The Space Invader Robot

With so many models all competing for limited storage space in my garage, there is only so long I can store many models before I have to consider which one is going to be the next one to make way for something new.

Over the years when I’m particularly fond of a model I have sometimes kept hold of it for a bit longer than some of the others, or instead of dismantling them completely I try and create some kind of upgrade or improvement to an existing design, but there always comes a time where no matter how much I’m attached to one model or another, I have to determine which one now is just the space invader.

Sunday 7th June 2020 was exactly one of those days and needing something to do I went into my garage and after some consideration decided that my old Meccanoid robot model that I built a couple of years earlier was the latest in line to make way.

I took it to my conservatory, which is really now just my Meccano workshop space and where all of my models eventually take shape (and even there the space has become invaded with all things related to the Meccano hobby), and I set about the dismantling and removing of part of the model.

I think it was almost an immediate thing and decided to re-invent the Meccanoid model for a newer upgrade and so I was selective in what to take apart completely.

I removed the head, the legs, base, and a few other bits wanting to re-design the robot so I started by building a new bigger head and once I had that I decided to build an arch around the entire head not knowing what I wanted to achieve or if it would look right, but that would simulate some kind of helmet contraption. My wife wasn’t keen on the look but I kind of liked it and so I kept it anyway and then continued adding new body parts and instead of making additional space available in the garage the model started growing bigger and I knew that the space invading was set to continue but I pressed ahead with additional body plates and then upgrading the previously two fixed arms from the original model that had no movement with four new ones which all now move when the model is in operation.

After removing the legs and some other fittings I decided to add movement at the waist area of the model and place a toothed large gear plate used mainly in cranes, and with many flanged wheels supporting it so it can rotate once a round platform 30cm high that was built as a stand for the full body of the robot to sit on.

This unit was built with two flanged rings, angle girders and strips to make it strong enough to support its heavy weight.

Inside I built an inner round unit in case I might need to fix a light inside, but which also served as a support across for the new robot.

A heavy-duty axle was fitted in the lower toothed plate so the robot will securely stand on its base nice and solidly.

The original two legs of the Meccanoid model had been built with strips and U section plates which were unsatisfactorily narrow and too small and which would look even more out of proportion with this larger upgrade and so I built two new identical legs and joined them together which resulted more realistic to the robot’s growing dimension.

The robot is armed with a laser-guided cannon and two high calibre machine guns.

There motors operate the full motions of the arms, ribs and head parts and after excess old features were removed, the model was reinforced with some additional supports to keep the body rigid and secured.

For ease of transportation the model is in three sections, the main body, the base stand and the two double legs which are removable.

The completed model was ready four days later and a few minor adjustments during testing ended with all the mechanisms working more than satisfactorily, and now I am once again more than happy with how at home the space is invaded.

In my Meccano world, fighting off little alien space robots invasions is more than just an old video game on your screens; they have much bigger plans and sooner or later they are going to invade the space in your homes too.

The Space Invader — Resistance is futile!

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