The Beast Crane
After many years of model making I haven’t recently been able to shake the urge to create some things new, and as well as more fairground incarnations I have this year now created three boat models too but still wanted something different.
Thinking along those lines I started trying to create something like a moving futuristic vehicle for space exploration, but after building the base I switched ideas changing it to something different and finished up creating an imaginary crane instead.
This crane has three motors, two for the hoist and one for the base to move its 24 wheels and a manual one to turn the crane round. One of the motor and gear system also has a clutch to engage and disengage the functioning of one of the hoists.
The base became a moving unit with 12 wheels on both side connected to a series of gears and a 6 ratios motor, but as the movement was very slow once fixed the new idea of a crane came to my mind instead.
I have only built two types of cranes in all my Meccano activities over the years and one of them was the massive big crane that features on the front cover of most Meccano books of models after I got my first № 10 set. I was delighted back then in my early model making days to have constructed that iconic model but in truth I did not perfect its operational functions which I put down to the fact that maybe were my skills and experience was not well enough developed at the time.
I guess coming back to a crane design I was more determined this time that the crane was going to be different and not just a copy from any book or any existing model.
I set about using chrome and yellow parts for all its body but soon realised that as I currently have approx. ten very large models in my inventory I was going to be short of certain parts to complete this new model, but having a good collection of dark blue parts as strips and angle girders that that would be the best option but it meant I would have to dismantle the progress made already. As a consequence it took me much longer but the result soon was showing promise as the blue against the yellow was very effective.
The base still moves along slowly but positive from its motor and gears driving the 24 wheels, then once the cabin was finished I knew I have to do all the main mechanical devices to operate the crane to its full capability and it was going to be tricky to fill all these system inside the cabin so I decided on something different and create all its operational gadgets on top of the cabins’ roof and along the back of the crane.
One motor operates the lifting unit and a second motor at the back with a clutch operates a secondary lifting unit, the boom being very heavy is supported with some tension spring so the up and down movement is easier reducing the weight.
Instead of being driven by a motor, I decided the cabin’s rotation action would be manually operated by a crank to allow the interactivity with any observers who can operate it thanks to a large pinion engaging the large toothed circular plate and I like the idea of this being a back to basic experience but think it will prove just as effective in displaying the beast of the model.
The Beast — Taking a load more than anyone can bear!