National N Scale Convention 2013

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Presented by the N Scale Enthusiast (artist formerly known as the N Scale Collector) and several local N scale groups, this convention included everything from layout tours to, banquets and raffles, to a public show with manufacturers, dealers, and layout displays.  Below you’ll find photos of items on display at the public show and information that was presented at the “Manufacturer’s Breakfast” on Sunday morning.


Atlas’s new freight car announcement was a PS-3 3-bay open hopper car and the preproduction sample was on display. Also on display was an Alco S2 switcher with demonstration sound decoder and a full slate of the recently released 89′ flat cars. 

Bluford Shops

Bluford showed preproduction samples of the woodchip hopper extensions in 4 styles.  Tooling modifications are planned which will deepen the ribs on the outside braced extensions and add interior detail from the versions photographed below.  The colorful paint schemes on the most recent transfer caboose announcements were also on display.  A placard shows a special run of hoppers and transfer caboose inspired by UP’s MOW equipment which will be offered as a special run by the N Scale Enthusiast. Finally, at the manufacturer’s breakfast, Bluford announced that injection molded N scale corn is on the horizon! 

Eastern Seaboard Models

ESM’s big announcement was a joint venture with Micro-Trains.  An upgraded Erie Lackawanna autorack will be available as a preorder, designed by ESM and distributed through Micro-Trains. The model will feature accurate painting and printing drawn by Bryan Bussey of ESM and include modeler applied etchings for the vandal panels (or just ladders for backdating the model).  This car is about as accurate as can be made with the MTL model, and will be a sharp addition to a late 70’s to early 80’s train.  ESM also displayed two models from their Made in America line, the finished Keyser Valley caboose and PRR G32c gondola pictured below. 

Fox Valley Models

FVM didn’t have new announcements at the show, as China is catching up with a backlog, but new plastic was on display showing test shots of the upcoming Canstock boxcars (3 versions), Silverside gondolas, and SD70ACe body shells. At the manufacturer’s breakfast it was announced that the GP60’s will be completed at the factory in the next 7-10 days.  Silversides are due this fall and B&O caboose and H30 covered hopper will are in tooling now. 

Great Lakes Models

Great Lakes had a couple dioramas on display at the public show featuring their line of manhole covers and inlets, lasercut sheds, and newest modular concrete blocks.


Intermountain displayed their first test shot of the upcoming WWII era outside braced wood boxcar.  Apparent is the Des Plaines Hobbies Viking roof on this sample and a more typical flat panel roof will also be offered per prototype. 


Kato didn’t give out any more details about the upcoming “North American Freight Car Sets” but did have a new Kobo model on display.  The Milwaukee Road Bicentennial SD40-2 is being made to order and hand painted in Japan. 

Lunde Studios

Lunde had several versions of their resin highrise structure kits on display and available for sale at the public show. 


MTL seemed a little perturbed that the internet knew about the SW1500 switcher announcement before Eric Smith was able to deliver the news at the manufacturer’s breakfast… but MTL had released the information in their own Micro-News email blast the preceding Friday.  On display at their booth, besides the joint venture with ESM mentioned above, was the first samples of the modern 60′ log cars. 

N Scale Kits

Peter Harris had several new items on display after having made the trek from the UK.  New at the show was a Milwaukee Road style single axle auto trailer in photo etched brass with white metal wheels.  It promptly sold out but more will be available directly from NSK.  Also on display were the upcoming Mark II Flexivan Flat and 53′ AP Well Car. 

Peter Nolan Ships

Pete brought a harbor’s worth of custom ships to display at the public show.  Most of these are available as mixed media resin kits, but Pete will also do custom work. 

Prairie Shadows

Prairie Shadows brought along three samples of the upcoming N scale Pt. St. Charles cabooses.  Also on display, and available shortly, is a new special run of SD60’s from Atlas covering two patched schemes.  One for CEFX leasing on ex-Soo white and red, and an CN restencil on ex-EMD leased blue and white units.

Wheels of Time

At the manufacturer’s breakfast Matthew Young hinted at new passenger car and bus releases in the future. The newest schemes on the 50′ PC&F boxcars were on display at the WoT booth. 

Manufacturer’s Breakfast

If you missed the live blog of manufacturer’s breakfast announcements on our Facebook feed, be sure to go back and read the comments for more insight from manufacturer’s not covered in photos above.