Even after completing my HMS Voyager ship Meccano model quite some time ago, I harboured an intention to build something bigger and bolder but was not willing to dismantle that model until I was ready to commit to building its replacement and in the meantime other model projects got my attention instead.
But after the recent SELMEC Meccano Exhibition meeting earlier this year, I decided to bite the bullet and afterwards I started to dismantle the ship model and get on with its would-be successor. My first vision for the new design was a bigger galleon shaped ship that would have two turrets and three masts, but like all freelance built models, ideas and plans often bite the dust as new ideas constantly emerge with the tightening of each new nut and bolt.
It took a whole two days to dismantle the elaborate riggings, the sails and then the whole of the boat but when that was done, I started the construction process the very next day.
I first started by constructing the new hull and decking and then by adding the rear turret.
On the main deck I left a large opening to create the route to go downstairs to the interior of the ship via some steps and railings.
After working on what would be the front I was able to then decide how best to position the three planned masts at the right desired distance to each other. Here I decided to use angled girders for the masts instead of axle rods as I had done previously, but I did use axles for the top of the mast ensuring that the structure was as rigid and strong as I hoped for. As I made progress with the construction and design I kept adding more details such as railings, cannons, steps, bells, cranes, mast for the sails, and the fittings to secure the riggings to. These included the ones to climb to an observation platform/crow's nest on the three masts top.
Further embellishments were added to the rear of the main turrets with lights and windows, and then I started with the challenge of once again fitting the riggings. By this point I was going on holiday on the 15th of April for two weeks so I spent many dedicated hours to try and complete the model before a booked holiday I had coming up and I almost succeeded but I still had to fit a few extra little details which I felt were important for the complete look and aesthetic quality of the model.
To this effect I modified the rudder, building an improved version on my first attempt and then I fitted even more riggings for better overall look. I also came up with the idea of using many small plastic pulleys to support the riggings for the sails, which added a satisfying touch of interest to the model itself.
I supported the bottom of each side of the hull with long angle girders for reinforced strength and then I also decided to temporarily add two sets of small wheels at the front and rear so that I could easily move and position the model on any surface or table, but these wheels later were all removed.
I was very happy with the result and final look of my model but I decided to push for one improvement more modifying and lengthening the front bow of the ship. This was not plain sailing as it already had all the riggings and attachments in place and so I had to dismantle the complete front section and undo all the fittings and connections of all the riggings and sails, but I also took the opportunity to place two 2½" flex plates on each side so the overall length of the ship increased improving the look and balance.
As with the previous ship model, I still needed a housing unit to support the ship upright but my main intention there was not to end up with platform as big as the previous Voyager model. I still wanted the housing unit to be able to also provide the rocking motion of the ship that I was able to achieve for the earlier version, so the unit would also have to house a mechanism to power the up and down movement that would represent the ship out at sea riding the waves. Here to some degree I settled for less than I had originally planned for when thinking of the upgrades this new ship should sport. As well as the up/down front to back tilting movement, I had hoped to incorporate a slight shift of side to side movement too and hope that it would all be driven by a single motor. Unfortunately due to the model's heavy weight and increased dimensions, I decided to abandon the plan and stick to the single up and down movement only but this was easier and probably makes it look more realistic anyway.
Making the necessary allowance and adjustments to achieve the correct measurements required, I completed the supporting platform and attached a single Meccano axle to the middle of the ship's hull. I did not have any spare heavy duty axles as they all were all tied up in other models... so with a bit of reinforcement and four fork pieces attached to a small flat plate I was able to place the ship in its new base. Four pins are employed to hold the ship in place and this ensures the model can be easily detached for transportation.
I built the motor and added many gears to reduce the overall speed and had to test several systems to gets the best effect for the wave rocking movement but it was a slight positional change of the motor and an added extra gear which finally achieved the correct speed and desired effect.
Upon completion of the model, I discovered a transportation issue: that the overall height of the ship would only allow me to place it in my car sideways, something that the design of the model was not built for or would withstand. But not being able to place the model in the car in its upright position, I was forced to construct even more. I designed a new detachable transport platform to support and hold the ship in a tilted position at 45° angle so the ship can be placed in the car without the risk of unwanted damage to its masts and riggings. The detachable strong unit is freely pinned to four brackets strategically placed in the side of the hull and secured together with 4 small axles and collars which are then removed on arrival at the required destination.
I have some regret that I did not fit some lights inside the model during its construction but afterwards it was too late to do so.
My final dilemma was to name the model appropriately, but to keep its identity original but aptly themed and after some long deliberation I have decided to temporarily name it:
The Wrath of Tides