Brass Model Train Custom Painting, Weathering and Repair Services

Collectors of fine scale brass model trains, brass-hybrid model trains, and high-end super-detailed plastic model trains have a new resource for custom painting and weathering services. Announced in our April e-newsletter simply as a guide to finding these kinds of services, the idea quickly took hold with prototype modelers and collectors. By combining our expertise with Twin Ports area railroads and our demonstrated capabilities with custom painting, custom weathering, and brass model train repairs we began to fit out a brand new paint shop facility to be able to offer these services to discerning model collectors, operators, and modelers.

We began providing quotes to potential new clients on May 1st and our schedule for 2017 became booked solid almost instantly. Our preferred client base is heavily into the steam era and the steam-to-diesel transition era. If you have a need for these kinds of specialized professional services in 2018 and beyond then please visit for much more information.

"The lion's share of what we do in this field today is HO scale brass steam locomotive paint jobs and realistic weathering of steam and diesel locomotives, freight cars, cabooses, and structures such as bridges and coal docks. Our weathering effects are highly desired. We're also concentrating on making the paint jobs on the newer brass-hybrids to be more accurate by repainting and re-lettering portions of them to help them look more like high-end brass models. Today, as always, our best client is the discerning collector who wants his models painted and weathered to look like the real thing. We can make them look clean and fresh like they just came out of the shop. We can make them look somewhat dirty and well-used too."
"Every paint job that we provide includes a Certificate of Authenticity (C.O.A.) that can be displayed alongside each model that we paint and weather. Our C.O.A. fits perfectly in your display case and it shows a color image of the actual model that we customized. This really helps when you go to sell a model. Today, painting models is also about helping each client to justify investment in our services—services that will make any model more desirable in the marketplace—especially with our C.O.A. as that is the provenance that drives value long term. People love it. Frankly, bare brass is just a starting point for what we do in our shop. Unpainted models are like an artist's canvas—a beginning point to be able to create a true, finished work of art. That's exactly what we do here. We believe that it is how you finish that counts."

We're excited to be able to offer these types of services. We've been encouraged by some of the top brass model train collectors coast-to-coast, other custom painters who need help servicing their own clients, and the largest brass dealer in the USA too. Painting brass model trains has been part of our operation for select clients for many years, including several brass importers, a variety of railroad presidents, and even the factories where real diesel-locomotives have been made—EMD and GE.

Here's the C.O.A. that went with the first model we painted way back in 1978 with serial number 0001. Currently, our C.O.A.s carry numbers into the 3,500s. It's a great way to be able to identify each piece too, when it comes time to pack them up, or put them on the market.

Our specialties are the: 1) Great Northern Railway; 2) Northern Pacific Railway; 3) Burlington Northern family of roads, along with the C&NW, D&NE, DM&IR, DW&P, LST&T Railway, Milwaukee Road, and Soo Line too. Working full time in the field of brass model train design, manufacturing, and repairs took us to all corners of North America—and especially along the Union Pacific and BNSF Railway—in search of project materials. So our level of comfort is also very high working with prototypes from other major railroads including but not limited to PRR, B&O, C&O, WM, N&W, SRR, AT&SF, UP, SP and D&RGW too. If you click any of the links in this paragraph you'll get to see some of our prototype picture albums on Flickr. We always start paint work using great reference materials as a guide. Please enjoy using these free resources.

In total, we currently have 50+ albums of images and stories. That's where you'll learn about our point of view on railroading and sharing what we consider to be local history, in a fun format. We enjoy helping others to recreate in miniature their own favorite railroads from our collective past. A large part of that work has always been the sharing of prototype resources. Now it includes professional custom painting, weathering, and repairing of fine scale brass model trains, brass-hybrids, and better plastic models too.

We look forward to answering any questions that you may have, or starting a project for you soon.


2016 All Star Award presented to Twin Ports Rail History

In March 2017, Twin Ports Rail History was awarded a Best and Brightest All Star Award for 2016 by our e-newsletter service provider—Constant Contact.

According to Constant Contact, "Last year your outreach and engagement with your audience was exemplary. Stellar. Your customers noticed and responded positively. And we noticed too. So we are thrilled to name you to our roster of 2016 All Stars!"

This annual designation is something that only 10% of Constant Contact customers receive for their excellence in building better customer relationships. At Twin Ports Rail History we're all about collaboration. It feels especially good to receive this 2016 Award because we do try hard to keep our communications brief, appropriate, and fun and colorful too.

Thanks to all of our e-newsletter subscribers—and especially those who contribute to growing this resource through their generous contributions of old photographs and information about railroading's good old days in Duluth-Superior. We're happy to share these materials here and looking forward to providing this same level of excellence throughout 2017, and beyond.


TPRH featured on Perfect Day Duluth Selective Focus

According to their web site, Perfect Duluth Day was founded on June 29, 2003 by Scott “Starfire” Lunt and Barrett Chase. Their goal was to develop a community blog for Duluthians to share information about the events, history and culture of the area. Current partners are Lawrence Lee, Cory Fechner, Brian Barber, Scott Lunt and Paul Lundgren. Brian recently contacted us and invited Twin Ports Rail History to be part of their blog at Perfect Day Duluth.

"Your Twin Ports Rail History collection and project is fascinating, and we’d like to feature it and provide links to help people to find it."

If you're not familiar with Perfect Day Duluth you'll now find their logo on our Partners page. Please visit their site today so that you can see what they have to share about Duluth's community, current events, and local history too. Thanks for your kind words, Brian.

Twin Ports Rail History is always happy to collaborate with like-minded groups that share our passion for keeping history alive within the Twin Ports.


Twin Ports Rail History Launches New Website

Welcome to our new website. This design better reflects the nature of our activity and the projects that are most important to us. Also, if you're using a link on your desktop or website to visit our website please double check that the links you're using to still work properly. It should, but just in case, you might have to copy and save a new link to our site as our service provider recently changed DNS setting requirements to boost security. With that techno-business out of the way, we'd love to hear from you about the changes and additions. If there's something else you'd like to see, let's hear about that too.

As always, thanks for your continued interest and support.