D. P. Associates Ltd. - Supplier of M.T.H. RailKing HO, Gauge 1 and O gauge products
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. More recently they have used their renowned manufacturing expertise for Gauge 1 and now HO models. Despite the considerably smaller size of their HO products they still have the full gamut of detailing and operational features of their larger brethren. Puffing smoke units and a sound generator synchronised to the driving wheels, directional lighting and, on the diesels, remotely operated couplers. The locomotives may be operated from a conventional transformer/controller and in this mode the volume of the sound unit and smoke generated may be adjusted manually (please note that for maximum locomotive speed and power output a 16 rather than 12 volt supply is recommended). If however you would prefer detailed control over every aspect of the Protosound 3 controller in the easiest way then either the DCS TIU and remote handset or the DCS Commander will give access to all the functions. If you happen to already have a DCC controller then the Protosound 3 decoder will also decode most generic DCC commands to allow control over the greater part of the DCS command set.
During 2013 MTH introduced their Ho 3-rail series of locomotives (normally assigned = "-5" suffix) with the updated Protosound 3e+ decoder. This decoder has all the features of the normal PS3 decoder but adds ac analogue capability and also Maerklin Command Control and Motorola type 1 and 2 digital capability. The Locomotives are fitted with NEM 340 type wheel profiles and NEM 360/362 type coupler pockets. The centre contact is by means of a skate so that Maerklin stud contact track can be used. The insulated axles on the normal MTH Ho rolling stock may also be used on 3-rail.
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 HO 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 though the Ho model announcements seem to be pretty accurate, perhaps a couple of months late rather than the year delay that is often noted for gauge 1). 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.
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. Some examples of changes are given here.
Items on our lists can therefore fall into into several categories of availability:
IS - In stock, may be recent and replaceable, may be old stock.
AO - Available to Order, not in stock but should be available.
PO - Pre Order, announced but not yet available.
BC - Book Closed, announced but order book closed (please enquire, no promises)
BG - Been and Gone (I can some times locate old items)
RKC - RailKing Club item, an annual model normally supplied with the RailKing Club subscription
DAP - Dealer limited, these are rare, generally a dealer can get 2 items and that is it.
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.