The Buccaneer Ship

In a continued mission to raid the depths of each endless Meccano treasure trove, for the endless combination of possibilities that the pieces represent, I have sought to combine them once again into something different.

If each Meccano piece is like a precious gold coin, then the elusive way in how to combine them represents the eternal jewel you know is there — you just have to rearrange them all until you finally reveal it.

This same analogy applies I guess to my insisting on building another model galleon despite having already built three in last few months. Each one felt special and golden, but none felt like the crowning jewel I was looking for.

Stealing inspiration and ideas from historical vessels and raiding from the depths of my imagination has only fuelled my hunger for something more, and like a marauding buccaneer I still want the mother lode.

For so long I have been trying to achieve the building of a curved type of galleon of the type typically featured (though fictional) in a Peter Pan movie, but each of my previous efforts only felt like they had scratched at the surface of what I was hoping for. Then as each of those models started to take an identity of their own, I completed them despite not sticking to my original objective.

As it is not easy to align the plates for making a curved hull; no matter how many times I started, I finished up with a ship that I loved but different to what I had imagined.

So with my ship chest still full of gold from the riches that the previous three models gave me — the gleaming silver of the Silver Surfer, the emerald green among the red and yellow of the Wade Warrior, and the shiny trinkets of the Captain Cavalier — I needed a different jewel among the collection.

I started with two hours one Sunday morning and managed to build the keel all along the hull adding all the curved red plates (part № 200).

The next day I continued non-stop until the hull was done, and thought about building the rest of the ship in silver to contrast with the red body. Suddenly as happens each time, my sails were filled with wind and I started to cruise furiously through each part of the construction challenge.

By Friday the ship was almost complete and only needed the riggings, an anchor and some sails, which took me another three days to do.

While I was building one ship, I was also dipping into my war chest of resources and in that way dismantling two of the other ships, with Captain Cavelier and the Wade Warrior being sacrificed for greater riches ahead.

A new look emerged, sleeker and more imposing, and certainly looking more iconic I think, and with it I created a better system to attach the rigging, and the use of silver parts helped enhance its look.

The new model has the additions of a balcony at the stern, and a front sail at the bow, though I reused the golden sails from my earlier Golden Horizon model.

I added a base platform to mount the model on and a name plate. I set on the name ‘The Buccaneer’ despite marauding buccaneers of the seventeenth century really using much smaller ships than this to do all their notorious piracy, but, in my world at least, the adventure is just about to get started.

Perhaps after all this effort, I once again did not get the fictional dream ship I have long wanted, but I have succeeded in raiding the mind and combination of pieces once again, and in doing so added a new jewel to my treasure chest.

I think it’s the jewel that gleams the brightest so far, though maybe others stuck at shore being more blinkered may just see another galleon.

The Buccaneer — The treasures of the mind are always fit for more raiding!

  • This model was the winner of the Wilson Trophy at the Holy Trinity Meccano Club meeting on 28th October 2023 (see later photos).

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