5.5mm Association

The Harold Minkwitz Archive

The Harold Minkwitz Archive

Harold Minkwitz 1947-2020

"You need to count rivets, just not all of them"

The above name may be unfamiliar to some, but Harold was a great proponent of 5.5mm scale modelling in the U.S. His website 55n3.info showed anyone how easy it is for modellers to recreate U.S. 3ft short lines, with a focus on the late 19th century. Sadly, Harold passed away in March 2020. He will be sorely missed and fondly remembered by his innumerable friends and admirers around the world.

Harold Minkwitz

The good news is that Harold's widow, Eleanor Minkwitz, contacted the 5.5mm Association and has happily agreed to us adding the data relating to 5.5mm scale from Harold's website to our own, ensuring that his legacy survives. We have therefore set up this archive section to display the information from Harold's old website.

After military service, Harold became a draftsman/mechanical designer. When 3D software appeared he taught himself to use it, producing at least one patent. His interest in railways dates from early childhood and Eleanor calls him 'a fervid rubber gauger' modelling in N, HO, S, 0n30 and finally 5.5mm scale. His published work was in Railroad Model Craftsman. A list of articles can be found here. He also contributed widely to Model Railroader and the 5.5mm section of NGRM-Online. His work in other scales can be found at Pacific Coast Airline Railway and you can also view his YouTube channel.

Eleanor describes him as 'A most unusual man - he loved sharing what he had figured out, methods to make things easier, less costly but more effective, with other train people. One person wrote that Harold's writing about his mistakes impressed him - most people just brag about their successes, Harold shared his mistakes so others wouldn't have to go through those experiences unnecessarily'.

When developing his interest in 5.5mm scale, he found that Bachman 0n30 locos and stock often scaled out at 1/55 when compared to drawings of 3ft narrow gauge lines. By ensuring that Harold's work survives we will be preserving an invaluable resource, not only for modelling U.S. narrow gauge, but to extend the scope and appeal of 5.5mm scale worldwide.