Archive | model engineering RSS feed for this section

Mickey Mouse Circus

Mickey is automated. As the train runs along, he shovels coal into the engine.

Mickey Mouse Circus

 

A scrap clockwork unit with 4 wheels was used as a base to make this item. I designed off as much reference material as I could get, but also took some creative license here and there. The Mickey and Minnie figures are cast in resin from a latex mold, and the metal work was made up of sheet galvanized iron.

The train sets were built up using 2 scrap Lionel Engine shells, which were later painted up to suit.

The coaches and caboose were handmade after I produced the artwork from reference material. All these items including the Mickey in Tender etc. were also handmade.

Casey Junior Train Layout

fun_things

Casey Junior Train Layout

 

 

This layout was a happy accident which came about from my finding a ‘Revel’ plastic kit of the ‘Jolly Roger’, and then some collector ‘Minni kins’ Disney figurines. Having these, I just gradually began to hand make my own additions to this little ‘Mini Disneyland’ layout. The most challenging task of the layout was the brass Casey Jr. circus train engine and tender (N gauge). The Dumbo ride was made by modeling the elephants in clay, and then making a latex mold for multiple resin castings. Shani did all the hand painting for me.

I have really enjoyed making this layout which is still a work in progress.

 

Wooden Puppets and Marionettes

puppets_cat

Wooden Puppets and Marionettes

 

 

Working with wood has been one of my earliest passions. A most treasured recollection is one of a ‘little me’ watching my father carve out a marionette puppet with his pocket knife. I have used wood with great success in making animation puppets, collectors dolls, marionettes and display puppets.

Paper Pulp for dolls and hand puppets

Paper Pulp for dolls and hand puppets 

100_4978

Paper Pulp dolls are a result of my experimenting with a mulch of paper, glue and plaster. This pulp is then pressed into plaster molds which I have made from a clay sculpture. The process is an exciting and cost effective method for producing surprisingly strong and light weight castings.

paper pulp toys Paper Pulp Toys

 

Cape town Toy Fairs

fantas_thumbnail

Cape Town Toy Fairs

 

 

I have exhibited my SM32 layout at several Cape Town Toy Fairs. The exhibit height is at eye level for most young children, and I am most rewarded by the sparkles in their eyes and expressions of wonder.

Making Steam Car and Animation Puppets

Stop frame animation puppets

Stop frame animation puppets

Making Steam Car and Animation Puppets

Watch Rod talk about the making of a model steam car and animation puppets for short stop frame animation ‘Frog Steam band’.

Live Steam Layout

Model Steam

Live Steam Layout

 

 

My Campbell & Lynwood Live Steam layout is all home built and I started working on the Green Saddle Tank Hunslet as far back as 1974. It has given faithful service on both indoor and outdoor railways.

Since then I have built several more of my own designs adding more sophistication. The Campbell & Lynwood lines have been a labor of love and I have spent very many hours of dedicated work in this scale of locomotives. There is an inherent problem with steam engines of this size; they will never run at reasonable paced speeds and one either ends up with it racing at full steam or chugging at a crawling rate. I realised after some frustrating failures that the answer lay in ‘gearing’. I set about designing my own compact double acting oscillating cylinder unit with suitable reduction gearing to give enough power at slow speeds. This gearing system is trouble free and always gives a wonderful display of steam.

Mamod Steam Boat

fantas_thumbnail

Mamod Steam Boat

 

 

I built this Steam boat some years ago and it has given my grandchildren great pleasure. I call it a “Bowmod” because it is a steam launch named after ‘Mamod’ and ‘Bowman’. This is a modified second hand Mamod engine which I fitted it into a plywood hull. It runs extremely well 🙂

Loosely based on Bowman Steam Launches

Loosely based on Bowman Steam Launches