Miniature Marvels: Celebrating One Man’s Passion for Model Engineering

In an age of 3D scanning and printing Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery is proud to celebrate the art of precision model engineering with a new exhibition, Miniature Marvels.

For over 80 years local engineer Victor Pugh has hand-built his remarkable collection of over 20 working scale replicas. His collection ranges from steam locomotives to stationary engines and fire pumps. The exhibition Miniature Marvels runs to the 15 April 2018.

An image of a miniature red Park Hall Fire Engine built by Victor Pugh that features in the exhibition at Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery, Miniature Marvels.

Park Hall Fire Engine built by Victor Pugh

Emma-Kate Lanyon, curator for Shropshire Museums, said:

“The detail on Vic’s models is astounding.

“However, we are now at a point where model engineering may soon disappear. We are at risk of losing the skills which have been mastered and perfected by model makers like Vic and I hope that the quality of Vic’s work might inspire another generation. At the very least it will showcase the talents and, to quote Vic, “mispent youth” of one man.”

About the creator, Victor Pugh

Victor has always had a passion for engineering and amateur radio. After leaving school in 1935, he attended evening classes is science, engineering, drawing and metalworking.  He went on to follow in his Father’s footsteps and become an apprentice electrician.  However, the outbreak of World War Two paused his studies.

Victor joined the Volunteer Royal Air Force as a Radio Operator, later becoming an Instrument Mechanic.  In 1941 he became a Japanese Prisoner of War and spent the rest of the War forced to build airfields in the jungles of Sumatra.

After the War, Victor completed his studies and began work with the Midland Electricity Board where he eventually became the First Engineer.

An image on Victor Pugh posing proudly with his miniature model of a black Silver Medal Steam engine

Vic with his Silver Model Steam Engine

However, outside Work, Victor miniaturised his engineering skills to produce both Region and National award winning models.  Every one of his models is carefully researched with numerous photographs used to scale down every detail.  In order to produce many of these tiny components, he had to first miniaturise his own tool kit.  Victor painstakingly built tidy lathes and hand tools to produce every part he needed from threaded screws to working pistons.