Gilson Reicke 1/16th Scale Cub Miniatures

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Gilson Reicke 1/16th Scale Cub Miniatures

Postby Rudi » Sun Mar 16, 2008 8:36 am

I first heard of Gilson Reicke right here on, it came up in conversations about the detail in some of the Cub Toys produced by ERTL and others. Then Dave "Dirt Devil" Wiles sent me some info and pics of his acquistions :!:

So, what research I have turned up I thank Dave for the good tips, and I shall footnote appropriately for the quotes on the Gilson Reicke Cubs from other articles on the net.

Again, Farm Collector has some interesting articles, and Santa's Elves, is no exception. The Gilson section is quoted below.

Bill Vossler wrote:Scratch-built farm toys often begin as labors of love, created in a rush of playful fun, according to Gilson Riecke, Ev Weber and Terry Rouch.

Gilson, of Ruthven, Iowa, says, “That's why I build tractors. So I can have fun.”

Bill Vossler wrote:Gilson Riecke

Each scratch-builder began creating for different reasons, uses different materials and works differently to make his little masterpieces. Gilson Riecke became interested after he had made six patterns for tractors for the late Lyle Dingman, one of the farm toy hobby's earliest scratch-builders.

“That got me intrigued,” Gilson says, “and after that, I decided I wanted to try building tractors on my own.” His first was a Farmall Cub. “I built that one for myself. I made the Cub because no one else had made one, and I had a full-size one of my own.”

He followed that with a wide variety of tractors over the years: John Deere A, B, G, LA, M, MT, International Harvester F-12, F-14, 400, 450, Massey-Harris 44, Oliver 88, Minneapolis-Moline Jetstar, Allis-Chalmers WD-45, as well as a John Deere baler, corn sheller, farm engine, plow, Lindeman crawler, IH corn picker, farm engine, hay mower, 1-, 2- and 3-bottom plows, T-6 crawler, and various farm items, like grease guns, oil cans, cream separators, pump jacks and pumps, as well as others.

Though all of Gilson's toys are essentially masterpieces, many people consider his Farmall F-20 the best. “When I got out of high school I was a mechanic for IH and I worked on a lot of F-20s, so it was a tractor I knew very well,” he recalls. “My dad had an F-20 on the farm, too. Those added up to reasons why I chose to make it.”

He said he wanted his F-20 to look real, and “real” meant extensive detail. That meant returning numerous times to the real F-20 until he'd gotten all the measurements, then scaling them down for the F-20 model. “The F-20 toy tractor is made up of 67 pieces,” he says. “For example, two of them are the seat and bracket. They're made of aluminum. The seat is separate and is riveted. Every piece you can see, we make. If it doesn't have bolts and burrs, it doesn't look real to me. Plus it's hard, and I like a challenge.”

The F-20 is representative of all of Gilson's work, but like each toy, it had specific needs to get it built. The wheel hub taper had to be altered, and the angle of the spark plugs had to be changed from the real tractors in order to make dies that would work. Spark plug wires—made of thin electrical wire—are stuck into miniature holes drilled in the block.

Some tractor engines can be done with a single cast, but not the F-20, which had to be split. “I wanted to be able to see the rail on the side, and the open pocket by the fan,” Gilson says, “which couldn't be accomplished unless the casting was split.” Without these little touches, he says, the tractor just didn't seem real enough to him. All his farm toy work is done in 1/16th scale.

Gilson doesn't like to make too many of any one project. “We could make more of any of them if we wanted, but we aren't trying for numbers. Plus I want it to remain fun.”

    Gilson Reicke:

    Farmall Cub


    1947-1954 Cub with Cub-22 Sickle Mower


    1950 Farmall Cub Demonstrator


    1954-1956 Cub with Cub-22 Sickle Mower


    1963-1968 Lo-Boy With 3 Blade Mower


    1976-1978 Red Square Nosed Cub


    1976-1978 Yellow and White Square Nose with 3 Blade Mower

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