Madruga Models

Madruga Models



In October 2008, Trevor Marshall wrote;-

I recently acquired two craftsman kits for Sandy River flangers, offered by a company called Madruga Model Works. The photos of the finished models that accompany the kits are stamped on the back as being printed in February and June 1980.

Editor:These are shown above.

Here’s some more detail: Madruga Model Works was owned by Bernie Lewis and the address on the box is a PO box in Miltipas CA.

The 503 comes with two sheets of plans – one by RH Werner, the other by JE Robinson, based on measurements taken in 1968 by RW Brown and additional data from E Bond. It looks like Bernie Lewis did 55 kits for 503.

The 505 includes one sheet of plans by RH Werner, and 50 kits were produced.

The kits each consist of a Grandt Line details, plus white metal castings for journals and the flanger blades that MIGHT be Portland products, or might be MMW’s own castings (does anybody know?), plus strip and sheet wood in little baggies.

Does anybody know more about Madruga Model Works, or any of the gents mentioned? I thought it might be a good topic for discussion and possibly help record the story of Maine two-foot modeling in O scale. – Trevor

PS: Bernie sounds like quite the guy. His first page of instructions reads, in part: “I realize that most On2 modelers are accomplished scratchbuilders; however, instructions are included to demonstrate my method of construction. If all else fails, you might want to give these methods a try.”

Obviously, a wit!

and Bob Schlechter replied to Trevor;-

Very interesting that you came across both Madruga kits by Bernie.

Those were the only two kits that Bernie produced. Very nice kits even going back 28 years ago. Further kit production ceased due to a divorce! Bernie is a good friend from the past when we both lived in and around the San Francisco bay area and he now resides in Vermont. He, to the best of my knowledge, quit model railroading and does bird/duck carving. Has a Ph.D. in mathematics and has a very good sense of humor.

Bernie and I did On2 modules depicting the Kennebec Central RR. I did Randolph and he did Togus. They were displayed at a NMRA show in San Mateo, California many years ago. I still have my diorama as I tend not to throw things away! Just ask my wife.

R.H. Werner, Bob of Hobby Barn fame also a friend from the past who now resides in Arizona. Would love to see his Portland Products line reissued.

J.E Robinson, John is also a friend and resides between Colorado and a ranch in Texas, He still does model railroading but enjoys his full size two foot RR on his Texas ranch. Talked with him at the 2008 NNGC.

R.W. Brown , Bob, is the founder, owner and editor of the Gazette magazine. Bob and I have been friends for the last forty plus years. He is still very active in model railroading in Los Altos, California. Also talked with him at the 2008 NNGC.

Bond, Ed, also a friend for some time is credited with many of the prototype two foot photos that we all use and enjoy. He was collecting prototype railroad photos since he was a teenager. He is active in 7 1/2″ gauge live steam in Georgia. Had a pleasant visit with him a few months ago.

I’ve known all of the Grandt family for the past 45 years. Dave still runs the business and Robb publishes a line of books pertaining to Colorado railroads. Met with both at the 2008 NNGC.

Does the above suffice or is more needed?


Bob in Sequim


Narrow Gauge & Shortline Gazette Info about Madruga Models;-

Jan/Feb 1980, page 17 SR&RL flanger #505

May/Jun 1980 page 75 small advert SR&RL flanger #503

Jul/Aug 1980 page 20 News in Review SR&RL flangers

Sep/Oct 1980 page 17 News in Review Sound Cams and SR&RL flanger


Editorial announcement: “What’s new?”


For some time now, the “What’s New?” page, available from the fixed menu below the picture on the home page has looked a lot like the “What’s Here?” page.

A recent review has suggested that we should sharpen the focus of the “What’s New?” page and also for a trial period we will use this page to advise our followers and viewers of other news that may be of interest to them, such as new topics on other blogs, rather than posting a temporary message with or without “sticky” status on the main blog roll.


Terry, 15th January 2016

Library of Congress – Vintage Aerial views

The US Library of Congress has an internet accessible gallery of vintage aerial views of towns, primarily from across the USA. The gallery can be searched by a number of different terms, but perhaps the most useful is by state or location at ;-

Click here to go to the Library of Congress page for this view in another browser window.

Be aware that a number of download styles are available, including full size versions exceeding 100MB as downloads.


As an aid to the Maine Two Foot enthusiast to determine whether they wish to visit the LOC site to download their own copies, we show the following reduced copy views. Clicking on these pictures will show a larger version in your browser.

Bridgton, Maine, 1888.

Bridgton 1888 03

This view shows the original Bridgton & Saco River railroad entering the town just below the ponds at the middle left. Note that the inset picture at the lower left is a coloured rendition of the black & white photograph published in many standard texts about the B&SR, including Jones’ Two Feet to the Lakes on page 36.

