Model trains and planes back in PMB

2013-08-03 00:00

MODEL engineering societies from across the country will gather in Pietermaritzburg today to display the fruits of their intricate labour.

The annual Wings, Wheels and Whistles exhibition will showcase model trains, cars, boats, planes and much more. It takes place at a different location every year and comes to Pietermaritzburg once every five years.

Andries Keyser, the vice-chairperson of the Pietermaritzburg Model Engineering Society, is excited at the prospect of meeting fellow model engineers and sharing his work with the public.

“The main aim of the event is to promote the hobby throughout the country. There are only about six model engineering societies in South Africa. Overseas there are hundreds. It is a day of fun where model engineering enthusiasts get to meet, exhibit their handiwork and play with trains,” Keyser told The Witness.

As it is not a big hobby in South Africa, there are no kits available to build the model machines: “You can order them from overseas, but that is very expensive. Most of us hand build the models with scrap metal. We use anything we can to make our models,” said Keyser.

Model engineering is an art form that requires patience, dedication and skill to do. It takes years of hard work to put a model together.

Keyser said: “It took me five years to build my train, and that was fast because I designed it with a computer. Some of the guys take between 10 to 20 years to build their models. One guy took 35 years building his model. He made everything, even the screws! It is amazing.”

The exhibition will not only show the detailed models, but people will also get a chance to ride the trains. The fun takes place today and tomorrow at 78 Rudling Road, Bisley. The admission fee is R6.

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