Chris F has modelled the East Pool Mine winding/pumping house at 1/20 scale. As this was built during Covid times, he mainly used photographs, and a National Trust cardboard model for scale. Many of the moving parts are based on educated guesses as it was not possible to see this detail from the real thing. The exterior walls are actually Meccano plates which have been individually wallpapered with printed paper in the style of brickwork. These have been pasted onto the plates using flour and water paste. More detailed photos of the interior and the mechanism and a video of the workings can be seen on the 2021 January Virtual Meeting page if you scroll down to the bottom of that page.
The first build incorporated a reversing mechanism but this proved unreliable, so has been taken out.
The tapered chimney took some effort to get right and has been achieved using slightly distorted plates to enable the angle. The top of the chimney has been left as red plates - most engine houses in Cornwall looked like this, the lower part built of stone and only the upper narrowing section used more expensive brick.
East Pool was one of the few mine which survived the depression of the Cornish mining industry in the late 19th Century. Pumping water out was crucial as not doing so had serious repercussions on adjacent mines. The mine produced copper and tin and later was designated as just a pumping engine and for extracting tungsten (20th Century). It ceased operation in 1945 and is now owned by the National Trust. See https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/east-pool-mine.
John has built a new generation fairground ride -Terror Tower White Knuckle Ride. This is a set 10 model designed by Toy James. It has a slow ascent followed by a very rapid descent but slows down a few inches from the base for a safe landing. John is still looking for the right size scale figures which can bend in the middle to be sat in the seats.
His Harrison clock is still working, with the addition of a bell which is struck every 15 minutes. This has been operating so long now the holes in some of the components are well worn.
Also shown was a small ferris wheel that he was inspired to build when he saw a similar one on Facebook. This uses two 7 inch circular strips which run continuously when simply sat on four flanged wheels driven by a motor.
The last thing he brought was the beginnings of an Octopus fairground ride. This central hub accommodates contra-rotating elements driven by a single input. It runs very smoothly utilising Meccano ball bearings.
Chris B brought two models. The first was an Inching Clock designed by Dave Harvey. It runs off an AC motor at 50 cycles which after gearing, enables the clock to keep perfect time. The motor came from RS Components. The original design incorporated a 12 tooth gear as the escapement which proved to be unreliable in its operation. This has been replaced by a 20 tooth ratchet wheel compensated with a 25:15 ratio uplift which works very smoothly. This additional gear in the train caused the clock to operate backwards so a modification was made to correct the direction.
His second model was his Scammel Explorer Recovery Vehicle designed by Richard Payn. The four rear wheels are driven via a single differential whereby the pairs on each side move together. The front wheels could also be driven. The model is powered by a 12 volt 1.7 Amp hr battery.
Barry put on a display of the army set vehicles in a diorama, with a splendid backdrop illuminated with flashing lights to simulate gunfire. The vehicles were arranged on faux grass (courtesy of B&Q). There should have been a sound track to accompany the lights but connectivity was a problem in the hall.
These models can be made up from the Army sets. The Army Multikit was introduced at the start of 1973. The manuals comprised photographs for each step of the build. There were many specialised parts, such as a cab and gun barrel and the nuts were hexagonal for the first time in over 70 years. The smaller Combat Multikit is shown in the picture.
In 1978 the Multikits were repackaged and renamed Combat Construction Sets. The contents were almost identical but the olive green became a slightly darker shade. The packaging changed from plastic trays to expanded polystyrene.
Steve's Penny Falls Machine was running continuously throughout the day without any problems. Several people played on it (using the coins provided) and thought it was great fun. You can see some photos and videos of this on Steve Briancourt's Page and more detailed information on 2021 January Virtual Meeting Page 2.
This arcade machine was built at the specific request of his daughters for them and their children to enjoy playing with. It was started and completed during Covid lockdowns. It has several features to prevent or mitigate jamming, introduced to resolve issues found during many hours of Beta testing (arduous work for Di and him!).
His next model is in the development stage and a prototype of the central element was on display. It may look like the beginnings of a fairground ride, but is actually intended to be a moving perpetual spiral staircase. The concept is for a Meccano man to be walking up the stairs without actually ever getting anywhere. There will be 22 stair treads which rise back to the top to start their journey down again as the stairwell rotates.
The yellow central core is a rigid torque tube as it has to deliver torque from the bottom to the top without deflection. An idea for lifting the treads up is shown in the picture and comprises a chain made entirely of Meccano components driven by a 56 tooth sprocket which match the pitching of the chain elements. Other size sprockets did not match well due to their different radii changing the pitch between rods. Many combinations of sprocket sizes and strip hole pitches were tried until a pitch match was found.
Pete displayed his model of a Unit Rig M 100, so called because of its 100 ton capacity. He supplied a write up of the history of this truck, as seen in the photo.
As a departure from modelling, he brought along a Meccano crystal set which was sold by the company in the very early days of radio. There is actually one in the Science Museum. There was a problem at the time with the BBC and the GPO over licensing as this set allowed anybody to access the media of radio for free. This particular one is not quite complete and Pete is looking for the circular fibre plates.
Next to the crystal set was Pete's red Supercharged MG K3 1934, with the bonnet open showing the overhead cam 6 cylinder in line engine.
Lastly the Fairground Ride is a shop display model which Pete saw in a shop window when he was younger and he always wanted to have. He did eventually buy it for £7 in the 1950's.