Clicking on many of the pictures enlarges them and provides extra information. The models are usually attributed to the builder.

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This model was made from the “Motorized Movers Set 5” by Chris. Harris.

He is hoping to put a video of it working on You-Tube soon.

The 1970 Set 7 Manual -   Manure Spreader with a Tractor designed by Chris. using some more recently introduced parts.

Ashley Simmonds has contributed this Model Fire Escape based on a Meccano magazine model from April 1961.

It was not intended to be built from a particular outfit but a No. 8 would probably have provided most of the parts. It is a modernised version of one of the 1937 manual models.

Virtual Meeting 2021

Side Lever Paddle Steamer Engine

Built by the Webmaster.

An E-Bay seller has got hold of copies of the 1934 Meccano Magazines and has split them up. He is selling the pages covering the most interesting articles separately. I happen to have a battered set of the magazines (missing some pages including most of the Fireside Fun ones).  There is a monthy series about marine engines illustrated by  Meccano models of many of them. Only rather sketchy instructions were provided. One that took my fancy was the Side Lever engine in the March issue. Basically it is a standard Boulton & Watt Beam Engine turned upside down but leaving the cylinder behind. This put the crankshaft in good position to drive the paddle wheels but meant that 2 beams  were needed, one on either side of the cylinder. The heavy beams are low down in the steamer where the weight is needed.

The model is based on the engine designed by Robert Napier in 1821 for the paddle steamer Leven. The engine is displayed outside the Scottish Maritime Museum near Dumbarton. I also have obtained photographs from the museum web-site and Geograph. The engine appears to differ from the MM model and I have made my model to be more like the real one. Not all the necessary information could be obtained from the photographs and I was unable the go to Dumbarton to look at the real one. Perhaps the most noticeable change is the way the valves are operated.  I have put the eccentric outside the crankshaft bearings as clearly shown in one of the photographs. The two small pumps are operated independently  mainly because I thought this would add to the interest of the model when it is running.

Other alterations include  the use of Progress parts for the cranks to give it more rigidity. I have retained the use of strips for the cylinder, but they are held together by modern springy strips. It sits on a Märklin wheel which happens to be just the right size. A bossless 3” pulley is used for the top because it is difficult to find one with a boss which runs true. The dimensions of the parallel motion have been altered to be more like what I think they ought to be.  The green Mettalus strips are used to allow adjustment. Numerous cranks have been added to allow the linkage to run freely  without wobbling.

The motor is a small Mettalus geared one.

A You -Tube video of the engine in motion can be seen at:

Above, The Mechanism for the Two Small pumps and the Valves.

Right, view from above.

Gear Cutting Machine.

In order to make the Side Lever Engine, I had to take my Gear Cutting Machine to pieces. However, I did take some photographs first. The one above shows most of the works. The “Hob” is a ½” BSW machine tap (12 tpi) held in home made supports.  This tap has nearly the correct pitch for Meccano gears but has a pitch angle of 27½° instead of 20°. The gear blank was made from Paxolin. The resulting gears should only mesh with other gears made using the same tap, but if you make the blank the right diameter, they will mesh with Meccano gears at the required centre distance reasonably well. Note that the tap is tilted so that the threads are at right angles to the gear beng made.

The motor had been removed when the photograph was taken.

To the right are close-ups of a gear being made and a completed 64 tooth gear. A Stokys 64t Contrate wheel was used as a “master”. With this type of gear cutting  machine, you need a master gear with the required number of teeth (or a chain of gears to obtain the right ratio) but it can be of a different tooth form from the one required. The set-up used for making the 64 tooth gear had to deal with the right angle drive of the contrate-pinion combination. There is a meshing pair of Meccano small helicals. The helix angle is not quite 45° but I got away with it.

  The model based on one published in the March 1972 Meccano Magazine. The original was made by H. Vollenhoven of Eindhoven in the Netherlands. The cone pulley was used for an automatic vertical feed.

