Forth Bridge
Taking shape

SM-36 The basis of or proposed model - The jib will be 6ft long!
Lampholder Fix
Centering the bolt through the lamp holder

Next story>>>   Back to news index>>>   Go home ! >>>

9th March 2009 Decision time…

There was always a chance that we would not be able to get the large Ferris wheel finished for Meccanuity 09, held in Ironbridge over the first bank holiday weekend in May. Here we are well into March and I find myself the busiest I have been for years. In my line of work you have to take opportunities as they arise. Normally I can spread these commitments out over a period but this time all the work has been offered all at the same time and I just can’t afford to turn it down in this financial climate. So, the Ferris wheel is going to be shelved until next year and we aim to get it to Meccanuity 10 and Skegex10, if they will have us, that is!

It does not mean we are not modelling, just not so time consuming. For Meccanuity 09 we still have a couple of projects in mind and one is 16ft long while the other is 6ft high! 

MME (Mechanics Made Easy) Forth Bridge

Over a hundred years ago the Mechanics Made Easy sets had few parts but plans were published for an impressive model of the Forth Road Bridge in 1903 using many more parts than any set of the time. A few years later the MME sets were enlarged and it became possible to build the model from the contents of the largest set! I read in Geoff Wright’s book, The Meccano Super Models, the model was popular due to the simple construction of multiple elements requiring very few different parts.

First section
The first section of the bridge is over 4ft long!

Our model is based on the original model but using ‘modern’ Meccano and some double angle brackets – not available in MME days. The first cantilever was a bit of a challenge, trying to decipher the single small drawing and plan published in the front of Geoff’s book, but looks really effective when completed. When the model is finished and assembled it will be 16ft long.

Scotch Derrick crane

Now for the 6 ft tall… This model is based on the Super Model leaflet SM-36. We intend to bring it up to date with modem motors, a hard-wired remote control and an improved cabin.

These models will still fulfil the remit of ‘large models’ requested for the Meccanuity09 exhibition  but will take much less time to build and more importantly require a lot less storage.


Now, back to the present. Last weekend was a last minute rush (nothing changes) with Sue trying to finish her dealer display replica Ferris wheel and me with motor trouble on the French Crane.

We got back to The Smoke on Sunday and I had some work to finish so the models were just unloaded and put to one side. To my surprise, The replacement motor for the French crane, along with spare, arrived bright and early Monday morning – now that is what I call service - I didn’t order those motors until gone four o’clock on Friday! (see Sue's TIMS report below) A quick check confirmed they will do the job. I mounted one of them on the custom-made bracket ready for fitting back into the crane.

MotorHaving secured the replacement motor I decided to investigate what was wrong with the old one. After some head scratching I managed to work out how to get inside. Close inspection revealed the damaged gears. These motors are sold with a variety of gearboxes ratios and inspection reveals there may be a chance of repairing it - I’ll let you know if I can…

This close-up shows the damage to the original motor - missing teeth arrowed.

...UPDATE - Yes you can!

After a bit of head scratching it is possible to rearrange the gears and the posts to produce a working motor gearbox. Of coarse the output shaft is running faster but perfectly usable.

Now Sue's turn with electrics

Sue is getting on with the wiring on her dealer display Ferris wheel. Now, you know what that means, she will be on the trail of every Elektrikit bulb she can find! The original bulbs were low wattage and we have not been able to find a modern equivalent coloured or clear. Sue is becoming a dab-hand at soldering.

Trying to hold it all still and apply pressure to the joint to aid speedy heat transfer was proving tricky on the mounted wheel. Clipping the heat sink to the frame with a pair of forceps held everything in place and stabilised the wheel


Next story>>>   Back to news index>>>   Go home ! >>>


Maybe I can fix this... I'll let you know if I can
The terminal is bolted to the lamp holder and insulated from the bracket with a silicone washer