Friday, 6 June 2014

Modern Rocket!

Modern Meccano is often regarded as being second rate, somehow inferior to the real stuff. The dream of being able to buy Meccano like we did in our youth, and for Meccano to go back to producing sets in our favoured colours scheme, is never going to happen. Even if Meccano started selling those old sets how many of us would actually buy it? A few maybe but not enough to keep a multimillion pound business going.  And we all know the kids of today are just not that interested in building huge collections of parts to build things from. 

The latest ten model Multimodel set
Meccano's current selection of sets do have lots of parts that we recognise as well as parts that are new to the system. Building within the system takes a bit of readjustment from what we are used to. No brass parts - or very few. No plates or long parts. The latest models are skeletal, small or both. Although we champion the new multimodel sets, the latest 10 model set being one of the best yet, Meccano need to encourage the follow on. The small Eiffel Tower set contains lots of strips, nuts and bolts as well as a few flanged plates. This set is really just a collection of useful parts with none of the stuff we don't need - It has no wheels! This set can pair with any of the multimodel sets to expand the selection of parts available. See my blog post over on the Community Meccano site HERE.

Rocket and tender
It is possible to build bigger and better models if all you have is modern Meccano. There are still a lot of parts familiar to us oldies in the current supply of sets. To this end I decided to have a go at limiting myself to just currently available sets as the supply of parts. There are some compromises and I do not claim this to be perfect scale model, but more of a Meccano interpretation.

Crank assembly
The boiler is made from strips bolted around formed 5½ inch strips, Even if the builder can not form parts to this degree, the modern 'memory' strips could be used instead. The first and only real problem was how to represent the cylinder, con-rods and crank pin without any brass. Further more I only wanted a ¼ inch throw. A 1 inch, 3-hole narrow strip saved the day. I could probably add more detail given time to think about it but I think it has enough detail for anyone to recognise it. The rest of the model is straightforward construction as can be seen in the pictures.

It is possible to build a reasonable model (Well I think it is) from only the currently available stock.



  1. Very interesting idea Ralph, how about using the same method to build some 1950's set 3 or 4 models?

  2. Now there's a thought - off you go! Send me the pictures and I will post them here - lets see what can be achieved. I am building some other models under the same parts restriction...

  3. This is a really nice little model Ralph, its so good that one would imagine that Sue had a hand in it ☺ It is immediately recognisable for what it is. I like the clever way that you have secured the chimney stack to the front of the loco (smokebox? Does it have a smokebox?) and the clever use of the 3 hole strip for the crank (I don't think I have any of those). I wonder if I could build a clock from the modern era stuff?

  4. Sorry to dispel your theory, Roger, but it is all his own handy work, some discussion about parts and scale was all I contributed.I have been busy building a couple of models from new Multimodels 3555 set. Ralph has disappeared after Mike Dennis' (Planet Thanet) input on the Spanner list, and is busy altering the chimney top and shooting some pictures as I write this.

  5. Shame - Lord Ralph hasn't updated the photo yet - It's been weeks :-)


    1. Oh yes I did Mr Guessoogotitwrong!

      It is here:

      Ralph :-)