3 Wheeled Railway Inspection Trolley.

This is another model which I have just taken apart. It is of an inspection trolley  on display at the Severn Valley Railway Museum at Highley. They were popular in countries where stations were very far apart so that inspectors and workers had long distances to travel. Like the simple 4 wheeled trucks used on British railways, they could be easily be lifted of the track when a train was expected. Many were built by an American firm - Kalamazoo. They were invented before the Safety Bicycle and so are hand cranked rather than pedal driven. Gears are used instead of a sprocket drive.

My model had to be fitted with two double flanged wheels so it would remain on the track. Some of the full size ones that are in regular use have them.

Dick Watson has made a You-Tube Video of his Meccano device for rotating a monitor into the correct orientation during a display of pictures of members’ models.

The link is:

It also deals with a mixture of tall thin models and long low ones.

Unfortunately, it rotates in the opposite direction to that chosen by You-Tube to rotate Smartphone videos taken in landscape mode.

Brian Elvidge has been busy.

Following on from his group of models using a Highways Multikit Cab, here is a Breakdown Truck.

Brian has also used a modified version of the truck to make an Articulated Lorry.

Instead of steering by a lever at the back, a steering wheel has been fitted  behind the cab of the tractor unit where it can be used easily.

More of Brian’s Models.

1. A Decorator’s Bench built for a completion for model using only 2 other parts in addition to nuts & bolts.

2. An “Elevated Jib Crane”.  A motor supplied by Dave Taylor drives the hoisting, luffing and slewing motions.

3. A Stunt Aeroplane from a Spinmaster Manual.

4.  A Beach Buggy, designed by Brian, using parts in a recent Blue & Silver Spinmaster Set.

5. A Tractor.

. The differential is a conventional design, but the two side gear pinions have cut down bosses, supplied by Dave Taylor, mounted on short pivot bolts, The crown gear is a 57 tooth gear.The steering system  uses 5 hole strips with integral double brackets each side. These odd looking parts replace a combination of a double bracket and a 5 hole Strip used on models designed for outfits without any 3 hole Strips.

The wheels are standard wheels from the Motion sets, the rears are fixed to 6 hole bush wheels by long bolts. This enables them to be secured to round rods

The front wheels are loose on the round rods.








Travelling Gantry Crane.

Brian built this model from a 1911 Manual.

The manual picture, below, shows a slightly different version from a later manual. Brian has omitted the mechanism which is intended to keep the load level while the jenny is moved across the gantry. It needs modification to make it work properly. Instead, he took the end of the hoist rope to the other end of the gantry instead of tying it to the block.

The Manual was published just after the introduction of bosses with set-screws, but it shows “tunnel” keys in many of the illustrations. The parts list  for this model includes 4 collars, probably to hold the worm in place, but not shown.  

Chris. Harris has built a Robotic arm.

It is based on a design by Dave. Heathcote  published as Modelplan 153 in Aug 2004.

It is a simple Meccano robot but even so has 5 motors.  Chris. has  modified it slightly using different motors.  Note the use of the Bowden cable from the 15 model set produced a few years ago. Chris. has also used a simpler bearing

A You-Tube Video has now been made of Dick Watson’s Coal Tippler. The link is:

The picture on the right was taken at the last AGM. before some modifications had been made to imptove its performance.

Dick Watson bought these Märklin Sets recently on E-Bay with the intension of using the parts for model building. However, since the original mounting cards are in good condition, he decided to reconstruct them. A picture was available for the 101 set but the layout of the 101a had to be guessed. Note that the aluminium flexible plates are painted blue on one side only - a feature often used on models.

Set 101 (on the left) is the Märklin development of the 1914 Meccano Set 1.  It is one of the first with 2 Universal Zahnrädern replacing 2 1” pulleys in the earlier version. A leaflet was included showing how they  could be used, but no models in the manual used them. I decided that a 14 tooth Zahnkranz für Tell Nr. 22 (a “pastry cutter) was missing. Marks on the mounting card suggested that it was stored under one of the large wheels. The part 52 has been moved to show the otherwise hidden parts.

