2015 May

May 2015 Exhibition at Tockington Village Hall (Neil Bedford)

The SWMC exhibition for 2015 was again held in Tockington. The weather was very kind to us and we had a good, steady number of visitors throughout the day. Minor changes to the layout and allocation of table space worked out very well and we enjoyed a good turnout from members. We were also delighted to welcome once again, Nick Rodgers and Pete Wood from the Runnymede Meccano Guild and we also gained a couple of new members.
The quality of models was very high once again, with some very interesting exhibits. There were a good many new models this year which I think the public appreciated. Certainly we received some very positive comments. Models on show were as follows (hopefully I have not missed anybody):-


Rope Making Machine (Nick Rodgers) - This model was inspired by the late Bill Butterworth and ran silently all day. This ingenious machine spins sixteen fine threads into an attractive and very strong cord.

Lamborghini Countach (Pete Wood) - Many of us drooled over pictures of this exotic supercar when we were younger and Pete has decided that if he can’t buy one, he would build one. This model really has everything - fully detailed engine and gearbox, working windscreen wipers, pop-up headlights and gull-wing doors. Look even closer though and you would see that the detail really does go very far indeed - for example this is the only Meccano car which I have seen with real leather seats (built over Meccano frames) and working gauges in the dashboard!

Lamborghini Contach

MG F2 Magna (Pete Evans) - A different scale of automotive model but no less lovely was this 1931 F2 Magna. Pete Evans owned this very car for a number of years and for some time restored these lovely old MG’s as a hobby which he turned into a business. If you study Pete’s model then you can quickly see that it was built by somebody with an intimate knowledge of these nippy little cars and if you liked this model then watch this space as Pete is working on a Meccano project which will take his love of old cars one step further…

Marion 204

Marion 204 Superfront Electric Mining Shovel (Pete Evans) - Pete is a prolific builder and some while back he embarked upon a shared project with fellow SWMC member Mark Bridle. Pete and Mark decided to each construct a Marion Superfront Shovel in 1/25th scale and to consult one another along the way in order to share the workload. Each model is a little different and I look forward to seeing both displayed together. Pete’s interpretation is fully automated and features a wealth of detail, with power provided by multiple motors.

‘Big Mog’ Rock Crawler (Neil Bedford) - The final outing for this model which ran very well after having been sat in a box for nearly a year.
Routemaster Bus (Neil Bedford) - Another model which has reached the final stop on its route. The trusty Routemaster will be dismantled soon to free-up some much needed space.
Vintage Car and ERA Racing Car (David Northcott) - A charming clockwork powered vintage car in early Nickel-plated parts and a scale model of an ERA racing car with red bodywork, of David’s own design - both very tidily put together.


Vintage Car and ERA Racing Car (David Northcott) - A charming clockwork powered vintage car in early Nickel-plated parts and a scale model of an ERA racing car with red bodywork, of David’s own design - both very tidily put together.

Space 2501 Display (Dominic Hewitt) - Dominic took us back to the early 1980s with a great display of 6 different models from the ‘Space 2501’ series. It is unusual to see so many of these models together and they were much appreciated.

Space 2501

‘Meccano Daredevils’ (Mervyn Bishop) - A fine exhibition model which requires a hands-on approach from visitors to see a number of Meccano figures negotiate a range of obstacles and features around this extremely imaginative creation. Many youngsters were captivated by this model (and a good many of us, not so young!).

Fire Escape

Bulldozer and Fire Escape (Martin Arnold) - Martin brought along two very well presented models, a Bulldozer (plan 8.20) in dark blue and yellow and a Fire escape (plan 10.21) in Yellow and zinc. During the exhibition it occurred to Martin that his Bulldozer, being powered by a No1 clockwork motor, could also qualify for the ‘Scrapheap Challenge’ and a tow-bracket was hastily improvised. Both models were well appreciated, with the Fire Escape picking up several nominations for the ‘Best in Show’.

Jones Mobile Crane (John Day) - Built in red and green parts, this model looked great and performed all the functions of the real thing. Essentially built from a ten set to a more modern plan.

Articulated Dump truck and JCB Front Loader (John Day) - John also brought along these two Set Ten models, very nicely built from modern plans and completing his trio of plant machines. All three of these models were somehow squeezed into John’s beautifully restored Triumph TR7 for their journey to Tockington - well done John!



Meccanographs (Sam Medworth) - Sam brought along three different designs of Meccanograph. Each could be adjusted in a number of ways to produce a seemingly endless variety of images. Many visitors would have played around with toys like ‘Spirograph’ when they were young but were very impressed to see Sam’s Meccanograph’s showing how it should be done.

