Hi, Henry !
Here's a bit of lateral thinking. There's a wide range of scale models
of street signs, people, houses, vehicles etc available to model
railroad enthusiasts, as well as trees, bushes, walls, animals and
signposts. Scales are O (7mm to the foot), Double O (4 mm to the foot)
and N (2 mm to the foot) among others. There is even the very tiny Z
The railway model websites tend to concentrate their illustrations on
the trains - the models you are after are considered to be
accessories, - but most model shops will carry a good range and also
have full catalogues available for you to browse through. Remember
that the word "car" refers to railroad car, not automobile.
Eurorail Hobbies carry a huge range. They can be contacted on
Telephone & Fax: +1 (604) 533-5886 Toll-Free 1-866-799-6098 E-mail:
They have a large range of Noch accessories :
Their site is easy to navigate and you can also buy the entire Noch
catalogue from them. Switch "thumbnails" to on to see pictures of what
they are offering. They have road surfaces, walls of all types and
bridges as well as people and mini scenes. There are building plates
which even include car park layouts.
A small example from miniscenes:
"NO-10860 Various Signs - Street lamp, standard time-clock, signpost
and bus stop...
NO-10870 Sunshade Set - 2 sunshades and garden table with 2 chairs....
NO-10880 Horse Trough - With foal, horse and fence (without
NO-10910 Toilets - With bench and aviary (without figures)"
Prices are in US and Canadian dollars and online purchase is
Eurorail Hobbies also carry many other lines. Click on the
manufacturer's name on the left to bring up their page. Vollmer
specialise in buildings; you will need to check if these are kits for
you to make up yourself or not. Brawa have electricity and telephone
poles - could be useful if you are reconstructing accident scenes !
The Preiser pages show a wide range of models of people and vehicles
for scenes and dioramas, - there are 901 items listed.
The vehicles are at the back of the list. To get to them without
clicking through a lot of intervening pages, try going to:
and clicking to and fro from there. Police vehicles are included, as
well as rescue vehicles. Most tend - not surprisingly - to be German
models. Stickers and decals can generally be bought separately.
The Busch pages may also prove useful.
"Busch manufactures a wide range of layout accessories including sound
systems, automobiles (some with working lights or emergency lights) to
a full line of scenery and landscaping products - everything you need
to add that unique detail or just finish off your layout."
They have a very good range of automobiles (not so exclusively German
as Preiser), and trees and bushes, among other things. Their "scenic
accessories" include bicycles, fences and a multi-storey car park, and
this is where you will find the traffic signs.
A more limited range is carried by Micro Macro Mundo ( 7138 S.W.
117th. Ave., Miami Florida 33183 U.S.A.
Phone 1-305-279-8033 Fax: 1-305-279-0195)
Their website, which is more difficult to navigate, is:
Go to their advanced search box and put "people" in their search box
to find models of people including sunbathers, swimmers, shoppers etc.
Most are in packs of 6 for around US $5 - 7, though there are some
bulk packs of up to 100 handpainted figures. They carry a range of
respected brand names including Preiser. They can be purchased online.
Searching their site under "Road signs" turns up two roadworks sets by
Busch complete with flashing yellow lamps in one and barricades in the
other (scroll down past the trains). or go to:
A search under "Accessories" turns up a variety of autos and other
vehicles by Marklin (below the catalogues):
"Product ID: 18761
Category: Marklin HO Accessories
18761 AUTOS AND ACCESSORIES "VACATION ON SYLT"
Description: (2002) 4/2002 OTR Prototype: 16 automobiles, 1 small
delivery truck, 3 trailers, 2 motor scooters. These vehicles are a
contemporary grouping that you would see in vacation traffic and
consist of newer and older models. ...
Price in U.S. Dollars : $170.32 "
There's a rescue vehicle lower down the page, as well as people, beer
barrels, chairs and buildings on the next page.
A search for "Trees" finds two pages of various kinds of tree by Noch
Accessories, and "Buildings" finds everything from farms to a Mercedes
Benz dealer. The range is not as extensive as Eurorail Hobbies.
A plastic file storage box could be used for storage and transport.
It should be possible to make up a good kit from these sources, though
I wouldn't rule out a trip to your local model railway store, where
you can look at some of these products for yourself, ask advice on
storage, see what's on special, and maybe end up with a hobby as well
as a useful work tool. They will have difficulty understanding that
you are not interested in trains, but once that's established will
probably be only too keen to help.
Good luck !
Sources: Railway Modeller magazine, Feb. 2001 Vol 52 No 604