The Paddle Screamer Fairground Ride

After having built and displayed so many models new models this year I guess it was kind of inevitable that one of them would eventually resemble another wheel based incarnation. With the WLMS meeting fast approaching I set about this idea set but more determined than ever to make one that felt rather determined rather different despite the fact that I had promised myself I wouldn’t do anymore Ferris Wheel influenced models, but in actual fact the design of the model didn’t prove to be the biggest challenge during the construction.

I started by constructing a tall strong tower to support the rotating unit I had planned which needed to be completely solid if it was going to take the weight of what I was aiming to achieve but that would only have its rotating unit supported to the tower on an axis made of heavy steel.

The rotating unit itself consists of eight double arms which I decided not to fix in the typical straight outwards position as if they all come from one middle point, but rather to opt for arms that were tilted to one side instead coming off from the outer arc of the circle so to speak and immediately I felt that the overall look was already looking totally different to any known wheel or model I had constructed before.

To achieve this I used the longest angle girder available and at each end I fixed a flanged ring where the cars will swing and I was so delighted with the shape that the model was taking that I forgot about one crucial design factor that in the past I have learnt the hard way not to overlook. With the completed structure fully assembled with the rotating unit placed on its main supporting axle and anchored in its housing tower, I suddenly realised how huge this model was and a tape measure was quickly employed to confirm my fears. The diameter was almost 170cm from end to end and exceeded the width available to get it into my car and having finally completed my new model I was faced with stripping much if it down once again to make the necessary adjustments to reduce it.

To put things a little simply, a lot of work was involved with the angle girders, strips connections etc which all had to be taken apart, and then I had to settle for replacing each of the longest girders for the second largest ones instead.

I was certain that this reduction in size would easily address the problem of getting into my car as the model was now only 148cm in width and surely the whole day’s effort of these adjustments had solved the headache but to my complete frustration the model still was 2cm to big no matter how I threatened to twist, squeeze or turn it.

I’m not usually one to admit defeat but there are always moments when model making over the years tests your resolve and perhaps this was one of those moments of just having to breathe deeply and hope no one would come at that moment into close proximity or say anything to you, but the shortest of breaks and then I just had to get on and do what was needed.

By the time I had dismantled all the flanged rings and attachments I had probably calmed down and then I set about fixing them again in the second hole of the girders instead which would gain another 2cm of reduction as was needed, but only by going in a tilting position and with two of the rings having to rest on the car floor and the whole circular unit resting leant on the side of the car wall.

The base of the model sports a ticket kiosk, railings, an entrance arch and light, steps, ads and even a Christmas tree as an additional decoration and on the other side there is a model café with its own menu as well.

The motor is fixed in the inner circular unit built on top of the tower and engages two separate pulleys so the motor’s speed is reduced to a moderate gentle motion.

The finished design of the fairground ride is that of a paddle steamer with riders sitting in each of the giant paddles, and if they experience even some of what I felt in just building the ride then the model will have really earned its new name.

‘The Paddle Screamer’ — Take the plunge on a ride that doesn’t care how much you scream!

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