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P.O. Box 670
Lopez, WA 98261 USA

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P.O. Box 670, Lopez, WA 98261 USA

What's New as of 22 March 2021


    Today, March 22, 2021, we were notified by one of our etchers (we have two that work for us) that they were going out of business permanently and were no longer taking new orders. The owner told me that he will fill all my outstanding back-orders and that will be the end. I've done business with this firm since the late 1980's and it will be very hard to lose their services and kindness. The reasons for the shutdown included lack of profitability as well as pressing personal difficulties.

    I've notified my remaining etcher about this and they've agreed to take on all the items the first etcher was doing for me. The etcher that is closing down generously offered to ship all my production tooling back to me but I'm going to work with him to ship them to the second etcher instead which will cut costs seeing as the two etchers are about 400 miles apart in California while I'm a thousand miles north in Washington State.

    This situation will affect about 80% of my ship model products, but none of my model railroad items. Nevertheless, there will probably be some delays in deliveries during the transition period, so I hope you can all bear with me. I currently have no plans for any further price increases and will absorb any added costs without passing them on to you.


    A new etched brass super detail set for Walthers popular N-scale North Island oil refinery kit is now in stock and available.

    The new set provides replacement platforms with see-through grilles that precisely fit the plastic kit's parts. Replacement fine-scale fold-to-shape handrails are also furnished and are designed to fit the new brass platforms perfectly once the modeler pre-shapes them using the plastic rails as guides. Other parts supplied in this set include numerous fine-scale vertical ladders and valve wheels, all designed to replace the plastic kit parts on a one-for-one basis.

    All the brass parts are clearly numbered to match the corresponding plastic parts they are to replace, so it's a simple matter of using the Walthers kit instruction sheet to assemble all the parts by simply substituting the brass parts for the plastic ones. This large set provides everything needed to completely equip one Walthers North Island refinery kit with a few parts left over. Modelers wishing to represent a more modern refinery have the option of substituting our No. 160-38 Industrial Safety Cage Ladders (sold separately) for the standard vertical ladders in this set. With either type of ladders being used, the final result will be an extremely well detailed model of an oil refinery worthy of a front-of-the-layout place on any N-scale model railroad.

    The set is now available. Price is $35.00 plus shipping.


    The U.S. Post Office raised its rates significantly effective January 23, 2017, so after a long period of absorbing increasing shipping costs without raising our customer prices, we now have no choice but to raise our rates as well.

    Effective immediately, our standard minimum shipping charge for domestic customers is now $3.00 per order. This covers any size order shipped to any address within the United States.

    Orders to Canada are now charged separately from U.S. orders and are now $10.00 per order up to eight ounces. Heavier weights will be charged accordingly. The reason for this increase is the decision by postal authorities to regard envelopes with internal cardboard stiffeners as packages instead of envelopes.

    Orders to all other countries now require 22% of the total cost of goods for air mail.

    We truly regret this cost increase and apologize for the inconvenience.


    To provide you with detailed information on the qualities and accuracy of our 1/350 scale Titanic photoetched detailing sets, we've set up a special section on this page. To find it, use the arrow at right to scroll down until you see "News for Titanic Modelers."


    As an American manufacturer, Gold Medal Models is particularly grateful for the courageous service being rendered by all members of the U.S. Military in the war against terrorism and tyranny. We also honor the service of military members of nations allied with the U.S. in the war on terror in Iraq and Afghanistan. Their efforts make it possible for the rest of us to live in a country where we can enjoy modelbuilding and other activities in peace.

    As our way of saying "thank you", we will allow a 20% discount against the purchase of all GMM products - for model ships or model railroads - to any active duty member of the United States Armed Forces which includes the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard, regular or reserve, enlisted or officer, male or female, deployed or stateside. Simply add up your order including postage and multiply by 80% (or .80) to calculate your discounted price. All we ask in return is that you provide us with verification of your active duty status such your APO or FPO address, or in lieu of that, your rank and unit.

