It's a common adage that the better the "canvas", the better the painting,
where models are concerned. I mean, there's a correlation, but not
necessarily an equation. Anyhow... what I'm leading up to is a list of
companies who either make models, detail parts, or paints, that I've
have found enhance what I do artistically. In other words, my work
looks all the more realistic thanks in part to their fine products.

If you want to skip the shameless commercial plugs and see some good
people whose paths have crossed mine - simply click on this link below:

Friends of Mellow Mike

The following are considered Mellow Mike endorsements:

I think Mark at A.I.M. was about the first company owner to become acutely aware of me. I use his weathering powders to some degree on just about everything I model now. Even if you cannot see it. The key here is moderation.

Keith at Plano makes the nicest aftermarket metal walkways and other etched detail parts. Some high-end manufacturers are now including them on their freight cars as a result. I use his products as upgrades whenever possible. Go Keith!

Kadee has long been the industry standard in replacement couplers. They come in many styles for any application, and are very reliable. I've been using them on my freight cars almost exclusively since Day Two.

Randy at D.D. makes nice Hydrocal plaster buildings in three popular scales. The HO scale alley diorama that I built is one of these. Take your time, and you'll have a unique structure, with that real brick feel!

I use their detail parts on a frequent basis. Everything from cut levers to tack boards to brake hardware. Indispensible stuff! As of this links compilation, they still don't have their own company website, but you can order through Walthers.

Details West makes over 200 HO Scale precision soft metal castings, like trailer hitches and cushion coupler pockets. I've used their Spine Car details to enhance my Walthers TTX set.

When I go swap meet hunting, Intermountain kits are what I hope to find. Both in HO and N scale. Especially those undecs! Luckily for me, today's hectic lifestyle modelers are known to shy away from gluing together kits. More for Mikey!

I'm already missing Polly-S paint. I don't mean Polly Scale. There simply isn't anything like that old formula for painting smaller things. Once my prized collection dries up, I don't know what I'll do. Go alternative, I suppose.

At least Testors enamels are still available. The acrylics are more for airbrushing than hand painting. But the variety is unmatched. Their DullCote spray is invaluable to modelers, and I prefer the aerosol can.

If you love model railroading - you'll love to flip through the big HO catalog they put out each year. I know I do. Perhaps you might even see one of my creations when browsing the reader submitted photos.