The pictorial view is notable for showing many of the Mills of Bridgton. Inspection of the full sized copy on the LOC site (at ) allows the feint numbering of the mills to be read.

Click here to go to the Library of Congress page for this view in another browser window.

Monson, Maine, 1889.  

Monson 1889 03

This view is noteworthy for showing the tracks of the Monson railroad entering town, and then going to the individual slate mines beyond the station area.

The full size copy is available from

Click here to go to the Library of Congress page for this view in another browser window.

Kingfield, Maine, 1895.

Kingfield 1895 03

This view shows the original Franklin & Megantic railroad entering Kingfield as a spur while the mainline bypasses the town in the background.

The full size copy is available from

Click here to go to the Library of Congress page for this view in another browser window.

Wiscasset, Maine, 1878. 

This view predates the building of the Wiscasset & Quebec two foot line, but does show the standard gauge line, town and wharves.

Wiscasset 1878 03

The full size copy is available from

Click here to go to the Library of Congress page for this view in another browser window.

Gardiner, Maine, 1878.

This view predates the building of the Kennebec Central two foot line, but does show the standard gauge line on the opposite bank, the town and wharves. It also shows just how neatly the Kennebec Central was threaded through the existing landscape.

Gardiner 1878 03

The full size copy is available from

Click here to go to the Library of Congress page for this view in another browser window.

Laconia, New Hampshire, 1883.

Although not served by a two foot line, the interest in this view is the Laconia Car Company shown in the middle of town. This company built a number of items of rolling stock for the Maine Two Footers either directly or in a previous incarnation as The Ranlet Car Company.

Laconia 1883 03

The full size copy is available from

Click here to go to the Library of Congress page for this view in another browser window.


Top posts for 2015

Here are our top posts for the past year;-

#1 – MaineOn2 layouts – Bill Kerr’s SR&RL

#2- Dwight Smith’s 1940 visit to Bridgton; published 1st December 2015.

#3 – MaineOn2 layouts – Trevor Marshall’s Somerset & Piscataquis Counties RR.

#4 – Tin roofs and colour schemes; Terry Smith’s update published 7th May 2015.

#5 – MaineOn2 layouts – Scenery Extra – Bill Kerr and the Calgary Monday night crew do scenery; published 8th February 2015.

#6 – SR&RL; Historic list of plans

Yet again, this is a rather different listing for the past year compared to the previous years at first sight, but one which still features some of the people who have significantly helped Maine On2 modellers in recent years;-

Bill Kerr was the editor, publisher and chief compiler of the original web page version of these FAQ’s, as well as an outstanding scenery modeller, and sometime Moderator of the Yahoo! Maine On2 and Maine Two Footer groups. The scenery extra posting allowed us to show more of his scenery and the scenery techniques used by his close friends.

Trevor Marshall did a lot to publicize Maine On2 modelling during his active On2 modelling phase, was a Moderator of the Yahoo! Maine On2 group, and helped Bill Kerr with the content of the original web page version of these FAQ’s and the Fotopic site. Trevor was one of the friends that Bill Kerr nominated to ensure the continuing availability of the original FAQ content to modellers, and he was responsible for setting up this blog site.

Terry Smith was working on an update to the Tin roofs posting for the original web page version of the FAQ’s when that site went belly up, and it has taken him until half way through this year to catch up with the subject!. Terry has also served as a Moderator of the Yahoo! Maine On2 group, and also helped Bill Kerr with the content of the original web page version of these FAQ’s and the Fotopic site. Terry was another of the friends that Bill Kerr nominated to ensure the continuing availability of the original FAQ contents, and he has been responsible for re-publishing the original contents on this blog site, as well as writing up new topics.

Comparing visitor and viewing numbers for 2015 with 2014 then we have had a slight decrease in both.

The nationality of viewers is pretty stable, with some 70% of the viewings being made from the USA, with the United Kingdom in second place with some 7% and Canada in a very close third with 6%. In total, the blog has recorded viewers from 53 different countries around the globe this year.

We hope that our viewers have found the site of interest over the last year. We have more topics and content in-process, so keep coming back in the coming year.


….. enjoy your trains and browsing in 2016.

The 2016 National Narrow Gauge Convention


Every year since 1980, modellers of American narrow gauge railroads have organised an annual convention in the USA. In 2016, the convention will take place September 7-10 in Augusta, Maine.

The program has a distinct Maine Two Foot flavour, and the location will allow visits to the various museums and preserved lines, as well as the original prototype locations.

Click here to visit the official convention website for further information.


