1/16 Scale Farm Toy Builder
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He still gets calls for his JD BWA disk.
"It sold out almost immediately. And there's no way I can make more of them. My customers know I'm going to do a limited amount, and nobody would like it if, five years later, I started doing them again. Part of the attraction of my toys is the real limited edition, so I'll never make more than I say I will."
The most difficult part of Jim's work is finding a spincaster.
"Take my extension cord, for example. I go to a spincaster to ask them to make the plug with those two little prongs at the end of the cord. They say they can't do anything that small, so I have to keep pushing them," he says. "Finally, one of them will give it a try. But when you reduce that thing down to 1/16th, it's really tiny, so if they run a hundred of them, only 25 to 30 will be usable."
The concept and process are similar for his 1/16 scale hammers, shovels, crowbars, forks and the like.
"I even did a Nipco heater, too," he says.
In addition to making highly-detailed toys, Jim collects a few farm toys, too. They're highly-detailed, as well: He likes those made by Gilson Rieke, Terry Rouch, and Ertl's Precision Classics series. He's also a collector and restorer of John Deere lawn and garden tractors, but the real thing instead of toys.
"That's my hobby," he says, "collecting and restoring them."
He does have a 140 JD lawn and garden tractor and dump cart toy, too.
His latest foray is into a different brand of farm toy: an Oliver chisel plow, and he's only making a dozen of them.
"I've never done an Oliver before," he says, "and I don't know how they're going to sell, so it's kind of a test."
Jim doesn't have to test whether his entire concept works, however.
"It puts groceries on the table, and I enjoy it," he says. "How many other people can say they're making a living doing what they like?" FC
For more information: Jim Buske, Vikingland Farm Models, 903 Dogwood, Oakes, ND 58474; (701) 742-2420; e-mail: email@example.com.
Bill Vossler writes on a variety of collectible farm equipment, and is the author of Toy Farm Tractors, published last year.
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