Thanks for looking around the website ... after you read "About Us," be sure to check out all the other sections, including News and Updates, Tips and Techniques ... and check out photos from your fellow modelers included in our product listings.
About us ... well, mostly it's just me!
Welcome, my name is Dallas Mallerich and I've been producing products for model railroaders since 1979. I got an early start. My father built my first HO layout for me when I was only 2 years old. I "dabbled" with those trains during my early years ... at the time, my favorite item was a Lionel exploding boxcar with a trackside rocket launcher. I also enjoyed building model cars, planes and submarines. Around age 11 or 12, I found Model Railroader magazine in the school library and quickly became impressed with the outstanding work of John Allen ... and was happy to learn that one of my classmates had a father who was "serious" about model trains. That neighbor showed me all the wonderful workings of his shop with a fascinating array of modeler's tools and supplies, and his son had N scale trains which became my focus for many years. My grandmother bought my first N scale trains for me when I was 12 and my folks gave me a subscription to Model Railroader ... and I began what has obviously become a lifetime hobby.
Above right, my "official" portrait courtesy of On30 modeler David Butler -- as you'll see in the next photo, it's a bit better than I normally dress. I'm pleased to say that I'm an official member of the International Brotherhood of On30 Rail Barons ... and I've adopted the nickname "Marquis de Resin" after many years of making resin castings. Second photo: a somewhat more accurate depiction of me (right) discussing projects with Garry Cerrone of GC Design Group at an On30 meet.
Below, my N scale Western Maryland layout on the cover of Railroad Model Craftsman, July 1993.
In the late 1970s, I began correspondence with Nelson W. Gray, who was one of the pioneer manufacturers of Nn3 kits. Nelson and I exchanged numerous letters and he explained a great deal about the design of kits and molds. He also cut dies for my first commercial offerings, the "Loco-Details" line of N scale detail parts. From 1979 to 1997, I produced a variety of N scale freight cars and special-run items under the tradename "Loco-Motives". Although I mostly modeled in N scale standard gauge during this time, I experimented with Nelson Gray's Nn3 kits and some other items in HOn30 ... but the real narrow gauge part of the story happened a little later in On30!
In 1997, I sold the tools and dies for the Loco-Motives N scale line and "retired" from the model railroad business ... for a very, very, very short time! During this time, I began to experiment with resin casting for my "personal" modeling.
My "time off" from model railroad manufacturing prompted me to re-explore my interest in NARROW GAUGE ... and I began construction of some HOn30 models and a small layout. I lived in beautiful Boulder, Colorado at the time and enjoyed many trips to Caboose Hobbies in Denver. On one of those visits, I discovered the new line of Bachmann On30 trains and experienced "a moment of enlightenment" (or at least that's what I'll call it!)
The first Boulder Valley Models kits were structures ... a few in N and HO scale to explore the possibilities of resin-casting ... then the FIRST of my On30 kits, the "Porter House" engine shed shown here. This was followed by a whistle-stop passenger shed and a small water tank.
Then the real fun began with the introduction of our popular "shorty" four-wheel cars to accompany the Bachmann Porter. These quickly took off and I had the pleasure of "meeting" pioneering On30 modeler Jim Favre via the On30 Conspiracy group. Jim helped me create the first BVM web pages at a time when I knew extremely little about the mysterious "internet" -- now a wonderful addition to both my personal and professional modeling!
Jim also suggested that the BVM range should expand to include a Class A logging loco, which led to the introduction of "the kit that made us famous" -- the BVM Dunkirk, shown here in both the original open-cab version and the later enclosed-cab version.
Soon after I had the pleasure of meeting more of the "pioneering" On30 modelers -- the guys who started in this niche before Bachmann's entry -- including Steve Fisher, Steve Sherrill, Garry Cerrone, Allen Littlefield, Jim Favre, Martin Van Horn and more since. I quickly got to know a number of very creative On30 modelers, builders and bashers ... and with the help of that mysterious internet and digital photography enjoyed a wonderful boom in the ability to quickly share ideas and information with fellow modelers.
So, at this point I think it would be very appropriate to say that Boulder Valley Models reflects my personal enthusiasm for On30 modeling -- seeking to help others build an interesting variety of equipment for their own model railroads -- and I truly enjoy seeing your creativity. Thanks to all who've helped BVM become "The Biggest Little Name in On30!"
In 2005, I had the good fortune of being inducted into the International Brotherhood of On30 Rail Barons by Steve Fisher and Steve Sherrill.
From front to back, left to right: Steve Sherrill, Ken Young, Steve Fisher, Allen Littlefield, Garry Cerrone, Michael Yoakum, Roger Malinowski, Dallas Mallerich (hey, that's me!), Alan Butler and David Butler.
Sometimes kitbashing goes wrong! You'll find a number of great models by Sam Barbose in our pages. This photo shows Sam and I debating the right approach to a certain kitbashing project at a small On30 meet.
Thanks again for your continued interest and support!
After more than 25 years in the business, I still haven't figured out how to "get rich" doing this ... but I've enjoyed many long-time friendships and a great deal of camaraderie thru the hobby ... and On30 modelers are among the best!
Seeing photos of YOUR finished models gives me a great deal of "job satisfaction" and provides inspiration to our fellow modelers ... so I'll close by saying:
Boulder Valley Models is a fun & friendly place!
Please feel free to email to discuss your projects, ideas or questions ... and please share your photos to help inspire others. Thank you! -- Dallas Mallerich