HomeDedicated to Serving the Model Hobby Industry

HMA —Hobby Manufacturers Association
Model Railroad Division - Hall of Fame

In any organization it's always the few doing for the many. HMA is no different in that regard and would like to thank those listed below for their dedication and service throughout the years.

Download the 2011 Nomination Form

2014 Hall of Fame Recipient

Fred Hill (The Coach Yard, Allied Hobbies, The Original Whistle Stop)

Fred's accomplishments are many. As a business person, Fred, working with his partner Dave Allen, imports a series of HO hand built brass passenger cars that are acknowledged by the industry to set the highest standard for fidelity and workmanship. Fred is very generous with his industry knowledge and has introduced and guided others into the world of brass model manufacturing. Those that have known Fred over the years recognize him for his total dedication to the model railroad industry. He exhibited at the old MRIA shows before there was a combined "Chicago Show". He is the only brass manufacturer to continually support the model railroad industry from those early days and through the current iteration of iHobby Expo. Not only has he contributed to the trade shows as an exhibitor, but he also tirelessly supports the show behind the scenes. He has served as the HMA President and Treasurer while on the Board of Directors, iHobby Show Committee chair, the MRID Council and various other service posts. His enthusiasm for the Model Railroad division remains strong. Congratulations to Fred on this deserving honor.

Hall Of Fame - 2012

There was no recipient of the Hall of Fame Award in the year 2012.

2010 Hall of Fame Recipients

Edward C. and Douglas R. Suydam of the Ed Suydam Company
Ed Suydam and his brother, Douglas, owned and ran a company in Pasadena, California that manufactured camera equipment, roll film adapters, grill tops, and animal cages, among other items. However, in 1950 they desired to get into model-railroading and shifted the output of their factory to that area. The line of well thought-out mat board buildings, corrugated metal buildings., and railroad freight and passenger cars could be found in every hobby shop in an eye catching yellow box. The metal buildings needed to be soldered, which was different than anything else in the hobby. At one time it was hard to view a model train layout without seeing a Suydam model. Even today the models are still being sold, made and displayed. Prior to the formation of the Model Railroad Industry Association (MRIA), several model railroad industry leaders would meet regularly in Tustin, California: Leo Campbell, Tom Ayres, George Hook, Ted Hollow and Ed and Douglas Suydam. Out of those meetings the Model Railroad Industry Association was formed. Ed held the position of secretary/treasurer in those early years of 1967 and 1968. Ed, with his quick wit and sense of humor, was the front man in the company, while Douglas worked behind the scenes at the factory. Both Ed and Douglas passed away several years ago.

The HMA MRID Council was extremely pleased and excited to induct Jim Conway and Phil Walthers into the Model Railroad Industry Hall of Fame this year.

Phil Walthers – Wm. K. Walthers
With his nearly four-decade record of hard work, creativity, service, and most of all, integrity, Phil Walthers has earned a reputation as not only one of the most capable executives in our industry, but one of the most trusted. His tenure at Wm. K. Walthers, Inc. has been marked by a substantial expansion in the firm’s line of products, including a new track system, a new line of passenger equipment and limited-run trains, and the 2005 acquisition of Life-Like Products. Phil also led an expansion in the number of lines Walthers distributes, and he has helped many smaller firms grow by promoting and distributing their products via the Walthers catalog.

He has represented our industry ably, including service on the boards of the Model Railroad Industry Association and Radio Control Hobby Trade Association. Under his leadership Walthers has helped build awareness of our hobby by being a primary sponsor of the World’s Greatest Hobby program and also of the PBS railroad program “Tracks Ahead.” And while it is less well known, thanks to his modesty, Phil has compiled one of the most remarkable records of community service in the industry. Throughout his career, Phil has consistently led by example in promoting the hobby, serving our industry, and introducing new products that have inspired model railroaders. It is for those reasons that he is nominated for election to our Hall Of Fame.

Jim Conway
In 1958-59 when Jim was 18 years old, he built a large HO train layout in the basement of his family home. He later found a part-time job at a local hobby shop in Chicago and his love for trains grew. He built hundreds of model freight car kits and sold them through local hobby shops and mail order. In1960, Jim joined the NMRA and attended his first NMRA National Convention in Chicago. In 1962, Jim developed a line of kits called “Con-Cor Models.” Among the first kits were USRA Boxcars and Billboard Reefers, Hon3 freight cars, and the “Airslide” Covered Hopper kit. Also in 1962, Jim organized a group of fellow model railroaders from Chicago and opened a new Model Train Hobby Shop on the West Side of Chicago. During the 1960’s and 70’s, Jim grew his business under the name of Con-Cor. Con-Cor became the “N” Scale Rivarossi Agent in the USA starting in the mid-1970's. Jim also had a wholesale business under the name of JMC International.

