The Pinnacle Fairground Ride
When I found myself starting to dismantle one of the components parts of my previous model, the Demonizer, on the last day of July 2021, I could not at that moment in time believe I would complete a brand-new model just seven days later.
I always have several ideas floating around in my mind but it is getting more difficult to create new fairground models after all the ones I have built over the years, and to still feel like I have come up with something worthy and somehow new.
In fact, with so many of my previous models having been quickly built and almost just as quickly dismantled, it’s difficult to think which one, if any, represents the pinnacle of my Meccano hobby creations. Somehow each new one excites me just as much as the very first one did many years ago and the urge to build another is almost endless.
So, on 1st August with some dismantled pieces on one side and a possible model shape in my mind, I didn’t wait any longer to start building.
Envisioning a slim but tall supporting tower to support whatever ride came next, I set about using two of the longest angle girders, part № 7 (24.5”) for each of the four sides of the tower, making it 63” in height including the additional triangle-shaped unit bolted to the top.
Being so tall and slim, I knew it would need additional support, so I built a rectangular base using another six angle girders. These support it robustly enough to keep it free of unwanted swaying movements, resulting in a rock solid tower firmly anchored in place. I then added yellow strip plates to each of the six angle girders. I was pleased with the effect this produced and in how it differed in looks to any other models I had previously built.
So far this took two days of work, bolting, unbolting and then re-fastening.
Then came the loading bay platform with railings and even more supports, which was followed by building another long slim-line arm with the aim of fixing it onto a heavy-duty axle which would then be well supported by the tower.
This completed the crux of the model and its rotating unit. All that was needed then was to decide on the type of vehicle that would act as the passenger transporter — two cars, boats or gondolas fixed to opposite sides of the arm.
I decided to go with long narrow boat-like units that would seat several riders all facing forward, and quickly built two of them. These were supported at both ends with additional plates ensuring exact dimensions so that when in swinging motion they would not scrape on the platform floor.
On the fourth day, most of the work was done and all that was needed was add a motor and then to decide exactly where and how to mount it to the structure I had so far created.
Eventually I decided the back of the main tower was the right place, but I needed to remove one of the long strip plates at the front top part of the tower to be able to add the final drive to the ride.
Of course, as in almost every such case, the motor mechanics needed several changes in order to become precise enough to be effective and be at the right distance from the axle and pulley to move the arm and boats.
The motor speed was reduced to a moderate rotation by using three pinions and three gears to achieve the desired speed, and then I could finally turn my attention to the dressing up of the model with lights, verandas, railings, warning signs and a main arch at the centre entrance which gave the model the finished look I was hoping for.
Just when I thought I was pleased with my creation I added a few more tweaks — the base was lengthened at both ends and I also increased the size of the two boats to achieve a more balanced look.
I can’t say this model is the Pinnacle of Meccano model achievements, but I do really like the sleek almost needle like structural look and the name Pinnacle just seemed to fit nicely.
It was a fast six-day creation from dismantling the old to creating the new, but on the seventh satisfied day — I finally rested!