Rocket Man

Looking back at 2023 I realised what a busy year it has been in terms of my Meccano model making pursuits with 19 new models, from which only one was a structured box set. All the other 18 were completely freelance models of my own design.

That makes it probably my most prolific year ever on top of which I was then recently asked to produce a list of these models for an upcoming article in a Meccano magazine, and if I could manage a 20th to complete the list?

So why not?

It was mid-December when I decided to dismantle my Tin Man Tom cycling robot, or at least look at giving it a radical re-design, and so I set about stripping away at some of its pieces, keeping the interior of the top main body and the column where it stands.

I dismantled the arms, legs, head, and cycling drums and then started changing the body, followed by the building of new arms and a new head.

For fun I added sunglasses and a hat feature like the one that Elton John once famously wore, and at that stage it was suggested to me that I should name it after him.

I didn’t stop there though, and I even added a moustache before getting back to the main carcass of the model.

I decided to widen the body, and strengthen the standing main column for its legs.

I removed the previous two motors which drove the moving of the head and legs and fixed two new motors instead to improve both movements.

I was not sure how the legs would look being attached to the side of the main body, but my main aim was also make them quickly detachable for ease of transport and set up.

To this end I decided that the head should also be removable, and both these things have made it lighter and much easier to handle and move about as needed.

The strategic placement of the legs on the side of the body also makes it easier for the robot to be displayed in a seated position, though the idea is that perhaps he can do anything.

‘Rocket Man’ was built in the mid-December of one very full-on and hectic year, but just in time to launch into 2024 and wherever that is going!

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