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Model Making
Edmar Mammini
May/ 18th /2003

Model making is far from a senseless hobby- just the opposite ; it is practical, educating and carries with it the prestige and dignity of a specialized science. Its scope is unlimited and its ramifications are unnumbered.

The Locomotive is reproduced in miniature complete in every detail from the Walschert valve to controls and the manifold. A steam boat is modeled and provided with workable steam engine, a model speed boat is constructed and coaxed into going 30 miles per hour; a twin cylinder engine is built with a two-throw crankshaft turned out of a solid piece of steel. This cannot exactly be called model making. The expression is inadequate and not carry with it the full meaning of the work. It is really model engineering- Engineering in miniature.

The construction of a model locomotive involves no small amount of work and knowledge. Its constructor must know something of steam engineering, he must be able to read the most advanced blueprints to enable him to produce his model to scale from a drawing of its prototype. Aside from this, he must be a mechanic of no mean ability. He must posses infinite patience and resourcefulness. Of course, not every model maker can build a locomotive. More simple mechanisms are usually chosen to start with.

This is where part of the real value of model making presents itself, and educating value becomes manifest. The man who makes miniature locomotive, a steam boat or an aircraft, has increased his own knowledge to a great extend; the experience has made him a better mechanic. In many cases, the fundamental principles of operation must be mastered before the model is made. As an example: a model-maker decide to make workable model of a steam engine. First, unless already acquainted with its principles of operation, he must study them until he becomes sufficiently acquainted with them to proceed intelligently with the design and construction of his machine.

The engine must be carefully laid out and drawn accurately to scale; its bore, stroke, power and cycle must be decided upon. After the design is completed upon paper, the patterns for its castings must be turned out and then the machining starts. Precision and accuracy is essential to a well–working engine and the lathe must be manipulated with skilful fingers.

The engine is finished and assembled. What has its builder accomplished? He is perfectly satisfied to stand and watch it run on the workshop bench. That is all made it for, but aside from this, the love of his hobby has taught him much of practical value, as can readily be understood.

After a man spends many hours, ... yes, even days and some times years on the model of a certain machine, upon completion the things represents something to him very remote from money. It is not made for money, and therefore its value is not estimate in money. It is difficult to explain just how a man regards his model. His eyes never tire of it, he actually loves it.

In England, model making or model engineering carries with it a different meaning than it does at present time all around the world. There has a tendency all around the world to associate it with toy making, and no comparison could be more vague or humiliating to the ardent follower of the work than this. It is utterly unjustified and the impression remains merely because the public has not been educated to the true meaning and significance of this kind of science, a category in witch it rightfully has a place.

I hope that this site, which is prepared to give impetus to model engineering in any country, will also serve the double purpose of creating a correct impression of work its pages are devoted to.

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