Dwight Smith’s 1940 visit to Bridgton

In August 1940 Dwight Smith persuaded his Uncle Joe to make a small detour off their planned family holiday return route to visit Bridgton to explore what remained of the Bridgton and Harrison railroad. Whilst there both Dwight and his Uncle, Joseph Wilson, took a few pictures. In November 2015, Trains Magazine used one of these pictures in an editorial about how people found out about Al Kalmbach’s plans to start Trains Magazine.

Via Rick Uskert and Paul Hallett, we made contact with Dwight, and are delighted to be able to publish all four of the pictures taken that day for all Maine Two Foot railroad fans to view and enjoy;-


Dwight took this picture himself on a “cheap 126 sized plastic camera”.


This is the picture that was published in the November 2015 edition of Trains. That’s a young Dwight in the doorway. Picture taken by Joseph Wilson.

Wes Ewell has already spotted that one set of brake shoes are truck hung and the other are body hung.



A beautiful picture of one of the so called “Chevy” Rail Buses, taken by Joseph Wilson. The date of the visit confirms that this bus was still in existence in August 1940.

For the interested;- in 1936 and 1937 Albert G Hale took some movie film of a rail bus ride on the Bridgton line and these vehicles were introduced by a caption saying that they were “Chevy Franklins”. Current research suggests that the other rail buses used on the Bridgton were indeed “Chevy Franklins” consisting of a Chevy radiator, Chevy heavy auto/light truck chassis with a Chevy motor combined with a Franklin body.

In the picture above, the radiator has the typical Chevy badge, and the visible characteristics of the upper chassis are believed to match those of the long wheelbase heavy auto/light truck chassis used by Chevrolet in the late 1920’s. The vehicle body has more characteristics in common with the mid 1920’s to 1930’s Dodge Brothers Sedan’s however.


A beautiful shot taken by Joseph Wilson showing the young Dwight perched on the front of the lines largest Baldwin, loco #8 and some interior details of the loco shed.

We thank Dwight Smith for his generosity in sharing these pictures freely, and to Rick Uskert and Paul Hallett for their help with the communications.

Note that Dwight Smith is a former President and Owner of the Conway Scenic Railroad of North Conway NH, and has written an article in the Trains January 2016 edition about the restoration of the Pullman car “Gertrude Emma” on that line.

Paul Hallett is the Operations Manager of the Conway Scenic Railroad.

Click here to view the Conway Scenic Railroad in another page.

Rick Uskert has an interesting blog about modelling the B&SR in 1907 at Click here to view on another page.

Trains Magazine: click here to view the Trains page of the Kalmbach website on another page.




50 Years of the Gazette? – on disc


50 Years of the Gazette? – on disc – well not quite. What’s shown is the DVD-ROM set recently released by Bob Hayden which shows every page of the Narrow Gauge & Shortline Gazette from March 1974 through until the end of 2014 – (239 issues) and complete scans from the Gazette’s predecessors, Bob Brown’s Finelines started in September 1964 – hence the 50 years – until January 1975, and Slim Gauge News from August 1970 until December 1974, when the two publications joined to become the Gazette.

What do you get? and what does it look like?

The screenshot below shows the first selection screen which comes up after the DVD’s have been fully loaded (an operation which took around 45 minutes in my case), to allow selection of particular issues. In this case, the selection criteria were Finelines, thumbnails and oldest first. Clicking on a particular issue then brings up that issue to be read onscreen.


The screenshot below shows the first screen with selection criteria of Finelines, list view and oldest first. Clicking on file number of a particular issue then brings up that issue to be read onscreen.


Further information about the DVD-ROM set can be found on Bob Hayden’s website;-

Non domestic US purchasers are advised that the International Mailing charges quoted will cover sending more than one set of DVD’s, so it may be worth working together with fellow modellers to place a group order.

Further information about the Narrow Gauge & Shortline Gazette, including subscriptions can be found at;-

What’s in the DVD set for Maine Two Foot Modellers? a personal comment by Terry Smith;- 

As our plans lists show, Bob Brown published quite a number of Maine Two Foot plans in Finelines and the early editions of the Gazettes. Some of these have been published in later publications, but not all. I think that the purchase price of this DVD set is very reasonable for the content, and was glad to be included in a group purchase organised by another UK modeller. I have never had “hands on” access to Finelines and Slim Gauge News before and have enjoyed browsing through them, and I found it interesting to find out more about the early days of “commercial” On2.

There is a search keywords facility. The Maine Two Foot inspired/derived searches done so far have been mildly disappointing. Using “bridgton” brought up only 8 articles and just one of Dick Andrews articles about “The Bridgton Line as I knew it”.

Updated 24-11-2015.