Beam Engine and Horizontal Engine (Ralph Clark) - A font of knowledge for anything steam-driven, Ralph brought along a lovely little beam engine from Bert Love’s book ‘Meccano & Allied Constructional Systems’ and a larger single cylinder steam engine based on a classic Meccano plan but enhanced using flexible plates to close in the cylinder. The smaller engine was powered by a Magic Motor and the larger one by a (short-sideplate) E20 electric motor.

Beam Engine

Little Joe and Tricky Track (Philip Drew) - Philip won ‘Best in show’ by a very clear margin with this wonderful interpretation of the classic ‘Tricky Track’. Philip has modified the original design by Dr Keith Cameron and it makes for an ideal ‘exhibition model’ which had us all enthralled throughout the day. Philip has plans for a major addition to this model (which like everything else, will be powered purely by the wheels of ‘Little Joe’ the locomotive) so watch this space.


Various smaller models (Michael Edwards) - Michael brought a wide range of slightly smaller models including some fairground rides, a tank, a windmill, a very nice traction engine with modern battery-powered motor, the set 7 ‘Exploding ship’, his ‘Man with barrow’ powered by a Magic Motor and a vintage car.

Trams and Games

Tram Cars (Michael Edwards) - Michael also brought along a lovely pair of trams - an early four-wheeled version and a later HR2 eight-wheeler. Michael explained that ‘HR’ stood for ‘Hilly Route’ which sounded rather quaint. Both models were very well presented with plenty of detail and operating features.

Supermodel 1a Motor Chassis (Allen Perry) - Allen brought along the SM1a Motor Chassis in red and green. He explained that (like many of the Super Models) this one was tricky to assemble. In particular the gear linkage seemed to be the source of headaches but the model demonstrated all the main features of a real motor car from the 1930’s.

Fokker DR1 triplane (Pete Evans) - Pete brought along his smashing ‘Red Baron’ Fokker triplane. This model uses a clever mixture of standard parts and Aeroplane Constructor parts, with Von Richthofen himself portrayed by a driver from a Car Constructor outfit.

Supermodel 28 Pontoon Crane (Richard Smith) - Richard has made a tremendous job of restoring enough parts in dark red and green to construct the pontoon crane. This is powered by a sideplate motor and the finish of the parts is surely as good or better than they would have been leaving the factory.

‘The Octomecc’ (Richard Smith) - This wonderful creation has been dreamed up from scratch by Richard and has been a real labour of love. Each of eight rotating arms holds a different mechanism such as a differential or automatic reversing gadget or gearbox and the entire model is powered by a single motor in the base. Overcoming the combined friction of so many gears and bearings has given Richard many sleepless nights but the end results are certainly worth all that effort.

USS Missouri

USS Missouri (Steve Briancourt) - Steve brought along his ambitious model of the USS Missouri. Now mounted on a beautifully crafted wooden stand and with one turret well on the way to being finished, we can get a better idea of what this large vessel will look like when finished. Despite the model being so large, the space into which Steve has needed to accommodate the turret mechanism is quite small. However the turret rotates, guns elevate and they also recoil in a realistic manner. Steve has some tweaking left on the first turret but hopefully the others can then follow far more easily.

‘1948’ (Malcolm Hanson) - Malcolm chose to use the year 1948 as the theme for his display. This included a pristine 1948 Set 7 and three models from that set, all in red and green. These were the ‘Telpher Span’ (hand cranked) the ‘Exploding ship’ (spring-loaded) and the ‘Aerial Target Spotting Game’ (electric with ‘cricket ball’ motor). Each model had something to offer the visiting public and the whole display worked together very well indeed.

1948 Display

The ‘Scrapheap Challenge’ this year was great fun, with a series of clockwork powered tractors competing to pull a weighted sled. As the sled moved forwards the weight upon it also moved from the back wheels to the front skids, thus making the sled even harder to drag. The effect of this was very noticeable and it was impressive to see how well the little clockwork tractors coped. Competitors included John Day, Martin Arnold and Neil Bedford, but the outstanding contribution came from David Miller who built two machines, one with an automatic gear-change which was very impressive indeed. Ultimate triumph went to David - a well-deserved win.
The day ended with an auction including some nice Meccano which had been donated to the club and several lots which members had brought along to sell. This was a lively event with Malcolm as Auctioneer and some very good prices were realised.

So all in all, it was an excellent day, profits were significantly up on last year, the quality of models was excellent, we picked up a couple of new members, the company was tremendous as always, the ladies manned both the door and the kitchen admirably and the Sun was shining - honestly, what more could you ask for?
Pictures and videos on http://www.nzmeccano.com/image-89129 and a video of the main exhibition hall can be seen here.