As has been known for a couple of months Scale Trains has aquired the tooling for the Ho and S ranges but I now see that Atlas has bought some (but not all) of the Premier O gauge diesel locomotive, passenger and freight car tooling plus some of the O gauge accessories and the rights to include DCS protosound-3. The tooling that they have opted for is mainly of the more modern era (mthtrains.com/news/686) but that leaves the steam locomotives plus the remaining bulk of the american rolling stock and accessories plus all the premier european products. I am happier for the hobby in general that Atlas took them over. From what I understand Atlas do not have sole rights to DCS and from what I hear a rump form of MTH may continue on with the remaining O gauge items. I have heard nothing regarding either gauge 1 or tinplate.
Having just heard about Mr. Wolf's planned May 2021 retirement I am am not any wiser than the rest of you. I do know that there are plenty of best wishes and other comment within the usual forums so please get on to your favourite search engine if you want to scan through these.
Having just asked my MTH rep as to where we were regarding the baggage cars I have received the sad reply that they have been cancelled. At the point of updating this site mid month the MTH site still mentions a Dec (2019) delivery and other vendors are apparently still accepting orders but in this case I trust the rep. I was very much looking forward to these cars and share your disappointment.
I have also located an unrun 4014 Big Boy (most recent PS-3 version) for a potential new customer who decided against (as my father said "the customer is always right", to which I might add "up to the point they are no longer a customer"), if you want one please get in touch.
They caught me by surprise, not only has MTH issued a new gauge 1 catalogue but it will be available in print and, ye gods, they have produced a new baggage car mould! I have been asking for these for about 14 years, well done Mr. Wolf for finally taking the plunge. Just seven road names this time and a few such as NYC and ATSF are notable as absent but, with the moulds available, there is not much extra risk in adding those in the next catalogue if demand seems likely. You will not be surprised to hear that some existing moulds will be re-run and they list Challengers and the Alco PA once more along with the perrenial GS-4. A few more liveries for the freight cars and a new slogan for the popular UP caboose. MTH has for many years had Christmas themed items in it's O gauge ranges and, if you do put a loop around the tree, you can now do so with a 1:32 GS-4.
Ok, not much to say other than I am implementing a category for electric locomotives. I know that so far in gauge 1 there has only been the GG-1 model but in the other scales the combined diesel and electric locomotive totals were becoming rather large. I may soon start adding some french text for those that prefer to read that rather than translate.
Still waiting on the #4012 and #4014 Big Boys, I'm no wiser than joe public as to actual shipping dates but I sincerely hope that we have had the last of the delays.
The main news this time round is that the combination of recent large and rapid exchange rate movements, coupled to establishing an outpost in France has made me consider whether pricing everything in Sterling is sensible. Sterling certainly seemed best when the majority of customers wanted to pay in that fashion and it was the currency that I used day to day but now I am faced with the possibility of two sets of foreign exchange conversion fees. Since MTH naturally wants to be paid in US dollars it just makes sense to sell their products in that currency, this should at least lead to numeric price stability with relatively minor exchange rate effects on postage (postage will continue to be added based on a best guess basis since I do not have all the weight and volume data to automate this).
Customers in the UK (or indeed others outside the EC sales tax net) who prefer (or have) to do their own import clearance please contact me as I will still be spending time in Jersey and could post from there with prices reduced to reflect the lower local tax.
If you see an item priced in dollars then please assume that it represents a price with VAT / TVA paid.
Please get in touch if you are looking for the UP Challenger (black) or SP GS-4 Daylight locomotives, I have found some NoS.
Good to see that MTH has got round to a 2015 gauge-1 on-line catalogue even if, as for some of their other "lower volume" products, it is not due out in print. The Big Boy is due for a re-run, new features this time include a PS-3 decoder (so it adds DCC to the previous DCS and analogue system), a smoking whistle a-la-triplex and a wireless drawbar. Cab numbers are 4012 and (surely you would never guess) 4014. PS-3 thankfully sees the end of the "polarity switch" which is good news in itself and the lighting is now by LEDs but no improvement with the sound system sorry to say. The start-up, shut-down, whistle, bell and sundry other sound effects are very good, as is the individual chuff sound. MTH are rather proud of their articulated "drifting in and out of synch" effect and the first time I heard it it was a moderately interesting effect but the trouble is that you rapidly realise that it is unrealistic, are the crank positions really doing that? Of course not. Do live recordings of Mallet types sound like such a short loop recording? No. Lets face it proper Mallet sound timing has been available for decades in scales Ho and upwards, even Lionel can manage it these days! It is not that complicated, all it needs is a trigger on the second engine unit fed in to correctly time a superimposed chuff but my pleas in this matter have fallen on deaf ears. Lionel even offers dual smoke fans timed with the engine units, surely something that MTH could manage? If you agree with me then please let Mr. Wolf know. To scan the catalogue you may either go to the MTH site or get it here in pdf form.
