The Intimidator Fairground Ride

2023 has been a very busy year in my Meccano activities with the building of 17 models so far, but I am still hoping to cram in a couple of models more.

On Monday 20th November I started with this latest one, a fairground contraption which had come to my mind the day before.

Since my early retirement more than two decades ago I have built so many fairground based models that it almost impossible to come up with something completely brand new, but I still try to imagine new shapes in every creation.

This one has a very robust base with a very unique shape compared with the all the ones that have come before, and to which a heavy-duty axle is bolted and where a rotating heavy tower with eight carriages slide in freely. These are made easily detachable for ease of transportation.

The space between the rotating unit and the base is no more than two inches, making it difficult to design a motorised system to drive the model. I had however an idea to try something different, not knowing whether it would prove possible.

The base is open-backed to allow space for a motor, and right underneath the rotating unit I designed a circular plate bolted to this base, with a system of bolts and large washers to retain one or two elastic bands to the motor at the desired position.

Once built, I was happy with the idea which not only looks good but is actually also effective. As the unit needs to be detachable I bolted a long screw to one side of the base where I can cling these two rubber bands securely and only re-attach them to the motor once the unit was back in place.

The eight carriages are freely attached with 8” axles, on to eight arms that support them from the top of the tower and from there they can swing as the ride speed increases while in motion.

At the front I added a large arch where the ride’s name is attached with a light to illuminate it.

I don’t know how much faster or exhilarating it might be compared to some of my previous fairground model creations, but if it were ever to be up-scaled to a full-sized working amusement park attraction, I am hoping it would be just as intimidating.

The Intimidator — Fear and exhilaration comes in all shapes and sizes, but no-one has bravely ridden in this one!

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