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Doc's 8½ Erector Walking Beam Engine

Hi folks, Doc here. As I wrote in my feature "Evolution of an Erector Model: The Walking Beam Engine," (you can read it here), I suspect that each of us has a favorite Erector model, or at least a favorite model type. Gilbert himself must have, because there are a number of models which show up again and again in different incarnations throughout Erector history, one of which is the Walking Beam Engine (WBE). My own favorites were always the big, industrial type designs like the WBE, Giant Power Plant, etc. These models look great and typically feature plenty of great action. The WBE appeared in may forms through the years, and in the 1950s Erector manuals began to feature a new large format WBE model; that version is the subject of this pictorial. Like its also large 1930s counterpart, it had an attractive, elegant, and symmetrical design. However, it put a new spin on things by featuring a twin-walking beam/single flywheel configuration rather than the single-beam/double flywheel configuration of the earlier version. It also went back to the beginning of Erector WBEs by borrowing the large flywheel design of the original 1920s "spinning wheel" design. It is also one of the largest models in the manual, measuring 34" h x 28" long. I made a few modifications and enhancements to the original drawing in the manual, and that single drawing meant that some experimentation was needed to get everything to fit and move properly. This version is a close second on my list of best WBEs. It was a fun model to build, runs smoothly, and has great action, making it an impressive display piece when completed.