Friday, 16 January 2015

New model, new tools!

Now that's a surprise
A knock at the door this morning produced a bit of a surprise. The box was expected and the 37 meters of tape printed with the Meccano logo might have given the game away. We were expecting to receive the new three model set but what we were not expecting was something new. No, not new parts, although this set does include some of the parts that until now have only been included in the Evolution sets – new tools! More on these later…

First for 2015
The model is the first new release of the year and it heralds a new dictate as far as the models are concerned. Not every model uses all (or most) of the parts. Looking at the box, this set has instructions for building the box art model, a rescue fire truck, and two others; a helicopter and an air-boat.

Just a snippet of the new instructions - much better!
The new and improved instructions are a real treat making the building of the models much easier. The first thing that stood out for me was the fact that I can see all the detail in the black areas. Meccano have improved the way the darker graphics are produced but outlining and drawing in the detail in a much lighter shade. This alone is a massive improvement over the recent instruction manuals and makes the models a pleasure to build without having to second guess where things go. Closer inspection reveals that the orientation of the stages of construction is restrained to static positioning wherever possible. Where the image is rotated, clear arrows show the orientation. The random orientation of the diagrams has gone, the new instructions are much easier to follow.

Rescue Fire Truck
Having received the models just as we were heading out the door to go over to set up our stand at the London Model Engineering Exhibition at Ally Pally (Sorry, I should really say Alexandra Palace), we have only had time to build the models in the instructions tonight. I told Ralph to go an make the fire engine – all boys like fire engines! In fact I can think of one who has built lots of them… That aside, Ralph said it was straight forward and went together well. He also mentioned that it has round axles that actually fit through the holes of the painted parts.

I had no trouble getting the push-fit wheels or as Ralph said getting the axles through the holes in the painted parts. As you know, if you have read any of my other reviews, I hate the over thick paint that has been applied to some of the parts in the past. Meccano’s new owners do seem to have tried to address some of the things that we (all of us enthusiasts) have been complaining about for a long time now.


Now, I know my other half likes new tools – he’s got a workshop full of them – but I must admit I like these! This small set has two of the new range of tools included. A completely redesigned new spanner and a ‘T’ bar mini-wrench. On first use we think these are both very well thought out and are easy to use.

The new spanner is cranked and offset
The new 'T' bar may be small but it is very nice to use
More on this set next week once we have had a chance to consider it further and we may well make a few new models from the parts. Over the next few days we will be at the London Model Engineering Exhibition and if you are in the area come and see us there where you will be able to see the new set and the tools first hand.   

The set has a suggested retail price of £9.99 and will be available at Argos Stores from Saturday 17th January 2015. It should start appearing in the other shops soon after.



  1. Will it be possible to purchase the new design tools separately

    1. Not as far as I know. But they will be included in every new set, so It will not be long before we will all have more than we know what to do with. I suspect the dealers and auction sites will be offering them before too long...


  2. This new set does not have a parts list which makes it difficult to work out if everything is present. Is this a new trend or just an oversight? I just bought two sets for £15 from Argos. Good value for money and the new spanners are great.

    1. Interesting point. I noticed that too and I am not sure what the answer is. Some of the older small set instructions did not have parts lists either...


  3. I noticed your comment on axles easily going through painted holes and began to wonder - then I measured the axle diameters and they measure 4.0mm, not the Meccano diameter of 4.064 (0.160").

    1. The axles seem to be similar in diameter to those included in recent sets. My reference was not to the axles but to the fact that the paint thickness was much more uniform and not flooding into the holes, making them a tight fit, as has sometimes been the case in the past.