Johns Model Madness-Visit my model world!

Updated 31 February 2015

Share my models, Kerr Stuart locomotive, Allchin traction engine, boats, OO railway, some artwork and cartoons (By Cubcoman, my alter ego) also a brief biography.

I am 86 years young and have made models of all kinds for more than 70 years.

(Scroll right down this page to see the range of my outputs)

Many of these have long gone to the scrapyard although they are ' Archived ' in a number of magazines.

I illustrate recent a range of my work , some of which quite please me........... I am still learning however !

Click on the images below to go to the relevant pages and descriptions of their construction methods.


I hope that the models illustrated and in some cases the description of the steps in their construction will tempt the visitor to try his / her hand at building the model that they have been thinking about and which perhaps prompted them to visit this site. I show some of the construction techniques and will later describe some of the difficulties encountered in the course of construction and how they can be overcome

I enjoy using materials recovered from sources such as scrap and recycled objects, buying only items that I cannot make such as electronic components. For engineering projects I employ castings where I cannot fabricate. This provides practice in pattern making !

Site contents

Model Engineering topics

Building the 1 1/2" scale Allchin ....Click here

3 1/2" Gauge Loco 'Tich's' pedigree.. Click here

5" Gauge Loco 'Pixie's' background, survey and contruction... Click here

Chapters 1 to 7 of my Book on scale model locomotive construction featuring ' Pixie ' click here bookonbuilding.htm This contains the Forward, an Introduction and the list of Contents.

Chapters 8 and on of my Book on scale model locomotive construction featuring ' Pixie 'click here bookonbuildingpart 2.htm

Chapters 17 and on of my book on scale locomotive construction featuring ' Pixie ' click here bookonbuildingpart 3.htm

Also there is a page on lessons learnt in 60 years+ of modelmaking.. click here modelengineersnostrums.htm

Model Boat topics

Building the 1/32" scale Rhine pusher tug 'Egrete'.. Click here

Scratchbuilding building two simple R.C. sailing boats click here..Click here

1/24th scale scratchbuilt workboat 'Free Lancer '.. Click here

The Clyde Puffer and other earlier boats.. Click here

1/24th scale scratchbuilt workboat 'Free Lancer 2'.. Click here

Scratch building the trailer / sailer ' Silhouette '..buildingthesilhouette.htm

Building a small pusher tug similar to the popular ' Springer ' class.buildingsmallpsher.htm

Scratch building a static model pilot cutter click here. buildingpilotcutter.htm

Workshop topics

Have a look at my workshop........workshops.htm

A model engineer's nostrums click here...... modelengineersnostrums.htm

Tools and things mainly from scrap.... workshoptoolsetc.htm

Model Railway topics

Looking back at OO Gauge Model railways click.. Click here

A Few Miscellaneous Models

Models built over the years a few assorted models.htm

Building a Traction engine

Allchin traction engine to 1 1/2" Scale

An earlier ( 1910 ) prototype

A major project carried on over a period of six years was construction of the Allchin traction engine ( Road locomotive ) to 1 1/2" scale. The six year term resulted from shortage of spare time due to a job which involved lots of travelling !

To see the construction of the Allchin from plans produced by the late great model engineer W. J. Hughes and a description of the many parts click here BuildingtheAllchin.htm

Following contact initially built up over the Internet with my now good friend Peter Beck, a German model engineer, pictures of my models now appear on his site. Peter is an accomplished model engineer and we share many interests, he has also built the Allchin and a number of locomotives, so appreciates the hours of application required. Peter has recently built a 1" to the foot scale traction engine ' Minnie ' to a design by L.C. Mason.

Resplendent in its unique livery

Peters finished ' Minnie '

Also........These recent images show Peter's recently completed model of the 'Rocket ' a real Tour de force.

The model exhibits first class engineering and model making skills.

To see the model in construction Click here!

Locomotives in 3/4" and 1 1/2"scales

3/4" scale ' Tich ' for 3 1/2 gauge track (to LBSC drawings )

Click here for Tich's pedigree

2 1/2" scale 'Pixie ' for 5"gauge track (from site survey and drawings which I produced courtesy of the Leighton Buzzard Narrow Gauge Railway )

Click here ! for Pixie's background, survey and construction.

Having reached this far you may be wondering what facilities I have for model making in the variety of materials shown. To see my present workshop and and read about some of the past locations click here John's workshops

Radio controlled model boats, power and sail

Currently activities are focussed on building model a page on the site describes construction of the Rhine Pusher ' Egrete ' from drawings published in Model Boats magazine, a fountain of knowledge for all who enjoy Boats, and in particular model boats.

' Egrete ' A Rhine ' Pusher tug ' in 1/2" scale from free drawings published in Model Boats Magazine .

