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Customers Comments

Mr Levy,

Just picked up the new E/8 Stanier in British Railways livery from Terry at Much Ado About Toys this afternoon.

It is superb - excellent quality and a really good smooth runner. Really pleased. Looking forward to the Spamcan and a Streamliner (please) !!!

Many thanks

David Webb 20/6/09

Take a look

Dear Allen,

I only recently found your press release of July 31 and am trying to determine its real meaning. Key personnel changes often bode ill, and I earnestly hope this is not the case here. I had no idea that Lionel and MTH were seriously entering the UK market, but surely their products would not be competitive with the kinds of discriminating tinplate collectors who buy Ace trains. The MTH Scotsman model is risible compared to the Ace model I own. And their Tinplate Traditions line, though quaintly charming, is simply a throwback to early large-gauge Americana, surely an irrelevant apples-and-oranges kind of comparison to Ace products. And yet the tenor of your announcement seems negative for Ace. I hope I am simply reading too much into it.


I have bought three Ace locos since I first found your site on the net back in 2003, which is one every two years, about par for an American school teacher. Economic downturns such as this wretched one we are now enduring always freeze teacher cost-of-living raises first, but I nonetheless hope to purchase a Castle sometime after Christmas, and I am hopeful that somewhere in Ace's future there might be a large, beautiful LMS engine barreling down the tracks. Through the years, you have produced the kinds of models fit for a king, yet at a price fit for a commoner, something which makes Ace Trains the true royalty of the hobby. I've looked high and low for models comparable to the quality of yours, but on the rare occasions I've found something even close, it invariably carries a price double or triple Ace's. I sincerely hope, as we approach another Christmas season in our two great nations, that this magical run of Ace Trains is not about to be sidetracked.



Mike Whitney 13/11/08


Dear Allen and Team 

I just want to tell you what a splendid job you are all doing. I fell over ACE last year on a visit to John Ross' shop in the Blue Mountains (Trains Planes and Automobiles) and took up my wife's suggestion (Bless her!) to get the green Flying Scotsman, ostensibly as a desk model; would look good on a piece of red Jarrah - a West Australian eucalypt - in an appropriate glass case. Well, the case never made it and now I have a blue Silver Fox, a CR Celebration, an LNER green Celebration, a maroon Metropolitan Tank and a black BL LMS Lady Patricia, all with coach sets! So you are well represented in NW Sydney! And Martin Wrigley got a lot of help with his Special Collection! I lived west of Fort William as a lad and travelled daily into school on the West Highland Railway, very occasionally in the Observation Car - so I have one of those also, and a BR poster of the coach crossing Lochybridge under Ben Nevis from about that time. Trips to London were via Edinburgh joining either the Flying Scotsman or by sleeper joining the Night Scotsman, with breakfast in the North British at Kings Cross, or pie and tea at York about 10pm on the way north as a Sea Cadet; memorable journeys. 

My plot is to build an abbreviated version of Waverley Station in Edinburgh, hence the Scottish influence - the Metro Tank was supposed to be another LMS but was misrepresented on E-Bay. I have a 30x15' board erected around an upstairs studio with windows on all sides and have the final package of track due next week. The initial circuit has been up and running since February. Then the serious modelling needs to start. With too many other diversions the job will take too long but I'll send some photos progressively, and via the ATOC. The room is so good to be in, not only now with the rail diversion, but also with views south across the garden and paddock and north into the distant ranges. 

Generally everything runs well. The Tank flanges don't cope well at speed with the frog on the Atlas points; they are on the generous side! I just have to drive carefully! I'm using 72/84" diameter track but the curved points have 54" on the inner rail which need care with the smaller locos. The ACE Pacifics handle them OK but the BL can only handle them in one direction. Some severe quality control on the coach assembly lines in the new plant would be helpful; and the Chinese are pretty good at that, is my experience. I have some 93"diam express points coming for mainline operation which I hope will handle the expresses at speed. 