Following the re-jig of MTH's website and the temporary loss of links to the pages on their site this site has been altered slightly in that a "Common items" category has been added to the left hand frame. This is intended to be a repository of all those items which might be used by one or more of MTH's product ranges, such as the DCS and analogue controllers, tools and smoke oil, apparel, miscellaneous items, documents and spare parts. It has to be said that some spares are probably "product range specific" as are a number of the catalogues in the documents category. The intention from this end is that each MTH item should find a single suitable page to be listed on. I hope that you will find the rearrangement more of a blessing than a nuisance.
Nothing really specific to report on the MTH front but, in case it is of interest I have added pages on the freight cars produced by Model Die Casting (RoundHouse), which are currently offered by Mainline America and Piko and on the Great Trains (American Standard Car Co) passenger cars and diesel locos. I also mention that Accucraft has announced a series of 80 ft streamline coaches.
The long anticipated 2013 catalog(ue) has arrived, it is great news to have a look at the future products at long last. The cat mentions a couple of items that were still in stock (eg the Triplex and helicopter wagons) but mainly features new liveries on diesels, boxcars, reefers, hoppers and tankers along with coach and observation cars. The new diesels get a Protosound 3 type decoder board so you have the option of traditional analogue variable voltage or digital control via DCS or DCC command systems. PS3 also removes the need for the DCS/PS2 "polarity switch". The observation cars have been given lighted drumheads. "Missing" are the caboose and flatcar, the side tipping wagons and of course the other steam locomotives, the ALCO PA and the GG1. If there are reasonable sales from the new list then perhaps MTH will consider producing their other 1:32 products and on a more regular basis.
OK I got it wrong. My interpretation of what is happening with MTH gauge 1 is not strictly accurate. The DAP Hoods Dairy reefer is definitely not the last item that MTH is putting out as there are now two other reefers (PRR and PFE) that are being reissued under new stock codes. 1:32 is not a thing of the past but I am not expecting a flurry of new products. What I think will happen is that runs of a few items of rolling stock will take place every now and then and perhaps a locomotive might be reissued (I have a small queue of people after the Big Boy, Challenger and Daylight if you want to sell any). In November I was told that there would not be a 2012 catalogue but I have since heard rumours that one may be on its way, we shall see.
Sadly I do have news this time. As other people have discussed the future of MTH's range of 1:32 scale locomotives and rolling stock has been in question for a while. I used to query them from time to time to see if I could elicit some information but, as may be no surprise, the response was not definite. I have now heard back directly from Mike Wolf and my interpretation is that gauge 1 has been suspended. There will not be a 2012 catalog(ue). They have the tooling and one might be tempted to "never say never" but I reckon that it would take a momentous change in the state of the market to tempt them to resurrect the range. If there are items that you have been dithering over then my advice is to get them from wherever you can. Of course Accucraft does produce sets of reefers and boxcars in their more reasonably priced AMS range but I rather doubt if we will see flatcars, hoppers, coaches, locomotives or the little gem of a caboose at MTH's prices. If for any weird reason this news makes you want to convert over to 1:29 then please be aware that there is demand for certain items (Big Boys and Challengers for instance) and I'm prepared to run a match-making service if it helps. Following a couple of requests I have initiated a list of 1:32 scale american outline products, past and present. I think I have pretty much covered MTH and the bulk of Accucraft and am adding others such as MDC Roundhouse, Great Trains, Märklin, Mainline America and Piko as information comes to hand.
Sadly no news of further items but I am happy to include a link to this (30Gb) video file of MTH locomotives running with an on-flatcar camera. If you can spare the time to download it you will be rewarded with footage of the Dash-8 diesels and a Challenger plus a range of rolling stock. Many thanks to Alan the author..