Download the press release

Please note: We tried very hard to gather this information but are missing a few photos and a few descriptions. Please let us know if you can help.

2009 Winners

Nick Pfusterschmid played a key role in the creation and sales of hundreds of the model train hobby’s most successful models and has been an employee or a trusted partner of many of the industry’s major firms, including AHM, Athearn, Atlas, Con-Cor, Life-Like, Liliput, Mehano, Rivarossi, and Roco.

Robert H. (Bob) Staat of Horizon/McHenry Couplers is the primary inventor of, and patent holder for, magnetically actuated couplers. In addition to his dedication to the railroad industry, Bob has been an avid flyer and R/C enthusiast. He has been a leader in the industry serving as President of the Model Railroad Industry Association for two terms and was a key member of the Industry Unification Task Force that formed the Hobby Manufacturers Association. Bob was elected in 2005 to serve as the first President of the newly formed HMA during the very difficult start-up period, and did an outstanding job of pulling together the various industry divisions to help make the HMA the association it is today.

Past Winners

Richard (Dick) Maddox, Bachmann Trains Bud Reece, Bachmann Trains
W.S. Ting, Sanda Kan Manufacturing Phyllis Carstens, Carstens Publications
William Lenoir, Lenoir Models

Lewis Polk, Aristo Craft Trains Bernd Lenz, Lenz Electronik
Fred Icken, Icken Models

Russ Larson - Kalmbach Publishing Co

Fred Gates - Märklin, Inc.

H. Lee Riley- Bachmann Trains/AHM

Bob and Lynn Lunde Magnuson

Bill Bowser - Bowser Manufacturing

Robert Rands - Micro Engineering/Rail

Lewis English, Sr. - Bowser
Manufacturing / English's Model RR

Mike Trost - Trost Models

Alan Armitage

Eberhard Richter - LGB

Wolfgang Richter - LGB

Louis Barnett
International Models, Inc.

Charles Ulrich - C. J. Ulrich Co., Inc.

Lee L. Blyler - Ambroid Co.

William Ryan - Pacific Fast Mail

Levon Kemalyan - Kemtron Products

Roy Gelber - Model Rectifier Corp.

Yuji Kato - Kato USA, Inc.

Hugh Stephens - Kalmbach Publishing
John Anderson - Cal Scale Castings

Howell Day - Howell Day Models
Sol Kramer - Life-Like Products

David Osment - Woodland Scenics
Nathan Polk - Polks Model Craft
Hobbies/Aristo-Craft Trains
Thomas Ayres - Ayres Scale Models

August Kniff - Tru-Scale Models

Robert Lindsay - Lindsay Products

Robert Lobaugh - Lobaugh Models

Bernard Paul
International Hobby Corp.,/AHM/IHC
Leo Campbell - Campbell Scale Models

Harold Carstens
Carstens Publications
Dale Edwards - Kadee Quality Products
Keith Edwards - Micro-Trains Line Co.

Cliff Grandt - Grandt Line Products, Inc.

Max Gray - Champion Decal Co.

Bobbye Hall - Hallmark Models, Inc.

Clarence Menteer - Model Die Casting

Harold Rosenlund - Floquil-Polly S Color
Bruce Walthers - Wm. K. Walthers, Inc.

Irvin R. Athearn - Athearn, Inc.

Joshua Lionel Cowan - Lionel Corp

Alfred C. Gilbert - A. C. Gilbert

George Hook - Central Valley

Albert C. Kalmbach - Kalmbach
Publishing Co.
Charles A. Penn - Carstens Publications

Stephen Schaffen, Jr. - Atlas Tool Company George Stock - George Stock Company

John Tyler Mantua Metal Products Company, Inc. Gordon Varney - Varney Scale Models, Inc.
William K. Walthers - Wm. K. Walthers, Inc. Carmen Webster Kelly - Model Railroad Equipment Company
Edwin P. Alexander - Alexander Scale Models

267-341-1604 © 2009 HMA Manufacturers Association - All Rights Reserved