Archive for the ‘Models’ Category

August 7, 2017 · by David Gilbert · Amusement Park Rides, Banks, Jim, Erector Sets, Models

Jim Banks' Skydiver

Growing up in the 1960s and 1970s I rode on tons of amusement park rides, and one that I always remembered fondly was the infamous “Skydiver”. Resembling a large Ferris wheel with rotating cars, the Skydiver was a rough and intimidating ride. Ride on this thing once and you’ll probably remember the experience for the rest of your life. I’ve never seen an Erector re-creation of the Skydiver so I got the idea to try and make one, thinking it would be a good challenge. I looked at real-life pictures of the Skydiver on the Internet to refresh my memory and provide a guide for how the eventual model should look.

First I prototyped the cars, trying to make them resemble the real thing, along with a small steering wheel on the center axis that the occupants tried vainly to control the out-of-control car. I was able to get the car to rotate on a 7” axle properly. Then I prototyped the large Ferris-type wheel, laying out all the pieces on the floor until I had a good idea of how things would lay out while fitting the 4 cars.

After figuring out the cars and Ferris-type wheel, I had to construct the towers. Since the wheel is larger than the traditional 8 1/2 set wheel, I had to make it taller by connecting two 12” MN base plates. This required extra supports using more 12” DP angle girders for structural strength and rigidity. I also beefed up the tops of each tower where a single “N” long double angle supports the full weight of the Ferris wheel and cars. If that N-part comes loose, it will rotate co-axially and everything will possibly come crashing down, so I added support with 3” MO angle girders and a few other parts and lots of screws. Possibly over-engineered but definitely strong enough to support the weight!

I had a bunch of extra 12” MN base plates so I used them to create the platform. After it was all together and the Skydiver wheel worked as planned, the last thing I did was add the loading and unloading platforms for all the brave souls that wanted to give this ride a try. I felt it adds to the overall effect.

The Skydiver was a colorful, visually pleasing ride, so I painted the MF base plates on the sides of each car blue to give it some color. I also used the red car trucks on the loading ramps, plus the red flat car trucks on the points of the Ferris wheel to add color.

I have to say I’m happy with how the project turned out. The action of the cars — rotating on axis as they moved in a Ferris wheel-type circular movement — mimics exactly how the cars of the Skydiver moved in real life.

View a video of Jim Banks' Skydiver Ferris Wheel
August 5, 2015 · by David Gilbert · Erector Sets, Guidarelli, Greg, Machines

These models are from the 1929 #9 Mechanical Wonders set. The model on the right side of the back plate is the Cone Pulleys model, the first model in the wonders section of the manual and the easiest. The model on the left side of the back plate is part of the rectilinear motion model. All of the parts used are from the late 20’s with the exception of modern machine screws. The six shiny metal car trucks are from a mid-1920s Gilbert Meccano set. Special thanks to Joel Perlin for supplying the parts specific to the 1929 #9 set, those being the eccentric, cone pulleys and gear segment. These models do not really do much, they are more an exercise in getting your gears to mesh, which is not at all a trivial endeavor with sets of this era. I had to use a number of extra washers and brass collars to get smooth gear meshing. The motor is one I rewound, it is running at 3.0 volts and pulling 2.0 amperes in the video. On the front side is a back side is a basic reduction gearbox driven by a worm gear on the motor, the worm gear meshing is the hardest to get right. We then have ladder chain spinning two more gears. On the back side we have a crown gear turning three axels using the cone pulleys with women’s hair bands as the belts. The other side is an eccentric used to rock the gear segment across the saw blade. I really only included it so that one side of the back plate would not be so empty.

– Greg Guidarelli, August 5, 2015

Videos of Greg Guidarelli’s Erector Models:

  • Erector-00299
  • Erector-00300
  • Erector-00301
March 14, 2015 · by David Gilbert · Cranes & Derricks, Erector Sets, Williams, Russell

Before building this crane, I looked at several crane designs on the Internet and incorporated some of the designs in my model. I have given my crane the name “The Mammoth Crane”, representing the new generation of 200,000 ton heavy lift cranes. These are cranes which are platform twin-rig containerized. In the PTC design of these cranes the boom height is as high as 587 feet. In addition, these cranes can lift in excess of 3,500 tons.

My super heavy lift crane weighs about 125 pounds. Over recent months I have taken it through a number of tests. Upon performing a heavy lift test in August 2014 I successfully lifted 40 pounds. This was done with the use of 5 gallon milk jugs filled with water. The boom height of my crane is 8 feet and it has 4 two-speed hoists and 5 motors.

– Russell Williams, March 8, 2015

April 13, 2014 · by David Gilbert · Amusement Park Rides, Erector Sets, Models, Willard, Craig

Craig Willard writes: “This model was adapted from an original design of Bill Bean and Larry Worley. As we are all from the ACGHS I feel I had to try to copy and modify slightly what these gentlemen had done. The spectacular dimensions are listed at over 3 feet in diameter and 10 inches wide.  It took me just about 3 years to acquire, strip prime and paint (3 to 5 coats) all the parts for this piece. It is quite large and it runs very smoothly thanks to two A-49 Erector motors linked to each side of the Ferris Wheel and driven directly. The joy was building it but watching it is just as satisfying. I’ve installed 8 gondolas and additional EX and EY girders as well as a digitized sound unit of the amusement park sounds which really complete the effect.”

Craig Willard's Ferris Wheel
March 24, 2014 · by David Gilbert · Erector Sets, Machines, Ware, Dave
March 18, 2014 · by David Gilbert · Erector Sets, Vehicles & Transport, Worley, Larry

Larry writes: This is my version of the famous model from 1914 submitted by Richard Harrison and Samuel York. I improvised a bit and installed plating behind the hull girders for strength. I also added moveable main gun turrets fore and aft and smaller guns at various other locations along the ship. Forgive the quality of some of the pieces. I just painted over the rust and corrosion and all. Looks OK from a distance though. That is where most people will view it from. Fun to build, fun to talk about and fun to show.

Larry Worley’s Truck

Larry writes: Here are a few pictures of a Rocket Launcher Set Truck. I added the bumper and modified it just a wee bit. Other than that, it is pretty much by the book. I have it as one of my display models. It was fun to make and always draws attention from visitors.

Larry Worley’s Fire Truck

Larry writes: I decided to build a fire truck and got carried away. I kept adding components inside the bed. I have a steam boiler, a steam-operated engine, steam pistons which pressurize the water tank and a hose reel. Yeah, it is a bit much on the red side.

Larry Worley’s Type I Wagon

Larry writes: Here is a simple, little delivery wagon that I made from Type I parts. I found that plumbing O-rings make good tires for the P-17 Spoke Wheels.

This is my latest model, which I call “The Crawler”. It was originally designed as a “Moon Walker” and its legs were quite lengthy. However, when it was up at its highest point, about 10 inches, it was terribly unstable. The center of gravity while up there at its height, combined with the weight of the two A49 motors, would collapse and sometimes bend parts.

I had even planned to try to make it climb stairs, but that didn’t work out either. Maybe one day I can figure out a design to make all that work and even climb stairs.

My dog, Tid-bit, doesn’t like it. He barks at it and runs back and forth, threatening to attack it. Probably due to the noise from it as it is a bit loud.

I was planning on presenting this at the June 2011 convention, but alas, I cannot make it, so I just sent it in for posting.

Originally, it had different transmissions, chain drives, etc., as shown in the last picture, but I had to settle on the low-to-the-ground design due to its rickety performance while lifting up and lowering back down.

Videos

  • Larry Worley's Crawler
  • Another video of Larry Worley's Crawler
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