If you have recently taken a look at the MTH website you will see that one of their news items is an on-line gauge 1 factory discount catalog. I have been through this and, as far as I can tell, every single gauge 1 item that they have in stock has had a reduction of say 10 to 30%. The only new(ish) item, which appears under this year's DAP scheme, is a Hood's Dairy reefer but otherwise there are no re-releases or new items. I have asked directly whether this is effectively a "close out catalog". The response I got did not directly confirm or refute my fear but mentioned that demand for gauge 1 had slowed, which is something that I can believe and it has to be said that gauge 1 items do take up more volume per dollar value than the equivalent in smaller scales so they are not the most cost effective items to store. Until I see a new production run catalog my worries for this exceptionally good value range of 1:32 will continue. Can you see any body else bringing out such a well detailed caboose, Alco PA or triplex locomotives at MTH prices? With the prices now reduced they are even better value than before so if there are any items in the catalog that you fancy you may as well take advantage whilst you can. I sincerely hope that this does not signal the end of 1:32 MTH.
With both the Alco PA diesel sets and EMD F7's starting to ship MTH have now produced all the gauge 1 locomotive and rolling stock types that they have announced. The Alcos are, as expected, substantial beasts though I suppose that all gauge 1 equipment does look impressive when set alongside O gauge or Ho. All I can hope for is that the next gauge 1 catalogue will be more like the 2007 edition with welcome suprises rather than the re-paints featured in 2010. I'm still hoping that MTH will one day produce further passenger car designs to accompany the existing streamliners (I'd love a set of the older heavyweight clerestory stock but I'm not expecting to be so lucky) plus a couple of new freight types such as stock car and gondola. Incidentally MTH still lists some of the PRR passenger cars as being in stock so, if you have your interest piqued by Accucraft's announcement of a T-1 duplex, might I suggest you take action before the coaches have all gone and you may have also heard that Aster are intending to produce a Challenger which would go well with any of the western and mid-usa freight. I will also mention the DCS Commander controller. Although the Commander may have been aimed at those running MTH Ho equipment it has a 5 amp output capacity and thus is pefectly capable of running any individual MTH gauge 1 locomotive at full power (including the triplex) and can cope with two locomotive units if you can put up with either reduced smoke output or slightly less than maximum tractive effort. If you already have the TIU then the Commander provides no extra functions. Garden Rail were good enough to review the Triplex a little while ago.
At long last the Baldwin Vo1000 diesels have been shipped and a good model of a small diesel it is too (MTH Baldwin VO 1000 video). The sound system has been commended by many and it certainly does give a feel for the low rpm of this unit. Detail and paint finish are up to the usual standard. It will cope with the usual radii of sectional track but should you have more realistic curves then the pilot boards and couplers can be fixed to the chassis rather than the trucks. The only real improvement that ought to have been possible is the inclusion of the "less specific" Protosound 3 decoder (as developed and fitted to the Ho range). All in all a welcome addition to the 1/32 roster, Alco diesels should appear soon.
There's not much news for the moment though Continental Modeller have been good enough to publish their review of the Triplex. A good thing that it made it into print now since they will undoubtedly be gearing up for their Nurnburg visit (not that I am expecting any real surprises regarding MTH gauge l at that trade fair).
Although I have yet to see a printed copy the 2010 Gauge 1 catalog(ue) has been announced. As I did not do too well with my predictions regarding the 2007 catalog I had vaguely hoped that some new moulds might be forthcoming, even if just a single new freight or passenger car design, rather than simple repaints, re-releases and reintroductions of previously withdrawn models. This time it looks like a simple catch-up of the long delayed models from the 2007 announcements together with some new paint. ATSF, NYC and UP cabooses are amongst the reissues (though with detail changes over and above the road numbers in the case of UP), further runs of hoppers to help avoid duplicate car numbers and a couple of road names that should now provide "other brand" motive power with something to pull. I have previously chided MTH over potential missed opportunities so I hope that the Great Northern caboose, hopper, flatcar and boxcar will be appreciated by those that favour that road. On the locomotive side the Pere Marquette Hudson is back on the list, the F7 version of the EMD will be available alongside the F3 and the pricing structure of the new F7's and Alco's is somewhat simplified in that the motorised and unpowered A units are now offered seperately rather than as a pair.
Well at long last the triplex locos have been shipped out (MTH Erie Triplex video), hopefully the Alco PAs and Baldwin switchers will not be too far behind. If you are interested in the other gauges please note that the website has been changed to give the HO and O gauge sections their own area rather than just an individual page within the main gauge 1 site. My apologies if this causes any confusion regarding old stored links and suchlike. If you have not already found the Accucraft version of the site may I mention that they will be producing reefers and particularly boxcars in some road names that MTH have overlooked and whilst I am at it I'll also mention the forthcoming GP-9. If you want to bookmark just one gateway link to the various sections then please use http://www.gauge-1.co.uk
There has not been a whole lot news on the gauge 1 front though I am pleased to report that the GG-1's are now shipping. I had not expected these to be a major seller since very few people will have catenary installed on their track. Of course you do not need the overhead wires to operate the model (bringing back many fond memories of the of the track/neutral/overhead selector switch on Tri-ang locomotives) but if you do the automatic raising and lowering of the pantographs is a joy to behold.
