Is MTH abandoning S scale?

caxu Oct 3, 2017

  1. caxu

    caxu TrainBoard Member

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    Just some observations, there has been no catalog since 2013. Also they appear to be selling off the remainder of their rolling stock inventory. No news on any new product!
     
  2. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    I would agree this picture does appear bleak. :(
     
  3. caxu

    caxu TrainBoard Member

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    I'm going to a train show this Sunday and there will be at least one S scale enthusiast/club member there. I will bombard him/them with many questions and try to get a feel for where the S scale market is headed. I will post what I learn in a separate thread.

    Although some may say S scale doesn't have a lot of stuff, if you're an average Joe like me you'll never be able to afford everything that is available. It may be the reason why I've subconsciously avoided HO for so long is there is literally too many options!

    It's been about a month since I started researching scales on my way back into the hobby and there are few clear winners:
    • Z and T: These make my eyes bleed.
    • N: Still doesn't look quite right to me. It's less Model Railroading and more like Model Roaching.
    • TT: The eccentric hipster. Looks more palatable than N, 60% size of HO, and if sticking to European models the price difference isn't much different than Mid-Top tier N/HO.
    • HO: Why do I keep avoiding you? Possibly the lowest entry price, unmatched in number of options, but son, you are boring.
    • S: It's like TT's lumberjack American cousin. Few to no European options but everything else 'Merica. Much more expensive but larger and fewer options means in the end it's probably a wash.
    • O: My childhood favorite. But takes up more room than S! If S would empty the wallet, O would take the entire wallet, your cell-phone, and your car/house keys.
    Hopefully this Sunday I will have a direction to go on.
     
  4. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Your research list thoughts are quite interesting! :)

    I, for one, would be interested in learning what answers you receive at that show...
     
  5. Keith

    Keith TrainBoard Supporter

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    Don’t think MTH ever made S Scale Trains.
    They do 3 Rail and G Scale(1:32) Trains, as well as HO.
     
  6. caxu

    caxu TrainBoard Member

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    Yes they sell/sold (out?) S scale: https://mthtrains.com/catalogs-new/6458

    The last (only?) catalog was in 2013.

    On another forum they showed the remaining inventory numbers as if attempting to purge everything.
     
  7. caxu

    caxu TrainBoard Member

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    I visited an S club today embedded within a Model Railroading train show.

    They didn't seem convinced or otherwise concerned that MTH was leaving the S scale community.

    I did make a note to the guys that after visiting many tables that I found some O scale locomotives that were either massive or on the other hand I found some that were nearly the same size as S.

    They thought those might be O27. Oh well. More options...
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2017
  8. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    "O-27", which both Lionel and Marx sold, is in many instances closer to S gauge.
     
  9. caxu

    caxu TrainBoard Member

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    Yes I'm figuring that out now. AFAIK MTH RailKing is the only producer of this scale; not sure if Lionel does it anymore or not.

    I think I'm choosing S scale as my preferred scale going forward but I could also potentially be getting O27 as a secondary scale to work on.

    I live relatively close to a O scale club so I should fit right in there. That said, O27 is probably the largest I would likely ever work with in a home layout.
     
  10. railtwister

    railtwister TrainBoard Member

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    American Models has been producing excellent examples of S scale products for as long as I've been interested in S Scale, and that's been since the early 1980's. They seem to have a lower profile, possibly due to less advertising. MTH only got into S because SHS sold them all of their tooling at bargain basement prices after China's Kader suddenly announced they were cancelling then current production agreements with about 60 American model railroad companies (in all scales) several years ago. The model train business has struggled with delivery ever since.

    Bill in FtL
     
  11. HOexplorer

    HOexplorer TrainBoard Supporter

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    I started in Z, then N, then HO, and lastly On30. On30 is the way to go in my book. Jim
     
  12. acptulsa

    acptulsa TrainBoard Member

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    Just think how much money you could have saved if you had found a way to water your trains and make them grow!
     
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  13. railtwister

    railtwister TrainBoard Member

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    Sizewize, On30 and S scales are very close. They both suffer from having very few manufacturers, in On30, it's almost exclusively Bachmann's world. BLI made a few pieces, as did PSC, but they seem to have given up the scale. Support in the way of new product from Bachmann has withered drastically in recent years, but prices have gone up exponentially, putting it out of reach for many modelers. If you are willing to use HO code 100 track and bury the ties in the dirt, at least that part of it can still be done at a reasonable cost. Unless the structures are compressed though, S scale has a distinct advantage over On30, because O scale structures are big, whether on an O, On3, or On30 layout (they're all still O scale!).

    Bill in FtL
     
  14. HOexplorer

    HOexplorer TrainBoard Supporter

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    Here's an On30 pic. No Bmann in sight. Jim Gilpin Shay_Vibrant.jpg
     
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  15. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Christmas card type of quality! Cool! Nice work, Jim!
     

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