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Midlands Meccano Guild

103rd Meeting Model Report

 Midlands Meccano Guild

Model Report

103rd Meeting - Saturday 13th October 2018

By Richard Smith and John Rogers

 (Photographs taken by Bob Thompson & Mick Burgess)

The first part of the report is by Richard Smith - one of the models in his part of the hall had no name to it and he never got to find out who it was by. The modelers either side did not know either. (This reminds the secretary to plead again for members to clearly identify their models and provide a brief description. As the report indicates quite a number of members bought along several models and given the space restrictions – it was difficult to accommodate all models at this meeting if space is needed by others – please be willing to reduce your exhibits.)

Greg Worwood is really into his Plastic Meccano producing more models in these parts than anyone else in several years. For this show he had no less than six models in the usual eye catching colours. These were: Sailing Yacht with a mechanically induced sea state for it's crew to contend with; A Windmill - quite a large model keeping Greg cool when he was in attendance; The skeleton in a cage was a Halloween animation with verbals and was very amusing rattling his cage bars; Small and Large Flying Chairs; The Old Galleon - Captain Blueberet and the Wasp.

John Reid showed two models. First was the brilliant WW1 B-Type Bus Mobile Pigeon Loft. Perhaps given modern communication the word 'mobile' must be interpreted loosely. This has so much detail inside and out and is very endearing. The second is of 'The Oxford Roadless Barrow'. As always with John, this is something completely different. The model of a wheel barrow chassis with caterpillar track designed to spread the load over a greater area. Presumably this eased its use on soft ground over the traditional wheel type. Always nice to see 6inch Pulleys put to good use as well!

Dave Hobson showed three Tram type vehicles: Matlock Cable Tramway Car; A Melbo; Grimsby and Immingham Electric Railway Tramcar which represents a vehicle built for the railway which ran between 1912 and 1961. The model is built using the French 'Constructor' parts.


John Molden is in process of building a Diamond 'T' Prime Mover in medium red and green. This looks like it will be very impressive model of a WW2 American truck when complete.




George Illingworth showed another three of his beautifully built Fire Appliances plus a model from the Meccano 1955 set 6 - the Bedford Type Water Tanker. When George built this model, he noticed that the 1955 set 6.13 Bedford truck looked the same so he built and showed that too.



Dave Bradley showed a model of the Steyr Puch Pinzgauer 4x4 High-Mobility All-Terrain Vehicle built at a scale of 1:6. Built in Zinc/Yellow, this made quite a large model. The model uses 5mm Tatra axles.




John Palmer showed three models including a Tractor Unit from the Car Transporter which was a Meccano Model of the Month for April 1956. Built in medium red and green, this model is endearing and will look even better with the transporter; A Water Tanker Lorry built with French Meccano and using five of the plastic wheel rims to form the tank.


Colin Bull never fails to bring along a good show of models. This time he had no less than seven: the Observation Coach from model 9.7 from 1953 built from medium red and green parts, it is an impressive model. A converted Coach Motor Home from Model Plan 242. Built from zinc and two-tone paneled with yellow and red parts, this is another impressive model. This is especially the case when the internal detail is looked at. Colin also showed three sports cars from the Spin Master range and a racing car again from the Spin Master range and finally the 'Monte Carlo Rally' Mini by Steve Butterworth as featured in Constructor Quarterly issue no.119. This is one of those high density Meccano models and weighs like a house brick when picked up.

Tim Gant showed his collection of Meccano Funnels which included an example of almost every one ever made. Tim's Ships Funnel set part numbered 138a-z are held in a beautifully made case very similar to the original factory set. This set with it's case is a real work of art that any Meccano boy would be proud to have hanging on the lounge wall.


Brian Edwards showed his model of a 1935 Dennis Ace Bus. This is another of those models which has heaps of character built in medium red and green.




John Bland showed four of his own models: a London Taxi built in zinc strips with paneling in late 1930s blue flex plates. Again a model with lots of character; Two 1950s style racing cars of the same design with one in 1930s blue and red parts and one in light red/green; a Stationary Horizontal Stationary engine and a Farm Machine in modern zinc and Yellow.


