Martin Arnold’s Page

You can read about Martin's Meccano History here.

My first crane:

The Dockside Crane (9.13) from the 9 set is an attractive model which I decided to build in the blue and yellow scheme. The following changes were made to the original model to improve the functionality and appearance of the crane:

1). The strips for the feet were substituted with angle girders and the 189 flexible strips, at the top of the tower, were replaced with angle girders and stronger flat plates for extra stability. A 52 flanged plate provided additional strength across the bottom of the tower.

2). The slewing mechanism looked unworkable and clumsy. Therefore, I replaced the 26 pinion and 28 contrate wheel with a worm and 27c gear wheel. For the top of the roller bearing, I used a ball thrust bearing (Part No 168) to ensure a smooth rotation for the crane. Axle rods were used to connect the hand operated mechanism to the ball race rather than girders.

3). The original gear box for the crane utilises a clutch system for the boom and jib powered by an E15R motor. I decided to use two motors for each function to improve operation. The gearing was replaced with two worms providing  automatic braking for the heavy boom.

The cladding for the cab incorporates flat plates and girders thus making it heavier than the original model.


This is a good looking model that has neat lines and is very easy to build. The hand operated mechanism for the roller bearing smoothly rotates the Crane through 360 degrees.

The motorized functions work efficiently although slowly as the worm drives give ratios of 19:1. However, it is quite mesmerising watching the boom and jib move which could also be a possible cure for insomnia.

Overall, I am pleased with the end result and look forward to displaying this at a future exhibition. This is my first ever crane and I may be inspired to take on the mighty blocksetter one day when confidence allows.

I have built a couple of small models during 2020. The first is a 'Red and Green Lorry'.

This is a typical flat bed lorry from the 60s, attractive in red and green. It has a good steering angle and seats. The back opens for unloading. The model is not motorized and of my own design. I enjoyed the build.

YBZ tractor 

Not entirely happy with my previous two tractors, I built this to a better scale and included a more reliable steering mechanism. It has a mock engine but no motor. I am now over my tractor phase and ready for pastures new.

I have built a couple of tractors. The YBZ tractor is based on a Ford farm vehicle I think, and driven by a Mike Rhoades motor. The steering is a simple crank and pivot arrangement.

The red and green tractor is more of a 1950s industrial type with a working differential which is driven by a Mike Rhoades motor. The steering is a pivot and crank arrangement. I have built a mock Engine block for interest.

Both tractors are of my own design and preclude too much detail as they are both only 19 holes long. I intend to design something they can both pull in due course.

I have built the Meccano Single - Cylinder Horizontal Steam Engine from the Supermodel Leaflet No 11a.

I have predominately used blue and yellow meccano with a twist of red. Some changes have been made to improve the model's functionality and look. Namely:

  1. 6 inch Pulley 19c instead of hub disk
  2. More realistic cylinders
  3. Stronger Centrifugal Governor
  4. Cranks and flywheel operates through bevel and chain drive.
  5. Powered by a PDU hidden under the bed frame.
  6. Inclusion of a light

The model runs very smoothly and the slide pieces on the cross head provide an efficient rotary motion for the cranks.

I am very pleased with the model and enjoyed building it.

This model is a "Bulldozer" based predominately on manual model 9.4. I used different plates from that shown in the manual and a PDU instead of the No 1 clockwork motor.
The drive is pinion and worm driven and the PDU set at 60:1. The model moves quite well and the steering is very effective.
The lifting arms are reasonably effective at raising the blade which is straight (the model version is angled). A fairly straightforward model and a trip down memory lane as it was my first 9 set attempt when I was 15."

Car Transporter 9.7

More information will be available on the 2020 April Virtual Meeting Page when this goes live.

Fire Escape:

This model is based on the one shown in the Meccano Magazine from June 1951.

Meccano Lifting Shovel 10.9

I have omitted the differential to accommodate a modern motor to power the forward and reverse drive. The lifting mechanism is powered by a PDU through a worm drive which obviates the need for the automatic brake specified in the model plan. The model works well and was an enjoyable build.

I have constructed an all pinion differential for my "Lifting Shovel" as there was not room for a standard differential. You will see that it is directly driven by the motor using bevel gears. It moves very smoothly when operated. I owe my thanks to Neil Bedford who lent me one already made up. The model is now complete which operates with two motors.

Wilesco Steam Engine. This normally would have been operated with a 4 speed gearbox, but a preliminary version shown here was built with a 3 speed box.

I later managed to add a fourth gear to the gear box in accordance with the Konkoly design. This is a 60t spur gear meshing with a 15t pinion. This model is now complete.