Steampunk Steals Matchstick Record

There’s a new world record holder for the largest wooden matchstick model. And it goes to Plane Loco, a flying train engine designed by Pat Acton. It was described by tickld as unlikely for two reasons, one being that it was steampunk and the second because “so ridiculously massive and intricately designed.” The piece took over a year to build, and is made out of more than 1 million matchsticks. And just to prove that steampunks rock the impossible, it even has moving parts. Pretty much the only thing this engine doesn’t do is actually fly.

Flying Loco Web

The design is reportedly loosely based on based loosely a 2-6-0 steam locomotive from the early 1900s and Leonardo da Vinci’s wing design from the 1500s. It measures 22 feet long, 13 feet wide and 9 feet high. It is slated to go on display at Ripley’s Believe it or Not Time’s Square Emporium. Visitors can sit in a matchstick cabin, on matchstick seats, and “drive” the train using the moving matchstick throttle and brakes.


Acton has been gluing matchsticks together for 36 years. Many are on display in the Matchstick Marvel Museum in Gladbrook, Iowa. He’s used over four million matchsticks to create models of everything from the International Space Station to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.  You can read more about Pat Acton and his matchstick creations here.

Katie Lynn Daniels is the author of Supervillain of the Day, and the mastermind behind Vaguely Circular. She blogs about science and things that are peripherally related to science. You can read all her posts here.



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