By Luann Dart
In 2011, a friend of Don Fritz, Clay Center, Kan., received a 1/24 scale S77 Gleaner Super Series Owner's special edition combine. It came with an eight-row corn header and a 22-foot grain header. So, the friend asked Don to scratch-build a model of a 40-foot grain header.
Three years and 912 miniature parts later, Don presented his friend with a scratch-built replica of a 40-foot Gleaner 9250 DynaFlex flex draper header.
The complicated project is only Don's fourth scratch-built project; he has also completed a Gleaner corn header and two grain carts. He has, however, customized many toys.
Now 80 years old, Don retired about nine years ago and started collecting 1/64 scale tractors. His collection now includes about 400 tractors, mostly red or green, with about 30 custom models in the collection.
"I'm a John Deere man; I was raised on John Deere and Caterpillar," Don says.
Don was raised on a Kansas farm. After high school, he joined the U.S. Air Force for four years, where he worked as a mechanic, stationed in northern Japan the last half of his stint. He then left the Air Force and worked in the engineering department of a grain handling equipment company, then as an aircraft sheet metal worker.
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