AR Kits is an Australian model railway business which produces quality Australian kits. The business commenced operation in November 1979 under the control of Arthur Robinson. A friend designed the logo which exists to-day and the business was named AR Kits referring to Australian Railway Kits. Both the logo and Australian Railway Kits are registered as trademarks.
Arthur's dream of having a large rake of BCH Coal Hopper models was the main driving force behind the formation of the business. Tooling of the BCH Kit was commenced shortly after commencement of proceedings but tooling problems caused delay of the kit. So much so that the first kit to appear on the market was the NSWGR (New South Wales Government Railways)GLX/GLV. First advertising of these kits appeared in issue 109 of the AMRM in July/August 1981. A review of the kit is recorded in the September/October issue of the AMRM by Mr R Gallagher. The modelling fraternity were informed in Issue 114 May/June 1982 of the AMRM of the imminent release of the NSWGR BCH and the projected release of the BWH variant of this wagon. The model was eventually reviewed in issue 116 of the AMRM. 1983 came and went with the proposed BWH not available.
Arthur was finding it difficult to manager his fledgling business and a permanent employment position which resulted in the sale of the business to Rodney and Cheryl James of Rails North Models fame. Advertising on page 60 of issue 118 of the AMRM confirmed the sale and moved the business south to Grafton. Consolidation of AR Kits continued and in The September/October AMRM came the news of the next models to be release, being the NSWGR BDX and CCX set down for October along with the long awaited BWH and MLE. A preview of the BDX and CCX was shown in the March/April 1985 issue of the AMRM with the review finally taking place in the following issue. Things were starting to move and in the July/August issue of the AMRM the MLE wagon was reviewed. Moving right along came the eventual review of the BWH/FWH wheat hopper albiet a bit late but in the middle of a manufacturing rush. The review took placee in September 1985 and came with the news that AR Kits was about to release the WHX Wheat Hopper and CH Coal Hopper. The following month came and saw the review of the WHX and CH Hoppers along with the first high quality injection moulded delrin bogies for the Australian market. The 2CL (XCL) and 2 CF (XFA) freight bogies were to be the bench mark for Australian manufactured bogies for years to come. Fitted with high quality brass wheels they gave running qualities only seen in overseas manufactured products.
AR Kits have incorporated some of the lines of from Main West Models and introduced into this range all of those items formerly owned by L&C Kits,The Footplate Models range of DJH Locomotive Kits, LMR Locomotive, railmotor and rollingstock kits and the Flushglaze range of Model Locomotive and Carriage window inserts produced by South East Finecast exclusively for AR Kits.
Lloyd's Model Railway was bought by AR Kits, and its models are slowly being brought back into the AR Kits range.
AR Kits is currently up for sale, and the names "Footplate Models", "Flushglaze", and "LMR" will be eliminated, and will become either Main West Models or AR Kits.