For HO gauge they have announced NYC Mohawks, the USRA mikado and SD70 diesel locomotives plus a full SP Daylight passenger consist to include the triple-articulated cars.
MTH have announced that the Flying Scotsman will be in their next O gauge catalog(ue). For Gauge 1 the limited "dealer" item is a flatcar with "Coors Light" trailer, please shout if this appeals to you. On the HO front the SP GS-4 has now been announced, 4449 Daylight, AFT or BNSF paint, 4437 black, 4460 black GS-6, WP 483 GS-6 and finally 4432 Daylight as part of the limited "dealer" program. These locomotives are stated as getting Kadee compatible couplers and being suitable for code 70 to 100 track, 22" radius curves. It has to be said that the flanges look better in HO than for O or gauge 1. Also appearing in the HO lists are a series of 60' Trailer Train flat cars in TTX, ATSF, Southern, BNSF, BN, CN, GN and UP paint with optional grader, excavator and scoop digger loads.
Now that I am adding the HO triplex models to my shelves it seems appropriate to thin out some of my personal collection of HO items. Unless otherwise mentioned you may take it that these have been kept in their boxes, neither displayed nor run. I am kicking off with the UP Challenger and Verandah Turbine by Lionel and may add one or two Broadway locomotives. Please note that since I only have one or two units per item it would help if you phoned to confirm availability before pressing the button. I am also having a small sale of a few older MTH 1/32 scale items to try and ready some space for the forthcoming products, hoping this helps both of us.
Given the frequent slippage on MTH production schedules full marks for getting the first HO triplexes shipped out on time (item 80-3112-1 , finally reviewed by CM!).
News Update, October 2007
A bit of a cheat here but if you know anyone who might fancy an HO Erie triplex I'll be happy to take orders
Not much actual news at the start of the month though Continental Modeller have now reviewed the EMD F3 diesels. Those who have wondered about the likely effectiveness of repainting (given the missed tie-in sales opportunities that have been mentioned before) might like to have a look at these N&W coaches.
The Union Pacific ribbed tail-end observation cars have now been produced, so if you want one please shout. I will mention that these last few weeks have seen me trying to dredge up more "old stock" than for any previous month. I was lucky in that I have found more than three-quarters of the wish list but it might be worth my while reapeating that MTH does not want to act as a large warehouse for old production, they try to build to expected dealer demand and not carry inventory for any longer than necessary. Some of the relatively recent products such as the UP and WM individual hoppers and sets (blame the Big Boys, Challengers and Aster shay if you like) ran out of availability a while back. To this end I was surprised to see that the UP caboose is having a production rest and may become hard to find before it is run again. In a similar vein I have to say that I think they could have considered offering some C&O and NYC&StL freight stock, and the same goes for planning CN but not CP coaches. I will also mention that one customer has pointed me in the direction of a UK mains power supply that, on the face of it, seems to be well matched to the TIU. It will not be the very cheapest method of powering the TIU (but considerably cheaper than the LGB Jumbo unit) so if it has all the relevant CE safety stickers and in due course it turns out to be up to the job I will be delighted to recommend it.
With the MTH dealer deadline now here I am enacting the replacement pre-order discount scheme, that is the earlier you order the greater the discount. The other item is that I have contacted Gary Raymond, who is very much a 1/32 enthusiast including MTH and I hope to be able to offer a selection of his highly regarded wheelsets soon.
For the moment just a couple of comments regarding the Triplex. The catalogue mentions this as having twin motors (both are located within the boiler shell) implying that the tender engine would just be dragged along for the ride but I am told by MTH that it will be powered by a cardan shaft from the locomotive. The illustrations show exhaust smoke from the boiler but no steam vapour from the tender. The catalogue text does mention that two smoke units are fitted so in use you will get the unique full Triplex effect. Mid-month update: Firstly my apologies/sympathies to those who use Internet Explorer as their default browser, I had simply forgotten how pony IE is at displaying images. Thank you to those few who took the trouble to gently point this out. Secondly I will most likely be re-jigging the pre-order discount scheme. To get the full pre-order dealer terms I need to have all the orders from the new catalogue in by 25th May (this year). As ever I can only state that the production dates shown on this site are as shown by MTH and are very prone to slippage. I propose to change the scheme to allowing the full 10% to those who order up by the May deadline and reduce the discount by 1% each month thereafter.
