18 March 2009
David Pullen looks at the model combines produced in the UK by John Leathers of Chestnut Miniatures. ...
John Leathers has what may be described as a keen interest in combines. He has a collection of nine vintage combines which he regularly uses at harvest. These include an Allis Chalmers Model A, a Claas Giant Matador, a Clayton M103, a John Deere 630, a Massey Ferguson 892, two Massey Ferguson 780 Specials and two Massey Ferguson 510s. Plus a collection of model combines.
It was the shortage of models of combines from the 1970s for his model collection that decided him to make and market his own range. Modelled on combines John owns or has owned, all the models are produced in 1/32 scale and hand-built from resin, white metal and brass etched parts.
The Allis-Chalmers Gleaner Model A was the first model released. It is based on the combine produced in Stamford, Lincolnshire in 1963. With the engine mounted behind the grain tank, out of the dust, the combine was ahead of its time. It also, unlike other combines, had the threshing drum positioned just behind the table.
John’s model, supplied with a copy of the original literature, is the diesel-powered version with 10foot-wide table.
The Massey Ferguson 510 combine followed in 2003. This model is based on the 1968 production combine when the quick-attach table first became available. The model comes with the trailer to carry the table, the driver and information about the original combine.
The next model developed was the Massey Ferguson 780S. Produced in Scotland this combine had longer straw walkers for use in European conditions than the earlier Massey Harris 780 – this been based on the Canadian Massey Harris No 80 combine from the mid-1950s.
Massey Ferguson 780S combines with
either bagging platform or bulk grain tank
Based on an end-of-production combine produced in 1962, the model is available with either a bagger platform or bulk tank. The bagger version comes with an extra man for bagging the grain. Production is limited to 250 models for each version.
A 1965 Clayson M103 is the latest model in the range. It has a 12ft detachable table with transport trailer. This model has been popular with collectors in mainland Europe as the real combine had been made in Belgium.
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