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Big Roy “Mini” An Exact Replica
When Denis Combot of St. Eustache, Manitoba, heard that Versatile was planning to restore the original Big Roy tractor, he was inspired to build his Mini Big Roy.
    The goal quickly became to park the two finished tractors side by side at the Agricultural Museum in Austin, Manitoba.
    With the help of sons, Curtis, Grant, Chad and Ryan, the work began in earnest using the frame, hydraulic transmission and hydrostatic drive rear end of a Case 222 garden tractor.
     “We needed to be able to get a person inside, but not lose anything, keeping everything to a true scale replica. We achieved this by building it from a 1/32 scale model and using the ratio set by the wheels,” says Curtis Combot.
    The front half of the unit consists of an angle iron frame where pillow blocks mount to support axle shafts. The original 14-hp. Kohler engine was used to run the hydraulics. Steering was handled by a small hydraulic cylinder mounted at the articulation point, operated by a side-mounted joystick inside the enclosed cab. All four rear wheels are driven via sprockets and chains from the rear axle.
    Combot says the entire exterior body of the tractor is custom-built using 3/4-in. plywood instead of metal. Large amounts of primer and filler were used before paint was applied.
    He explains that they contacted Versatile for advice on paint codes to get the red and yellow colors as close as possible to the original.
     “They were happy to help,” Combot says. “They sent us all the paint we needed, perfectly sized decals, and even the pinstripes. They also gave us leftover cab lining and sound dampening rubber from their Big Roy restoration. All they asked was that we bring it over when we finished it to show it off at their plant in Winnipeg.”
    An issue they experienced was confusion over how to complete the planetary hubs, a signature staple of Versatile tractors. For extra detail, they decided on MDF board and stick-on crafted letters to create the mold. From this, they cast a dozen from resin with plywood inserts.
    The Combot’s Mini Big Roy was completed in time to join its larger counterpart at the museum.
     “It’s a running unit, not really a model, but overall, it’s based on original equipment. All of us boys have kids now so it’s harder to make time, but we love to get together and do this kind of thing with our father because we know it’s important to him and for the public to see.”
    Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Denis Combot, St. Eustache, Man., Canada R0H 1H0 (combottractorworks@gmail.com).


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2022 - Volume #46, Issue #2