The MTH G1 catalog(ue) will be on it's way over next month but for those that want a preview they have made it available in .pdf format. I have to say that with nothing being trumpeted at Nurnburg last month I thought my previous prediction of no new moulds but a lot of different paint would be the way of things. On the rolling stock side this is perfectly true, the carriages have more roadnames in the smooth side versions but are still limited to the coach and observation formats. For freight it is a mixture of new liveries and roadnames throughout the range but no fresh designs. When it comes to motive power I was completely wrong, I had been vaguely hoping for a smaller steam loco that would suit switching and short line duties, what MTH have in fact dished up is the Erie Triplex (two versions and also lettered for the Viginian if you can overlook the trailing truck and other differences in design). For diesel fans the Alco PA will be arriving at some point with seven liveries, as will the Baldwin VO1000 (which does lend itself as a switcher). Not only that but the Pennsy GG1 is set for production with a choice of six liveries. Nothing much new in the sundry department unless you fancy trying out any of their 9 (yes really) new types of smoke oil!
Steam Diesel Coaches Freight Sundry
On the MTH front this month sees the arrival of the triple hopper car sets, so if you have had singles before and like the idea of building up your consist with different road numbers then this does give you a slight saving. Sadly there is no headline MTH product due to be announced at the Nurnburg show. I have been told that the next MTH G1 catalogue should appear before the end of March, it would be nice if there was a new passenger car or some fresh item for freight trains but I am not holding my breath.
The other item of news is that we are now dealers with Accucraft (UK). I expect initial interest will be with the forthcoming live steam model of the CPR Royal Hudson, the steam and electric SP cab-forward models and their other announced locomotives such as the Flying Scotsman but please bear in mind that they also produce some rolling stock in 1/32, a string of reefers and the complete SP Daylight passenger train consist. If your interest in Accucraft spans to their much wider range of "G scale" G1 narrow gauge scales then anything that they list as either in stock or as future products may be ordered.
The first of the observation cars in SP Daylight livery have now arrived.
Continental Modeller have now reviewed the Big Boy, and I believe that there is also a Challenger review in Garden Rail. It seems there will not be an autumn G1 specific catalogue this time round. A mid-month update is that the first of the F3 A units (including the ATSF version) will be here before the month is out, if you want these then please say!
Further delivery slippage news seems to be the norm with MTH, narrow-nose Dash-8s are now reckoned to be set for November, F3 A units may arrive stateside in October (whilst the unpowered B units have now landed) and some of the rolling stock is dribbling through such as the ATSF coaches (but not the B&O version). Some of the arrivals have been so far behind the originally predicted date that it may just be simplest if I just add a year when punching the dates in or simply omit any date information altogether. Looking through the Big Boy instruction manual brings forward a couple of points. Firstly MTH had previously warned not to use other smoke oils (such as Seuthe) in their products (or indeed substitute the MTH oil for other brands) due to compatability problems with the heaters but I now see that Seuthe, LGB and LVTS fluids are acceptable. The second point is that the manual mentions an adapter plate if you should want to plut a Kadee coupler on the tender, none of the models I have had this part. The third point is that the Big Boys did arrive with the DCS controlled Protocoupler and it is to be expected that all future locomotives will gain this useful feature. Finally may I recommend Mr. Mark Wood to anyone who desires a finer scale set of wheels than come from the factory. Whilst I have simply trimmed down the diameter of the flanges on some wheels Mr. Wood can provide wheelsets with a proper G1MRA finescale or absolute scale profile and he also stocks wheel castings that you can custom machine to your own standards. His website also shows what some MTH freight wagons look like with his wheels and some weathering.
So where are the big boys? Well at long last they have arrived! Incidentally the same consignment also contained a few of the HO scale Pennsy K4 variants and finally some of the oft requested spare elephant ears for the earlier Challenger models (what is more in both black and grey versions) so shout if you want these and I'll know how many to reorder. Other items should arrive in next month but, as usual, it is difficult to tie them down to a definate date.
So where are the big boys? Simple question, unpleasant answer. According to my sales contact I can expect my allocation in May. I know that the MTH site is still giving a February date in their shipping schedule (possibly updated now that I have told them), and that a quantity were shipped for the Nurnberg show, and that none of this really helps. I reckon this means than an extra 2 to 3 months delay on the F3s may soon be announced. In the meantime if you like your Challengers with smoke deflectors they are in stock. I have added some relatively high resolution images of these Challengers in the hope that this will give an accurate idea of what to expect detail wise on the Big Boys. Please note that the DCS handset is no longer included as a freebie with the recent Challenger models (and that they no longer proclaim themselves to be 3-rail). And whilst I am at it I will mention that the owner's handbook does now list the jumbo LGB transformer/controller as being up suitable for powering MTH locos, strange that!
