D. P. Associates Ltd. - Supplier of M.T.H. RailKing 1/32 scale Gauge 1 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 (Mike's Train House) is an American company producing American outline products and, to date, are best known for their Premier and RailKing O Gauge lines. Their full catalogue covers a wide range of railway eras, prototypes and types or styles of models, for instance they still offer tinplate. We have decided to initially offer their Gauge 1 products where we think they are in a unique position, simply put we do not know of another manufacturer of Gauge 1 - standard gauge American railroad equipment that provides good detail at these prices. Please be aware that there are other concerns that offer better, indeed in some instances truly excellent museum quality models (if you are after a large 1/32 scale locomotive in the £4000 to £20,000 range then maybe we can help) as well as those that have gone down the odd scale/gauge combination of 1/29 scale on gauge 1 track. MTH manufactures to the correct scale for gauge 1, their products are designed to be operated, indoors or outside, they have taken slight liberties to enable the locomotives to negotiate sharper than prototypical curves but this does not detract unduly from their overall appearance and takes nothing away from their function. For those of you who already have 1/32 scale American outline locomotives then might we suggest, after offering our initial congratulations, that you consider MTH as a source of rolling stock?
The locomotives and rolling stock bodies are manufactured from polycarbonate, a highly resilient engineering plastic that is used (amongst other things) as the sandwich layer in bullet-proof glass, with metal and other components where required. The models are sturdy and will withstand handling in a way that the finest museum model would not. Whilst it is likely that some of these models will be put on a shelf or simply left in their boxes as collector items we think this would be a shame as they are designed to be operated, the whole point is to have fun with them. If you can imagine "Rivarossi for Gauge 1" then you should have the basic idea. The locomotives are powered by conventional dc motors (2-rail) however the controlling electronics will also accept an ac supply. If you currently have a conventional resistive or variable voltage controller then you will be able to operate the locomotives but since they also incorporate "Protosound 2", one of the best digital sound systems currently available, it would probably make sense to use one of the modern "sound compatible" controllers, MTH's DCS system being the obvious choice.
The more recent locomotives with the Protosound 3 decoder can operate on analog dc or ac or under DCS digital, as per Protosound 2 products, but with the added facility of the major functions of DCC digital control. Please check this sheet for the main supported DCC commands.
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 gauge 1 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 very 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 a further year's 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.
["Rivarrossi" is duly acknowledged to be a trademark of Lima S. p. A., Brescia Italy, Hornby Hobbies (with regard to "european" items) Walthers (with regard to "american" items) or whomsoever currently has the name]