Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Here we go again!

On the road again - heading East...
There I was, minding my own business, when an e-mail arrived offering us a dealer's display model model of a traction engine. At first I thought we were being offered the usual standard size version on a par with our windmill. Then it dawned on me, this is the much bigger version, intended for display in the larger retailers. Built in the Meccano model room, these are not as common as its little brother. After a short negotiation, a deal was struck and we were on another road trip, this time to sunny Ipswitch! An early start got us through the Dartford Tunnel and into Ipswich by 8am. after finding it a nightmare to park anywhere nearby we ended up having carry a rather large model through the streets of Ipswich to some puzzled onlookers!

My! That's a lot bigger than it looked in the photograph!

Click on the picture to enlarge
It is going to need a bit of attention before we can take it to a show. but it is all there, just a bit grubby and neglected. It will need a good clean and a spot or rewiring. I suspect Sue will be raiding the dealer's stands at The Henley Gathering for some more light bulbs. The Motor and gearbox will have to be removed and serviced. It is making some strange noises when it is powered up at the moment. It did come with a type-written description (click on the picture to enlarge) which gives some background. So popular was the model, after many requests, building instructions were published in Meccano Magazine in the November and December 1969 issues. One of these models also featured on the cover of an earlier edition of the magazine. We are looking forward to getting this one back to display condition.


Three days in Ironbridge... Meccanuity 2013

John Molden's Eurostar big wheel
Back in May, Sue and I attended Meccanuity 13 in Ironbridge, Shropshire. The event is run by the Telford and Ironbridge Meccano Society  (TIMS) and held in Enginuity, one of the Ironbridge museums.The three day event takes place over the first Bank Holiday weekend in May.

Now that bit goes there and...
Each year, the club sets a theme and this year the chosen subject was railway breakdown cranes. Sue and I did not get around to building model this year as time has been at a premium, especially at the beginning of the year. Our display consisted of a selection of a selection of Meccano-built steam toys, Sue's mini motorbike and our newly acquired modern display model motorbike.  Tony Wakefield's model of the iconic Mini is packed with detail and built using immaculate red and green Meccano.

Beautifully detailed Mini
Staying with the unusual, and slightly off topic (It's not Meccano!), this splendid model of an American car is based on a late 1970's Lincoin Mark V. A truly iconic car from the opposite end of the spectrum from the Mini. Large, angular and vulgar, it has a charm that typifies the mood of the late '70s and reminds me of all those imported TV cop dramas we all sat glued to in the days when we only had three or four channels to choose from!

Fancy trying to park that in the supermarket car park!
The show was well attended and as usual the evenings were spent sampling the local restaurants and discussing the world in general. Rather than fill the blog with lots of pictures from the event click HERE to go to the gallery of the event on the NZ Meccano website.


Wednesday, 24 July 2013

A couple of Steam Models

A lot of Meccano stuff has been going on over the past few months. I will be posting some stuff about that over the next few days but for now here are a couple of steam model videos of Steam powered workshop tools. I know the though of powering a single tool like this is unlikely in the real world but the models are demonstrating the first and last of the Meccano built-in engines. I know there were Meccano steam engines before the 1929 engine but they did not have the facility to be built in as these do.

The first short video shows one of our 1929 engines running a genuine Meccano saw blade, mounted on one of the pre-war flanged plates with the slot in it. As a kid, I remember wondering why some of the plates in my rather motley collection had slots in them. I have tried to use pre-war parts as far as possible in building this model. Even the gears in the model feature the early ratio of 2.8:1 being the now obsolete 56t gear and 20t pinion.

The second video show the last steam engine made to be built into Meccano models. This was the Mamod SP3. Mamod reintroduced their own branded version of the engine they were originally making for Meccano. the Mamod engines carry both Meccano and Mamod decals on either side of the fire box. Mamod engines were also fitted with a sight glass and a whistle. The were also painted grey instead of yellow. Here is one running a pillar drill. most of the components are modern Meccano in contrast to the model above.

The next thing I need to do is play with some video editing software. I have also discovered that one of Sue's fancy cameras will shoot HD video...

...I must take a closer look at this video lark. I have always been a still picture man myself but I suppose I had better catch up with the rest of the world and start posting some better looking videos!