D. P. Associates Ltd. - Supplier of M.T.H. RailKing O gauge, Gauge 1, HO and S gauge products
[customers are respectfully asked to check our "small print" before committing to a purchase, UK residents are specifically requested to view the option on prepaying VAT]
MTH has been well regarded for decades for its range of O gauge model railroad products and has been the leader in american O gauge for some time. More recently they have introduced locomotives, rolling stock and accessories in both Gauge One (1:32 scale) and Ho (1:87). S Gauge (1:64) has in recent years been rather obscured by the fine detailing and modern electronics available in the other gauges though it has a proud history particularly with the American Flyer label under both A C Gilbert and Lionel ownership in the 1950s and 60s along with the younger and better detailed American Models and S Helper Service brands. S gauge does have an advantage if you want to populate your layout with road vehicles as many toy cars and trucks are produced to this scale including diecast models by Mattel and Matchbox and slot cars by Aurora, Tyco and Tomy. Earlier this year (2013) MTH announced that it was taking over the main tooling of the S Helper Service company and would be initiating production of their previous S-Trax system and Showcase Line models. The locomotives will however have all the advanced operational functionality that is expected from MTH. The Protosound 3 decoder will operate either in analogue mode using a traditional power-supply controller, with default sound effects, directional lighting and smoke where appropriate, or under full digital mode using either MTH's DCS system or third party DCC controllers. DCS digital operation will allow access to all the supplied effects and features (which includes uncoupling), the vast majority of features are operable under DCC. It may be worth pointing out that old S gauge locomotives and controllers can be found in both AC and DC and also 2 and 3-rail versions. MTH follows the S-Trax system with the more realistic 2 rail. The Protosound 3 decoder can operate either with a DC or AC power supply. MTH locomotives are set to be shipped with coarse scale "Hi-rail" wheels fitted and legacy type couplers but will include a set of fine scale wheels and Kadee compatible couplers that the user may readily change over to. Freight cars, and one would imagine any future passenger cars, will ship with coarse flanges. A set of fine scale freight wheels plus height adapters to allow quick mounting of Kadee couplers (but not including the couplers themselves) is included in the 35-1009 package. The insulated wheelsets of MTH rolling stock may of course be used on older 3-rail systems.
If DCC operation is important to you then please check this sheet for the main supported DCC commands.
As a full MTH dealership any item that is currently stocked at MTH or set for future production can be ordered up and, for those who chase the very limited edition "dealer" models, I am perfectly willing to order those up to the dealer limit. Please refer to the various parts of the MTH website and get in touch if you have any specific queries.
~ as an aside you may be interested to know that (being half of Gauge 1's size) it was once suggested that this gauge be called "half one" (rather as Ho at 1:87 is half O gauge's 1:43 scale). Well half of one is a half, and if you can imagine people starting to refer to it as "half scale" you can predict the potential confusion. As 1:64 can also be referred to as "three-sixteenths" (3/16 of an inch on the model to 1 foot on the prototype) the "s" at either end of "sixteenths" (from what I have read rather than the s at the start of sixty or sixteenths) led to the choice of gauge name.
If you are used to model railway catalogues that change slowly but generally continue to offer each line for a number of years then a basic description of the production and ordering system for MTH's S gauge items may be helpful. MTH decides on which prototypes to manufacture and puts them in a catalogue along with an estimated release date, generally within the next twelve months (experience has shown however that these production dates are prone to slippage, with some delays being announced just a month before the prior expected delivery date, and to be realistic one should allow for as much as 3 months delay before expecting items to be shipped). Within a relatively short time of the catalogue being issued (say 3 months) the order book is closed. This permits MTH to build to order. The production quantities of any particular model are not limited to a pre-determined amount but some are obviously going to be produced in a smaller quantity than the actual demand. It is also possible that an item will be cancelled if insufficient orders are received. If MTH decides to re-run a model this would only be expected to occur after a two year gap and the new issue would be expected to have differences to distinguish it from the original run. One might predict that some items might not be so popular as others on initial issue and in overall terms those items will eventually become much rarer. As dealers we place orders with MTH against predicted demand, obviously it helps us considerably if we know what people want before the order book closes and therefore we are offering a pre-order system with lower prices.
Items on our lists can therefore fall into into several categories of availability:
IS - In stock, AO - Available to Order, PO - Pre Order, BC - Book Closed (enquire), BG - Been and Gone, RKC - RailKing Club item
Given our location we do not expect that many visitors but, if you ever are in the vicinity, by prior arrangement we would be pleased to show you what we have. We are happy to mail-order to anywhere the usual carriers can reach. If you would like to place an order then we provide a printable mail-in form, or alternatively you may place your credit/debit card order on line at our web-shop.