# Any HO Scale Ouboard Motors?

Especially older models (or ones that can be backdated) since I'm modeling a harbor scene in 1938-1940 timeframe. I'm especially interested in separate
motors but I'll buy the whole boat rig if it's appropriate. Who manufactures these things?
TIA Norm
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Norm Dresner wrote:

JL Innovative for the period you're interested in - there are others http://www.hobbylinc.com/htm/jli/jli456.htm (one link)
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Wouldn't something like that be fairly easy to make out of a scrap of plastic bar, some wire and a disk for the propellor? I'd think that you could shape the plastic into the motor part, use the wire for the part that runs from the motor to the propellor then just use a disk for the propellor itself. I'd think that something that you would punch out with a paper punch would be about the right size.
I once made some lawn mowers by using a quarter inch square of plastic for the deck, a thicker but smaller piece for the motor, four little round punch-outs for the wheels and some wire bent into shape for the handles. It's amazing how people tend to fill in the missing details... "Where did you find the lawn mowers?" was a common question upon their first glance.
dlm

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| Wouldn't something like that be fairly easy to make out of a scrap of | plastic bar, some wire and a disk for the propellor? I'd think that you | could shape the plastic into the motor part, use the wire for the part that | runs from the motor to the propellor then just use a disk for the propellor | itself. I'd think that something that you would punch out with a paper | punch would be about the right size. | | I once made some lawn mowers by using a quarter inch square of plastic for | the deck, a thicker but smaller piece for the motor, four little round | punch-outs for the wheels and some wire bent into shape for the handles. | It's amazing how people tend to fill in the missing details... "Where did | you find the lawn mowers?" was a common question upon their first glance. | | dlm |
Yeah, I'm probably going to have to do some scratch building and casting because populating a marina -- even a small one -- with commercial kits at even \$14 each gets too darned expensive. I figure I can carve a few boats out of basswood blocks and cast them and then scratch a few motors out of some combination of Sculpey, wood, metal, and plastic. Norm
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On Thu, 21 Dec 2006 13:53:13 GMT, Norm Dresner wrote:

I think for that era you'll have to build your own out of plastic sheet and rod (gas tank and motor, brass sheet (the prop), tube or wire (drive shaft).
Check out the antique outboard club site for ideas: http://www.aomci.org /
The OMC Elto Seamaster on Skip Hagerman's site Motors page looks easy to model: http://www.infoblvd.net/sah/Motors.html (scroll down right side list to second motor above the Yamato)
--
Steve

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Steve Caple wrote:

That aomci site is a great resource!
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Woodland Scenics has a new car, trailer, boat and motor called "To the lake," Item AS5544. It is pictured in the Jan 07 MR at page 32.
g.
wrote:

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snipped-for-privacy@tds.net wrote:

That one seems similar (from looking at the Woodland Scenics 'Coming Soon') webpage, to the JL Innovative ones I posted, which I guess the OP was not interested in. And the reason may be (besides cost), that, looking at the antique outboard motor site that Steve Maple posted, it looks as if outboard motors pre-WWII did NOT have the nice sleek cowling that we associate with outboards today, but instead seem more to be a flatten motorcycle engine type with a prominent air-cleaner mounted on top (albiet I doubt if they were as chromed as the restored ones on that website). Since Raymond Lowery redesigned everything from the '30s to the '70s (well, almost everything - the other designers just copied his style everywhere else), and since we know that outboards would eventually have some sort of 'sleek' cowling for practically every model offered, the only question is when did that style finally predominate? Model Railroading is one of the few hobbies where you must be a industrial design historian over many eras :P
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Sir Ray spake thus:

Which argues in favor of Steve (Caple)'s suggestion of scratchbuilding, since the older ones were more "engine-y" looking and can be simulated with rectangular and round bits and pieces.
--
Just as McDonald's is where you go when you're hungry but don't really
care about the quality of your food, Wikipedia is where you go when
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David Nebenzahl wrote:

Which is what I think the OP will do - albiet, if he was really smart, since he indicated that he needed quite a few motors, make one really nice outboard motor master using styrene/rod/whatever, then read up on Silicon Rubber molding - an ongoing topic on the 'Model Railroader' General Discussion forum (although this has been covered on many other forums and websites too - just google) - and get casting; the contributors to the thread made some excellant looking vehicles using clear(ish) Envirotex (yep, the material used to mimic water on layouts and dioramas) as the casting medium, among other casting agents such as Durham water putty and so on. Maybe the materials will cost him 20 bucks or so, but churning out 20 or more motor models may well make it worth it (and he could then move on to casting the boats and so on). I know I have some model details and vehicles that I want to take a turn at casting using Envirotex soon...
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Sir Ray wrote:

