Tuesday, April 14, 2015

My Pick of the Show

I don't have to think long and hard to pick the model I was most impressed with from the show.  It's this small block V8, about a foot long (half-sized?).  It's a fully running V8 engine.  Even sounded a lot like a full-sized engine.  It ran on gasoline and has an oil pump (on the opposite side of the block is a small oil filter), so it's a full four stroke.  The radiator is working.  On his bench alongside this, he had a model differential he's working on and a transmission.  He was under a banner for this forum, where I assume he hangs out.
There were lots of IC engines on display.  This guy said he took around 2500 hours to build this; which is more than a work year for a typical full time job (right around 2050 hours where I've worked).  Another guy, when asked how long it took, answered, "I don't even want to think about it". 

A model a lot more people around here would appreciate is this one.  Yes, it works, too.  I didn't include the other side where you can see the little cloth belt for the feed, but those looked like .17 Mach 2 rounds to me; about as long as .22, but a side by side with the Hornady bullets you see in the diagram, down the page here.
This small collection of models caught my eye:
For scale, look up on the back box.  On the left, there's a 2 cylinder engine, then a single, sideways cylinder with a large flywheel.  That shiny thing between them is a quarter.  That replica revolver in front has a trigger guard about the size of that quarter.  Also, note the miniature gattling gun pointing at you on the left.

Finally, I've seen these before, but they're always fun to see.  I didn't ask if it worked, but they usually do. 


  1. Beautiful! That V8 is quite an accomplishment.

  2. There are several companies that make small V8's.

    I've seen 10th scale, 8th scale, and quarter-scale, and they all ran.

  3. Fascinating. I'd think that in a lot of cases the scale is determined by the availability of appropriately-sized components - such as .22 short ammo for a Gatling gun - but I may be wrong. What did that miniature V8 use for spark plugs?

  4. Alien - if you look closely, you can see perfect miniature spark plugs. I didn't ask if he made them, but my guess is that there are half scale and smaller spark plugs out there made for model makers.

    One of the most astounding model makers I've met is a guy named Jerry Kieffer. Jerry was making little models and got disappointed with the screws he was using because of how poorly they scaled, so he figured out how to make ultra tiny nuts and bolts. He has made bolts around .009 diameter by 200 TPI (!) and even gone to 400 TPI(!!). They told him it couldn't be done and he went ahead and did it.

    Back at the NAMES show in '08, Jerry showed me a 1/6 scale Harley Davidson "Knucklehead" engine he was working on. Since then he finished it, and moved on to 1/8 scale Harley with a bigger engine. See his page here The detail and accuracy in the models will blow you away.

  5. Many years ago (1960) I worked in a machine shop that had Swiss automatic screw machines. The name really diminishes the capability of these machines and their machinists. We also had Brown & Sharpe automatic screw machines but they were held in a lower respect. One of the jobs was to produce very tiny screws/bolts for small scientific equipment. Beautiful tiny brass, stainless and steel master pieces. The Swiss machines could achieve accuracies of a ten thousandth consistently. Beautiful to see a row of these each making a different piece.

  6. Thanks for the link, SiG. All I can say is "good grief, that stuff is tiny." You're right, the attention to detail and accuracy is phenomenal. I wish I had that kind of patience.

  7. Some of the small engines use glow plugs, and run on glow fuel.

    Others have reeealy tiny spark plugs, like those used in 4-stroke model aircraft engines.

  8. Let the people decide what they want to do - and they will bloody amaze you.
    Freedom is a wonderful thing....