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Another Hobby Industry Loss

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  • Another Hobby Industry Loss

    Hi All,

    This was posted to the Atlas Group Forum and I hope they don't mind me posting it here for those that don't visit the Atlas Group.


    Posted by: Rob Sarberenyi

    Earlier today I received word that Bruce Boles, the last active partner of Detail Associates, passed away last night. Only a few people knew for the past month that it was only a matter of time. Bruce was given 30-days to live after learning the cancer he had had operated on and was treated for a few years ago had returned.

    I'm not exactly sure yet what will happen to Detail Associates (DA) as a company. As some of you know, DA is one of the well known long-time detail parts manufacturers of diesel and freight car parts. Anyone who has detailed an HO scale diesel has probably used DA parts. DA was founded in the mid-1970s by four partners, two of whom sold out some years ago, leaving Bruce and one other person as the remaining 'Associates'. The other remaining partner was more a silent one, not really active in day-to-day operations or planning, more a 'money' person, or so I was told.

    For the past 20+ years Bruce did much of the heavy lifting at DA, making sure products were produced and orders filled, occasionally introducing new products too. As I'm sure many of you are aware, DA hasn't produced anything really new for a number of years. In fact as a business, DA was only a part-time effort for Bruce, not generating enough to make a real living at. Bruce also prepared people's taxes from December through April, and had a few other "jobs" during the year. Bruce was also a part owner in Western Star, a hobby distributor based in Lompoc, CA that is also now winding down its operations.

    Bruce was divorced and has two grown children, a son and a daughter, who will likely inherit his part of the company. I doubt either of them are interested in taking over operations as neither are modelers as Bruce once was. I say "once was" because over the past 25 or so years Bruce had little to no time for modeling anything of his own, instead running DA among doing other things.

    Hopefully someone will consider purchasing the Detail Associates product line. There are a number of items they offer that no one else presently does.

    Look out for #1, but don\'t step in #2!

    Andy Keeney

    Dewitt, MI

  • #2
    Thanks for posting Andy. That will be another great loss to the scratchbuilding and detailing modelers. As well as a loss to many other people that knew him and he made contact with.

    Louis L&R Western Railroad
    Pacific Northwest Logging in the East Coast


    • #3
      Boy, this one hurts... My thoughts to Bruce's family in this time, and I hope someone will pick up the company and continue with the excellent castings which we have come to depend on.
      -- KP --

      Life is to short to build all of the models I want to.


      • #4
        Another loss! Very sad. I have used DA's line of parts over the years. They have some excellent products. I sure do hope it continues on.


        • #5
          Sorry to hear of the news. I do hope the company lives on. It seems detail, decal, parts, and kits in general are waning these days. I likr their items, and hope they can continue.


          • #6
            This is sad news, especially if the life work of the departed goes with them. It is becoming increasingly rare to find a well stocked hobby shop. One that has a wall full of DA product is nearly always a great one. It will be very sad if this product line disappears.


            • #7
              Sad news and another loss for us all. My condolences go out to Bruce Boles family and friends.