Which, now that I re-read Norm's post on 22 Dec, is exactly what's he gonna do anyway. Well, post some pictures if the outboards turn out looking good...
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Maybe I'm off base here because my experience with outboard motors is limited to what I remember my neighbor's looking like about 35 years ago, but wouldn't they only be about half an inch long in HO scale? Even a larger propellor would be pretty small as well. I still stick to my original thoughts about a few styrene scraps for the motor, a wire for the shaft and a disk for the propellor (which may or may not be visible). Let the eye & brain fill in the missing details. In all but the most unusual cases, an observer will see them and think, "Hmmm... outboard motors on those boats in the harbor," then move on. I'd invest my time in things like trackwork to ensure quality performance.
Rambling done...
dlm
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Well, now we enter in the great 'Foreground/Background/Good Enough' debate, which as you can image is almost religious in nature, but: Right up close at the edge of a layout (foreground), especially a chest or higher-level area, where the viewer's eyes are close to the models, you need rather detailed, good looking models - a piece of rod and square of styrene as a outboard motor is no way going to cut it - looks cheap and toylike, and ruins the illusion. This, BTW, applies to layout photography also - even worse, as the camera seems to accentuate the blemishs, errors, and inconsistancies (this part may be psychological, or just bad lighting :p) Further back, where the eye's focus isn't so sharp, now you have the mind filling in the details and 'representations' working fairly well (a marina maybe a meter or so away, yeah, simple shapes representating an outboard works - much like representating a forest on a hillside using teased out clumps of scenicing - crappy up close, OK further away). This is were you can also use underscale items as 'Forced perspective', and get away with it. Good enough applies to items which cross between the two extremes (meaning here locomtives and rolling stock), which you detail to a certain point so that it looks realistic, but cut enough corners so that you can actually get enough cars together to model a train in your lifetime - yeah, you may miss rivets here, or brake valves here, or whatever; Not a contest winner but it looks fine running). Trust me, if something looks bad up close in the foreground, the viewer's mind won't be filling in details, it will be screaming toy! crap! fake!
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On 29 Dec 2006 09:30:30 -0800, Sir Ray wrote:

Careful now, it ain't PC to talk that way around Lionel fans and their missile shooting Army cars.
--
Steve

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Steve Caple wrote:

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| Maybe I'm off base here because my experience with outboard motors is | limited to what I remember my neighbor's looking like about 35 years ago, | but wouldn't they only be about half an inch long in HO scale? Even a | larger propellor would be pretty small as well. I still stick to my | original thoughts about a few styrene scraps for the motor, a wire for the | shaft and a disk for the propellor (which may or may not be visible). Let | the eye & brain fill in the missing details. In all but the most unusual | cases, an observer will see them and think, "Hmmm... outboard motors on | those boats in the harbor," then move on. I'd invest my time in things like | trackwork to ensure quality performance. | | Rambling done... | | dlm |
Dan. Let me remind you that Baskin & Robins makes, what is it, 28 flavors a month?
That said, I'll just inject, as the OP, that my interest is in modeling, not in operating, and consequently I build static dioramas ranging from 1'x2' to (currently in progress) 3'x4'. In these models, everything is foreground and while I obviously have to make many compromises, I'm simply striving for as much realistic detail as possible in every aspect of the scene.
That said, I heartily agree with you that an HO-scale outboard motor is quite small, maybe 3/32" x 1/8" x 3/8" overall. Rather than "scraps of plastic", I'll probably sculpt something out of Sculpey for the body, maybe carve a piece of plastic for the vertical "shaft", and bend a scrap of brass for the propeller. If I decide I want a few of them, I'll probably make a rubber mold and cast them with resin. To be sure, the extent of the detail on the motor isn't great and scale, color and shape are more important than precision details. But it's going to take on the order of an hour to do the first one and I may not even like it enough to keep it. Probably the equivalent of an evening will be taken up in creating the motor(s) I need. But then for a diorama where everything is easily within the viewer's range of study I feel it's definitely worth it.
And, long ago, I did contemplate actually building a layout in a 12'x15' room in the basement. That was in 1972 and it's likely that I might be finishing it up sometime before I die, but probably not soon. And certainly the quality of the trackwork would have been paramount there. But not in a harbor diorama.
Norm