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Who We Are:

Tangent Scale Models, based in Asheville NC, began development of our first HO scale product in early 2006, and entered the marketplace on July 27, 2007 at the NMRA National Train Show in Detroit, MI. Our motto: Unparalleled scale replicas for discriminating railroad modelers. With experience drawn from the real railroad industry, as well as the model railroad industry, our goal is to fuse the two together and provide you with high-quality, well-researched scale models. We emphasize extreme fidelity on our models, which includes small details, “true-to-life” colors, and accurate fonts, logos, and lettering placement. Another standard you will find on our products is metal wheels and Kadee couplers, which ensure that our replicas operate as well as they look. Finally, we provide modelers with information about our products, as well as prototype photo references to compare our products against the real thing. We hope you enjoy our models, and we love to hear from our customers. Please feel free to let us know how we are doing!

Finally, Tangent Scale Models was launched by an HO scale modeler and operator with a passion for high-quality models and a strong allegiance to the history of prototype railroad freight car and caboose design. Tangent Scale Models designs products in the USA and is one of the few family-owned and operated businesses to offer injection-molded HO Scale freight cars and cabooses to the mass market.

Contact Us:

Tangent Scale Models
PO Box 6514
Asheville NC 28816
Phone: 828-412-3886
Email: support@tangentscalemodels.com

Email us for fastest response!

Where can I purchase Tangent Scale Models HO scale freight cars and cabooses?

You can order right here on our website 24-7, and we offer discounts for direct orders placed in bulk! Additionally, because we understand the importance and value of the brick and mortar hobby shop within our hobby, we proudly sell to brick and mortar shops so you can see before you buy. Please let us know if you have difficulty ordering our products – if our website shows it is in stock you should have no trouble getting it right now!

Why doesn’t Tangent sell through hobby shops?

Please see the answer to the question above. Tangent Scale Models has sold to hobby shops since we started in 2007. If you think otherwise, you are thinking of another brand.

Can I pay with a check or money order?

We accept checks and money orders generated from US banks only. Place the items you want to purchase into the shopping cart at this website, then check out. When it comes time for payment, you can select “check or money order.” This will generate an order number for you to reference. Send in your payment with the order number. Easy!

Can I pay with Paypal?

Yes. Same answer as above! Complete your order and then at checkout, select “Paypal.” Easy!

I have tried to place an order using my credit card, and it will not go through. Why?

Did you enter the correct billing address? You must make sure that the billing address for the card is entered into the billing address portion of the order form (and yes, our checkout allows you to ship to an alternate address, but the billing address for your credit card must be entered correctly per regulations). Also, did you enter the correct 3 digit code from the back of your card? Those two reasons alone account for 99% of the card failures with Tangent. The remaining 1% are refusals from your card issuer.

How do I buy cars and cabooses at a discount?

During checkout, Tangent Scale Models will calculate a discount according to our discount offering. If you want to learn about our discounts, they are displayed on the top of every page in the upper right corner – in the “Learn About Our Quantity Discounts” orange box. Click on it to learn more!

How do I create an account so I can buy cars and cabooses?

At the top of every page of our website, there is a “Register” button. That is where you create your account. Select “Login” to sign in to your account at any time! PLEASE NOTE: you do NOT need an account to place an order!

How do I get an international shipping quote via your webpage?

Ordering internationally is easy! First, add the products you would like to purchase to your shopping cart. Then, when you click the “proceed to checkout” button, or the “Cart” icon, the website takes you to the “Cart” screen. At the bottom you can click on the “Calculate shipping” link in orange. Select your country and state/province from the dropdown list to get started. If you want to proceed with your order, continue with the check out process.

How do I estimate shipping for an order?

First, add the products you would like to purchase to your shopping cart. Then, click the “checkout” or “cart” button. The website then takes you to the “Customer Information” screen. Select your country from the dropdown list and on the next screen you will see the shipping options.

I am visiting Asheville, North Carolina on vacation. Do you have a retail store to visit?

At this time, while we do fulfill orders from the Asheville area, we do not have a retail store in Asheville. Thank you for your interest! We do have a few recommendations though.