    For active duty military members of America's allies in the war on terror, your discount is 10%. To qualify, your home country must be currently providing active military assistance to U.S. troops in Iraq or Afghanistan, and of course we require your rank and a military mailing address.

    This offer is effective now and will last indefinitely. This is the very least we can do to honor your bravery and express our sincerest appreciation for your sacrifice.


    Due to unusually high loss rates while trying to ship products to Russia via the mail, we are unfortunately being forced to use a higher level of mail service (Priority International Insured) to get our products to customers there. This also forces us to raise our shipping rates substantially. Orders being sent to Russia must now include $35.00 USD to cover the postage for all orders (dealers not included.) We sincerely regret this turn of events, but we are no longer able to absorb the cost of these losses.


    This new set (GMM No. 160-66) is designed to fit KATO Cab-type diesel locomotives in N-scale (1/160.) It supplies enough hand grabs to equip an A-B-B-A set of EMD F-3 or F-7 units, an A-B-B-A set of E-9 units, and an A-B-A set of Alco PA units for a total of eleven (11) unit in all. Spare grabs are supplied for some of the smallest sizes in case of loss or damage

    Drilling No. 80 locating holes is required by the modeler to install these grabs, otherwise no major surgery or repainting is necessary. These are recommended for experiencd modelers wanting to add extra detail to model locomotives to be entered into competiton or otherwise built to the highest level of craftsmanship. The stainless steel grab irons measure .008" thick, or approximately 1.28 scale inches in diameter. Available now - price: $10.00.

    Below is a photo of the new Hand Grab set.

    Here is a close-up of an N-scale KATO Southern Pacific F-3 diesel locomotive with the hand grabs installed and painted white.


    We sometimes get so engrossed with our hobbies that we forget to stay in touch with "The Man Upstairs". It can easily be said that He is the greatest builder of all. He made you entirely from scratch. I personally proclaim his son, Jesus Christ, as my Lord and Savior. So the next time you're waiting for some glue or paint to dry, tell God and Jesus that you're still here and thinking of them. And thank them for everything good that's happened to you and your loved ones. Never forget, we're only here on Earth for a relatively short period and we could be taken away without warning at any time.

    If that happened to you, would you be ready?



    From time to time, an occasional claim is made that "Brand X" or "Brand Y" has more accurate brass railing for Minicraft's 1/350 scale kit. At the same time, these sources often supply no facts to back up their claims. So what's the truth?

    Let's start with railing height. The real Titanic had rails measuring 42 inches in height. Gold Medal Models' rails measure 0.12 inches tall, or 0.12 times 350 (for scale) = 42 inches, a precise match that's easy for anyone to verify.

    The real Titanic's railings around the aft boat deck and the aft ends of both promenade decks featured closely-spaced pairs of stanchions at the corners where the rails make 90 degree bends. These show up clearly in numerous photos of the prototype as well as in several key scenes in the film "Titanic". The GMM rails include this distinctive feature as do the GMM-designed photoetched brass rails included with the deluxe Minicraft kit. No other brand of photoetched brass railing has this important characteristic.

    The real Titanic had cutouts in the lower edge of the forecastle and poop deck railings for access to chocks and fairleads on the decks. GMM has captured these features and they actually line up properly with the Minicraft moldings. One other brand has included this in their forecastle rails, but they don't provide it in any other railing sections.

    The real Titanic had railings with integral "kickplates" (narrow strips of steel plate running along the bottom edge of the rails where they meet the decks) on 2-bar, 3-bar, and 5-bar railings in several areas of the ship. The GMM set has included this feature on all three styles of rails where required. Another brand only includes the kickplate on one style of railing. They overlooked the other two.

    The real Titanic had a wooden caprail (uppermost horizontal railing) on railings for the aft boat deck and at the aft end of both promenade decks. GMM's rails have simulated this wooden caprail in the form of a slightly thicker top rail, and in only the sections that require them. No other maker of photoetched railing has included this feature.

