It has been a busy start to 2014 and I have already exhibited a new model called The Rock 'n' Rolla at the first Meccano meeting of the year. This was accompanied with an updated improved version of an earlier model of The Voyager, which I have redesigned so that the sailing ship was able to move up and down as though it was sailing in rough seas. While on display at the Runnymede Meccano Guild however, a rope that was integral to the model's rocking movement broke, but I have repaired it and got it ready for future exhibiting. But the experience made me want to develop something else too.
Back at home I looked at the various feature parts of previous models that I had kept when deciding on dismantling models to start on something new. I was thinking if I could come up with something that made use of some of the bits from other models, perhaps saving me some time too. I decided to work with the roof structure of one of last year's models, The Whipper. I also had kept the carriages from my Twin Spinner model and decided that instead of designing something completely new, I would redesign these instead. Now all I had to do was to create a theme, a ride that would use these parts that I could build around.
I had no hesitation of course in deciding that another funfair ride was my main aim. I kind of liked the idea of a new take on the 'flying carpet' attraction at the fair and remembering how the ride always left your stomach feeling like it was in your mouth most the time, and so I decided to make a version of my own. Thinking of this stomach shaking idea, I came up with the name 'The Shaker Maker', which was also the name of a favourite toy of my daughter, many years ago.
I had to make some modifications to the big roof, and started by building a strong supporting tower, anchoring it to a strong base to be able to support the heavy canopy. After redesigning the appearance of the two carriages, I fixed them to a central arm with counterweights which would rotate by using a geared motor driving a sprocket chain to a gear fitted to a heavy-duty axle.
An archway built at the front of the model has been also supported by four axle rods with black tubes and rod connectors to the main roof to give it much extra support.
A separated unit based on a large platform with stair steps to access the ride and a kiosk to one side of the main model has made for easier transportation.
I have added some decorative embellishments, railings, a ticket kiosk door and some other bits just to give the model its finishing touches.
The Shaker Maker: Thrill-seekers meet your confidence-breaker!