Wednesday, 19 February 2014

The Alternative Evolution - Part 5

Tipper Truck

Yes, it's a truck. I don't only have to build washing machines and supermarket trolleys! I really liked the look of this one, strange as it might seem, I quite like trucks...

Not bad looking - but not great!
On opening the packaging I was now used to seeing loose parts, in plastic bags rattling around in the box. A quick inspection of the contents revealed the now familiar selection of ¼ inch hole spacing, narrow strips and brackets. There are also a couple of new ¼ inch hole spacing, angle girders - now they look useful.  More new wheels and tyres. My first thoughts are these will be useful somewhere else - my second thought was, by this time next year we will probably be up to our eyeballs in them! His Nibs has been messing around mounting them on bossed parts - but that is a story for another post.

Now I have familiarised with the contents of the box, the next job is to compare the supplied instructions with the download instructions for the alternative model. The same problem of definition is apparent in the printed edition in that all the dark areas just merge into one amorphous mass of blackness. Tilting the page to the light helps a bit but it is not very clear. We have spoken to the new owners of Meccano who are very aware of this problem and have promised to look at it with some urgency. In the meantime it is easier to look at the download instructions on the screen. Blowing the image up to 200% helps but it does mean a lot of scrolling even though I am looking at them on a reasonably large desktop monitor.

The tipper... Tipping

Now to the build...

This model is built following the printed instructions as far as stage 39. So it was off to the kitchen with my tray of parts and a hand full of tools. I can build here , watch the telly and avoid the 'helpful' advice from you-know-who. The first part of the build was problem free but as it progressed a few niggly errors in the instructions started to creep in. At stage 45, instructions are given to fix the orange plate requiring two nuts and bolts when only one of each is required. At stage 56, I altered the fitting of the bracket that hold the wind deflectors in place by moving it up one hole from that shown in the instructions. This enables the other parts of the cab to fit together better. At stage 75, the 32mm tri-axle was too short so I had to replace it with a longer one. Apart from these few errors the model made up easily and, as far as this series is concerned, the build was relatively painless. 

Chassis detail
Overall the truck looks 'alright' but the tipper body is far too skeletal to be realistic. I may have a go at building a more realistic body at some point. 

From above the skeletal body lets it down
Worm and pinion are not held firm
Looking at the play value I think the potential is high but in reality the construction is far too flimsy, the steering is way too reactive with little control, the lifting mechanism does not stay in mesh. All these things can be sorted with a bit of thought and a few additional parts so if I do get around to building a new body I might well spend a bit of time rectifying some of the other 'wrongs'.


Previous parts of this story:

Part 4 of Alternative Evolution can be found HERE
Part 3 of Alternative Evolution can be found HERE
Part 2 of Alternative Evolution can be found HERE
Part 1 of Alternative Evolution can be found HERE

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