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Scale Model Sprayer Really Works
Nathan Rowings can not only take his 1/10- scale model Apache AS710 sprayer for a drive, he can spray with it, too. The remote control sprayer comes complete with a water pump and a 10-oz. water tank.
    “I was spraying one day and thought it would be cool to make a miniature,” says Rowings, who grew up making models and later remote-controlled cars. “The scale, which is actually 0.10666, was determined by the wheels I could find. I built from that scale.”
    The model measures 30 in. front to back with booms that span 7 1/2 ft. Many of the components were purchased and then refabricated by Rowings. While some weren’t exactly to scale, he got as close as he could. Part way through the project he purchased a benchtop lathe and mill and refabricated parts to size.
    “You can’t get really small bearings, so I used the smallest I could find and hid them,” explains Rowings. “Finding hydraulic cylinders that could handle the pressure was difficult. A guy in Canada custom makes them for model airplane landing gears, and he made them for me.”
    Hydraulic pumps and outlets (1/14-scale) with servos came from Germany where they are used on remote control scale model excavators and bulldozers. The sectional boom foldout required 8 outlets and steering required a ninth.
    The hydraulic system is hidden inside the sprayer’s water tank. The water pump is hidden under the operator platform behind the steps. On the other side, the sprayer’s fuel tank, which came from a model airplane, holds the water for the sprayer.
    “The differential and drive system were one of the biggest challenges,” says Rowings. “I started with a 2 by 2-in. block and ended up with cylinder. It’s a working differential with ring and pinion, driveshaft from the front and shafts to each side, down to the wheels.”
    The differential alone took about 15 hrs. of work, including several hours of math to get the ratios and sizes just right.
    Rowings says the biggest challenge was fabricating the cab with its hinged doors and clear windows. The plastic had to be heated just right to get the correct shape and curvature for the windows and other rounded pieces. The hinges came from a dollhouse door.
    “I had to solder the hinges on so the door could move,” says Rowings. “You can open the door, and the cab is just big enough to reach into it. You can see the monitor on the console through the windows. I took a picture of the real one with my phone and scaled it down.”
    The “sheet metal” hood was made in two pieces from white plastic. The sides and front are one piece, and the top is another. The two were glued together and sanded to shape.
    Working electronics include headlights, flashers and field lights, as well as pumps, drive and even engine sound. The sounds are so realistic that they increase with ground speed.
    “The LED lights have resistors to get the appropriate brightness,” says Rowings. “The remote control unit requires several panels for all the different functions.”
    Many of the parts, such as the hydraulics, electronics and the sound system, were acquired from Ric Murphy, Garden Trucking.
    “The Germans have scale modeling down,” says Rowings. “Ric is a distributor for German RC excavators and other equipment.”
    Rowings estimates he has spent perhaps 500 hrs. on the sprayer over the past 4 years. However, that doesn’t include time spent scouring the internet for parts and pieces.
    “I would work on it, and then it might sit for a month or two,” says Rowings. “Apache knew I was working on it. They sent me a software file for the decal. I scaled it down, printed it and coated it. Other components were sourced from all over. Doing something like this from scratch, you have to think outside the box.”
    Check out Rowings’ scale model Apache sprayer in action at farmshow.com.
    Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Nathan Rowings, 3443 S. 900 W., 
 Brazil, Ind. 47834 (rowingsfarms@yahoo.com) or Ric Murphy,
 155 W. 7th Place, 
Mesa, Arizona 85201 
(ph 480 655-7950; GardenTrucking@yahoo.com; www.gardentrucking.com)

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2014 - Volume #38, Issue #1