1. Visit the Biltmore House. It is a neat piece of history (with a railroad bent) and a great way to spend time with family.
2. Railfan stuff:
A. Drive to Saluda NC to see the Saluda Grade. There are good restaurants there, and don’t miss the historic depot that has been moved across Main Street from the railroad.
B. Drive East to Ridgecrest and then take the back road to Old Fort so you can see the famous loops, as well as the beautifully restored depot and caboose in Old Fort.
C. Drive West toward Canton along US 19 and you can follow the former “Murph” to Canton, site of a neat (and modelable) paper mill. SD45s/SD40-2s from Watco now ply this line, usually leaving Canton between 10AM-noon to make a turn in Asheville, interchanging with NS, before they return to Canton. They operate in 3-4 unit sets and are worth the trip alone!
3. Food. Far too many restaurants to list, and you should cruise around on the web to suit your palate and price range. Here are some starting points: Cúrate, White Duck Taco, Sunny Point, Nine Mile, Vinnie’s, 12 Bones Smokehouse (lunch only), French Broad Chocolate Lounge, etc.
4. If you want to mix railfanning and food/beer: White Duck Taco (River Arts district location right next to the mainline arch bridge over the French Broad River), Wedge Brewing, and 12 Bones Smokehouse all offer seating outdoors with views of the tracks in Asheville. These locations include not only the NS through and switching operations, but the aforementioned trains from/to Canton, which are usually passing by during the lunchtime hours. SD45s in 2020; don’t miss out!
5. Special mention: the Apple Valley Model Railroad Club in the Hendersonville depot is open to the public and you can learn more by searching for them.

How do I join your new release newsletter?

We send a newsletter highlighting our new releases approximately once per month.  Our website has a button at the bottom of each page that says “Join Our Newsletter.”  Please click it and fill out the form, and we will place you on the mailing list.  As an FYI, some gmail users do not get our newsletters which is a problem with how gmail filters what it views as “spam,” so it is best if you add support@tangentscalemodels.com as a contact if you are a gmail user.

Do you sell email addresses or phone numbers to other vendors or organizations?

No.  We would never sell – or give away for free – your email address or phone numbers.  That is your confidential information, and we treat it that way.

How do I find out what cars and cabooses were produced in the past but are sold out?

Click on the “Other Stuff” and then click the Sold Out Products Archive” tab in the black bar above! As certain paint schemes sell out, we will consider reruns of cars and cabooses that we believe warrant a new production. All new runs will have new road numbers except in rare cases where the prototype did not have more numbers (such as bicentennial cars).

How do I find a prototype car image to compare to a Tangent Scale Models replica?

We strongly believe that the “proof” of our model quality is when comparing our cars and cabooses to real images.  We are the ONLY mass-market product vendor to show prototype images next to our model images!  Our prototype images are found on each product page – click on a paint scheme that you like and in the selection of detail photos you will find a matching prototype image (assuming we have one we are authorized to share).

How do I find out what undecorated kits are available for sale right now?

When you click here, you can get a listing of the kits available for sale at the moment. We generally offer kits for all of our cars and cabooses with each release, however they sell out with time. Check back often for replenishment of our undecorated kits! And sorry, we do not offer painted and lettered kits, nor do we plan to.

Can I buy Tangent freight cars and cabooses with semi-scale wheels installed?

As modelers, many of us want semi-scale wheels in our trucks since they look so much better than “normal tread” wheelsets. The vast majority of the end users for Tangent freight cars demand RP25 “normal tread” wheels. This is exactly why we offer semi-scale wheels as replacements, optimized for our trucks, instead of ignoring the demand for semi-scale wheels completely. If cost is an issue for you, we advise selling your Tangent “normal tread” wheels on eBay or other forums in bulk; they will sell for approximately the same cost as the replacement wheels. Also note we have migrated toward two semi-scale options – blackened and nickel-plated.

How do I get instructions to build the kit(s) I purchased?

Click the “Other Stuff” and then the “Kit Instructions and Customer Support” tab above, and you can easily download our very lengthy and well-documented instructions.  With the pdf file that you have downloaded, YOU can choose to print what you need on demand.  Our instructions span many pages and some people only want to print certain pages.  Some people want to work from a tablet, or a PC/mac, or a smartphone. Also, we sell paper instructions for $7 which covers paper, printing, and shipping costs – contact us via email if you are interested.

Customer Security Information:

We work to protect the security of your information during transmission by using Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) software, which encrypts information you input. Your card information is not even visible to us, but is only available to the banks so your transaction can be processed safely.

If you are uncomfortable placing your card info online, please place your order on our website and at the checkout process select Check / Money Order. Then CALL US with your card details. +1-828-412-3886. This is the fastest way and it reserves your cars/cabooses!