I have a maroon LMS 2-6-4 on order via Len and have the LMS coaches in the plan, perhaps the Pullmans also. The non-streamlined maroon Duchess is, I think, amongst the most stunning of locos. I saw the Aster model in Perth a few years ago; at 10000 dollars a pop! Don't be in too much of a rush with the production; I need the share market to recover a bit! I've had to be in catch-up mode to gather such as I have, and for which I am very grateful. Boys Toys! 

I trust that I haven't bored you with all my waffle. I understand what it is to be at the receiving end of business "challenges" and thought that a bit of positive feedback wouldn't go amiss! Hang in there. 


Alan Boddy  12/06/09

Hi Ace Trainers


I received my 2-6-4 from Much Ado About Toys yesterday; The service from them I find very good & friendly; the model I received was the British Railways version 3 cylinder loco. I have been running the loco in and find it is a good runner; one small problem was that the rear trailing bogie wheels were "floating" on the track & the rear wheel of the bogie was lifting clear off the rails. This was cured by adjusting the retaining nut by threading it down allowing the wheels firm contact with the track. My layout has old Bassett-Lowke track so this problem may not apply to more modern track users. I could send photo but don’t know how to load it to the club website. A very nice and excellent great model .


Regards to all ACE Trainers

Alan Sangster. 19/06/09

To Len and all the ACE team,

My Stainer 2-6-4 arrived today and I just wanted to thank you for its safe delivery and to say how pleased I am with the loco.

I think you can all be justly proud of producing such a great looking and great running loco.

Very best regards,

Barry Audsley 01/07/09

Dear Mr. Levy and Mr. Mills and all at Ace Trains,

My LMS liveried Stanier Tank has arrived safely in Germany. Many people have no doubt written to you to mention their appreciation of the model, so there is a danger of my repeating what others have already said. It is simply superb. It is beautifully proportioned, well finished and the running characteristics are excellent even at low speeds. It has a very (if I dare say it) Maerklin/Lowke feel to it. Congratulations on producing such a stunning locomotive.

Best regards,

Philip Hearn,

Oldenburg, Germany 07/09/09

Hello Allen, Hello Len

Today, I have received the Stanier E/8 : Wahooo ! Superb ! You know what ? I'm very happy

You have done a very good job !

Thank you.

Best regards.

Yves Zonca 23/09/09


That would be brilliant. 

Could you put me on the order list for an Eton, with deflectors, in Maunsell Green. 

Can I also just add that Len did you proud by replacing a rather noisy Stanier with another one, no quibbling and very much on trust, that underpins why, as a company you are so highly regarded.  Needless to say both Staniers that I now own, a BR green one from Modelfair and a BR Black from you are immaculate runners. 

I am so looking forward to the two Bulleids that I have on order from Modelfair.  Another locomotive that I had hoped you would manufacture so was delighted when you announced that you were doing so.  I will also order some A1's when they become available. 

I cannot begin to explain to you how much enjoyment your locomotives and rolling stock bring to a mixed layout that I have with original Hornby.  Each a treasure. 


Peter Loy 11/11/09

My dear Allen,

I have received this morning the Etat coaches set. I want to thank you for your help. And also congratulate ACE for the quality of its products. These coaches are realy superb. I don't tire of watching its... I hope that you will continue to have copies of french coaches or locomotives on your catalog. We don't have same products in France: there is no more manufacturer of tinpalte trains since the disappearance of AS or Atelier 43.

But even if you stop to produce that sort of products, I will make some infidelities with french materials. Probabily, english locomotives will run on my tracks as soon as possible, and "honni soit qui mal y pense"...

I wait now for news from Shamorck Trains about the canopy.

Merci beaucoup, thak you very much, and May-be I will contact you soon one mor for a locomotive.