Terry Pettitt was unable to attend due to his wife Margaret being unwell – gladly she was better by the middle of the week following - so John Bland brought along a beautiful Field Marshall Tractor modelled by Terry and built in zinc strips and red bodywork driven by a powerdrive unit. Typical of Terry’s attention to detail, the model incorporates a clutch, 3 speed and reverse gearbox followed by a high and low ratio gearbox and a working foot and handbrake (This may well be the subject of an MMG model plan)

Paul Merrick showed the Lift Model that was featured in the last issue of the MMG Bulletin Issue 72. The Lift now has a call button for each of the three floors and works perfectly with soft start on the lift motor giving much realism.

Mei Jones showed three beautifully built Meccano set models: a Car Transporter, model 8.7 from 1966, in medium red and green and holding four cars which are model 4.4 from 1947; A Mechanical Shovel, model 5.21 from 1949, in medium red and green and the Dump Truck, model 4.24 from 1948, in yellow and black.


Tony Homden showed three models: a Thrust Bearing made from three 3/8 inch diameter steel balls in a ¾ flanged wheel. Shown in a vertical position and according to Tony capable of taking a very heavy load. I am sure this would work equally as well in a horizontal orientation. Secondly a Vertical Log Saw constructed from zinc Meccano and using real junior hacksaw blades to cut foam 'logs'. (Mind your fingers.) Lastly a twelve inch Muzzle Loading Gun. This is a very interesting model of the Langaurd Fort gun emplacement at Felixstowe. The model features every function of the prototype namely gun recoil, ordinance handling, gun elevation and direction. The shells have very realistic noses which come for the Spitfire model set.

Stephen Wilson showed a monster RMS Queen Elizabeth cruise liner built in zinc and yellow parts. The model had a set of wheels which could only be seen from a low vantage point. These showed there use when Stephen single handedly wheeled the model out of the hall at close of play.



Peter Hardingham showed three set models: a Lorry Crane, model 8.6 from 1948, in zinc/yellow; a Goods Lorry, model 7.4 from 1953, in yellow and blue and a Delivery Van in zinc and red.




Roger Auger showed a very eye catching Ferry ship in red and green. The model included a sea motion (state 3 - I guess) broadside rocking motion that would make most sailors sick but looked the part in the model. Roger also showed a Planetary model.



Geoff Devlin showed a beautifully built model of a Milan Tramway vehicle from 1927-30, known as the 'Peter Witt Streetcar' of which 200 cars are still running on 4ft gauge track. Geoff built the model to a Scale 2 ¼in to 1m giving a length of 33in. All three sets of doors (double hinged) open outwards at each stop, also a panel drops, allowing the passengers to step up or down. The bit in the centre of the driver's window is the lever controlling the 'air brakes'

The award for the smallest and most ingenious 'model of the show' goes to John Evans for his inspired Binns class submarine which consisted of a seascape with periscope scanning the horizon. Even the wake from the periscope has been included. It was very good to see John who travelled from south Wales to be with us.



There were several models that I really didn’t have time to look at in any detail – so apologies to the builders. Sid Beckett showed a roundabout; Robin Schoolar had an interesting Hogle Torque Amplifier and Roger Marriott showed his version of Brian Compton’s Automatic Coal Loader/Unloader which is being written up as an MMG model plan.

The second part of the report is provided by John Rogers.

George Sayell displayed his Differential Analyser which he has created for demonstrations. There has been considerable publicity about the Meccano contacts with the Science Museum and research into the Hartree differential analyser. However it can be remembered that in Geoff Wright’s Volume 2 published in 1978 on page 31 he selected the June 1934 MM article on this as one of the “finest Meccano model building achievements of all time.” George Sayell explains that the original devices included 6 or even more stages. As far as I can understand it, the model provides a mechanical way of calculating the area underneath a graph (which is done analytically (ie using pencil and paper and the human brain) by the mathematical technique of integration) He talked to me with great enthusiasm about using his model for a comparison of speed with time to arrive at a distance v time graph. George Illingworth in his meeting talk commented that “it is the simplest version, built to demonstrate the principles - it works”. Also on display was the Differential Analyser built by the late Ron Fail. It has two stages (of integration) and is a more complicated model but unfortunately it has to be restored and was not working. This model has been donated to the club and will be restored by John Nuttall. George Illingworth’s overall comment - “Wow, what a machine and what a part in history.”

