The Eclipser Fairground Ride
The Eclipser is my last model of 2011, which has turned out to be a busy year for me with Meccano. I started the year painfully, dismantling my Storm Rider model which I felt was my most accomplished construction ever, as well as modifying The Devil’s Whip model which was a nod to my boyhood obsession. I designed and constructed a further three new fairground models; The Maelstrom, The Disc-Comforter and its later scion Terror’s Ark.
After re-constructing the The Disc-Comforter into the Terror’s Ark model, I hit on the idea of a dual ride for a new model and started its design in October.
The Eclipser is another freelance model and yet another fairground concept. The model boasts twin inclined tower like arms leaning away from each other both serving as a hub to support independent rides. Initially I planned to have differing ride experiences on each arm of the model such as a rotating wheel on one and perhaps two swinging boats on the other. However, before long I became more interested in developing a more celestial theme, like planets orbiting each other, or the relationship between the Sun and the Moon. This idea was developed by having two rotating wheels, one on each tower and with one bigger than the other. As the idea of trying to place the wheels side by side was being implemented I realized the total length of the model was going to be far too large to be practical and transportable and came to the decision of one wheel overlapping the other which would greatly reduce the overall length of the model. To facilitate this, one of the arms was extended, dismantled and re-built in a slightly new position further back to allow both wheels to rotate independent of each other and without collision. As I have come to expect as second nature with all of these designs, many further modifications, calculations and then alterations needed to be made before I finally achieved the desired correct and smooth functioning I had hoped for.
Two power units were fitted with one on each tower to drive the cycles of each wheel as slowly or as fast as is desired. The finishing touches include a ticket kiosk, customer entrance and barriers, and an attractive over head arch at the entrance.
The Eclipser is a celestial themed ride that threatens passengers by the proximity of its orbiting neighbour. It mimics the relationship of orbiting planets and the theme in particular of a Solar Eclipse.
Speed, thrills and the fear that both parts of the ride are so perilously close their carriages could crash into each other are scary sensation the riders face.
The Eclipser — when two worlds collide, somewhere darkness will follow!