Arachnophobia is a model that evolved from my earlier models, the Star Gazer and later the Star gazer II.
Successfully transporting the huge rotating structure to the SELMEC meeting in September 2009 without damaging it posed problems of its own, so I decided to reduce the diameter of the unit by shortening the arms and all the fittings attached to them; a total of over 100 pieces were removed making the structure much lighter.
The new top emerged looking very attractive, however the suspended carriages came to rest out of position, near the arch, benches, barriers and other fittings, and so a lot of extra work and modifications were needed to re-align the carriages to the passenger loading position.
This involved extending each arm with new curved shaped extensions to hold the cars with a telescopic spring loaded action, which works well and adds to the model's dynamism. The 8" extensions point downwards resembling a huge spider and this is the inspiration for the model's new name came from.
Due to the hanging carriages now touching the loading bridge, the tilting platform was not be able to reach the full 45° angle as in its predecessor, so the only way to correct this was to remove the tower and heavy tilting unit and then increase the height in excess of another 6" to enable the full original movement to be achieved.
The re-designed tower was fitted to a new stronger reinforced base, supporting much longer legs well anchored to the base and bridge for extra stability, securing it fast and free of vibrations.
The driving pulley was replaced with a larger one to increase the overall speed.
New lighting was introduced right underneath the main tower and kiosk to illuminate the inside motor and gearing system and additional lights added inside the ceiling of the tilting bridge as well.
So many new fittings, changes and attachments have made this the largest, tallest and heaviest of all my models.
I started the reconstruction of the model in September 2009 ready for the October exhibition, but sadly could not make it to the exhibition in the end.