- Written by webmin
Let me introduce you all to Herb Miska. Herb is a retired mechanical engineer, now age 73, who lives in Orchard Park, New York, near Buffalo. Herb is a car guy, and like lots of us, is overwhelmed by the glory of cars that he probably can’t afford to buy. He’s compromised by modeling them, only many of his subjects aren’t recreated in the form of kits produced by the hobby industry. Herb is therefore what modelers call a scratchbuilder, a term that’s more often applied to railroad hobbyists than car modelers. Herb’s inspiration is the great Gerald Wingrove, and he is beginning work on a Wingrove-style book on his own techniques. Here are some of Herb’s creations and techniques. Until two years ago, Herb hadn’t built a model car since his college days.
This is a partly assembled 1912 Mercer Raceabout in Herb’s preferred scale, 1/18th. Herb typically uses brass and copper sheet and tubing for the frames, axles and springs from cars of this era.
Gorgeous, huh? Part of Herb’s practice in creating this 1938 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 was to hand-make the wire wheels. The aluminum hubs and brake drums are turned on a Taig Microlathe and then cross-drilled to accepted 56 nicrhome wire spokes.
Here’s the Mercer chassis early in the assembly process. This model has a partial running gear replication. The wooden wheels, spokes and felloes, are handmade.
Here’s my personal to-die-for piece, a rear-drive Miller 183. We already know what you’re thinking: To quote from Herb’s letter to us, “At this time, I have no models available for collectors to purchase, but would consider building to order depending on whether I feel I could do justice to the original.” Your comments might help him to decide.