Monday, October 15, 2012

iHobby Expo has trains, cars, models at IX Center

Old news, but make a note to check this out next year. THey'll doubtless repeat it.

From iHobby Expo has trains, cars, models at IX Center

The iHobby Expo at the IX Center is a full-color celebration of the hobby industry, with radio-control vehicles of every description, trains, trains and more trains, tools, paints, die-cast cars, and all manner of plastic scale models.
Then there is Ken Foran of Wooster.
In this ocean of mass-produced hobby materials of all types and sizes, he is an island of hand-craftsmanship that rises to fine art. His booth features, among other things, a 1911 Ford Model T racer.
Most of it is brass. It is 1/8th scale, which means an eighth of an inch equals one inch.
Foran, the former vice president of research and development at Rubbermaid, spent 1,800 hours building it and said he would let it go for $22,000. To show how fully functional it is, he turns the starter crank that pokes out of the mostly exposed chassis.
A mirror beneath the car reveals that he is turning over a crankshaft (the oil pan is not in place) and the rear wheels turn.
The wooden spokes are wood, and so are the floor boards. The seats are covered in goatskin from a pair of women’s high-fashion gloves.
And that’s not even the most complex thing he’s ever undertaken.
He points to an engine in front of him that’s about the size of a deck of cards. It is a 1/8th-scale 3.8 liter dual overhead cam six-cylinder engine for a 1962 Jaguar XKE.
“I have 60 hours into it,” he said. “But it’s not done.”
It is, however, done enough to reveal a crankshaft attached to six pistons that are visible when he turns it upside down.
There’s also the metal cowl for one of the aircraft. His wife, Gretchen, an accomplished silver- and coppersmith, hand hammered it out of aluminum.
Both learned their skills at the Cleveland Institute of Art, where he studied industrial design after mustering out of the Marines.
The expo was only for retailers and distributors Thursday and Friday, but it is open to the public today from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For details, see


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