02 April 2024

7th Street Shops - Rails Flanges & Gears Post 19


Tuesday, December 26, 2023

Design Tech Legacy - Doug HeitKamp Part 2

I'm not sure when Doug and Cindy started Design Tech. Jerry Kitts suggested it may have been as early as 1989; Jerry and Doug were already friends at that time. Therefore, Design Tech and the C&S Connection were about the same vintage. I believe that when Doug and family visited our home in Black Forest, CO in 1994 it was an investigative mission to see how I produced many of the tC&SC products. I recall that we discussed how I cast the metal roofs for the C&S house cars with Murphy roofs. One of the first products DT offered was the Colorado & Southern 1909 refrigerators in S scale. Design Tech went on to produce many cast resin buildings in HO, S and O scale.

A page from the Jefferson Dry Goods Flyer

Joe Crea's Half inch scale Jefferson Dry Goods

One of DT's most recognized kits was Jefferson Dry Goods, a fictional structure that was created by Joe Crea for his half inch scale Gunnison layout. From the DT kit's instruction sheet we read;

"The design of this particular building was the imagineering genius of Mr. Joe Crea. Joe made this building popular with his 1/2 inch scale model. His model is featured in the September/October 1985 Narrow Gauge and Short Line Gazette."


Design Tech's S scale Jefferson Dry Goods display model

The development of  the JDG kit appears to have begun in 1998 or early 1999. When it was issued in late 2001 it was limited to 50 copies and only in S scale.

Another great kit was Murphy's General Store. Doug found a nice build of this kit on one of the layouts at an Sn3 Symposium meet in 2002.

The back side of Joe's JDG

Many of  Design Tech's kits were based upon C&S (South Park and Clear Creek) prototype structures. Two of these were the Forks Creek Pump House and one of the box car sheds at Como

Some time in 2006 Doug sold the S scale products of  Design Tech to Doug Junda and the O scale line went to Jerry Kitts. By that time I had already joined Robert Stears and Bill Meredith with Cimarron Works Models and Junda joined us not long after. With that acquisition, CWM soon began offering the DT S scale kits on their website.


Design Tech S scale Murphy's General Store


While Doug Junda continued to offer most of the existing S scale kits he never expanded the line. For that matter I'm not sure Jerry did much with the O scale kits either. Then, Doug and Michelle re-aquired Design Tech several years ago. Unfortunately they never expanded the products either - although there was some tongue-in-cheek effort to encourage that.

Murphy's on an unknown S scale layout 2002
When I found out that he again owned DT I began pestering Doug about doing a kit of Pat Gibbony's car shop. This was another South Park structure that I felt had a lot of character and potential; even though it was rather simple (and I didn't need it for any of my own layout plans).

The prototype was located at the big C&S facility in Como. Of course, it wasn't Pat's car shop but the repair shed for the railroad's rolling stock. Pat was simply the foreman of that operation. Of course, this was an old proposition I'd pestered Doug with before he sold the company. He had already said no to the If I ever want the structure I'll have to build it myself; perhaps as "Doug Heitkamp's" car shop.

Design Tech version of the Forks Creek Pump House




All of the photos and Design Tech artwork were created by Doug Heitkamp except where noted.




DT Box Car Shed (DSP&P-esque; Como & others)



In Part 3 I will share a little of Doug's Modeling accomplishments.

Prototype C&S car repair shed at Como - Poole Collection

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.