To view here

Building the Rhine pusher

The wheelhouse is raised and lowered to clear the bridges along the river

Back to my activities......................

A recent model boat building project was construction of a freelance model of workboat, aptly named ' Free Lancer ' constructed in wood as you might say,.' All out of my head '. The step- by- step build is illustrated here Click here

Building RC model workboats

' Free Lancer ' a 1/24" scale, scratchbuilt workboat ' .....own design based on details of boats taken from the 'web' to .To see the construction Click here

This is ' Freelancer 2 ' based upon lessons learned

from the earlier build.

To see the construction Clickhere

Building RC model sailing boats

A Recently added page which describes describing two successful radio controlled model sailing boats

Both are built mainly from scrap and reclaimed materials.

To see the construction process Click here

Building a Trailer / sailer

This page describes construction of a small trailer sailer / cruiser whichI used to sail with my sons and my father.

To view the construction click here.





A Springer based, but customised pusher

This page describes the construction of a small pusher based on the Springer

class hull regulations, with modifications to suit my requirements.

To view the construction click here....buildingsmallpusher.htm

The current project.................. a static model of a Pilot Cutter

A new project is underway. thinking and scheming has been going at odd moments and now a decision will be a sailing vessel based loosely on the legendary pilot cutters. I have searched the web for images and details and have downloaded many illustrations, some detailed, also a few sketchy images of the lines of a range of past boats as well as replicas currently being built and sailed by enthusiasts here and abroad. The model is intended to present an impression of these wonderful vessels.

I intend to photograph the build, which will be a static model, as the work progresses, and include the images as I have on other builds,adding a brief commentary as I go. The page is currently under construction and must be viewed as such! ...........Progress can be viewed by clicking here buildingpilotcutter.htm

OO Gauge model railways

Small cameos from my 18' X 10 ' OO Gauge railway which was enjoyed by three generations of my family the space has now been taken over by my new enlarged workshop.


To look back at my OO Gauge Model railways Click here


' The beach '

' L'Isolabelle, Maggiori



' Safe Harbour ' Salcombe


Cornish fantasy

When time permits I will be adding a gallery of items from my sketchbooks.....

CartoonS and technical books.

Each month for more than 25 years I produced a monthly ' quasi/technical ' cartoon page based upon my own 45 years in and about concrete construction which included detail, design and supervision through to management and consulting work for a number of well known firms and institutes .

Over the years I produced some 3 000 unique sketches of construction activities featuring the activities of a mythical construction worker. He is my creation, devised more than 25 years ago and any similarity between him and any other character real or mystical that has emerged in recent years is entirely coincidental !!!

The image above is the cover to a compilation of those cartoons in a book ' A practical look at concrete ' published by The Concrete Society UK,

On the left my main character ' Cubco man '

He found himself in many demanding situations on the right !!



The illlustrations showed him working in a variety of construction work, learning the possibilities (and sometimes the problems) of a range of construction tasks, methods, materials and emerging techniques.

His was a very extended learning curve,........................................................... just as mine has been !

Tiring of me always drawing Him.......................... .....................He .took his revenge on me !

The cartoons were included in several continuing professional education courses and videos. I also wrote technical books on concrete topics for various publishers. The titles which covered aspects of concrete construction included, Precast concrete production. Supervision of construction construction. Formwork design and construction and also Quality in precast concrete.

Following commissioned service in the Royal Engineers and 40+ years in the construction industry I worked privately as a consultant, my clients included the British Standards Institute as well as fourty or more Architects, Engineers and Contractors at home and abroad. All this is history for me now as I retired at the age of 75, though I still enjoy many of the contacts made in those times ! I am a past Fellow of The Institute of Advanced Concrete Technology, hold the Diploma of the Institute of Works Managers and was a Silver medalist of the City and Guilds of London Institute. For 25 of those years I was an examiner for that Institute.

I was extremely fortunate that business travels including those to Scandinavia, Europe, North and South America, North Africa and India provided an opportunity to meet many skilled craftsmen working in a variety of materials, boatbuilders, mosaic and glassworkers and silversmiths as well as mechanical engineers. The equipment they used in different countries ranged from most sophisticated machines to the most basic tools combined with skills and knowledge handed down over the years.

We welcome your comments :-

I thank the thousands who have taken an interest in the site, particularly those from all parts of the world who have mailed. These mails have in a number of cases lead to ongoing ' Email friendships' and a useful exchange of ideas and methods.

It is great when you mail and tell me what you are doing, whether Model Engineering , Model Boating and any modelling activities.

I will always acknowledge your mail and offer help if needed..... and if I have sufficient knowledge and experience to help !


My man is showing my Email address below. Please type it into your mailer. John

Copyright John Richardson.

Viking Office
Viking Office

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