2022 July

For this meeting we were back in Tockington. We had another good turnout, including one new member, Kevin, who had travelled in from Cardiff. Thanks to Dianne and Pam for providing a terrific spread of sandwiches, nibbles and cakes (some of which can be seen in the photos) as well as teas and coffees throughout the day. Also thanks to Linda for the delicious oat and syrup biscuits which went down a treat.

Andrew displayed his entry for The Scrapheap Challenge.  See the 2022 Challenge page.

Alan brought a variety of models. The black vehicle is radio controlled and has a protective 'bull bar' across the front for those lacking in driving skills!

His next model is a 1934 Austin Seven. There are no plans for this old saloon. It was built based photographs and measurements of an existing prototype, together with the experience of rebuilding an original in the 1960's. This is a work in progress since early 2021.

Alan's traction engine runs reliably all day. The power supply for the motor is quite old and strangely does not have any ventilation in the casing to ease the build up of heat. Despite this it does appear to work happily for long periods of time and clearly has not burnt out yet.

His Jumbo Crane is a reconstruction of a model he built for a school hobbies exhibition in the early 1960's. In Alan's own words: "Before I left school I sold all my Meccano. I remained in the 'wilderness' until late 1982 when I found a box of Meccano in an empty house that I was surveying. I contacted the owner and negotiated the purchase. I did this on behalf of two pre-teenage boys, but neither was interested.

Over Christmas and New Year 2008 my wife was unwell and in between periods of nursing duties I decided to build what I could with the Meccano and this version of the Jumbo Crane was the result, so my purchase must have been a set 8 or very close to it.

This event was my re-introduction to the hobby. Since then I have aged considerably and filled the spare bedroom with models and extra Meccano."

Barry's display comprised the Modern Meccano robot kits plus the Meccano clock kits - numbers 1 and 2, and a Crazy Inventors set. His intention with the robots is to have one of each type in both a sealed tin with a built up version to display.

The Crazy Inventor set is also sealed with a second set built up. Barry hopes to find all of the Crazy Inventor sets in sealed boxes and a built up version. These types of sets have bespoke parts in them which can - with some imagination - enhance other models.

The clock kits were produced by Meccano quite cheaply towards the end of the company's reign, so much so that many were bought by enthusiasts and company employees purely for the value of the parts as there were many gears included.

Chris displayed his Scammel Tank Transporter which was recently debuted at Skegness. This was based on a model plan prepared by P W Bradley of Epson from 1969 with some modifications. Also, a plastic version by Thunder Models provided more accurate detail, although only from photos of it.

The tyres are of the type used on a radio controlled model and are conveniently 4 inches diameter with a 2 inch centre which fit on 2 inch pulleys. However, their soft nature means that he had to add wooden inserts.

The Matilda 2 Tank seen on the trailer was for infantry support and became known as the "Queen of the Dessert" as a result of its success in North Africa.

Gregg's model is a work in progress of The Green Mountain Railway.

Martin A brought his Lifting Shovel. This model is manually operated and is based on a 19 hole chassis. At the rear, two inch pulleys have been fitted which is about commensurate with this scale. The front wheels are 1.5 inch pulleys.

The model includes an "all pinion differential" for interest and mock engine block below the exhaust. The winding drum is manually operated through a simple worm and pinion drive connecting to the bucket arm. This provides an automatic brake.

The steering is pivoted and steers very effectively through a bevel drive operating the track rod. "A simple but enjoyable model to build."

He also showed his freelance Tractor. This has a 19 hole chassis fitted with rear 3 inch pulleys commensurate with this scale. The front wheels are 2 inch pulleys.

The model is powered by a PDU connected to the rear wheels through Spur gears and a Bevel drive. A ratio of 1:60 set on the PDU is sufficient to drive the tractor at a safe table top speed.

The steering is simply a Contrate drive connecting to the track rod.

Another simple and satisfying model to build.

The other two models he showed were his forklift truck and crawler tractor. Both of these were displayed in April and descriptions and photos of these can be found on the 2022 April meeting page.

Mark B has started a new model - a Marion Shovel, model 125-Electric version (there was a steam version of this too). This is an early work in progress showing just the square base which will support the turntable and shovel. The caterpillar tracks are false and do need to be moved out a bit to be more realistically placed. This type of Marion Shovel used skid steering as the four tracks were rigidly attached. Some versions also had a compressor and pneumatic rock hammer on the back.

The two WWII vehicles were brought by Mark H-S. The first is a jeep sporting a spare wheel on the rear, and notice the forward facing rear bench seat. This model was published in CQ77 Sep 2007 by Bernard Périer.

His second vehicle is a Dodge WC51 which has side facing rear bench seats. This model was published in CQ78 Dec 2007 also by Bernard Périer.

Neil showed his Custom VW Type 2 pickup carrying a flat-tank Norton racing motorcycle combination. It is a small model, built to scale and using genuine VW colours on mostly reconditioned parts. There is working steering and a motor drive with onboard batteries, and an additional drive to spin the mock air-cooled engine in the rear. He made a very careful choice of parts and careful attention to getting the shapes right. The distinctive 'VW' badge on the front is made from an 8 hole brass wheel-disk painstakingly filed away, then curved to match the body shape and sprayed with chrome paint. The wheels are intended for Radio Controlled cars and have been adapted to fit Meccano axles.

Neil also showed his Lotus 25 Formula 1 car - he has shown this one before, but it is one of his favourite builds, perhaps because of its simplicity. This one sports WRI Meccano-compatible tyres, mostly restored plates for the bodywork, and a careful choice of parts. Like the real machine, the compact V8 engine in the rear forms an integral part of the structure, giving a mounting point for the rear suspension. Removeable body panels as per the original allow access to the internal details.

Philip displayed a railway footbridge which used old style braced girders to very good effect. Below the footbridge was a neat generic locomotive. He also had a few Meccano sets for sale. The large mesh tray, also for sale, is of a type very useful during refurbishment work for rinsing and drying.

Pete and Richard G showed this nice looking vintage bus which was built by the late Tony Knowles using Erector (the American form of Meccano). There are some bespoke parts used in the model, and the design of the narrow braced strips look very pleasing.

Pete's other models were a mobile crane and a fairground carousel.

Richard G is a collector of Meccano but also has examples of other similar systems. His display featured a variety of models from different brands, many of which were from Germany, but also some from the UK, Holland, France and even Australia.

Richard S brought a Bottom Dump Truck built from a Set 10 - model number 10.18. He deviated from the basic instructions, the most notable being the dumper doors operating mechanism. In this mode it is motor driven from a lever in the cab. Instead of a Meccano E15R motor it has a 60RPM gearhead motor which leaves  ample space for a 12V battery.

Steve is currently building a model which is awkward to bring in its current state, so instead he brought along some of the subassemblies. These were five of the 22 stair treads which will form a spiral staircase. He discovered that it was essential for each tread to be identical in geometry, so there is a jig on a yellow base which ensures each one can be set up the same.

He also brought an engraved plate awarded by The ISM for his Penny Falls machine.

The sales table was very active with people pouncing as soon as it was open for business. There were also several items which were auctioned which together with the sales table raised funds for the club.

The Scrapheap Challenge was won by Sam (on the left of the photo). More details and photos can be seen on the 2022 Challenge page.