Production models of the Big Boy are just starting to come off the line. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L9I-UlN5li8 Sadly, though I suppose no great surprise given the track record, a lot of the items slated for January have been pushed back to March .
Just a quick note to relay a few of the most recent shipping schedule announcements. Elephant ear Challengers should ship this month, Big Boys set for february, as are the the HO scale PRR k4's.
Not much at the moment. MTH sent out a flyer which gave details on items which fill three "gaps" in the numbers, these are for Harley-Davidson and Dallas Cowboys box cars and a Caterpillar flat car with generator load. Going by last year's calendar MTH may shortly be going to press with their 2005-2006 catalog(ue), one can but hope. The Southern Pacific GS-4 has now been reviewed in Continental Modeller. End of month update. There will not be a further 2005-06 catalogue, the August announcement was it for this year. I do wonder whether there might be some new items announced come the toy fair but basically don't expect a new catalogue until next August. If this means that MTH can and does catch up with the backlog of previously announced items and can then keep to schedule then perhaps no real harm done. In the meantime I have been told that the 2006 club car, the SP flat with trailer, has already been fully subscribed whilst it has only been on the lists for a fortnight. Since, as far as I am aware, none of the trailer units have yet been shipped this does seem a mite strange.
Continental Modeller has now reviewed the coach, caboose, hopper and some of the trackside figures.
The best news at the start of the month is that the
GS-4 and GS-2
locomotives have finally started to arrive in the states and our
initial batch should be on its way over. The other news is the
announcement of some "new" products. There are no truly fresh
designs in this crop, merely repaints, including: Amtrak and unpainted
smooth side coaches, 6 tank cars, 9 sensible box cars plus half a dozen
with US team logos for the stamp collecting modeller. Going on from that
there are hoppers in five new roads with ten roads now being available in
a set of three, giving different car numbers and a lower unit price. Flats
are now available with articulated trailers and a large diesel generator,
and finally for the rolling stock 7 new paintjobs each for the reefer and
caboose, which includes a different NYC scheme. For locomotives there are
some more Dash-8s and Hudsons. The Big Boy has been put back to December,
F3s to the new year. The diesel locomotives and tenders that are issued
next year should be fitted with DCS controlled couplers. If you had been
wavering over the GS-4 or GS-2 then please note that MTH will be raising
the price at the end of September, orders received before then will be at
the lower price.
End of month update, a new arrival on foreign shores, now delivered. End of month update, The MTH site now has the Big Boy pushed back to February 06, and please note that there is just a month left to get the GS-4s at the original price, the expected increment will put them on a par with the challengers (look what has hapened to the pricing on the later Hudson models compared to the original). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G1-yIoerBW4
A few more coaches have come in, this time for the UP and SP (for which the GS-4s are now perhaps a couple of months away) along with the UP box car and ATSF reefers. The surprise this time was the arrival of a few hoppers in DRGW lettering. Don't ask why the #8 item on the hopper list gets first shout but that is a minor point, the main thing is that the hopper mould is up and running producing a really worthwhile model. If I had to pick a fault with the hopper it would be the dummy coal load (easily replaced) and the best bit would be the fine scale look to the multitude of hand rails.
If I might make a request I would be interested in adding in some "customer pages", simple images of your G1 stock (hopefully including some MTH items) on your own track or at other events would be very welcome, with or without accompanying text, and either with accreditation or anonymous as you see fit.
No sign of the F3s, but an initial batch of reefers did arrive. To my surprise they were accompanied by a few NYC coaches so we know the coach mould is up and running and can hope that the other liveries are not too far behind. Whereas I and others had some misgivings concerning the length of these coaches I have to say that when you have a string of these actually sat on the track in front of you the overall effect is quite satisfactory. I measure the coach body width at 95mm, height off the rails at 128, body length of 667 (spot on for 70 foot), 694 between diaphragm ends and 718mm coupled length. Still no news on the GS-2 and GS-4 models, sorry.
