The Awful Tower Fairground Ride
The design of this new model emerged from the carcass of my previous model The Degenerator which I started dismantling after it was displayed at the SELMEC, Holy Trinity and WLMS exhibitions. Once I’ve displayed a model once or twice I get the itch to start something new and often I find myself dismantling a model for the buzz of just creating something new even though the previous model is only a month or two old.
As I started to undo the thousands of nuts and bolts my mind was already in design mode and I came up with an idea of using the existing base and towers to save me some time on what I was planning and I also decided on keeping the four boats of the existing model.
To change the overall aspect of the model’s appearance I removed one of the rear double towers to leave just a solitary tower which not only changed the look significantly but also drastically reduced the weight of the construction.
I then added two round structures using circular girders and hub disc right on top of each side of the tower to support in its centre, a heavy duty axle of about eight inches in length and so the two units had to be constructed in a way to be near to each other and to easily accommodate the axle centrally in order to support the main new design focus which was a new long arm with two fork like fittings at each end. From these points the four boats were to be fixed with two placed parallel side by side and at each end. Thinking it was going to be too heavy and even problematic to operate, I decided to modify the four boats after all and once again more weight was reduced and giving a more original look from its predecessor.
The end product being a very large model that was not going to be easy to transport, so I came up with the idea to design an easier system allowing me to disengage the arm and boats without any problems. A sliding axle was employed to this effect which can be pulled in or out freeing the large rotating heavy part from the unit so both parts can be transported far more easily and so the problem of its cumbersome was finally sorted.
The front canopy was redesigned and positioned significantly higher improving the overall view of the area where the boats rest whilst loading of passengers takes place.
Fitted to the axle in the rotating arm is a large pulley engaging an elastic band from the motor which is situated right underneath the rear tower with only one inch of separation from the rotating structure. The geared motor proved to be more than capable of moving the heavy new structure fairly effortlessly to my immense satisfaction and even more rewarding was to see how smooth and quite fast the design was able to operate at much to my surprise but resulting in the kind of experience I had hope for in giving the thrill seeking riders a very exciting experience of g forces and sensations.
Out of the shell of the Degenerater model something better or perhaps worse was born, emerging as a bigger bullying beast of the fairground. A machine to menace the many who could look up to or cower in its shadow.
Whether you ride it and scream or crumple and whimper, depends on your nerve and your mettle. But once you’ve ridden this Awful Tower, you’ll have do doubts which ride is terrorising the skies.