We welcome new member Eric Pentecost who retired to the far South West of Cornwall in 2005. He says:
I have been collecting Meccano for the past 30 years and have quite collection of old and new in various states of finish.
Just recently I have been refurbishing, mainly stripping the old scratched and rusty bits down to the bare metal and now looking at protecting it with different finishes. The only problem with living here is the atmosphere; it is very salty so surface rust moves in fairly quickly.
During the “Lockdown” I thought that I would take on some serious modelling so I wanted to find a structure that hadn’t been modelled before. I found this old Block- Setting Titan Crane, designed by Stothert and Pitt of Bath, for Table Bay in New Zealand.
And these two pictures are all I have to work on. I have searched the Net far and wide and the only other source that I have found - to my sort of disappointment - is that a chap from the NZ Meccano Club produced a model a while ago.
It is quite a strange looking crane and has been very challenging to model so having some engineering background helps.
Here are a few pictures of the progress so far.
As you can see it is in its very early stages of modelling and I am by no means a perfectionist. I just enjoy the engineering challenge.
When I get what you call an 'Artist’s Block’ (painting is another of my activities) it gives my mind something totally different to think about.
I seem to have been quite tardy in my Meccano development since last time. However, the mark 2 windmill is progressing well, see photo, and the mark 1 windmill no longer exists but my storage boxes are full.
The Austin K2 is now self-propelled and research of the Jumbo Crane is progressing.
I am part way through a new model which isn't ready for 'showing' just yet. But if I do join in I can discuss my Fishguard Blocksetter. As well as this video there are photos of the Blocksetter on My page.
I have not been doing much Meccano lately, so this model is still very much under construction. It is a Linde Side Loader built from a 1970's Meccano Set 10. I am building it from a model plan and it is a one tenth full size model based on a real vehicle.
I also have a short video of a Big Wheel shop display model.
I was very impressed by the Konkoly Willesco steam engine that Martin Arnold built but not particularly enamored by the gearbox which was not Martin's fault but the design which relied on spur gears rather than all pinions. At the last Skegex, I had seen this model converted to a twin cylinder design and having found the pictures I took at the time, managed to work out how the twin cylinder layout worked. I didn't particularly like the design of the chimney and altered that to an octagonal shape but I kept the steam pipes as per the Skegex model which I thought really added realism. I also added a steam regulator valve which regulates the amount of steam entering the cylinders and therefore how fast the engine runs. Overall this is a lovely model to build, not being too difficult but with just the right number of challenges to make it interesting after a hard day in the garden.
Work on the Penny Falls coin pusher continues, albeit slowly due to other things that have needed attention. The vertical rear panel has been started and has been made to be completely smooth surfaced for the coins to slide over. It is set with a slight incline to keep the coins in contact with the surface for reasons which will become clear later.
These gaps are for a mechanism, and necessitate the remaining space between the yellow plates to be filled in without fasteners protruding. This can be seen in the photo.
The panel itself is a removable module held in place at the bottom by two vertical rods over which the panel fits. The collars on the rods hold the bottom rail just clear of the reciprocating table.
The side panels which keep the coins on the table are now in place. The top edges slope down to allow for a clear cover to be installed later which will probably have to be Perspex.
I have also been sorting through my latest acquisition which comprises a 1930's Set 10 and a Dealer's Cabinet with a fair amount of original boxed spares. Nearly all the spares' boxes had been opened but the contents were still there. Not very usefully, this included seven mint condition 6" pulleys still wrapped up in their brown paper. I will be selling this Dealers Cabinet on (less contents) as soon as possible.
The Set 10 contents are in reasonable condition, given their age, with some restoration needed. The box itself still has the original key and lid chains, but had a woodworm problem. I have now cured this with the help of Rentokil from Amazon. It now looks authentically aged! I will also be selling on the Set 10 empty box as soon as possible.
Lastly, the purchase included the late owner's traction engine which came 2nd in an International competition as seen in Meccano Magazine July 1965. I committed to restore this much loved model and send a photo to the late owner's daughter (next year).