|Search Engine visitors - Click HERE to visit the full Steamplates website.|
|A lighthearted look at some of the less well engineered items of rolling stock that grace club and private sites from time to time....
Any Miniature Steam enthusiast will know what this is about, and why they come about...
Builders of Miniature Steam Engines may spend 2, 5, 10, even 20 years building their pride and joy. Many hundreds or perhaps thousands of hours of meticulous work can produce an engine that would grace any Toolroom or Engine Works. Alternatively, the engine may have been bought finished or part finished, but didn't come with a Driving Truck. As the big day, the first steam trial draws near, it may be that a driving truck has not been right at the front of the Builder's mind. It may be right at the back!
Sometimes a suitable truck can be borrowed from a friend but now and then, things don't go quite to plan. As the big day draws near, our erstwhile builder or new owner might have been let down by his mate who cannot bring his truck as promised, and may become increasingly desperate. If the day before the big event arrives and there is still no luck with borrowing a truck, out hero might be forced knock something together that would make Heath Robinson, Emmet and the 'A' Team proud, all at once.....A spurt of desperate energy can result in something akin to a Roller Skate stapled to an Orange Box, providing onlookers with the incredible contrast of a beautiful piece of Steam engineering, closely followed by something quite different...
So, now we launch the 'The Ugliest Driving Truck in the World' Competition, the complete antethesis to a Gold Cup from a Model Enginnering Exhibition.
Now the Competition has begun, please send in your entries from far and wide, worldwide, nominate your pals without them even knowing...Let's get up to some good old fashioned mischief and see if we can find the ugliest, most repulsive wheely bin contraption that ever got dragged around a track or ground. The more contrast there is between Loco and Driving Truck, the more points your entry will score! Further points will be awarded for Driver discomfort, in fact, the worse, the better! Don't forget colours too, extra points for paint that does not match the Loco's colours or that of anything else on the planet. An entry might score even more highly if it hasn't been painted at all, bare and spluttery welding will score even more. I think you may be getting the idea of how to score highly?
And points, yes, what do those points make? Prizes??
Ahem, erm, well maybe... not... Perhaps our lucky winner will not get anything of use at all, nor will they make it to front cover of Model Engineer, but they may be proud that they have the best (worst!) driving truck in the World!! In recognition of this accolade Steamplates will make a Brass plaque and award it to the winner. Included with the prize will be two rusty 3" nails to attach it to the winning truck.
For a full list of Rules and Scoring, Click Rules and Scoring
To start things off, here is the first entry, the Wythall Steam Railway's entry.
Four Wheels (allegedly!), a school chair nailed to an old drawer and a tin can/water tank held on with a couple of bungee cords. Perfection in Ridus Truckus Desperandum. But here's the best bit - It worked, it worked just fine, and they actually managed to sell it when it got replaced!
|Here is my personal entry;|
I don't have a complete picture of my entry but you can see some of its glory in the right of this picture. I wonder why I didn't take several pictures actually. It was a total masterpiece, a sculpture in bits of old ply. At least the picture gives us some contrast between the Loco and its accompaniment.
My excuse - Although I had built the Chassis for the driving truck, the body was a while away. I made up a stout plywood box for seating and storage, it even had allowance for leg space, but everyone hated it! Now it has its posh metal body with rolled tops to hide its lineage, it has somehow lost it's rustic appeal.
Click here to see the finished (ruined, in terms of this competition) item.
|Here is the latest entry from MSRVS member Brian Read....
Not much to interest us in the passenger trolley, it looks quite conventional, comfortable even, but focus on the Driver's riding truck will reveal treasure richly deserving entry to this competition.
Look on below...
We have no idea where the Shoe fits. This entry scores well by virtue of the Bungee Cord water container restraint alone. 3 castors in addition to the two main wheels make this 5 wheeled miracle quite unique, not because it has the most 'wheels' but because Railway entrants may find it a difficult opponent - Odd wheel counts might be hard for them to match!
It is worth noting that Brian claims to have committed Skip Rummaging when aquiring the water carrier. This claim is supported by Brian's narrative on the conception and design of his scrapbox masterpiece. It is well worth reading!
'Brian is the current front runner, although he would have scored even more highly if he had supplied some pictoral evidence showing 'Skip Plunder' actually taking place.
|Here is a slotted angle masterpiece built by 7.25" Society member Richard Williams.
The base is formed by a standard Dexion shelf panel.
The chassis continues the Dexion theme....Richard's explanation is simple - He needed to get something made quickly so he could give his kids a ride. He came up with this plot whilst standing next to a Dexion shelving unit. Needless to say, the shelving unit got shot between the eyes and now rusts in peace!
This entry scores highly for driver discomfort and trolley style wheels.
|Here's a real humdinger from an anonymous NNGR visitor (the owner doesn't know he entered yet...!)|