N scale train

The Art Of N Scale Trains – 6 Spotlight Questions From Gaeth N Scale Models in Caseville

It happened by pure chance. I was working with Google Maps around the Rush Lake State Game Area, and an icon for a business came into view. A hobby shop? How intriguing. Gaeth N Scale Models is located on Sand Road, not far from Philp County Park and our cottage. How cool is that! Needless to say, I was fascinated. I was once an avid model builder; however, I never advanced into the world of miniature railroad models and N-scale trains.

What is Model Railroading With N Scale Trains?

Model railroading is a hobby that involves the building and running of miniature trains. Model railroading (or model railroading) is a term that encompasses several different scales and types of models, each with its unique characteristics.

Several different types of scale models can be used for model railroads. Each type has its unique characteristics, but they all share some common traits. The most widespread types of scale models are HO scale trains (1:87), N scale trains (1:160), O gauge trains (1:48), G gauge trains (1:22.5), and S gauge trains (1:64). There are also larger scales like G-scale and Z-scale models, but these are less common because they require more space to run them properly.

I found out that this hobby is extremely popular. Rod Stewart, the veteran rocker has worked for 26 years on a 2,852 square foot model railway depicting an North London area inspired by the view from his childhood home

I decided to reach out to the owner, Mark Gaeth, the next time I was up in Caseville. However, our schedules could not line up, and we resorted to an exchange of emails. I think this gives a great sense of an excellent line of business that Mark has been able to build during the two years of being locked down during the two years of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Here is my virtual interview with Mark Gaeth.

What motivated you to start Gaeth N Scale Models?

#4404 “Thank You, Essential Workers.”

I have always had a love of building models. I was building scale model kits of cars and trucks in my younger years. Later I made a simple HO layout in the garage hinged to the wall. Then came High School, motorcycles, cars, and work. The model trains were put aside. We moved to Indiana and started a family. Once the kids started having boyfriends and later marriages, I started another HO layout in our garage to be torn down and sold with job changes and moves to Alabama and Montana. 

While in Billings, Montana, I started a small layout again (N Scale) in one of the bedrooms. It was just started when another career opportunity brought us back to Michigan. This time I was able to get the layout with us. That layout has grown to where it now resides in about 25% of the basement. Since living in Montana, I fell in love with the regional railroad Montana Rail Link (MRL).

The only problem was that there were not many MRL-painted locomotives available without commissioning a unique custom painting that cost $150 -250 for each unit to have repainted. So we discussed the possibility of purchasing an airbrush and paint booth to do them myself. Word of mouth traveled fast on the internet to where I was getting inquiries to paint their locomotives. So, in a roundabout way, my motivation was out of necessity to have my locomotives painted for my layout and offer fair pricing to others.

How long have Gaeth N Scale Models been in business, and what is its history?

CP SD70ACU #6644 “Spitfire,”

Gaeth N Scale Models officially started on January 1, 2022, although I have been painting for about three years now.

What are the products and services you offer?

MRL SD70ACe units #4407 “Thank You Veterans”

Gaeth N Scale Models’ primary product/service is custom painting N / HO Scale locomotives and rolling stock. In addition, I am a dealer for Tru-Color Paints, Kato Parts, ESU & Train Control Systems, DCC decoders, and sound systems.  I also perform decoder installations and milling of the metal chassis to allow clearance for installation.

What are you doing with Gaeth N Scale Models that you are particularly proud of?

#7020 “Army,”

I am proud of the work I have completed for my customers. Many of these customers have had up to 20-25 units done and are repeat customers from Australia, Western Canada, Florida, New Jersey, Kansas, and Oklahoma in the US. 

I am also incredibly proud of several special units I replicated that several major railroad companies did to salute the Military and Essential Workers by Montana Rail Link & Canadian Pacific. 

Gaeth N Scale Train Models

#7021 “Desert Sand”
#7022 “Navy”

How did the Covid-19 pandemic affect Gaeth N Scale Models?

#7023 “Air Force”

It was a two-fold blessing. First, many modelers were home-restricted, and they had more time to spend on their layouts. They also traveled less, allowing more disposable income to be spent on their hobby. Of course, this hobby is not cheap, and by far, the primary modeler is secure in their employment and income. Secondly, for me, it meant working from home and not having the morning and evening commutes. This allowed more available time in the evening to work on customer units. It also caused my employer, Rolls-Royce Solutions America, to stop all travel; as a Sales & Service Auditor, I was assigned to audit our North & South America distributors every three years.

What changes will you be making, or what things will you be doing going forward with Gaeth N Scale Models?

CP ES44AC #8757 “Every Child Matters” 

Currently, I have no direct plans to change my business model until after I retire In February 2023. At that time, I will review 2022 for its weaknesses and strengths and formulate a plan. I would like to see what is available from a hobby distributor to increase the number of products available on my website. At present, with so many hobby stores that have a brick & mortar stores closing across the country and globally due to very competitive retail pricing. They have a tricky time meeting payroll and fixed asset costs, and I do not feel that is a viable option but being an online store.

You can visit Mark’s online store at Gaeth N Scale Models

N Scale Train Scenery Created By Gaeth N Scale Models

FAQ About Model Train Scale Sizes

Buy A N Scale Train on Amazon

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Michael Hardy

Mike Hardy is the owner of Thumbwind Publications LLC. It started in 2009 as a fun-loving site covering Michigan's Upper Thumb. Since then, he has authored a vast range of content and established a loyal base of 60,000 visitors per month.

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