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Roundhouse HO Scale Model Railroads & Trains

Roundhouse model trains started as a hobby shop established in 1938. This model train manufacturer was an early player in the production of HO scale model trains, offering a brass and lead alloy steam locomotive kit in HO scale in 1939.

Forced to suspend operations during World War II, Roundhouse reopened in 1946 under the name Model Die Casting Inc. They resumed production of the Roundhouse line of model train products, specializing in HO scale kits for a variety of locomotives and railroad cars. One of their more popular products was the 3-1 Theme Kit. These kits contained parts that could be used to produce more than one model. Each kit had a theme, many based on the western United States. Model Die Casting also offered ready-to-run model trains, especially in later years.

Model Die Casting continued operations until 2004 when it was purchased by Horizon Hobby. Also the owner of Athern, Horizon Hobby kept the Roundhouse name on model train products that represented pre-World War II trains, while more recent models were produced under the Athern name. Athern continues to offer a line of model railroad products under the Roundhouse name today.

Quick Facts

  • One of the first jobs the Roundhouse hobby shop obtained after it opened was the production of models for the movie "Union Pacific" directed by Cecil B. Demille
  • Roundhouse 3-1 kits were all metal. They were called 3-1 because they often contained enough parts to make three railroad cars
  • Roundhouse was founded by musicians Jerry Joice and Perry Bodkin in Hollywood, California

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