Scale Model Farm

Cousins craft a realistic scale model farm

| December 1999

For the past nine years, Wes McClain and his cousin, Clint Rogers, Taylorsville, Ky., have spent many hours working on their farm. Every year they put up a new building, each built by hand. One year it was a tobacco barn; another year, a milking parlor. It's a big job, but small scale: The entire farm fits on a piece of plywood 8 feet by 20 feet. 

The farm has been exhibited at the Spencer County High School Future Farmers of America Toy Show in Taylorsville each year for the past eight years. It features a tobacco barn, dairy barn, milking parlor, silo, calf barn, corncrib, pig pen, tool shed and repair shop, waterfall and pond (including live goldfish). The display is a fall scene, showing the corn harvest underway, and wood being cut for winter. It captures a realism sometimes missing from scale models.

"We try to add buildings that are not ordinarily at a toy show, but are seen on an actual farm every day," says Clint, 22. "There aren't any 1/16" farm sets, so we have to make our own from scratch."

All the buildings are exact replicas of ones on the farm where Clint grew up.

"Every bit of it is homemade," says Wes. "Construction of the tobacco barn, for example, started with posts for the sides, driveway, top plates and rafters, all of which were ripped by table saw from 1" stock. After the framework was nailed and glued in place, the boxing was cut from 1/8" plywood and 1" strips and glued, leaving a crack between each board to allow for ventilation, just as in a real barn. The roof is constructed to mimic a '5-V' galvanized metal roof, which can be partially removed to expose details, as with other structures in the display."

Even a stripping room is included, complete with a woodburning stove that sends real smoke through the stovepipe.