Set 101A on the right is the Märklin development of the 1914 Meccano 1a making the combination similar to a 1937 Meccano Set 5. The Flanged & Grooved Wheels with large tyres are much better and more versatile than the tinplate Meccano Roadwheels   in Set 5. One part 60/7 has been replaced. The position of the Windmills Sails is pure guesswork. The manual shows some interesting models with good play value.

Travelling Gantry Crane (featured in early Manuals)

Dick Watson decided to see whether the mechanism of  Brain’s Travelling Gantry Crane could be altered so that the original mechanism could do what he thought it should do. The cords controlling the motion of the trolley are now wound round the controlling Crank Handle instead of a pulley on the intermediate shaft. This means that all the cords move at the same speed.  Two separate cords are used to control the trolley, wound in opposite directions. This method is used on the large cranes in the later Märklin Manuals and on Blocksetting Cranes such as  “Cape Town one”  shown in Constructor Quarterly No. 29, page 13, Fig. 10b.

Only the Bush Wheel used as a weight for the hook and the loose 1” Pulleys are “tunnel” key ones, the rest have bosses. The Clips have been replaced by Collars.

The hoist and racking shafts can be geared together by a chain of 2 pinions and a central gear. To hoist the load, the central gear is disengaged from the pinion on the hoisting shaft using the lever projecting from the left hand side. For racking the gear is engaged so that when the trolley is moved the load is raised or lowered, keeping it at a constant height.

The mechanism is sometimes used on the auxiliary hoists of hammerhead cranes, when a single part hoist is all that is needed.

Brian used the simpler method of taking the free end of the hoist cord to the far end of the gantry instead of back down to the top of the block. This method is used on builders’ Hammerhead Tower Cranes.

Dick thinks that the reason for the complicated and expensive mechanism is that the original crane was fitted with snatch blocks. The hoist rope could be unhitched from the blocks so that light loads could be raised quickly. For heavier loads, the rope could be hooked round the snatch blocks to give a triple purchase.

A You-Tube Video of the model in operation can be viewed at:

Chris.Harris has built the Petrol Tanker, model 9.9 in the 1970 Meccano Manual. Most people would not regard this as a “proper” No.9 set model, being published after 1 was added to all the outfit numbers except No. 10. However, 2 18½”Angle Girders were added. These were used to help make the tank. Like many large motor vehicles made with the larger sets, a mixture of wheel sizes had to used. Chris. has been able to correct this and add a bit more detail.

Snatch Blocks

The original 3-part purchase has now been replaced by the snatch blocks shown on the left. Meccano pulley blocks, upside down, could have been used, but the bent strip was thought to be more in keeping with a 1913 model. The cord can easily be unhooked for the pulleys to give a single part hoist for light loads. Putting it back is a bit tricky on the model but fairly easy on the real one. Two or three strong men would have been on hand.

Another of Brian Elvidge’s Motor vehicles using the Highway Multikit Cab.

Many details are the same as those used in previous models in the same series.

Jib Crane

Brian has improved the Jib Crane which he submitted to the Virtual Meeting a while ago. It now has 8 wheels. The motor is an RS 540 from Dave. Taylor.


A model designed by the late Andreas Konkoly

It has modified by members of Runnymede Meccano Guild in Surrey, under Nick Rodgers and Brian Elvidge. Brian thinks that a bit of reinforcement is needed.

It has a nice governor, a lamp, an oil pump, a four speed gearbox, that is tricky to set up, and other features.

It is supposed be a model of an original by Ruston and Hornsby of Lincoln, now part of Alstom and was a steam engine used to generate electrical power. It ran at 1500 rpm and was geared to drive an alternator at 3000 rpm. It is not clear how much this model is based on that machine.

Racing Car, Spinmaster Set 2 No. 10201

Built by Brian Elvidge. He found that it was tricky to build. He has changed the ways that the wheels are attached. He found that the instructions available on were better than those provided with the set.