Tuesday, 28 April 2015

A Great Honour

Something different for you today.

When our good friend Steve Coulson passed away at the end of last year we were very honoured when we were asked if we would take custody of his wonderful working dioramas.

These beautifully crafted scenes featuring diggers, cranes and conveyors were an expression of his wonderful talent for practical engineering and parsimony being constructed, famously, out of CDs he collected from junk mail and components recycled from a multitude of scrapped household machines.

Having collected them from Wales Himself has begun the process of cleaning and fettling, and more importantly trying to learn how they were put together in the first place.

The first model on the workbench is  'Littledownham Sand Quarry'

He has taken out the operating modules one by one to clean check and service them.

Having been in store for a while there is a little bit of mildew and corrosion on some parts.

The first challenge he has come across is the lorry refusing to reverse up to discharge it's load after it has been filled by the digger.

 Instead it brings the load back to the quarry, so it has been taken out for investigation!

The moving features were built as removable modules as you can see here.

His suspicions are that it could be timer switches to blame as the motors all work if fed current directly.

Also he's found a reluctant solenoid , not wanting to return to off.

The digger is worked by an intricate system of cams and pulleys the concept of which Steve described in a highly entertaining series of articles for Narrow Gauge and Industrial Railway Modelling Review.

These pictures show how beautifully build these mechanisms are with the parts painted and the neat wiring.

It shows the pride and care that Steve put into his engineering whether miniature or full-sized.

The excavator functions are worked by 1 1/2 lb monofilament fishing line.

Hopefully Himself will be able to give us more updates as he continues to explore the innards of these wonderful models and who knows, we may even be able to exhibit them to the public again one day.

1 comment:

  1. Brilliant work. And I can see what the CDs do too - very clever re-use of them.