Various Chinese Set Models

These four models were bought in an auction at the SELMEC meeting in January 2010. I was the only bidder on the lot so I got all four for 3.00. I’ve seen similar sets in a local charity shop for around four quid each! The models are a quad bike, aeroplane, helicopter and robot.

The kits appear to be all from the same manufacturer, although the packaging was different and they went under two different names, Metal Mechanic and X-Tech, and each with a different UK distributor. One kit came without instructions and the other had instructions but no box. In all cases the instructions are almost useless with a tiny sheet with a picture of the completed model on the cover, some rudimentary photos of various stages of construction (in the case of the quad bike there are just six photos) and a parts list. The photos have the parts numbers with a multitude of thin lines pointing to them, but it was often easier to look at the photo of the completed model than rely on the instructions.

The system is based on 10mm hole spacings and most strips are a similar width to the Meccano narrow strip. Nuts and bolts are metric with a Philips head. Unlike Meccano, there were plenty of spare nuts and bolts in each set, but no washers. The tools supplied are a tiny screwdriver and a very thin spanner.

All the models are somewhat skeletal since there is no plating and only a few double width parts. For me, the most pleasing model is the robot, probably because it’s not trying to look like any particular prototype.

The most amusing thing about the whole collection is the box for the aeroplane where, under the caption “ALL NEW EDITION!" on the front of the box, it says “FLASHING ENTER!". On the back of the box it invites you to “BAND YOUR EYES ON THE TOYS”! Quite what they’re suggesting I don’t know.

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