Chris Warrell's drum kit
Nano Micrlight
Nano Microlight
Nano plane
Nano Airoplane
Nano Scooter
Nano Moonbike

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27th March 2010 SELMEC meeting and more new models

Having missed the January meeting I was keen to get back to Sherard Hall and see what had been going on. Normally I am one of the first there. If the traffic is bad, the arduous 12-minute journey can be extended by 3 or 4 minutes. The trouble with getting there a little later is the car park can be full and I had to park in the furthest space from the hall. Having to port my models an extra 27 yards made me even later…

Sue's Trolley
Sue's trolley was a great hit (Photo: Tim Surtell)

This was the second outing for my Bi-plane flyer, now with modified bearing and it worked well all day with no brass dust in evidence - See HERE. The star of my display was Sue’s supermarket trolley that she had built for the secretary’s challenge. Unable to attend herself, I had been dispatched with strict instructions of how to drive it. The challenge for this meeting was to think of your least used part and then to make a model using four of them. Sue explains more HERE.

Brian Leach's armchair

Similar in concept to Sue’s model was Brian Leach’s armchair and as it was he who set the challenge I suppose it was only fitting that he participated.

Chris with Hat
Crane hat!

Meccano has obviously gone to Chris Warrell’s head as he demonstrated his latest invention, the crane hat! It was built as a joke when he was invited to a hat party – so he tells us… Chris also entered the four–part challenge with a neat little model drum kit incorporating four of the conical discs. It just goes to show how one builders interpretation of the rules is different from another’s. The HatI would not have classed that as an under used part as we seem to use it a lot. Sue diminished our stock of those when she built the replica display model Ferris wheel. Chris fry opted to nominate the plastic sprocket wheel and built a version of John Nuttall’s digital counting unit. It just goes to show what diversity of thinking theses contests produce. I know that we would not of built some of our more successful models without the prompting of the secretary’s challenge.3 

Geoff Wright has been building buses and trams from the No 9 set for a while now and by his own admission it gets a bit much so he was looking for a new challenge. This has surfaced in the design of a grandfather clock. But how do you create the correct gearing? Not being a clock expert I was a bit at sea here but as Geoff explained you need to be able to make certain ratios as he demonstrated with his small display all made from Set No 9 parts.

Adrian Ashford always comes up with something of interest to me and this time was no exception. From an old 1950’s Meccano magazine, he built a very compact model of an excavator of the period. Replacing the cosmetic tracks with the Meccano plastic version and motorising it’s operation using the modern, black-cased, motors and just a couple of 1.5 volt batteries. With the superstructure removed the workings can be clearly seen. Models from the day can be found on the SELMEC website.

More new models
After receiving the first of the new Nano kits earlier in the month, we decided to order the others in the series as well as the ‘new’ Meccano branded design starter kits. It has to be said, the Nano kits are really very clever. From a minimal number of parts the finished model looks just right. At £3.00 each that is good value and each set includes a new style spanner and 3mm Alan key.

Design Startes
The new design starter range has been seen before

The other new sets to appear recently are the six new design starter sets. Although not strictly speaking ‘new’ as they have all appeared as retailer branded items in recent years they have now been released under the Meccano name and form the current selection of design starter kits. As usual Sue was concerned that some of them, especially the motorbike, are extremely fiddly to put together and a little ‘en might struggle. I personally liked the loader and the green tractor is a good source of small chunky tyres. At £6.00 each they are affordable and again are supplied with the new spanner and a 3mm Alan key. At this rate we are going to be over-run with new spanners!

Standard pack
It has come to our notice that Meccano seem to be including a standard tool, spring, cord and band set in their new kits as standard.Contents The new 10-model set mentioned previously as well as the new 3-model set mentioned HERE have the same black sealed bag included. The bag contains two small grey drive bands, two medium sized yellow drive bands, two compression springs, a length of cord and the now obligatory new style spanner and a 3mm Alan key, a strange selection but useful nevertheless.



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Chris Fry's counter
Nano Helicopter
Nano Helicopter
Nano Digger
Nano Bulldozer
Nano F1
Nano F1 car