2024 April

The April meeting was again well attended with a really good atmosphere throughout the day. The Scrapheap Challenge was held after lunch. Pictures of the four entries and a video of Steve's winning entry can be seen on the 2024 Challenge page. Once again, many thanks to Linda and Bonnie for helping Dianne in the kitchen. Thanks also go to Philip who PAT tested all our club electricals which are now good for another year.

Neil displayed his Hannover CLIII fighter/bomber - a German machine from the latter part of the First World War. At the time, this stylish biplane was cutting edge, with a high speed and innovative features including weighted ailerons and a biplane tail.

The model is built largely from reclaimed parts, sprayed with a rattle can. The two crewmen are made of Meccano and wear flying suits which he made from scraps of felt. He also used Meccano parts to make a special tool for rolling the flexible plates used in the leading edges of the wings - which require a very tight curve in exactly the same place on each plate, so that many can be joined to give a continuous straight edge.

You can read some more information about this model on the 2021 October page.

Rob has previously built Keith Cameron’s version of the Kenworth W-900 truck. This was a fine looking model but some of the constructional details were slightly disappointing. For example, the gearbox design was simplistic and operationally unreliable. A glaring omission was no provision for an inter-axle differential for the twin rear axles. Additionally the build instructions led to a fair degree of head scratching on occasions.

Model Plan 252 by Philip Webb appears to be something of a ‘curate’s egg’.  For instance there is a detailed description of possible variations of the driver’s seat but nothing on how the front axle is attached to the chassis. A visit to Mr Webb’s website turned up a few more pictures illustrating some of the missing information.

He intends to fit radio control and will not be fitting the 4 speed gearbox, so has deviated from the instructions and customised the structure accordingly. He used some excellent pieces of brassware commissioned from Ian Henwood (recommended) to reinforce the joints between angle girders.

The transverse girder brackets seen in the picture are fitted solely as a temporary aid to construction and these keep the chassis members at the correct spacing.  By sighting along them they also provide a visual means of ensuring that the chassis remains free from twist.

The next steps will be to add wheels, suspension, transmission and steering.

Richard S is recreating his Barber Greene BG 220 Road Paver model in order to produce a set of build instructions. Recreating it in this fashion allows photos to be taken at the various stages.

Gregg's model is based upon a fairground ride called 'Meteor' as seen in Cirencester in 2009. As usual, his model is colourful and to a very high build standard.

Brian displayed his model of a Challenger II tank, which has been the British Army's main battle tank for over two decades and is expected to remain in service until 2035, but with many updated systems. It was built by Brian from scratch, over approximately 18 months. The model is about 1/10th scale and made mainly from Meccano. The tracks are made from steel hinges, riveted together.

The model is radio controlled with 3 speed controllers (track and turret turn), and has two receivers (one in the turret and one in the main body. The gun elevation and firing (nerf gun fitted) are each by a servo. There is one 12 volt motor for each track and one for the turret turn.

Mark H-S  brought two sports cars, a VW Beetle (soft top version of Bernard Périer designed model from CQ 85 09/2009), a Special Edition Renault F1 Set 0508 (introduced in Renault dealers in 2003 but generally available in 2004) and an axle rod bending jig used to make the roll bars.

Richard G displayed a Mobile AA Gun, one of 6 models that could be made with 'Mechanised Army', a set sold only from 1939 to 1941. Apart from the colour, added realism was achieved by omitting all the holes which weren't necessary to build the manual models. But such parts were much less useful for other models.

He also showed a model of a 1930's bus built using American Erector, Meccano's competitor in the USA. This particular bus was built by the late Tony Knowles.

Barry had a display of the Meccano Crazy Inventor sets and also some Dan Dare Rocket Builder and Space Builder sets.

David J brought a shop display model of a ferris wheel made from plastic Meccano.

Eric showed his Stothert and Pitt crane model which is a work in progress. The pictures he is working from are of the prototype seen in Fishguard.

He also brought a model of a bi-plane which he built with only a single picture of the model as a guide.

David N displayed a Morgan Three wheeler motor car.

Philip's bus is of his own design of an AEC Regency bus. The parts used were restored and resprayed



He also brought his 4.5L Blower Bentley type chassis which you can read more about on Philip Bond's 4.5L Blower Bentley Type Chassis.

Pete brought a nice selection of models. His 1930's train was built from a plan but Pete has made a lot of improvements to it.

He also displayed 'BABS'. Babs was the car built and driven by John Parry-Thomas in April 1926 which broke the land speed record at 171.02mph. It was powered by a 27-litre Liberty aero-engine.

Pete's mechanical dog and robot man are from designs by Fabian Kaufmann. The dog is an excellent model with superb walking action and swaying head.

His 1920's bus is built from 1920's nickel. It is operated by a gear lever on the driver's side and is fitted with a 6v motor which allows for forward and reverse driving. The model shows the limitations to the parts available in the 1920's period but still makes a pleasing result.

The Arnfield Mantel Clock (Model Plan 104 by Michael Adler) works well. It is powered by a weight housed in a cylindrical boiler which in turn is raised by an electric motor when the weight needs to be reset.

Pete also displayed a shop display model from 1970's called 'The Satellite'.

Ian brought a model of an operational elevator. It has sliding doors and can move between three floors.

John has built a model of an Arnfield Clock. In 1987 Jim Arnfield invented this low friction escapement by using two gravity arms as well as a pendulum. A close inspection will note that the escape wheel is unlocked by only the one arm. The pendulum is not required to unlock the escape wheel.



Kevin's array of models included a dockside crane, a twin-engined flying boat, a cement mixer and a skeletal ship.

Kenny has been busy assembling a number of modern car kits. Some have steered wheels but not operated by a steering wheel! These can be quite attractive models, but as a kit are limited to just the one build.

Sam brought 2 different Meccanographs and a mini skittles game. The smaller Meccanograph was from the 1928 DRG set 1 - probably the simplest ever! Meccanographs are always popular and can range from the very simple to very complex with the patterns varying accordingly.

Steve only brought his Scrapheap competition entry with him - see 2024 Challenge page. DIY has taken a necessary priority for him this year! Chris F also only brought along his Scrapheap entry due to travel difficulties, but we were pleased to see him there with his Challenge machine.