The Israeli  HO aspect
By: Yaron Dozetas.(copyright 11.2008)
The information given is purely personal and compiled to the best of my knowledge. 
In general:the first half of all of my 3 days visit,was highly crowded,like it was just the free day of everybody.a lot of people with a smile on their face,fascinated from the action that blown on the figures,the landscape models,the rolling stock,the lighting effects,the control panels,the memorabila,the sales and of course,the fascinating layouts that made by highly evaluated modelers and clubs.
Few things where very prominent immediately to me in the first hour:the 2 big companies-Roco and Fleischmann,have a half of their regular size booth.ironicly,they both shared a back to back booth.from unknown reason,Heljan-who used to manufacture the Israeli IC3(and it is still a medium size company that produce some rolling stock and buildings),was not present,even that they appear in the exhibition catalog.probebly,a last minute cancelation.
The financial situation bother almost everybody of the manufacturers  and they plan to reduce their stock,in order to prevent funding problems.more and more companies charge money for their catalog(2-10 euro) and the presents that was regulary given,vanished!.most of the visitors bought merchandise like there is no tomorrow.some sellers report that the clients are not in a hurry to spend money.
It was the first time that Jeco and hobby trade came to this fair.few details on the following list.in advance,I will mention the top manufacturers or dealers that are highly appreciated by me:preiser,erbert modellbahn technik,hobby trade,naumann,artitec.
preiser: the prestige figures models.this company and it owner,Mr. Volkert Preiser,have warm connection to Israel.they support all the needs of the modelers with very precise molds and painting.allthough that some other companies started to make figures,preiser still  in the front line.the new items are related to all of the skills and the daily living scenes all over the world.not new,but totally related to Israel and USA,is the 5 figures set #10462 which 2 figures of it are rabbies.#10471-6 figures of Americans,one of them is a rabbi.#13002 is a 100 assorted  figures that seen the streets.#10568-carpet workers,#33244-ford transit taxi driver with passengers,#10567-crime scene investigation team ,assorted new animals figures like a camel  #29506,clowns etc…there is also #17218 and #17217 sets of table and chairs,among their large selection. the highlight of preiser is 4 figures that their hand is moving.it made with cooperation with viessmann:#27002-a street worker.#27003-a policeman.#27001-a signal man.
From MERTEN,I will mark #2561 which is a 6 figures of german democratic republic police and with a minor change of the clothes color,it will be like the Israeli police mans.also:#0948,0954,0960,2361, which are bothers that seen on the beaches or at the pool.the highlight of merten is #3000,which is 2 moving figures that have sex in a tent.this item is with light.
HOBBY TRADE: the new evaluated manufacturer from denmark.in general,they are producing rolling stock that related to denmark,Luxemburg and germany.the highlight is their double deck coaches and the driving coach which are all with interior decoration and interior  lighting. they were the first to manufacture the görlitz driving coach with the same basic pattern like in use in Israel,by the IR.the driving coach have a directional headlights and tail lights and may be operated also with digital system.it have a 21 pins to accept the ESU decoder.it is an exact HO scale-not like fleischmann,that shortened their model.the prices are very fair,compare to the competitors :double deck coach-60€.driving coach-70€.available via dealers worldwide or directly from hobby trade.

Erbert modellbahn technik: Behind this company there is a human bulldozer which is name is willfried erbert ,that can fulfill easily a 36 hours of work during a day….if it was possible.the model trains is his hobby and from 1994 he started his company that named Herei.which specielazied in manufacturing of kit and ready made signals.from his kits parts,I built the Israeli railways signals,using leds.later the years,the company became to be "ERBERT",which is one of the best with signals.the line of his products is very wide, though the catalog is a small one. The new items are the plastic signals with leds or without leds in order to be used as a dummies,when the back of the signals is seen on a layout. The signals are very precise and 100% made in Germany.for the Israeli modelers,it is recommended to purchase the easy to built kits and to make the changes in the signals plates prior to placing the leds.the design of the signal is very clever and contain curves and tunnels for the hidden wiring.the signals maximal voltage is 16V,so it can be use either with digital systems.
Another line of items is the near the line items that are plastic made,such as the #042320 –point motor,#042302-telephone box,#042301-indusi track magnet,#042305-narrow cable canal and #042306-wide cable canal.all the items are in a fair prices.
If somebody is looking for the the real control panel,like the one that was in use prior to the computer control panels,Erbert have the 1:87 answer:an exact duplication was made from a real control panel that is seen widely in the signal boxes,including direction of the trains changing,panel signals,track scheme,axles counters etc…!!!!!the "bus system" must have computer connection.the "loco net" may be use with the common uhlenbrock or other "twin center"(fleischmann) systems.

