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For starters, I think the spelling was Max Grey.  And next, I think somebody already printed something like what you seek, but I don't remember who (Mike Hill?).  I do remember there were two pieces to this publication, usually sold in a cellophane wrapper.  One piece was the size of the annual Lionel price guides, and the other piece was more magazine size.  Wish I could be more help.


I am often wrong, but I have before me one of three "Pocket Spotter Guides."

First, it clearly spells Gray with an A.

Copyright 1973 by Frank Diedrich, Waukegan, Ill.  Model Graphics Publications

There were three - Two locomotives and one freight car.  I believe you can still get them for a very reasonable price from Bill Davis, of American Scale Models.  Do so - they will answer all of your questions.

Last edited by bob2

No, it's Max Gray.

Model Graphics Publications produced the Pocket Spotter Guide.  The Guide provides some documentation on most of the models imported by Max & USH.  They also produced a supplement that showcases some of the non-cataloged models.  Long out of print but you might check with Bill Davis @ American O Scale.  I think he had them for a while.


Bill currently has two books on his website as well that deal with Max Gray, USH stuff.  Good, luck!!

I love that old Japanese made brass.  They may not have the backhead detail of todays models  but they will run forever and very well to boot plus when they fall to the floor, they are so heavy and well made you may have a broken foot if you are not wearing steel toe shoes!

I think the USHobbies stuff was just a smidge nicer than the Max Grey/Gray.      Generally the USH stuff had cast gear boxes and slightly better motors.    Also they used more lost was castings where MG stuff had turnings.    Other than that the construction was about the same quality.   Probably there is a blur between them and my opinion is based on having models on both sides of the transition but not real close to it.

Max Gray or his estate sold the business to Levon Kemolyan (SP) who already had Kemtron I believe.    He renamed it US Hobbies.    Both companies as far as I know had exclusive contracts with a Japanese builder, called KTM, hence the models are very much alike.     MG may have used some other builders too.    I have never seen a USH model without the KTM plate underneath.

Last edited by prrjim

Bill -  If you are interested in MG KTM models you should also search for near identical ones imported by US Hobbies after Max Gray passed on.

Some MG related History I've gleaned from a collection of MG Customer Service Bulletins and US Hobbies Newsletters . The first bulletin in my collection is a MG one dated May 1962.  The July 1962 issue is cited as No. 32 in the series.  A special 4 page August 1963 "Condensed Reference and Price List"  itemizes "all locomotive and cars" imported by the firm since 1952.  (40 steam locomotives, 6 diesels, 9 electrics, 56 freight cars).  The last MG bulletin in the collection is "Second Quarter 1965" and lists 14 different O scale brass (KTM) locomotives in stock with 3 other expected by year end.  Most MG rollingstock was built in Japan by KTM (Katsumi-Mokeiten Co. LTD).   At some point Max Gray passed and Levon Kemalyan, owner of Kemtron began importing KTM brass models under his new U. S. Hobbies brand.  In large measure the USH rolling stock listed in their monthly newsletters were formerly imported by Max Gray.  The model numbers on the freight cars are consistent with those used by MG.  The first USH newsletter in my collection is  issue #11 dated January 1969, and the last #  July, 1977.  On a much reduced scope Westside models imported a number of KTM built O scale locomotives in the late 1970's.  Those models featured higher quality lost wax brass castings, detailed steam locomotive back heads, and Pittman can motors.  A common thread through KTM models was solid construction.

Last edited by Keystoned Ed

Max Gray passed away roundabout 1965. Other than the stuff you already know about, periodicals of that era had a fair amount of his advertising (Model Railroader, Railroad model Craftsman)) to name a couple. They would be good places to look, and magazine reader/subscriber classifieds. There was a brass listing book called the "Brown (name of the author) Book of Locomotives" (I think), but it was more HO oriented. That guide was revised by the late John Glaab. You could also search the great auction.


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