A 3/4 inch flanged wheel makes a good wheel hub

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14th May 2009 New Meccano Kits and a hidden gem

Micro Kits

Over the past few weeks we have been busy not only with work but also doing the rounds of the shows. On our way we have managed to pick up the odd new kits. First, Sue grabbed one of each of the little Micro Kits while we were at the Magic of Meccano at Kew Steam Museum. And I managed to get hold of a couple of the new Robot kits. We had intended to make them up while we were at Meccanuity 09 at the beginning of the month. Three days of sitting about talking Meccano got in the way of actually building anything! We did start to assemble a couple of them but only one got finished the others came home untouched.

Micro kits

Micro F1

This week I had a chance put the rest together. The four Micro kits first appeared in New Zealand and Australia last year with news of the strange new spanner. Although there had been some reports of some sightings in larger Tesco stores in the UK, Sue and I had no luck finding them. Argos sold for a very limited period a pink VW Beetle kit - the less said about pink Meccano the better… although this was the first model to appear here in the UK with the new spanner. Christmas came and went and a few new models surfaced including the usual M&S specials and the new remote control models - still no Micro kits.

Micro Helicopter

I had almost given up when Sue spotted them on Dave Taylor’s stand (www.meccanoman.co.uk) at the Magic of Meccano show at Kew Steam Museum in April. As quick as a flash money changed hands and one of each were in the bag.

Micro Bi-Plane

There are four kits in the series and all share the same catalogue number but suffixed A-D. The kits are: F1 (1701A), Helicopter (1701B), Bi Plane (1701C) and Racer (1701D). The F1 kit makes up easily but you find out what that new spanner, I keep going on about, is for when you try and get the nuts tightened up inside the sleeve piece. As I was doing it I remembered someone on Spanner saying something similar. The little helicopter is lacking in parts but does capture the look and it does contain a couple of the narrow formed triangular plates. The Bi-plane looks a bit strange with its very short wings. They are made from five hole strips (P/N 5) and would have looked far better if seven hole strips (P/N 3) had been used instead. It also contains a couple of sprung steel strips which make up the fuselage. Last but not least is the Racer. This does look more like a modern F1 car than the F1 kit! It seems to have some useful parts but is probably the most awkward one to build with the back section straining all the tolerances in order to fit together neatly.  

Micro Racer


Again these were available in the southern hemisphere long before they surfaced here. I managed to find a seller on the internet last month and secured one small and one large. The problem was I had no choice I could only order one of three different types. On speaking to Dave Taylor at Meccanuity he discovered that he could now order them and now has stocks. These kits are going to be popular mainly because they are supplied in really nicely made tins. I also think these will be a hit with the kids.


So far I have managed to get hold of two of the six available. There are three large ones and three small ones. The large one I managed to get hold of is  catalogue number 892400B and the smaller one is 891400B affectionately known as Turquoise and Tubs for obvious reasons. They went together very easily and make good fun-looking robots they are a good source of parts for the money as well but just what I am going to do with what look like turquoise Concord kit parts I have no idea! The other four in the set will be waiting for me when I attend the RMG meeting in June.

How did I overlook this one

Nice little set and not expensive either

As I do my regular trawl through e-bay I place a 99p bid on the odd immaculate Elektrikit to see what happens (nothing to date…) and just have a stab at things that catch my eye. One such item was a Multi-models 15 set. (catalogue number 6515) I put my minimum bid on it and moved on. A week later I got an e-mail saying I had won the set. As we have not owned this set before I was intrigued to see how the cable command system worked. I did expect it to be rather flimsy, it is not! In fact the whole kit is brilliant value for money the full price is only £24.95 and you can get it cheaper if you shop around. It has a fair number of parts - all useful and the painted parts are a light pastel blue that works nicely with the zinc.

I was so impressed with this set that I sat down and built the back-hoe excavator that adorns the box and instruction booklet. It went together with ease and it demonstrates the cable command system. What’s more I think that the kids will like it to. I was reading a report on Amazon written by a parent saying that her son asked for a second set as he wanted to make the other models but wanted to keep the model he had already made.

Realistic movement is controled by the Boden cables

Also included are four tyres that I think have their roots in the plastic Meccano series. These are a funny size and are designed to fit a plastic insert that takes the large diameter plastic rods - I presume. In the set they are used with the plastic flanged wheels used with the rubber track. Neither of these options are of much use to the serious modeller. I then discovered that a 3/4in flanged wheel makes a reasonable fit inside the tyre and now supplied a means of locking the wheel/tyre onto a standard 5/32 inch axle.

Sign of things to come

A few days ago, we found another set at our local Argos. On opening it I was somewhat surprised to find that the original spanners have now been replaced with the new version. Does this mean that the original design of spanner is now an obsolete part?


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Short wings
The short strips for the wings spoil this model
Bowden cable
Bowden cable adjuster - neat!
Plastic wheel centres
Plastic wheel insert from the set