Naumann: A small…but big company that managed by Mr. Ferenc Vorosvary-Naumann and it specieliezed is small serious and limited edition models.this company is not a manufacture company.the manufacturers are for example:DOM models,Tillig,tutto treno,Alpha models,Electrotren,Norbrass etc…to our region,I found the modern Syrian coach #D 0121 and D 0122.both are orange-cream livery and CFS logo in English and Arabic in the middle of it. some of the windows are with curtains(paper made).the model made by sachsenmodelle,has a smooth running and this serious is limit for only 500pcs.each coach price is 55€.
For the first time in my life ,I saw also 2 models that is a real master of piece:
1-a Norwegian railways locomotive that have a moving engine door.the motor is like the real motor and it move during the model run.the loco driver cab is highly detailed.made by NORBRASS and the price is 549€.
2-  a tank wagon with all the details on it.this model is a real heavy one,though it have a smooth run.made by the famous Korean manufacturer AJIN and it cost 240€.

Artitec: Very nice models that made from dental stone or plastic.ready to use or as a kits.among their precise models there is some Israeli points:#10.194 is a synagogue that located at Holland.#10.157-a crossing gate structure that is similar to the one from Jerusalem.#10.214-warehouse,#10-209 a signal box that remind me some of the signal boxes along the Tel Aviv- Haifa line,#87.027-an HO centurion mark 5 israeli tank of the IDF.


KIBRI: Plasser&theurer line:though it is not like the IR,kibri is the only company that offer these permanent way equipment vehicles ,unmotorized.motorized models can be purchased from SB modellbau.

KLEIN Modellbahn: not present in it own booth,though it was possible to notice it logo on krois model booth from Austria. The company KLEIN Modellbahn will be close on December 2008 and all the models that will be available are only the ones that are now in the market.their #5223 SGNS container wagon is very light,even with the 2 20' containers.the wagon have holes in it to accept the containes. 
Jeco: the number 1 manufacturer of the T44 model.this is the first time to this Sweedish company  be present in this fair.there are only 2 real models of the T44 outside of sweeden: one in Israel and one in Norway.all made by KALMAR VERKSTADT in sweeden,a division of GENERAL MOTORS,E.M.D.the history of the T44 #131 of IR is well known to everybody:a lot of problems,a severe accident with chassie damage and from a main line loco,it became the Haifa east yard shunter loco.back to the model:personaly,I bought the T44 model from Jeco 10 years ago as a metal kit and painted it like the 3rd livery of the IR,after making the needed changes with the headlights.that model equipped with a roco motor and drive gears.it is one of the special models I ever had.now,Jeco still making the model from a very good metal in SJ and NS liveries as DCC ready or with ESU sound.the drive gear and motor are from china.it is not possible to purchase it as a kit anymore.ready to run models prices:DCC ready-250€.with sound-350€.

MEHANO: the new VOSSLOH 333.3 which is very similar to the one that in use in IR, made it first appearance to the public as a finished model.it will be market first in france in the first quarter of 2009,later in spain and the rest of the world.it is a heavy weight model (about 500 grams)that have a metal chassie and plastic body shell.the main changes to IR are the headlight and the 2 small direction lights that are rounded and in the wrong location.since it is a renfe model,the boogies are wider(the track in spain is wider then the standart gauge).2 models was present from their wide livery line:the red and the blue-yellow.the models are DCC ready or DCC sound.prices from 250€ - 355€.

