Thomas A. Yorke BIO
I started my love of model railroading in 1950 (four years old) when I received a Marx wind-up train set from Santa. Later, in 1974, I started my kit building business, Thomas A. Yorke Ent. I noticed a lack of structure kits available for the O scale market. My first kits were built in Hydrocal, a hard architectural plaster used for casting details and trim pieces. My master patterns were all hand-carved and cast in Hydrocal from molds I made of silicone. One hundred signed and numbered kits were manufactured. Even though it is tough to keep track, I estimate that I made well over 2000 patterns!
I graduated from the University of Florida with a degree in Commercial Art. After several years of Art Director positions in advertising, I worked for The Walt Disney Company as an Imagineer, where I learned most of the “tools of the trade.” Those were wonderful years indeed. I worked in the Architecture Department designing signs and large marquees for the Disney Parks. I was Lead Art Director for Disneyland Paris Main Street. All signage and transportation graphics were designed under me. I was also Lead Art Director for Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom, Asia, for which the graphics had to look old and worn. I used my model building expertise with aging and rust to accomplish this look.
After a short retirement, I again began designing structure kits, but this time for production and sale through the fine people of Frenchman River Model Works. Some of my original designs will be produced as well as many new ones. The first new miniature will be The Spillane Building in O scale. This brick structure with round corner turret will be a two-story building designed around 1899. Don’t fret: this building could still be standing alongside today’s contemporary ones. It’s a fine example of Victorian Era architecture.
What has always characterized my work is that I have always been concerned with proper building construction. I’ve spent many hours pouring over old drawings and photographs to ensure that my buyers get the best and true details I can produce. I take pride in designs are thoroughly researched and true to scale, perhaps more so than any other kit manufacturer today.
I currently reside in Roswell, Georgia, with my wife Iris.
We, here at Frenchman River Model Works are proud to work exclusively with Thomas Yorke to produce his quality kits.