The Mincer Fairground Ride

My new model comes as the result of arriving freshly back from my holiday only to discover that I had overlooked the date of the next Meccano meeting and that if I wanted to exhibit a model at all, I was going to have to bolt something together in just three days.

As it happened I did have ‘The Challenger’ which was a fairground model I had built over a year ago but which I never got round to exhibiting anywhere. Having encountered power unit shorting problems, it was left to one side in the garage waiting for me to eventually modify the power unit and stop the transformer cutting out every few minutes which was due to the friction and weight produced by the rotating and swinging cars set on castors and non-Meccano wheels.

I did add a photo of it to the SELMEC Model Gallery at the time, but I never finished developing it completely. So now with just three days to go and finding myself short of a new model to display, I decided to dust off the forgotten model and somehow re-invent it.

The lack of sufficient time made me quickly opt to assemble a new internal ride that would fit into the existing exterior carcass and to be frugal with time, I also decided to re-use the passenger cars of my earlier Propulsion model.

Still uncertain about whether the power unit would cope with the new design, I started constructing the eight anchoring arms for each of the carriages, making the many modifications that were needed but still saving me copious amount of time.

My fear was that the mechanism still seemed heavy, and whether the power unit was going to struggle just the same, but once the completed design was ready I bolted and fitted a large ball thrust bearing on top of the geared motor and placed the new unit in its axle, and then very tentatively, I tested it.

I was delighted to see it go well and reliably fast and felt extremely satisfied at having solved my potential model-less attendance at this meeting, but even more that I had given the once incomplete model a new lease of life.

The complete structure is bolted to a circular plywood piece with walls all round and an entrance with a large entrance arch, kiosks and decorative embellishments.

The thrill of this ride is mainly produced by the intensity of its high velocity.

Originally started in 2015 but redesigned and completed in September 2016 in just three short days, making minced meat of what laid to one side almost forgotten.

I was going to call it the ‘Challenger Mk II’, but to give it its own identity I have settled for ‘The Mincer’.

‘The Mincer’ — shredding the nerves of its riders and making minced-meat of queuing passengers!

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