François Bluteau 10/12/09

Dear Allen,   

Thanks for yet another stunning Ace train.  This makes my fourth Ace engine, and all are in immaculate condition, just as good as the day I bought them.  These are the finest trains I've ever seen, and as long as you keep making them, I'll keep buying as I can, for I don't think we'll ever see anything like them again, at least not in my lifetime, and affordable to average-income persons, as well.  I'm sure the day is coming when you'll want to retire and spend all your time reading, relaxing, and sailing the local lakes and seas, but I hope it's not any time soon.


Mike Whitney USA 04/07/2010

Recent 'Spamcan' comments seen on the ACE Trains Owners Club forum.











Blackmoor Vale arrived today

This is my first Ace Trains loco and am very impressed with the quality and finish. The packing is first class and really liked the fact that it is wrapped in soft cloth to prevent scratching.Can't wait for Repton to arrive.

From 'Velovenom' Via the ATOC Forum



Hi Velovenom, Have to agree. Of course!

The Spamcans are truly great. Big. Heavy. Kinda-like a scaled-down weight-thing going on there I think.

My Tangmere really gives my layout's Maldon Rail points a proper caning (which they relish and are more than capable of coping with).

From 'Clickedyclack' Via the ATOC Forum



"Fighter Command" looks amazing in Works Grey. Thank goodness it ran like this for three weeks, minus nameplates, to give us a valid excuse for running it.The finish on this model is fantastic.

From 'Howardstarr' via the ATOC Forum



I got my Southern Green Hurricane in the post yesterday. To say I was excited would be a gross understatement! It is a thing of beauty, and the weight is quite astonishing. I think I’ll need to invest in a 20-volt transformer however; 12-volts doesn’t seem to cut it with this beast. Any information on where I can get one I can plug into a socket in Australia without it exploding would be much appreciated! In the mean time I have posted some pictures of my new addition on my blog, which can be found here:

From 'DavidH' via the ATOC Forum


As a matter of interest about track. I have received a number of e-mails through the you tube site asking whether I have changed the wheels on the spam cans and Stanniers to be able to run them on fine scale track. The answer is no they run as they came out of the box. However on the Peco bullhead track, points need to be altered because the frogs are too shallow. On a large part of my system I use Peco flat bottom track this is more suitable because of the extra depth of the rail. On the points the check rail needs to be removed as I have done. There is no need to reposition them other than for looks. These locomotives are that good that they are able to run with finescale without looking out of place. Indeed I asked a couple of friends to pick out the so called coarse scale locos looking from side on and they picked out a couple of fine scale by mistake. How things have changed since the 1950s.

Posted by Roy James Oct 2010.

Thanks for my beautiful blue Windsor Lad, Allen. I like it every bit as much as my LNER Flying Scotsman. As an American, I can't help comparing my dealings wth Ace and Lionel/MTH. I recently bought a Lionel Santa Fe F3 from their 2010 catalogue. It was advertised as being an "authentic" reproduction of the classic Santa Fe diesel that was Lionel's flagship model of the 1940s and 50s. But unlike your company, Lionel doesn't publish actual mock-up photos of such models, only imaginative artwork. And this artwork was very imaginative! When I actually got the model, the color was all wrong - a dull, anemic red, quite unlike the glossy vibrant red that made the original so overwhelmingly popular. There was nothing even remotely "authentic" about that paint job. And now Lionel is about to introduce an "authentic" repro of their scale model steam classic, the Hudson 700 E, the famed loco you documented and photographed for A Century of Toy Trains. Again, all they present is artwork, not a mock-up photo. I'd like to buy that model, but at 1600 bucks I simply doubt Lionel's integrity and this new model's authenticiy. Instead, I think I'll save that money for a Duchess. I grew up with Lionel trains in the early 50s, and they were my first love, but they've not been the same since the old man (Cowens) sold out. My Ace models have always been everything (and more) they were advertised to be. And I'd have to say the same for BL. And that is one reason why this Southern Yank buys British more often than not. 

 Regards, Mike Whitney April 20th 11  

Dear Allen,

I.K. Brunel arrived this morning (Thurs.) safe and sound after a few days with N.Z. Customs - hence the delay.

