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He Makes Working Half-Scale Models
Quebec winters provide crop farmer Rejean Michaud the time to build his half-scale models of antique farm equipment. His 23 models built over 23 years is impressive, and fellow modelers appreciate the accurate details of his working replicas.
Michaud started in 1997 when he finished a trailer for farm use. His father suggested they build a half-scale stationary Moody hay baler for fun, and to take to shows. It was a crowd-pleaser and inspired Rejean to build more, using his brother’s machine shop. His antique reproductions include a dozen Massey-Harris tractors and implements, the type of equipment his father used when he started farming.
“The models are 100 percent functional,” says Jean-Luc Michaud, interpreting for his French-speaking father. “Tractors have pulleys and PTO’s, which are used to power other equipment. Visitors love to see them because they work. It reminds them of old memories and starts interesting discussions.”
His father likes them because “it’s fun to do, and they are easier to transport than real ones and take less space in the shed.” Using parts he stockpiles from shopping at scrap yards, yard sales, flea markets and auctions he rarely spends more than $200 on each model.
For example, he purchased gears from a bowling alley pinsetter and used them as bull gears for a Massey-Harris No. 1 Parrett tractor. He doesn’t have CNC, 3D printing or equipment to make cast iron parts. Instead, he fabricates parts with mild steel and sometimes wood and putty, like he used on the Massey-Harris 33 tractor to create its round curves.
The tractor and the Massey-Harris 82 combine with its many parts have been his biggest challenges.
“On the outside, the models are really similar to the original. But on the inside, the mechanisms are sometimes really different in order to accommodate the parts that he has available,” Jean-Luc says. For example, the steam engine tractor is electrically propelled for safety purposes. The Massey-Harris GP 4-wheel drive tractor is equipped with a hydrostatic transmission.
Achieving detail in models that work like regular size equipment takes time. Typically Rejean spends 30 hrs. a week fabricating them from the end of October to the beginning of April, and then paints the models in the summer.
“He loves the ones he can sit on and be able to participate in agricultural events,” Jean-Luc says.
Rejean has plenty of models to choose from including a few Massey-Harris tractors and an Oliver 4WD tractor, a plow, hay loader, seeder, spreader, mower, hay cart and other assorted implements. He also built a half-scale B-12 Bombardier.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Rejean Michaud, Quebec, (jlm@onekawater.com; jean91@live.ca).

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2021 - Volume #45, Issue #4