HO and O Scale Vehicles 20s and 30s?

Hey all! Not sure if it is cost effective or just plain not that popular, but I wish someone with the resources could start making already built and painted 20's and 30's trucks, machinery and cars. I know Magnussen (I think that's right), Jordan, and mini metal works, etc. make some older hard to find kits and more modern era, but I could really use some already built period vehicles for my layout, structures, etc. I understand I can build these kits, but I am already working overtime on the fine structures I have collected over the years and would love to just have some great old Model T's, Model A's, 20's and 30's trucks etc. Any thoughts.


  • Todd, Artitec makes pre-built HO vehicles in that era, but they are pretty pricey. I haven't seen them in person, but they look decent in pictures.
  • You have stated very correctly, not cost effective.

    Jordan Miniatures made incredible vehicles at a very low price. They set the market value of a vehicle kit, and as such many small makers, like myself, couldn't even consider offering vehicles at a competing price point. (not complaining, just stating a fact) In addition selling pre-made adds to the cost and makes it even more unprofitable. Same is true in O Scale. I remember a wonderful article in the Gazette from the 70's entitled something like "the Bane of the O Scale Modeler" by Nash/Greenberg. He was talking about vehicles!

    When you get into "pre-made" the competition becomes those folks who have china manufacture the items and then they re-sell. Besides my principles that have existed for over 40 years in business that I will never sell chinese made goods, it kills the hobby by making it more of a display than a model. But don't get me started there, hah!

    Great question and topic and I appreciate the opportunity to respond.
  • Thanks for the feed back team! Stay frosty.
  • diecast models wholesale has quite a few O scale vehicles. i've gotten 3 from them so far. you'll need to shop by scale.
  • Just ordered an HO scale truck from Artitec, will let you know the quality of their products. A bit expensive especially with them being overseas. Thanks for the info.
  • When it comes to O have another conundrum....vehicles come in 1/43rd, 1/48th and 1/50th....some will look better than all depends of the scale of your loco's and structures....1/48 works most of the time.....1/43 is usually too big.....
  • I have a couple of Artitec vehicles of this timeframe. Pricey, yes and they took forever to get here (during the height of the pandemic). Certainly not like Amazon shipping! But the quality (I bought them pre-painted) fits in perfectly with the SWSM quality.
  • I know this thread is about ready to run trucks but for those who want kits, Berkshire Valley has some nice truck kits. Rich Rands the person I built the SW Truck Repair kit for has several 1934 trucks from a pickup to a dump truck. He also has three 1910 chain drive truck kits also. Randy
  • Thanks for all the updates! Glad I asked!
  • I can relate to this topic completely. Over the years I've built some Magnuson and Jordan vehicles with varying end results but overall, definitely worth the time and effort. With Magnuson, it's all about painting the windshield correctly! In addition, I built several Lee Town, Sheepscot, Wiseman Models, Sylvan, Ulrich, Alloy Forms etc. and I love them all. I found a use for all my old Testors paint with these kits. You need to do some filing and sometimes even a little "bodywork" with Squadron putty to get things right but you end up with a decent-looking truck. Weathering takes these models to the next level. The guys who build these are in a class of their own and incorporate other manufacturers' parts to create some really distinct and one-of-a-kind models. I really like Mack trucks and have quite a few built and ready. I've used some of the Athearn trucks to start with and added personalized them to my needs and likes. It's all part of the fun!
    Sylvan Oil Truck 1
    Sylvan Oil Truck
    Custom Mack Logging Truck
    Custom Mack Tow Truck
    Custom Mack
    Early Mack 1
    Early Mack
  • Quite a nice looking fleet you have there!
  • It's only the tip of the iceberg my friend!
  • The hobby shop I visit every few weeks has a pile (probably 40 or so) of HO scale Lee Town vehicle kits. If there are any anyone has an eye out for, let me know (private message) and I can look next time I am there.
  • They usually run between $15-$30 each and they are a lot of work to build but come out real nice.
  • JohnM2104 said:

    They usually run between $15-$30 each and they are a lot of work to build but come out real nice.

    Yep, that sounds about right. I don't model in HO so I haven't given them a hard look, but they are always there. Figured I could offer.

  • Many thanks. I have enough for now and still have a few kits which I may or may not build. It's always hard to decide what to work on next when you have a layout and do all of the work yourself.
  • edited June 21
    Just received my order from Artitec, a ford model TT pickup. Great quality and well built. Will order more if they ever get more in stock. Many of their models are out of stock at this time. A little pricey and took a while to get here, but I am satisfied with the purchase. Will look great on the layout.
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