Dating back to the 1930’s, S Scale trains were first commercially produced in the U.S. by Cleveland Models primarily through kits composed of cardstock and wood. In the 1940’s, 50’s and 60’s S was primarily associated with the American Flyer line of toy trains. All that time a small but dedicated group of modelers kept scale modeling at 1:64 alive through conversions of Flyer and other rolling stock and engines, scratch-building and the products of a small group of dedicated manufacturers such as Ace and S Scale Loco and Supply. S became know as the scratch-builders or modelers scale for good reason. S Scalers were often some of the most innovative and inventive model railroaders.
The 80’s and 90’s saw S emerge as a mainstream scale with the introduction of manufacturers like American Models, S-Helper Service, PBL and S Scale America. Brass importers such as Overland, Omnicon and the S Scale exclusive River Raisin Models all contributed models equal to or in may cases bettering those found in other scales. Vendors such as Lehigh Valley Models, BTS and Banta introduced outstanding structure kits while Titchy and Grandt Line provided precision detail parts.
Today’s S Scaler is faced with enough products to satisfy the average layout builder the quality of which equals or exceeds the best in the industry. S offers all the essentials for a dedicated hobbyist to build an outstanding model railroad. Manufacturers like PBL or S-Helper Service have set the de facto standard in their respective categories. River Raisin Models in standard gauge and PBL and Train and Trooper in narrow gauge have all raised the bar for brass imports. A whole host of additional manufacturers provide a wide range of detail parts, structure kits, rolling stock and locomotives. Now is better than ever to consider modeling in S Scale.