The Sky Scanner Fairground Ride

With the month of May 2021 being as wet as it has been I can’t have been the only one at my window searching the skies for signs of better weather, but I spent the rainy days making a brand-new model.

I started the month reluctantly dismantling the Jugger-Nauticus model which was the second largest ship of my fleet, but something always gives way to make room for something new.

For this new fairground model I used three large flanged plates bolted together for the base, added a flanged ring (167b) and a circular girder in the centre with six angle girders (7) all supported with some circular girders to create a tall tower. I added side strip plates to the base as additional supports.

At this time, I did not have any thoughts of what to put on the top, but I came up with the idea that whatever it was going to be I wanted it to tilt just a few degrees only.

I added a motor to the tilting platform and started with the wheel. I used eight long angle girders as the main arms so it would not be very heavy; however the weight of the wheel will not easily tilt forward unless there is a counter-balancing weight to the back of the unit, so I modified the back and fixed lots of heavy parts for the weight needed.

I started building the eight cars and attached them to the rotating arms, trying a few varied options to ensure I ended up with the one that saw them move most effectively and freely, but it was a time-consuming exercise to achieve a satisfying result.

I started adding railings on all sides and made some other adjustments which meant the weight of the wheel had become heavier with the cars etc. , so new modifications had to be made at the top rear end of the tilting unit.

I then added a second motor to move the desired tilting movement, with lots of gears to give a good reduction in the final speed. I built additional fixing points to add to the back of the model and new struts were needed and quite a few adjustments.

Finally, when all these adjustments were in place, I tried the motor and it was struggling with the heavy weight of the wheel itself, so I had to dismantle the front of the tilting unit, remove the motor and try a Meccano motor with a reduction gearing system to add extra power. I tried it in the same position as the previous one and this also did not prove to do its job, so the idea came to install this motor on the side of the tilting cabinet and free the wheel so the motor will move the wheel only with elastic bands instead. It was perfect after all the extra work.

Later I made even more adjustments, adding more weights or extra modifications, adding lights to the eight cars and building a unit to sit at the very top of the model, mainly as an aesthetic embellishment.

The new model was virtually ready, with a ticket kiosk, access steps and other small details finishing details in place.

But I kept making many changes and improvements to the already finished model — the circular tower was covered with red plastic plates and a light inside, the main front was widened with extras railings, the front of the wheel was changed with a new hub disc replacing the one already there, new decorations and supports were added to the side towers, and all the heavy weights at the back of the tilting cabinet were removed with a new balancing system.

It’s a Ferris Wheel-like structure with the typical rotating action but with a very unusual 30° angle meaning you find yourself looking up at the skies while you ride.

The Sky Scanner — looking towards heaven won’t save you from what you must ride!

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