Thursday 7 September 2023

Excavator in 1/19 Scale?

In 1/35 scale I had two excavators for my Nystrup Gravel layout. I never had anywhere to display them, as I didn't get to build a gravel pit module, so they were usually only used on special photo occasions. I presented the models and the history of Nystrup Gravel excavators on the blog 10 years ago. It's hard to imagine a gravel company without at least one excavator and I have to find a way to build or acquire one in 1/19 scale. The problem is that excavators are rather large machines...

The Menck M 60 in 1/35 scale was a large and complicated model. Both regarding building and displaying. Here I have carefully transported the model out in a real 1:1 scale gravel pit.

With both my Menck and Ruston & Bucyrus excavators beeing large and rather complex models in 1/35 scale I have been rather sceptical regarding the chances of having an excavator in 1/19 scale. There is nothing scale like commercially available and scratch building even a small excavator like an Ruston & Bucyrus RB-10 seems like a lot of work (although I know talented modellers have done it).

Recently I got a hint from a friend sending me an image of a lorry based excavator. A simple lattice boom with clam shell bucket mounted on a cut-down cab-less lorry chassis. Surely not an excavator for a high production output, but sufficient for extracting that high quality gravel in a corner of the gravel pit.

A model of the excavator could be made from a rebuilt die-cast Ford A pick-up with a lattice boom constructed from soldered brass profiles. The difficult part in creating a model of the ungainly excavator will probably be how to establish the details of operation: was parts of the excavator's functions motorized through the lorry's engine and how was the cabeling and pivoting arranged. I'll try to figure that out by closer study of the image.

Loading skips with sand at the Alslev gravel works. The two-skip train is pulled by a locomotive from Nagbøl Machine Works. Photo: Alslev Sognearkiv B20314.

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