In late September, Modelmakers from all over the United States convened on Eugene Oregon, home of the fighting Ducks of the University of Oregon. The second annual Pacific Rim International Model Engineering Exhibition was about to begin. And, among participants was the Dynamic Duo -- Richard and Roy. Reinforcements were also there in the person Joy, Richard's wife. We were lightly loaded, because of the constraints of air travel, but full of enthusiasm. Richard had a brand new edition of the Chinese South Pointing Charriot, Dos Pyros, the double barrelled flame licker, and Rosinante, who made her debut at this year's NAMES exhibition. Roy had finally gotten the Test Tube Rhombic together, and it ran flawlessly. Blazer was back (remember, Blazer absolutely refused to run at NAMES) and with a new graphite valve, was a willing performer. Aquatap ran beautifully, as was its custom. Have a click here to see your heroes in action, with close-ups of their engines.
In its second year, PRIME is not yet as large as the NAMES exhibition, but what it lacks in size it makes up for in the enthusiasm of the participants and viewers. Friday started off with a bang, with enthusiastic crowds including a number of classes from local high schools. Saturday's crowd was no less enthusiastic, and on Sunday, both viewers and exhibitors were active until the closing bell.
Exhibitors from the west coast predominated, but states as far away as Florida (Roy Ozouf), Georgia (your heroes), and New Jersey (Rudy Kouhoupt) were represented. International exhibitors from Canada and Germany were also there. The variety of models and the quality of workmanship were outstanding. Although we were quite busy with our exhibit, we did take time to snap a few pictures, and we show a selection below. No claim is made as to these being the outstanding exhibits, they simply are ones that we particularly liked.
Ray Levy is a retired mechanical engineer from Squel, California. Although he is a newcomer to the model engineering exhibitions circuit, he has started off witha bang! His Stirling Beam Engine is a work of art, as well as a fine piece of model engineering. When I asked Ray about his engine, he said "I made it with a wooden lathe", with emphasis on the word wooden. It seems that Ray decided to build a lathe capable of metalworking, but made it of wood. Obviously it works well, because of the fit and finish of his model. Unfortunately, the shite paint fooled my camera, so you can't see the fine fluting on the beam standare, nor the finish on the macine as a whole, but I can assure you that it is of highest quality. In addition to his skills with his wooden lathe, Ray is also an author. His book "Making Mechanical Marvels in Wood" gives details of making a variety of mechanical movements in wood. It is available from Lindsay Publishing.
Tim Johnson, from McKinleyville, California is a master Craftsman. At last year's prime exhibition his 1/4 scale Gattling gun was adjudged best in show. Here, you see him explaining a fine point to another exhibitor. In the foreground is my current favorite of his, Tim's own version off the Moriya fan designed by James Senft. Naturally, Tim could not reproduce Senft's design exactly, so he made a new base and the old-fashioned fan guard you see here. I am in the process of building this same fan, and had intended to make an old fashioned fan guard for mine. I so admired Tim's version, that i asked him for the dimensions of his base, and am making one similar. My fan, too will have the old fashioned guard, but not quite like Tim's. Richard has promised to make a logo button to go in the center ring of my fan, so I hope for a really spiffy look.
Roy Ozouf, from West Palm Beach, Florida, is another fine craftsman. Roy's specialty is replicas of old engines, mostly historic steam engines. He builds everything from scratch, often from nothing more than an old photo or line drawing of the engine in question. He has written articles on some of his engines for Modeltec magazine, and they are worth reading for the machining techniques that he explains, even if you never intend to build the engines. But if you do build one or more, you will be rewarded with a historically accurate model of a significant engine. I don't have references at my finger tips, but back issues are available from George Broad, the publisher of Modeltec.
The engine you see here is a model of an oscillating vane engine. Unfortunately, I failed to get dates, names or historic details of this engine, so that data will have to wait until I can get back to Roy.
As I said earlier, these are a few of my personal favorite photos from PRIME. There were many engines of note there, virtually all of excellent making, but space precludes a larger showing. Why not make your new year's resolution early, and resolve to attend the third annual PRIME exhibit the last week in September, 1999?