Modeler's Corner

Model Contemplations


| February 2006


Hello again, everyone. Well, the Gade is ready to start going together. However, with Christmas only a few days away my wife thinks it would be better if I spent my time helping with getting our house ready for the holidays and helping purchase a few gifts to put under the tree!

At this writing I have all the parts of the Gade model done but two. One is the carburetor (which will be set to run propane with a demand valve, my next series), and the other is the cast pushrod. I will also have to touch up a lot of the paint and remove tape from the flywheels and pulley. On the head I removed a little from off of the rocker arm post and I am installing small brass acorn nuts. These are the same type of nuts I will use on the bearing caps. The model will soon be put together, and if I can I will take the pictures of it during the assembly process.

I have two different, intertwineing subjects in mind this month. The first is a story of a fellow model builder in Australia who set out to build a model with no castings as quickly as possible: he did so in 16 days. His name is Reg Ingold, and the model he built from scratch is of a half-scale Caille 1 HP. He tells me he had no castings and has it finished, has given it a test run, and was waiting for the paint to dry and harden when last he wrote me.

After that fast build he also built two of the Root & VanDervoort models from Randy Rockwell. These are half-scale versions of a 2 HP and are available at Rocky's Model Engines, (503) 399-8039. Reg says he is now coasting until after the first of the year. This kind of persistence is hard for some to believe or achieve, but to others it is just another day in the shop.



Which now brings me to my second subject: When is a model a "model" and when is it an actual engine? I think whenever you build an engine on your own, you are working on a model, no matter the size or style. If you built a number of the same model, and not just one or two, it's not a model. If I take an old air compressor and turn it into an engine, to me it's a model. If I take and build a scratch engine, like Reg did, it is still a model. How can it be called an engine when only one or two have been built by me or anyone else? Now, if a third party builds one that looks something like the ones that have already been built, have they built a model? In this case, who has the real "engine" and who has the "model?"

I will stop short of the thought that all homemade creations are models, as I know a fellow on the West Coast who builds engines with 5- and 6-foot flywheels, and yes I call them engines, but I still think of these as models. What I think is a true model is something on the smaller end of the size spectrum, and an engine is much larger. But now the little Ideal's with 10-inch flywheels come to mind. Again, many of these were production-built and sold across the country, unlike the small number of models a certain individual might sell. Maybe I am looking at this the wrong way, and maybe a model is something that one person builds and an engine is something built by many different people? It really does not matter to me as I enjoy the workmanship, the sound, the smell and the feeling of all models and engines. This is why I have and exhibit both at this time. Is this hobby great, or what?














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