Summer 2023 Newsletter
Summer 2023 Newsletter
This was one of our informal quarterly meetings where our members showed off their latest Meccano creations.
At around 2:00pm we had a short committee meeting, followed by the Model Tour in which members were invited to give a short talk about their models — in particular their entries for the Secretary’s Challenge!
At around 3:30pm Alan Wenbourne gave a talk on The Design of Gears for Production covering his experience in designing automotive gears and gearboxes. It introduced simple involute gear geometry, how a gear tooth is loaded, how the bending and compressive stresses are derived, typical grades of steel and heat treatments used, fracture and fatigue stress analysis and gear/gearbox life evaluation.
The Welling Model Club were guest exhibitors at our Meccano Show in 2022, so we reciprocated and showed some of our Meccano models at their Model Show & Open Day on 15th April.
Watch our video of the show
The main attraction was their members’ models of figures, aircraft, cars, military vehicles, vignettes, dioramas etc.
Dad’s Army figurines
One of the working fairground ride models
Military figurines and dioramas
I picked up Tim early in the morning but it wasn’t really necessary since we were all set up well before starting time.
Ten Meccano people turned up and we were crammed into the nursery. Robin Schoolar was in the conservatory with his Green Meanie wheel loader and other models.
Children watch the Green Meanie in action
Robin Schoolar in control of the Green Meanie
Footfall was very light despite there being a big sign by the door, so we spent time talking to each other. The canteen was open for made-to-order sandwiches. The main hall was a lot busier with various craft stands selling their wares. There was a raffle and prizes were awarded at about 3:30pm, after which we started packing up.
Exhibitors present (in addition to Robin Schoolar mentioned above) were:
Andrew Couzens: Handgun; dancing robots; sports car; cruise liner.
Roger Auger: Dartford Tunnel Scammell Scarab and other models.
Tim Surtell: Fire-fighting tugboat; Welling Sparkle sign; cavorting cow; treasure chest; Beat the Goalie game; the diabolo player; shopping trolley smartphone holder; unicyclist; Connect Four game; the Spanish Knight.
Les Chatfield: Ruston Proctor steam navvy; mini Moke; engine hoist with engine.
Greg Clarke: Aeroplane propeller.
Les Chatfield and Greg Clarke
Santiago Plicio: Pandemonium fairground ride.
Frank Paine: Biplane; Ferris wheel; car chassis;
Brian Leach: Vibratory motor; BBC Two ‘Toy Car’ channel ident; safe.
Alan Wenbourne: M4 high-speed tractor.
A drum built around Hub Discs rotates at moderate speed on a vertical axle, powered via driving bands from a cube motor. It seems that the colour of the whole curved surface alternates every few turns between bright yellow and deep blue.
Can that rotating drum really change colour every so often? Or is my power of psychic suggestion putting weird impossibilities into your head?
Watch our video of this model
The trick at the heart of the device is by no means original. There are card and paper versions dating back well over a century, but I believe this to be the first Meccano version. And I have never seen this trick arranged all the way round a cylinder before.
A view of the motor and mechanism underneath the drum
My version is entirely Meccano (with my usual disclaimer about all those heretical washers). I hope everyone will try figuring it out for themselves, but there can be no touching and certainly no stopping the mechanism. If you manage to work it out, maybe keep it to yourself so as not to spoil the puzzle for others. I must decline to give clues how it works — except for the story of the earliest Meccano Kemex outfits which were recalled to Binns Road due to ‘health and safety concerns’. I make no comment on the rumour about the Magic Circle discovering that each of those outfits contained a phial of Oofle dust (Kemex part K00f) and that the Circle put an unspeakable curse on Frank Hornby until he ordered their recall.
It’s not as reliable as I’d like — each time it breaks down, I do what I can to prevent that particular failure and next time it somehow finds a new way to go wrong.