Friday, 16 December 2016

Clockwork Truck

Click on any of the photographs to enlarge!

At the Hainault Hangout, the premier Meccano show in east London, my other half spends his entire day extracting money out of people for raffle tickets and competition entries. One of the competitions is to guess the weight and number of parts in a small model. It usually falls upon me to build the model and this year was no exception. I was looking through some old manuals for inspiration and found a rather awful looking van that looks as if it could be replicated and improved using strips instead of plates in our usual fashion. The Delivery Van was published as Plan 4.11 from a 1973, 2/3/4 manual. My initial intention was soon dismissed as I started to build the chassis. It has been said that the models contained in manuals of this period left a lot to be desired. They were not wrong. The chassis is the only part of the original model to be retained as I needed something to build on.
I set about building the rear body from 5½ inch strips and angle girders wrapped around 4½ inch squares built from 4½ inch angle girders. For some reason we seem to be very low on supply of these. We have angle girders in very respectable quantities of most other lengths. I must keep my eye open for any at the shows… Yes, I know his nibs is saying we have enough Meccano but there are exceptions. Besides I noticed the postman arrive with a box of Meccano that Ralph had won on eBay. What’s good for the gander… The rear of the body was fitted with a single opening door and a handle made from one end of a de-constructed shock absorber.  
As I was building the body I was aware the weight was starting to add up and it occurred to me that the little magic motor might struggle to cope. I was not too bothered as this was more about building a model for the competition, besides I have a very nice No.2 clockwork motor I bought a few years ago at SkegEx that I could shoehorn Under the ‘bonnet’ so to speak. Mind you that might be like dropping a big block V8 under the bonnet of my sedate Volvo estate – fun though!
I was looking at the cab details in the original instructions and decided that I would have a go at making my own. Then it came to me that we have a pile of those Multi-Set cabs. Ralph said I probably should not tell you I woke up in the middle of the night when the idea came to me. I can’t understand why. The cab is just about right and saved me messing about building one for myself. It fitted with a prototypical gap between it and the body that was an ideal location for the spare wheel. 
The model was finished off with a magnetic ‘Meccano’ badge on the front of the box-back and a hazard sticker on the back accompanied by a set of rear lights from modern Evolution Parts.


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