Galway man’s farm models keep children – and collectors – happy

From capturing kids’ imaginations to catering for adult collectors, Galway man, Jim Hynes, is kept busy with the creation of his eye-catching farm building models.

A cabinet maker by trade, Hynes – who is based at Ballyglunin Cross, Tuam – got into farm model making after devising a model farm for his grandson Adam’s birthday in 2013.

After he made another for a fundraising effort at Adam’s school, the phone calls started coming in. He did his research, the response was encouraging and the venture, Adam’s Model Farms, took off.

The models, which are devised on a scale of 1:32, are all made from beech, and painted in bright colours in water-based paints. Steel is used for the gates. “Other people do machinery models – I concentrate on the buildings, which I make in lots, covering anything to do with farming.”models

The collection includes: farm yards; cattle sheds; milking parlours and cubicles; shed pens with silage pits and yards; machine sheds with yards; marts; and garages. The mart has been his biggest seller for the past three years. He also does variations of the layouts on tables, which he said are popular for Christmas.

“I have sold models to everyone from three-year-olds up to 75-year-olds. A lot of collectors buy them. One man brought a garage as he had all the Matchbox cars and wanted somewhere to display them.

Farmers have asked me to make replicas of their farmyards, and I’ve also done that for agri businesses.

“I started off using grey as the main colour, but after feedback, mainly from women, I started using brighter colours.

“I get a lot of feedback from attending the model shows around the country, and am always improving and adding to the collection. One element that I included after feedback, was safety at the mart.”

The response from teachers to his creations has been very favourable, according to Hynes. “Some have said they should be in all schools to get across the message of where food comes from.”

He sells his models around the country and in Northern Ireland, with the strongest sales coming from the south. The Limerick model show is particularly busy, he said. As well as selling online and at shows, he also deals with customers from his home.

The next shows he will attend will be at the Tullamore Court Hotel on October 22, and The Hub, Kilkenny, on November 5.

“A lot of children’s eyes light up when they see the models. Parents say it gets them away from screens and back to reality. And of course the adults like them too.”