PIKO: #54822-a container wagon with 3 "china shipping" 20' containers on it.it remind the 63 tons container wagon of IR,although it not have the same livery.
FLEISCHMANN: as usual,a very nice cataloge.they have the gorlitz double deck driving car #5620 (110€)which was shortened a bit to adapt it to the double deck coaches(65€) from fleischmann(#5625 and #5620).
another interesting item is  #550502- 3 talbot wheathered wagons with ballast.
#524101 is an SGNS container wagon of the SBB,with containers.it have,as usual from Fleischman and like the real models,the pins in the wagons to accept the containers that have holes.cost of 3 wagons set-150€.
This wagon s replace the other SGNS wagons,such as #5245(the good old brown wagon with maersk container).
ROCO: a remarkable 330 pages catalog with European models.#66625 is roco's new SGNS container wagon,with 20'containers.price-31€.#47765-is like ex.SNCF 63 tons container wagon that in use in IR.
TRIX / MARKLIN : Very nice 300 pages cataloge.trix is the DC line part of marklin and they use  the same molds from marklin.
They started also to manufacture the Gorlitz double deck driving wagon that in use in IR,made by this company in the DB livery.again…all my attempts to make the Israeli version by them failed,due to the high cost of making a different coloring line and modifications in the molds.a plywood HO model of this set presented.#23440 is the drive unit coach(85€).#23443-is the double deck coach(63€).
In Nurenberg toy fair exhibition that held in February 2008,they represent the SJ T44 model,like the one that in use in IR.the cataloge number is 22352.now,it not represented and I have been told that they decide to suspend it production.anyway,it exist in the cataloge and it price is 240€.