The Challenger has now been reviewed in Continental Modeller, along with the remote control and TIU. Whilst I think the review is a fair one I would point out two things, the first is to reiterate that all the gauge 1 Challengers received so far have been supplied complete with the remote control handset. The second it to state once again that these models as supplied are set up for 2 rail only (though it should not be beyond the wit of the average railway modeller to convert one if required). I wrote to the editor regarding the 3-rail claim on seeing the Hudson review, exactly why it gets a second mention in CM, or why MTH still put the 3-rail label on the inner carton is beyond my knowledge. The first of the F3s should arrive next month along with some of the reefers.
MTH have formally cancelled the "Xmas" and two "USPS" boxcars. They also seem to have withdrawn all the non-sound diesels, one wonders about the chances for the non-sound steam engine variants (it has now been confirmed that all the non-sound locomotives have been cancelled). The first Dash-8's have now been shipped out to those who pre-ordered with one sent off to Continental Modeller for review. Most designs can still be ordered.
Please Note that, despite what it might say in Continental Modeller, the MTH gauge 1 Hudson locomotive models are 2 rail (not 3 rail).
Supplies of the 2004 catalogue have finally arrived and there are several things to mention. The tools for the GS-4 have been modified for a Gs-2 version, and the Challenger has been spun out in several roadnames. The NYC Hudson is having a limited reissue with a new cab number and finally on the steam front there is a another UP locomotive. For diesels there are new narrow nose versions of the Dash-8 along with EMD F3 A and B units. Steam and diesel locomotives are now being offered without the Protosound unit, with a consequent reduction in price, so when ordering please be careful to choose the variant you want. The Gs-2 and Hudsons are on limited availability so if either of these appeal then please act soon. In terms of rolling stock tail end (observation) coaches have been added to the list, new roadnames have been announced for box cars, reefers and hoppers but there are no new freight car shapes.
Some prices have now been reduced with regard to the recent weakness of the dollar. The 2 1/2% "UK cheque" discount has now been withdrawn as PayPal do not like it. For those that are now chasing up the newly obsolete models I offer my apologies but hope you will understand that once MTH's production run has sold out I cannot obtain any more direct from MTH. There is an inter-dealer network and I can often obtain the odd item but the price is likely to be higher. With certain items such as the NYC and UP cabooses running out within the month I would respectfully suggest that there has been the option of pre-ordering most items right up to the end of last year.
Some customers have been noticing a "thrum" noise under certain conditions when operating their boxcars on Tenmille track. This seems to be due to the relatively coarse scale flanges touching the tops of the moulded chairs. Of course for american style track the equivalent spikes would be far smaller than the chairs and the flange rims would be nowhere near. On the pieces of Tenmille track I have to hand the wheelset has to be pushed to one side to give this interference but the moulds used for the sleepers may have changed over the years. If you have any suitable workshop equipment then skimming say 25 thou off the flanges is not a difficult operation. If you need this operation to be performed for you then please get in touch.
MTH have finally let me know that our batch of Challengers is slated for April despatch so, for the sake of safety, lets call it a May delivery date.
There is further, probably permanent, bad news in that Jersey Post have warned that their off-island parcel post rates are set to double in April.
Needless to say the Challengers are now slated for March (so I'd say an April delivery was more likely). There has been further slippage of one or two months on most other items though for some reason the hopper cars have now been put on the back burner with an eleven month delay! There has been some comfort with the arrival of cabooses and boxcars for those that pre-ordered.
Egg on face time. I have in the past suggested the larger LGB transformer/controller as a potential power unit for the MTH locos (on the basis that it was rated 10A at 18V) but the MTH site now clearly puts it in the "not recommended" category.
MTH has now indicated that the first batch of
Challengers should be ready in time for the Nurnberg show so a February,
or at the latest March, delivery seems likely. Other items such as the
first group of non-railroad boxcars (private owner wagons) and, at long
last, some of the caboose variants should already be on their way over.
Please note that any orders received after
December 5th will not be despatched prior to the Xmas holiday. Sorry for
any inconvenience and we hope you have a good one.
10 November 2003
"New" items continue to arrive, recent additions being a limited quantity of flat cars with container loads.
A major change has been instigated in the web site with the addition of "buy" buttons on the loco and rolling stock pages and a "view basket/checkout" button in the side frame. Due to the way that carriage charges are processed within the shopping cart there is no simple way to build an order and then select from several shipping options. In order to give you a choice as to speed versus cost and insured/uninsured we have consequently produced a set of similar pages with the following postal options: UK parcel post, UK parcel post (insured- pending), UK letter post, UK letter post (insured), EEC parcel post and EEC parcel post (insured). In order to get the correct postal service it is neccessary to order from the correct page. If you should change your mind on shipping an item then it may be removed from the shopping basket and the same item with your preferred option reinstated from one of the other pages. If you want to mix and match shipping methods within an individual order then you are at liberty to do so. If you live outside the EEC, or prefer an alternative courier such as UPS, then please contact us. Please Note - the EEC post options have yet to be finalised
For the moment the link to the old web-shop is still active and, if the new "buy" and "checkout" buttons fail to operate for any reason, you may click through to the old system (we would be obliged if you would also let us know what went wrong). This link should be removed shortly (now removed) whereupon the one to the "forum" (which was our attempt at providing the gauge 1 community with free internet small-ads) may be reinstated.
