Tremo Models, made by Treforest Mouldings Ltd of South Wales were major 1/1200 scale model ship producers in the thirties. Their models can be identified by a ‘T’ over ‘M’ logo‘ and often have ‘British Made’, rather than ‘Made in England’ on the inside of the hull. [My models are split 50:50 between the two]. Again they may have the ships name embossed on the inside of the hull.
Michele Morciano in his book, Classic Waterline Ship Models*, researched Treforest Mouldings history at Register House and states that the Company was Registered in July 1937 by Freiedrich Winkler, a former employee of Wiking, Curt Wenneberg 'toy manufacturers' and Cyril C Fletcher 'merchant'. Morciano goes on to state that Wennenberg gave the address of a small company in Tidaholm, Sweden, and that the company consideration was 'transfer of moulds for making toys’ suggesting that the original models were from the Vulkans Company in Sweden and that they had little liquidity.
Brian Carrick has emailed with the additional piece of information that: ‘Winkler was a Jewish refugee from Nazi Germany and was assisted to get to Britain in 1935 by a Swedish army reserve officer, the said Curt Wenneberg, who designed model ships’.
They advertised a large range of both merchant and warships. The later including vessels from not just the major powers but also from the less well known navies of Poland, the Baltic and Scandinavian countries and South America. They were well detailed, with individual class differences being produced. The one weakness was the rather pliable metal that led to many smaller, and in particular added pieces (e.g. gun turrets and cranes) breaking off. When Winkler was interned in 1940 production ceased with the firm being liquidated in January 1941.
[Incidentally I used Cameron Robinson of Ensign Models as a useful supplier of replacement armament. More recently (November 2004) Martin Brown has informed me that he can now supply spare gun turrets in metal for the Tremos, copied from the originals. He has 15" twin, 16" triple, 8" and 6" twin.
Advert taken from 1939 Jane’s Fighting Ships
Brian went on to also gave information on post war developments saying that, ‘Fred Winkler made some of the first plastic toy soldiers in the UK for a firm he set up after the war called Malleable Mouldings.’ [which I think ceased after a fire in 1946. Derek Head in his book suggests that Tremo ships were also produced for a short period post war].
He continues ‘Malleable Mouldings of Deal in Kent, an early user of plastics, made a number of liners and cargo ships to 1/1200 scale, mainly for company publicity purposes, but, as mentioned earlier these tended to warp very badly after a while, especially when removed from their wooden bases. (p130)]
Brian concluded his email with the following information: ‘When war broke out Wenneberg was posted to the US as Swedish military attaché and did some work with Comet Metal Products who were making military recognition models for the US government. In 1951 Winkler and Wenneberg both emigrated to South Africa where they set up a company called Swedish African Engineers (SAE) which made HO scale wargames figures in solid lead.’
[Brian’s interest is in Model Soldiers and he has his own web site: www.toysoldier.freeuk.com Type your paragraph here.