The Colossus of Rides
My new model follows the recent trend of having converted previous models into new ones and mainly due to what a busy time it’s been in the Meccano calendar since the end of the summer holidays. With many so Meccano events, meetings and exhibitions ahead and little time to build complete new models, I settled for turning some of my old ones into new creations instead. I have never been too keen on exhibiting the same model too often.
So in recent weeks my Stratosphere model was evolved into ‘Stratosferris’, my ‘Challenger’ model metamorphosed into the new design of The Mincer, and now right on the back of that, I still wanted to do something new!
With the West London Meccano Club exhibition, Runnymede Meccano Guild meeting and the October Meccano Show at the South East London Meccano Club all still ahead of me, I set about transforming yet another of my earlier models and this time it was The Awful Tower fairground model that I decided was in need of a major face lift.
I started by redesigning the very large main rotating arm which supported four gondolas at either end with the intention of building two large rotating drum-like vehicles where the riders would sit in two rows. The drums replaced the previous passenger carriages and the nature of the fairground experience into something new; a much bolder type of ‘Ride’.
As the new arm rotates, the passenger pod drums also oscillate simultaneously, almost threatening to make a whole circle and throw their passengers upside down and right around, but the result is a vigorous swinging effect offering extreme thrilling sensations.
As with most overhauls, lots of other parts of the model were removed and new ones added with the aim of improving the overall look of the unit.
The original model’s base and its towers were very heavily built due to its tall size and this made transporting it in the car very risky as the twin towers tended to move and distort and so I had to also secure it with strapping. Keen to address that inconvenience, but still posed with a similar problem, I opted to discard that part of the structure and create a brand new one and so I employed what I describe only as a secret idea in the building of this new unit which helped create a much stronger base and upright towers than I had been able to achieve before, but that also had the bonus of using less supporting strips and angle girders which also significantly reduced the overall weight.
A new arc-type of canopy at the entrance to the ‘Ride’ was built even higher than the previous one as I wanted to make it bolder than before, and despite the two seemingly thin single columns looking like they shouldn’t be able to support the large and heavy rotating structure, I was able to achieve them higher than a metre tall without the need for additional strips, struts or angle girders without sacrificing any of the model’s imperious stature.
The secret to the model’s lofty dominance has yet to be disclosed and I am not in any rush to, liking the idea that later people might wonder at what kept it up and so high, but the secret of any towering structure is in its construction and what is employed in keeping it rigid from foundations upwards and secured secure to its base.
The finished re-imagining of my fairground model is seven feet high and has a rotation of six feet in diameter, and on this scale against most of my other models, and its proportions I hope would give it legendary status see it towering over all else at amusement parks far and wide.
The ‘Colossus of Rides’ - Standing tall with thrills in the skies. You have to be up at it to see what it is that leaves everything else stood in its mighty shadow.