Monday, October 26, 2009

Toy of the week, Monday, October 26, 2009

Sometimes the best toys are the ones you make yourself-- and I'm not talking about paper airplanes here.  Nine years ago I entered the live-steam hobby and it helped me cultivate an interest in toys that are nothing less than miniature working replicas of real machines.  In the past nine years I have amassed a pretty respectable collection of miniature machinery.  Many of these pieces are rare models that I purchased-- much like the tiny table saw.  An ever expanding area of my collection is made up of scratch built machines of my own design.  Some modelers enjoy creating an exact replica of a historic machine that actually existed.  For me the thrill comes from creating a credible model of a prototype that could have been.  Some times I will start with a concept drawing-- other times a vision of what the model should look like appears in my minds eye and I simply begin fabricating parts.

A few years ago I envisioned creating models of some small industrial equipment in large 1:12 scale.  Inspired by various pieces of mining equipment, none of these models replicate any specific piece of hardware.  Today I present a working model of a small railroad crane.  Cranes like this one would have been used around a maintenance shop for lifting heavy parts and pieces.  I built this hefty little piece in the same way that real crane would be built.  There is no glue or plastic parts.   This model is 100% crafted from metal parts-- primarily machined aluminum and steel, and everything is fastened together with miniature nuts and bolts.  The crane is also fully operational.

This is one of my favorite creations so I invite you to step into the Machinery gallery of the Cabinet of Curious Frivolities and check out the details of the scratch-built 1:12 scale railroad crane.

Full steam ahead...

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