Tim Martin had 8 new models exhibiting some ingenious Meccano constructions which were mostly focussed on underlying mathematical relationships. His non jamming odd number of gears (9) was in a Mobius Strip Configuration. A construction of Meccano Rods functioned as a Corner of a Euler Brick. Tim explains this is Pythagoras’s Theorem in 3D with integer dimensions. Wiki tells me this was discovered in 1719 and a Euler brick is a cuboid that possesses integer edges and face diagonals. George Illingworth described the models with considerable accuracy impressing most of us, I suppose, that he actually understood their purpose.

Mark Rolston again displayed his JCB Excavator based on Model Plan 222 from Michael Adler - who spoke to Mark at Skegness and complimented him on a “better job”. Mark explains that he has developed a metal tube for the ram and acquired a solid brass 62t gear to resolve weaknesses in the Model Plan.


Colin Reid had loaded his Yorkshire Steam Wagon with no less than 258 ¾” pinions. On Ebay today they are priced around £4 each giving them a gross market value of more than £1,000. Although by now this quantity might exceed total world demand. Colin explains that he acquired his vast quantities of parts at auction, presumably ex dealer. “Who else?” asked George Illingworth.

Geoffrey Burgess displayed his part completed Leyland Martian Gun Tractor which is scratch built to about 1/8th scale. Geoff explained that he has found it interesting and intricate with two gear boxes, 6 wheel drive and a walking beam rear suspension.



John Hornsby presented the Outrigger for his Eric Taylor Crane. Richard Payn was also exhibiting components he has developed for his Eric Taylor Crane. George asked “are they competing or co-operating? Sharing is the reasonable conclusion.”

Howard Somerville set out his Caterpillar Road Grader which we first saw 25 years ago. George informed us that “Howard had finally got it to work - yesterday.”

Mick Burgess displayed 13 Sports Car models developed from the No 4 set manuals. The presentation was very smart and Mick even had developed specific boxes for their transportation and storage. The models are nearly identical with some variation in details and are completed with a correct selection of parts from each era. Earliest was 1934 (to 1937) with red and blue/gold parts and tinplate road wheels. This was followed by regular blue/gold parts and then a 1940/41 era with no hatching on the blue parts and Mazac bosses. The following three medium red/green models included a Korean War version when there was a shortage of brass parts. And so on through to a final dark blue/yellow model. George commented that this was an “incisive examination of parts and sources.”

Trevor Batten had positioned his Angel of the North above his very popular Calypso Band and a set piece of an Ambulance and First Aid Post. Roger Burton displayed his Excavator and Dumper Truck developed from a Meccano shop window model previously exhibited by Jim Gamble.


Oliver Bridges displayed a Floating Crane and a Car and Trailer. He explained that he had created them himself and they were not direct copies from Model Plans. Oliver mentioned that he had just enjoyed his 10th birthday. Talking with him afterwards he was very clear about all his enthusiasms and he said that he loves modelling. It was very nice to meet somebody so energetic and positive. Perhaps if anybody has any spare parts suitable for road vehicles they could be offered to him.

Neil Bedford presented his first ever model in blue/gold loosely based on a pre war Racing Car which he named “Retribution”. It has a very smart appearance and is driven with battery power. Dave Philips displayed his pre war Morgan three wheeler, complete with its suitcase as well as a Steam Forrestry Log Hauler. Michael Bent displayed his large Mobile Crane installed on a lorry together with a yellow truck and wagon.

Alan Scargill moved around the hall and the car park with his model of a 4 cylinder diesel engine showing its opposing cylinder movement. He explained that he had developed this from a 2 cylinder Meccano Model Plan. As usual Alan was very amusing company and he attracted some fun with his pre war 6 seater VIP car - which might have carried a very dubious previous owner.

Terry Allen had his wonderful Piccard Racing Car on display once more. George said “I do not know how he does it. A world of his own.”

Richard Smith had set up a lengthy track to provide an ongoing demonstration of his stunning Duchess of Devonshire Loco. Its comprehensive details and overall sense of realism provides us with a huge Meccano thrill. George said “the quality of build is absolutely incredible. Look at the painted parts which have different colours on each side. A brilliant model.”

Our model reporters did not manage to capture the details of all the models brought along and missed the following: John Oyzer-Key with a rebuild of his Alvis Stalwart; Richard Gilbert brought along two unsued sets ; a 1931 Binns Road Outfit 4A and 1959 Barcelona Spain Outfit 4A (both having same contents); Carl Gill showed a Beam Engine and Steam Engine; Richard Howard; Horizontal Steam Engine 1970 4.10 (One of the first few models he ever built as a child!)

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