Friday, October 19, 2012

Genius at the Midlands Model Engineering Exhibition 2012

Can shakerThe Midlands Model Engineering exhibition is as good as ever. There are lots of beautifully made models. I look at the workmanship and wish I had a small percentage of the abilities of those metal craftsman.

And then I spot a flash of genius. Someone has made a tool anyone who has ever spray painted something wants. A motorised can shaker.

Who hasn't read the instruction on the side of the paint can which say something along the lines of "Shake the can vigorously for two minutes after you hear the sound of the ball bearing moving."

And who hasn't shaken the can for a bit, heard said ball bearing move, given it another half-dozen shakes and then decided that is enough.

If only I had one of these devices, my paint would always be properly mixed!

Incidentally, does anyone remember the ACME device that you used to be able to buy to shake Humbrol paint tinlets? I'd like one of those as well.

Elsewhere, there were a number of unusual designs. If you recall the famous photo of LMS diesel shunters lined up outside the works, you might know that one of them wasn't a diesel. It was a double Sentinal (Update: That should be Sentinel-Doble - see the comments). Look what I found on display:

LMS Double Sentinel

For some reason it was on a turntable running at 78rpm (ask your parents, kids) which made photography difficult. I found some construction photos here though.

A few feet away, a proposed LNER design for a diesel that would be based on a surplus Newport Bo-Bo electric locos. Gresley was behind it apparently and the project only died when the engine supplier got cold feet over the output required from his equipment.

LNER Diesel design

Finally, you find an experimental bevelled gear. I can't find anything about this one on the web but would be fascinated to know more:

Bevelled gear engine

Finally? Well, OK, then how about a real, working GT3:


Quite a selection. I know weird prototypes are pretty popular among the RTR model railway community, but it takes real commitment to build one of these. It's not like you can get your hands on any castings, you're building it from raw metal or nothing.

More pictures from the Midlands Model Engineering Exhibition 2012.


Tanllan said...

Hi Phil, Some lovely pictures from the MME Exhibition. Regarding the model of the Sentinel Shunter ...

The thing is a Sentinel-Doble machine. The "Doble" bit comes from Abner Doble an american engineer who designed and developed steam engines primarilly for automotive applications. The original locomotive was a twin (double) engined device with 2 x 150 hp Doble engines - one per axle. The boiler was oil fired and worked at 1500psi !!

For more details about the model see



neil whitehead said...

That can shaker looks a little over-engineered.

Phil Parker said...

Tanllan - Thanks for your update, a quick web search throws up more details of the building of this model here:

Phil Parker said...

Neil: I LIKE over-engineered!

James Finister said...

By Saturday the car park was a quagmire with many people, including us, having to be towed out.

I'm sure I sure a paint shaker for Humbrol tinlets built out of meccano a few years ago

Jackofallhobbies said...

I came across a paint shaker for small bottle of paint, and I was seriously considering buying it, until someone put me off the idea. They claimed that when using an airbrush it was much better to stir the paint than shake it. They mentioned something about air bubbles....

Just wondering what everyone else thinks about that. Any comments or advice would be great. Thanks.

Phil Parker said...

Bubbles in the paint?

That's a new one on me. I'd suggest that if the paint is thin enough for the airbrush, any air bubbles will rise to the surface and pop within a few seconds. Anyway, air is added to the paint when spraying so all you'd get is a slightly thin covering for a fraction of a second.

matt scrutton said...

we went down on the Friday on our way to Fairbourne, I rather liked the 5 inch gauge S160 (something I intend to do in 7 1/4 once the A2 is finished, already got the driving wheels!). I felt a bit sorry for the ladies in the ticket booth, it was right next to the gas turbine demonstration!