How quickly do you process orders?

In our quest for high-quality customer support, we process orders within 1-3 business days of receipt, at the latest. During high demand times, such as during a new release, this may take a little more time. Orders submitted by mail with check or MO will be subject to further delays to allow time for shipping, pickup, order logging, and then proper clearance.

What service do you use for shipping?

We use US Postal Service Priority Mail as our standard shipping option for domestic US orders, however if your order is light enough a “First Class” option will show at checkout.  For parts orders, we will downgrade to First Class if the weight allows and will refund the cost difference to you.  For international orders, we will use USPS First Class or Priority Mail, depending on your paid shipping rate.  All customers will receive a shipping confirmation with tracking number via email so you can track progress; typical Priority Mail shipping is 2-3 days within the USA.

Can I order with Paypal via your webpage?

You can order with Paypal, or with Visa, Mastercard, Discover, or American Express! First, add the products you would like to purchase to your shopping cart. Then, click the “checkout” button to pay via credit cards. To pay via Paypal, press the “Checkout with Paypal” button. Please let us know if you have difficulty!

I placed an order, but I did not receive an email confirmation. Why?

Thank you for your order! Typically, this is caused by your spam filter in your email. Check your spambin please! The second most common reason for failure is that you typed your email address incorrectly. For example, “blah@sbcgobal” instead of “blah@sbcglobal.net” – see the difference?  If you do not see it in your inbox after checking spam, please send us an email and we can resend the confirmation to you.

Do you allow custom runs of product? How much does it cost? What are the minimum quantities?

We do offer custom runs of product. Minimum product quantity is 150 units. Artwork fees are extra. We provide pricing particulars after you provide a plan for what you want to do: paint scheme, ideal number of units requested, etc. Pricing depends on quantity of units requested.

How can I purchase a Gift Certificate?

The easiest and fastest way is to click on “Gift Cards” under the “View and Buy Models” menu above.  Our gift certificates do not expire, so don’t be afraid to give!

How can I redeem a Gift Certificate?

The easiest and fastest way to redeem a gift certificate is to place an order and pay for it, and then send us an email with the order number and your gift certificate value. We will refund your form of payment – the same day – for the cost of the gift certificate!

How do I submit model photos for the Tangent “Share” menu on the website?

Click on the “Share” tab above in the black menu bar, where you can upload your images to us!  If possible please crop the photo to 1000 pixels wide and 72 dpi.  If you cannot do that we will do it in our “pre-flight” process.

What if I receive a product with manufacturing defects from production?

In our quest to produce accurate and detailed scale replicas, most products from Tangent Scale Models include more than 100 hand-assembled parts. While we take tremendous pride in our product quality, in rare instances there may be a missing part or damage from manufacturing.

We offer a 30-day return and refund policy for product defects when bought from Tangent directly with a Tangent order number or from a brick-and-mortar retailer with a dated receipt. We will repair or replace any product that is found to be defective from the manufacturing process.

In all cases, please contact us at support@tangentscalemodels.com before returning the item to discuss options for repair or replacement.

What if my model was damaged during shipping?

We try and pack all our shipments for the harsh realities of shipping models, but occasionally one gets damaged.

We offer a 30-day return and refund policy for shipping damaged when bought from Tangent directly with a Tangent order number.

For damage due to shipping, we will evaluate on a case by case basis. If a part is loose from transit or handling, it can be quickly repaired with a drop of CA-type glue.

Again, please contact us at support@tangentscalemodels.com before returning the item to discuss options for repair or replacement.

If you purchased your model from a brick-and-mortar retailer, please return the model to the store where you purchased it. They will handle it for you as part of the service they provide from being a retailer of our products.

What if I changed my mind and want a different model or want to return what I purchased?

We offer a 30-day exchange/refund policy when bought from Tangent directly with a Tangent order number.

Please contact us at support@tangentscalemodels.com before returning the item to discuss the exchange. You will be responsible for returning the model in its original box/packaging in new condition and the costs of returning the model. If you are exchanging a model, you will also be responsible for the cost of shipping for Tangent to send the replacement.

Once we receive the model, we will send the replacement or process the refund as long as the returned item is in good shape and has not been used.

If you bought a product from an authorized Tangent Scale Model retailer, please return the product to the store where you bought it. They will handle the exchange as part of the service they provide from being a retailer of our products.

Thank you!