    GMM has actually provided the correct number and spacing of vertical stanchions in railing sections for the forecastle, poop deck, boat deck, both promenade decks, well decks (one exception - see below), and docking bridge. This means that the rails, when formed to shape, will have stanchions placed in each corner and in the correct locations elsewhere. Another brand has this feature only for the forecastle. They've substituted generic rails for all other areas on the ship. (Exception: the Minicraft kit's forecastle is slightly too narrow in scale. GMM's aft forecastle railing section has been slightly modified from true prototype configuration so as to fit the kit while allowing this rail section to "look right" when compared with adjacent railing sections.)

    Because of the above discussed features, the GMM rails actually fit the Minicraft moldings precisely, without cutting or any other extra work involved, other than for a few of the smaller upper decks and platforms. No other brand can make this claim.

    Some other differences between the GMM set and the competition: The GMM Titanic stairways include exclusive etched-in 3-D horizontal treads as well as correct handrail and side frame configurations. No tedious bending of stair treads is required by the modeler to achieve a realistic 3-D effect. One of our competitors provides twist-to-shape stair treads (over 200 in all!) that must be precisely formed to shape with tweezers by the modeler while maintaining uniformity, a nearly impossible task for most modelers. Furthermore, the manufacturer has accidentally placed the twist axis on the wrong edge of each tread, which forces the tread to hang far behind the side frames instead of between them as required by the prototype. It also interferes with placing the stairway against a bulkhead, holding it slightly away from it. The only way a modeler can avoid this is to twist each tread almost 150 degrees, again virtually impossible. The GMM stairway design prevents these problems and provides a very neat and uniform result with only two simple bends per stairway.

    GMM's Titanic benches are as accurate as possible in this scale while being as easy as possible to assemble neatly, given their small size. The seat back and armrests form one part while the seat bottom and end legs form the second. A separate center leg is the remaining piece. When folded and assembled, the intricate design of the wrought iron ends of the real Titanic's benches is perfectly replicated. In fact, the design was precisely duplicated from underwater photos taken of the real ship's wrought iron ends found in oceanographer Robert Ballard's books. The GMM design allows the modeler to apply a tiny dot of glue to the center rear of the assembly, joining the upper and lower halves with virtually no risk of clogging the delicate "wrought iron" parts with glue. A second dot of glue holds the center leg under the seat. A competitor's bench set, while acceptably accurate, and despite its basically one-piece design, still requires a little glue to hold it together and the glue has to be added to the "wrought iron" ends with a high probability of clogging. Without the glue, the ends will tend to break free or become distorted during handling. The GMM design results in a relatively rugged assembly able to withstand normal handling during painting and when installing them on the model.

    One further observation: A Gold Medal Models 1/350 scale photoetched Titanic/Lusitania detail set (No. 350-3) was purchased in 1996 by the model shop staff of Digital Domain (film director James Cameron's special effects house) for use as a guide when they were designing the large scale miniatures used in the 1997 film "Titanic". In addition, the GMM 1/350 scale Titanic products are to this day still being ordered repeatedly by a large professional model shop in Coral Springs, Florida that produces high quality finished models of all types (including of course the Titanic) for clients around the world. We've never asked why they order so many of these sets, but we assume they're getting good results and they know the quality is uniformly high.

    Finally, over 12,000 of Gold Medal Models' upgraded 1/350 scale Titanic-related detail sets have been sold since the film Titanic was released and the sets continue to sell steadily. More fine models of the Titanic have been built using GMM's detail sets than all other brands combined. And the latest upgraded GMM detail set is currently the most recent of all similar products currently available, having benefited from the latest discoveries concerning the real liner.

    So who makes these claims that Brand X or Brand Y is more accurate? It really doesn't matter. Remember, just because a manufacturer had access to and approval from a Titanic-related historical society doesn't guarantee the final product was properly executed. But if you happen to have any doubts when such an absolute claim is made about another brand's railing accuracy, ask them this simple question: "Can you prove it?" We're betting they can't. And, as always, the final choice is yours.