The Reading Society of Model Engineers is a club for people who have an interest in accurate or working models of full size machines. These are models that are often constructed using techniques and materials that are similar to the full size machine and involving the use of metals and machine tools.
The construction of model steam locomotives is one of the mainstream activities of model engineers. However, the hobby is not limited to railways and also includes the construction of model internal or external combustion engines, clocks, automobiles, aeroplanes, boats, gas turbines and workshop tooling. Many of these models require a wide variety of engineering skills and part of the satisfaction is learning new skills along the way.
Some large and complex models could have 100s of components and require 1000s of hours to complete, which is a daunting prospect for anyone considering taking up model engineering. However, these models will invariably have been built by someone who started off building a simple beginners stationary engine, often with limited workshop facilities. Many model engineers are self taught and anyone with a willingness to learn can acquire the necessary skills.
As well as learning the skills, many model engineers enjoy the process of collecting or making the tools for their workshop. Building and equipping the workshop is just as much an output as building the models and some engineers have shops that can make almost anything. It is not actually necessary to have all these tools, as demonstrated by model engineers 100 years ago who made working steam locomotives with limited and crude equipment.
RSME welcomes anyone with an interest in model engineering, regardless of skills and experience. Members of RSME can benefit from the knowledge of fellow members and receive advice on setting up a workshop and engineering techniques.
RSME has members who own and maintain models of working steam locomotives, whilst others are building models from kits or machining stock metal and castings to build their model. Our most experienced members will design and build their models, preparing engineering drawings, patterns for casting and even their own foundry work.