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Cotton Picker

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"Every year at Christmas, the place where I work sets up a large O scale train layout that depicts a fictitious Mississippi town from the '30s and '40s.

Seeing as how cotton was an important crop for the state, I decided that the layout needed a cotton picker. Since there is little to no period agricultural equipment available commercially, I would need to scratch build one.

I started with a fairly appropriate Ertl diecast Farmall tractor and a bunch of not so good images from the net. Anything that does not look like a tractor was constructed out of styrene and various bit and pieces. This is my first major scratch building project, so I admit that there is quite a bit wrong with it... but it looks the part. I had no hard measurements to go by, so I had to try and scale everything from photos. It did not help that nothing on the tractor scaled out correctly to any other part of the tractor, or to the images I had. The most glaring error is that there should have been a single wheel in the rear, but I did not change this due to strength concerns and the fact that I had no idea where to find a suitable wheel. (I have a very limited parts box). There are some other items I could have tweaked, and I had to use some "gizmology" in a few areas that I did not have a clear image to work from.

I also scratch built a cotton trailer for one of our layout's trucks that is based on one that I saw rusting away on a farm as a child. Let me know what you think."

About the Author

About lone-ronin
FROM: MISSISSIPPI, UNITED STATES