The "availability" codes are being slightly re-vamped :
IS - In Stock (and/or available to order)
AS - Awaiting Stock
AO - Available to order
PO - Pre Order (predicted manufacture date, subject to change)
LS - Limited (or last) stock, we may have one or two left (please enquire)
BC - Book Closed, possibly worth enquiring, we can ask round the inter-dealer network but no promises
BG - Been and Gone, enquire if you like but chances are very slim
CA - Cancelled, proposed model only listed for the historic interest
RK - MTH RailKing Club item, if required we can order the current unit, they are more expensive than the standard items
The issue of the MTH 2004 Vol 1 catalogue introduces some 27 new items of rolling stock. At heart these are fresh liveries applied to existing and previously announced products rather than brand new moulds but does include some sensible and attractive designs. Flat cars with vehicles have now reappeared, these are not a reintroduction of the the previously cancelled range but feature Pennzoil tankers and tow-trucks and Pepsi delivery trucks on top of Pennsy, B&0 and UP flats repectively. It seems we must wait a while longer before we see the likes of stock cars or gondolas, which we think would give useful variation to consists. There are no new announcements with regard to locomotives or coaching stock but for those that like to populate the trackside six sets of gauge 1 figures are listed, each containing three different figures. The gauge 1 RailKing Club model for 2004 is a State of Maine liveried reefer. The catalogue does contain a good range of items first announced in previous issues but similarly a large number have been removed from the order list. Since the freight car page is becoming quite lengthy now we will shortly be introducing a page limited to the current in-stock/available-to-order and pre-order items. If you had been considering any of the now unlisted items please act swiftly.
Our thanks for your patience during August. Some new stock continues to arrive, recent items being flat cars and side-tipping log cars. The tank cars are now starting to ship but MTH has once again announced further slippage in the predicted production dates of other items: The Challengers and the other Hudsons have been put back to December, as have the reefer cars, whilst the Dash-8 diesels are currently set for November with the second group of boxcars expected next month.
23 July 2003
Please note that due to urgent family needs DPA will be going into a "plant shutdown" for the greater part of August. If you need to contact us email would be best, followed by brief phone message. If you had been wanting to order up anything then there may still be ways and means but your patience during this time would be appreciated.
MTH have advised us of slippage in the predicted production dates. Delays of one to three months compared to the original predictions may now be expected. The diesel locomotives have been put back one month, the Challengers together with the majority of the freight cars by two months and a three month delay is now expected for the caboose. The GS4 locomotives and the passenger coaches are, at this point, still slated for December production but we would not be completely surprised if these dates were ammended. If there are discrepancies with production dates on the site then please take it that the later date is the current estimate.
26 June 2003
Following a couple of requests we have initiated a deposit scheme for some of the proposed steam locomotive models. The additional terms and conditions applying to partial payments are available here.
12 June 2003
After a short delay the web-shop is back with a working shopping cart. We are now using PayPal as the card accepting service. For those that have not used PayPal before we mention that, when making an initial payment, it is a slightly more long-winded process than for most other card accepting services (basically you have to log in to create an account with a password). After the initial effort subsequent PayPal transactions are far more streamlined.
We appreciate that not everybody will want to use PayPal and for those that preferred our previous card accepting system we apologise for the inconvenience caused. If you prefer not to use the internet for any financial transactions then please use the traditional mail-in order form.
Freight cars are now starting to arrive, the first batch includes box and ore dump cars. For those running Aster we can confirm that they do couple up without modification to the Big Boy, Hudson, GS-4 and Maryland Shay and expect that the same is true of the Mikado. Some images comparing the MTH and Aristocraft box cars are now available. Reefers and 4-bay hoppers have been added to the freight car pre-order lists, both types to be available in five roadnames.
Our batch of NYC Hudsons has finally arrived and we have a few left unspoken for.
This whole site is new so please see the other pages. Any further pieces of information coming to hand, new items arriving in the catalogue, ordered items coming into stock or any special offers that are running should be mentioned on this page.