The Nordic Invader Fairground Ride
2017 started with the first Meccano meeting at SELMEC in January, where I displayed my newest model The Demoraliser. Finding that I had some extra time on my hands before our next meeting at the Runnymede Meccano Guild in February, I decided to kill the time by building another new model.
Remembering an earlier model of mine called Terror’s Ark, which was a swinging ride I built in 2011, I thought I would build a similar version but with a larger ship passenger vessel.
I started on the 11th of January building the rotating long arm which supports the swinging ship, and followed up the next day with the building of the boat and later the base and so on until I found that within just a few days that I had put them together and manually tested the construction. Its operation felt great, and was made smooth by adding additional weights to balance the movement.
On Monday I started to construct the main decking, steps, kiosk and all the embellishing details, using red and yellow parts and then choosing dark blue strips and girders for the final look.
By the Thursday I only needed to build or fix a motor to drive the ride and I opted for an uncomplicated system of a rubber band from the motor engaging a large pulley fitted at the back of the rotating arm with brackets holding the elastic band.
As with similar attractions such as the Mary Rose, this ride starts with a slow swinging motion in both directions which slowly escalates in height back and forth until reaching the zenith of full 360° rotations.
Being themed on a Viking ship I could have named the ride so, but there is already an existing Viking Ship fairground ride though it doesn’t turn its passengers fully upside down but just leaves them feeling like their stomachs are in their mouths. I opted to name my one something different and ‘Longboat’ didn’t have much of a fairground ring to it, and then I came up with my simple alternative.
Women and children beware, it won’t be just your screams that are heard at the fair!
On the fairground horizon, the Nordic Invader is coming to turn your world upside down!