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Darstaed O Gauge

(Switzerland)

Information from the Darstaed web site :

Since 1966 Marcel R. Darphin (Zug/Switzerland) is producing the exclusive range of DARSTAED railway models in 0 gauge, applying the scale 1:43.5 (7mm to the foot).

These Darstaed fine-scale were not produced industrially but by specialists for design, tool manufacturing, parts construction, assembling, decorating and painting and mechanical construction. After testing the prototypes on the layout of Marcel Darphin, these specialists were creating the necessary parts, aggregates, components and interiors for the carriages and locomotives.

In 1966 Darstaed was founded by Marcel Darphin, the then owner of a toyshop called s'Hobby-Hus in Zug (Switzerland). He built his first fine-scale cars as a young man in the late 40ies together with his friend Marcel Rossi from Paris. Marcel in Switzerland was producing the undercarriage while the other Marcel in Paris was designing the body on top. It took two years to join these two parts – and the fit was perfect down to the last screw!

The FS Interfrigo Refrigerating-Van was the first model van Darstaed produced from a-z, soon to be followed by the type K4 and Gmhs UIC vans, the German pre-war vans 'München' and 'Kassel' and some PLM vans and flat cars. The wagon L7 (SBB) and the DB flat car with stakes Kbs were also offered in a kit version. Series varied from 20 to 100 units. L7 and Kbs in polystyrol were issued at up to 500 units. The tools and the production rights were sold to Old Pullmann in Stäfa (Switzerland) eventually.

The products were first exhibited at the Nürnberger Messe in 1966. The reaction indicated an enormous interest for such first-class models. This prompted the young company to become real serious: first they produced a series of fine-scale models, then a series of tin-plate wagons und finally a locomotive types Ae 4/4 and Re 4/4 (BLS) in 1967. Mr. Von Niederhäusern in Bern – one of the specialists Marcel Darphin was working with – produced 80 locomotives of this type.

On purpose Darstaed limited their series of models to some 20-100 pieces per type in the fine-scale version and a total of around 6000 wagons in 29 different variations in tin-plate.

In 1994 Darstaed sold the tools for the tin-plate models to a company in Taiwan. (out of date sentences deleted).

Today, Darstaed is producing new fine-scale cars only occasionally and only in small editions of 2-6 pieces. This usually happens because the now somewhat older team members still get a lot of pleasure and satisfaction from it. There are no plans to re-activate commercial activities.

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