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Midlands Meccano Guild
(Author: Philip Drew & Richard Smith)
105th Model Report
Midlands Meccano Guild
105th Meeting - 12th October 2019
by Philip Drew and Richard Smith
(Photographs by Bob Thompson, Mick Burgess & Richard Payn)
It is always a good day when MMG meetings occur, no matter what the weather, and Saturday 12 October 2019 was a pleasant Autumnal day. As ever the great variety of models gave Chairman George the opportunity for entertaining comment as part of his traditional tour. Four tables had gone missing from the hall, so we were shorter than usual for spaces. Thank you to those who squeezed up.
Thanks to our reporters Richard Smith and Philip Drew who covered the range and complexity of models well.
Richard describes the centre table displays:
Roger Burton showed a Mechanical Power Assistance Mechanism as designed by Robin Schoolar.
Michael Bent showed a lorry mounted crane built from light red and green parts. This is a characterful and nostalgic model seen on the inside covers of Meccano Magazine during 1956-57. The model uses screwed rods for the primary and secondary jib lift mechanisms. I’m sure many of us have had momentary thoughts of building this cute model.
Three interpretations of the SR71 Blackbird spy plane were shown by Alan Scargill. Two of the 3 were of a similar size and design. The third being a smaller rendition with a pilot being exposed to the Mach two blast. He is a Space 2501 tuff guy after all.
An interesting interpretation of the Clifton Suspension Bridge in medium red and green parts was shown by Trevor Batten. The towers and the suspension links are just like the real ones.
Sid Beckett showed a small Ferris Wheel that he mentioned had been built at the request of some school children. I’m sure they found it interesting and quite cute as we all did.
A Massey Ferguson 135 Tractor from the 1960-70s was shown by Terry Wilkes. The model looked very sturdy with working steering and utilizing (Terry’s signature!) Pup Tires.
Paul Merrick showed his impressive and large model of the Servetti Trolley Factory. It has been beautifully built in medium red and green parts. The model differs from the original in a few places with the main changes being the use of a programmable controller and the gantry easily split in two for moving and transport.
A Railway Breakdown Crane in yellow, black and zinc parts was shown by Mei Jones. This is the Super-model plan SML30 from 1930. Mel also showed a very nice Derrick Crane from a model plan 5.11 from 1950. This was in medium red and green parts. Nice to see the Breakdown Crane in the mid 1950’s colours not seen so often these days.
David Hobson who is our master of non-Meccano construction sets showed a very smart sailing ship ‘Grand Trianon’ built in 1854 in New Brunswick, USA. The model has been built using Eitech part for the ship which is mounted in a Meccano constructed animated seascape.
Tony Knowles is another man keen on non-Meccano construction sets and showed a set made in Italy just after the war called ‘Il Carpentiere’. This set has parts made from aluminum.
row as they vibrate too much. Whether that phenomenon ever applied to Rotary engines and to Meccano engines who knows?
A ‘Diamond T’ Generator Truck built in medium red and green Meccano and shown by John Molden, features 4 speeds with reverse gearbox plus a 3-speed auxiliary gearbox and working clutch. The model also has working winch and searchlight. An impressive model as always from John.
John Bland showed a Fuel Tanker Lorry and a London Taxi both of which are Meccano model plan models. The Taxi is an especially realistic model.
A brilliant rendition of ‘Sir Tow Mater’ from the ‘Cars’ animated film was built and shown by John Palmer. This model uses a few modern Meccano France parts to great advantage. John also showed five other vehicles.
Tim Gant showed a stunning caterpillar track chassis for a Kobelco CK1000-III Crane he is building. This chassis is a work of art and science in zinc parts. The chassis is amazingly stiff due to Tim’s clever use of parts. Can’t wait to see this model completed.
Matt Goodman brought along a Plastic Meccano model of the Marion Power Shovel Co. gargantuan ‘The Captian’. This model is in keeping with Matt’s recent diorama themes. The prototype weighs 12700 tons and the bucket handles 270 tons per scoop. The Meccano model was very much smaller but still a substantial model. Hand winders were incorporated for the func-tions and six spotlights have been added. Matt mentioned that the proto-type was so expensive to run being electrically powered, it was often run at night when electricity is cheaper.
Philip Drew concludes the report with the models on the outer tables:
Richard Payn brought along his prize-winning Eric Taylor Lorry Mounted Crane, one of the stars of Skegex this year. This model is built in 1970s yellow and blue, is large and very detailed, a real show stopper!
John Hornsby brought along one of the bogies for a rebuild of his Tychsen Heavy Duty Derrick Crane. This model is shown in all its glory in the NZ gallery pictured from Henley in 1987. I’m looking forward to seeing the completed model.
Next in line was a proposed model plan build of the Cement Mixer Truck designed by Brian Edwards and rebuilt by Roger Marriott. The model is in 1960s light red & green and is a delightful well-made model, really well-proportioned and running very smoothly. (This model is the subject of a new MMG model plan)
The rebuild of George’s F12 pump escape using only parts from a No.9 set.
Also displayed were a number of sets recently acquired by Tom McCallum (now for sale) including a mid 1920’s no. 7 set and several rarities including GRB’s and EleKtron sets.
Next to these mouth-watering offerings Jim Gamble displayed a cabinet of Constructor Cars by (definitely not for sale!). These exhibits were in very good condition and it was very tempting to play with the cars or build something big with the sets. Not a chance.
John Ozyer-Key exhibited his front axle assembly for an Averling Barford ASG 18 Road Grader, amazingly sized for 10” (ten inch!) tyres, an 11:1 hub reduction and ball races. I was much taken by this model as there was so much packed into a small place and operating so smoothly too.
Mark Rolston’s American 10-wheel truck with trailer is a large model and to illustrate its use, Mark included a digger crane on the trailer. The models were built in a mixture of red, green, yellow and zinc well selected to make a nice colourful display. Being American, the cab unit had that square and brutal look which makes you ache to get out of its way on the highway.
A crowd pleaser as demonstrated by the big “boys” trying it out.
Brian Edwards exhibited a model of a 1929 Scott Squirrel motorcycle which was smallish but remarkably detailed and lifelike.
And then we had Tim Martin’s motorised Grass Snake. This is an ingenious “nonsense” type of model which I love, being two feet long and sporting lots of 57 tooth spur gears driving a slithering snake. The viewer was invited to operate the model using a sprung switch. It certainly brought a smile to a few faces.
Mick Burgess presented an Army type two-seater car in military green and a red/green vintage single-decker bus with rounded back, both nicely modelled. They took me back to my childhood, what more can you say?
It was good to see Dave Bradley back on all fours after a recent major opera-tion, with his Chevrolet Silverado 6 wheel pick up.
The next model on the list was a Horizontal Single Cylinder Steam Engine by Paul Hubbard built predominantly in red with blue, green, yellow and zinc parts to make a colourful contrast. The model was driven by an electric motor and ran very nicely.
Clocks seem to be like buses, and next along were two more by new member John Sharp. These were both model plan inspired, one a modified Arnfield by Michael Adler (MP146)(shown left) and a John Harrison H3 by Freddie Nichols (Construction Plan 5).
The name “Arnfield” refers to the designer of the escapement, a British clock expert, who designed this mechanical escapement as recently as 1987.
These two really nice models and made an interesting run of clocks with Colin’s contributions and was a pleasing end to the tour.
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