Moba Art / Adam Modellbau / KTD:  KTD hosted in their booth 2 new companies:Adam Modellbau from Austria that represent a set of 2 SGNS 70 tons containers wagon from metal.the model is well done with some yellow colored plastic parts.the wagon have pins to accept the containers that have holes,with a standart pattern of the pins as the real model.the model have an NMRA socket to choose your own coupler.a pair price-50€.this company also have an open top containers,but they are totally different from our green garbage containers.
KTD/Moba art: some village style laser cut houses.they sell also a very nice isolated wires with  resistors and leds ,to light all kind of houses.27€ per 10pcs.
Brawa:not a new item,but definitely worth to  remember:#45705-Wurttemberg coach,which is still in use in Syria and been in use in the Israeli part of the Hedjaz railway(the valley train).this model is with interior lighting and interior decoration. The color is the same brown like the prototype.
Kuswa: a small company from Germany.#hg124- a kit of a small flat wagon as we see here in IR  permanent way equipment rolling stock. a partly finished item is #hg324-just to put yellow color on it and to place the decals.another interesting item is #hg271-a kit of highly details parts made from brass for 4 axles tank wagon.the tank wagon that I saw is a piko wagon and this details made a real upgrade.
Electrotren:no available catalog.anyway,there is a 63 tons containers wagon,with Maersk,Genstar and Evergreen 20' containers.
Heki: although it is not a rolling stock company, some trees caught my eyes:#1970- 5pcs of pine trees. it is an easy to built kit of these trees using item #3341-special colored rubber glue.even after that the tree is ready, it is easy to reposition it branches  without the leaves will fall.these trees are available also as ready for use:#2122- 4pcs of pine trees,price-6.6€.it is a very good deal.
Car lights:a one man company with impressive results.this company sell busses, tracks, cars and other rolling vehicles, with built in leds of front, back, side and roof lights.some of the models are seen in Israel as well. the most common leds are the warm white.in the future he will make also leds for coaches and wagons. a strip of 10 leds cost 10€.the company is not offering a catalog at the moment.
XR1 Software: interior lighting for coaches(led),from 6-25 volts and even to 50 volts…but not for a long time.it will fit to analog and digital systems.an interior lights kit to install for double deck coach that include a capacitor and lights calibration sold for 15€.ask for the warm white lights. 
ESU:this company specialized in sound decoders. now they introduce an interior lights for coaches.
Schienenreiniger: a 2 month company with a useful idea for all the scales,to solve the dirt on the track problem:a telescoping tube with a disposable cloth that stick to  a Velcro.this pad is on a flexible hinge,with easy to access to hard to clean places.an HO beginner kit price-47€.
Lenz: 4 years ago this company offered the V36,that used also here,few decades ago.it is a very good model,made from metal chassis and metal body shell.the model is analog and digital.with digital operation the lights control offer even a shunting operation.this model offer a telex,that works very good on horizontal surfaces.
Viessmann:a  cooperation with preiser leeds to a moving figures:a man with brush painting,street workers,#5055-waving women,#5023-signal man,etc…#5048-is a pair of couplers that transfer the voltage from coach to coach.
Conrad electronic:about 300 pages of all the modelers needs.among the interesting flat wagons that they sell from other known manufacturers,I found  #244792 65-a bus station ,#244957 65-a garbage can-green color and a paper recycle cans with blue color.#211471 65-mobile toilets.a considerable collection of street lights,houses lights,stations and shunting yard light posts are available,as well all your electronic needs.
PMT: #35201-2 small flat wagons,black color,usually use for maintenance crew.price:12€.:#33102- small flat motorized wagon,yellow color,usually in use with unmotorized maintenance vehicals(Kibri).price:99€.
Auhagen:now offer also some stations,buildings and houses,made from paper.#41204-telephone poles.#42630-high tension masts.
Herpa:in the past they offered a wider selection of containers.now,the only available containers are:#76128- Hapag Llyod,40'  and  #76104-2pcs. Hamburg sud,20'. #154253-a road maintenance track with blinking arrows.
NPE: the item DB692.5 .it front remind immediately the same front of IR Esslingen railcars.2 buffers,the directional lights are the same.just the headlight is smaller.railcar color is black and red.
Vampisol: a 2 old years company.it offer a very nice selection of tunnel portals,water passings and small railway bridges as we still see in these days along the valley train line and even in some of the main lines. Precise work!!!!
T-L DECALS:no available catalog ,but an impressive catalog was present just to look at.a considerable representation to decals of Israel…. :#1297-IDF –air force jets,#1072-yellow and black stripes for locomotives(IR 261-263),#1084-warning signs for gas wagons,#1197-decals for Israeli ambulance,in Hebrew,Arabic and russion.there is a big collection of decals for containers:#2156-MSC for 20',#2160-Hamburg sud-for 20',#2173-Maersk sealand for 20',#2185-K line for 40',#2186-K line for 20',#2187-Evergreen for 20',#2189-Maersk sealand for 40'.
ELG: a magnificent collection of lighting and electronic accessories. a 15cm strips of leds with a possibility to connect 2 strips together.5 pcs. Of strips cost 45€.the main news are:5 photographers with blinking flash(11€),lightened balloons, road warning cones with lights, blinking lights, welding workers, fire and tents lights, harbor lights-including the red and green floating marking lights.
DINGLER / Deutche post: the German post company offer also some items for modelers,such as the V60 locomotive(blue and cream colors) that made by DINGLER,specialy for the deutche post.Dingler is one of the prestigious companies that produce locomotives and rolling stock for larger scale.the loco is DCC ready.for N scale they offer the V36 in red color,made also by Dingler.all items are with  deutche post logo.
Dapol:a hidden massive cleaning wagon that looks better then the LUX cleaning wagon.it contain a vacuum cleaner with removable dust box and foam + wide brush.
JOWI:a real patent.it is a background posters.during the daylight it looks better then normal background posters.at night,when a light turn on behind it,the scenery looks like a night background  poster with lights in the house's windows.in the future the will offer a paper houses and structures with the same lighting patent.
ATHEARN:

KÖLN 2008 REPORT