If I were to attempt to describe it I feel that my superlatives would be both insufficient and inadequate. So being now seven-tenths a Kiwi

I feel entitled to say - it's awesome and I am totally stoked.

Thank you so much.

Kind regards,

Tony Hurd

Auckland, New Zealand



Dear Charlotte,

I received the Castle yesterday! It's just another reason why everyone loves ACE Trains!  Looks Great!!! Thank you for your help with the order.

With Regards,

Bob Uhrmann

New Jersey, USA


Dear Mr Levy

The Ace Trains Water Tower AC/2 arrived today. It is another magnificent product from Ace Trains and I extend my thanks and congratulations to your company and associates who have designed and manufactured it.



William Wintle

UK 6/1/2012

Letter discovered recently from Richard Lines dated December 1999.

It defines what many people have felt since the existence of ACE Trains.

Dear Allen

In reply to your card, my cheque to pay for the coaches was No. 001406 and was debited from my account on 15th Sept.


I was on the point of writing to you anyway to say how nice the coaches are. I have sat and looked at them and thought how pleased Frank Hornby would have been if he had produced them! There, that ought to be some praise.


Having admired them, the next step was to have a run and here I discovered that Ash is not a hot climate in December.


I couldnt help remembering my school days when we were taught that the Indian Mutiny was sparked off by issuing the Sepoys with cartridges smeared in pig fat, not good news if you are a Hindu, Can you assure me that the goo used to test the axles is vegetable or mineral and no animal ? It is very awkward to get out of the axle boxes but I did achieve it in time! I was actually getting quite good at it by the time I got to bogie No. 10.


Joking aside, they are very good and will give me and my grandchildren a lot of pleasure.

Best wishes




I would just like to compliment ACE for the Bulldog I collected at Sandown.

Simply exceptional (as usual).Looks wonderful with my C12s.(c24s awaited).

R. George


Dear Alan

I just have to email congratulation’s to yourself and all involved on the production of the Bullied series of locomotive’s.

Trains Planes and Automobiles has just received our order, and this just have to be the best yet locomotive from ACE and that says a lot as the Stanier 4/MT was spectacular.

My personal purchase just had to be Winston Churchill, the finish and the quality of engineering and construction continues the tradition of quality that ACE has become known for, it has been well worth the wait.

Our customers are very impressed, with the result that all of our pre order sales were completed with only one not completing his commitment due to his late request for a Churchill, we only received two and my order was in first.

We sold out of the water tower in one day we received four and our back order remains at six, these have customers waiting once again beautifully executed.

On a personal note after forty eight years in sales the last ten years with Keith at Trains Planes and Automobiles.

I have decided to semi retire, Keith was very gracious in my decision and in now work Friday and Saturday at our Mount Victoria showroom. A big change in life and both Janette and myself, we are planning many things possibly another trip to England and beyond, I would love to catch up with you once again, I will let you know if this eventuates.

Kind regards

John and Jan Ross

Sydney, Australia


'The Ultimate Accolade

From a childhood tradition of Lionel, I came to ACE some forty years later.  ACE gave us the beauty, the glamour, and the likeness to the real thing, but without, as one forum poster recently put it, the 'cold [sterile] precision' of brass scale models.  ACE trains have a charisma that other models don't, often including even the actual prototype.  Not only had I never seen anything in American steam locos like the British locos, I'd never even seen any models made in America with anything like the charm and old-world ambience of ACE.  That's what won me over.

Mike WhitneyUSA October 2014

Hi Allen,

           I have just had the opportunity to try out the Ace Warship on my railway. I am much impressed I had been warned that the sound would get on my nerves after a time. Not at all this is a new dimension to my railway with a most realistic engine sound that disappears from shed to shed and gradually comes into earshot as it travels by. The slow running is exceptional with the engine sound. It is a shame that we are not all 30 years younger these exceptional models just get better as time goes by without the price going through the roof. 


Roy James 

March 18 2018