4 x 4 High Rider - Ralph finds some real Meccano...
The first thing I do with a new Meccano set is to study the parts list in the front of the manual. As Sue said in her post about building the Trike, (Part 2) these sets have lots of new parts. Full of new parts it maybe, but this set also has a few parts we will all recognise - It's got standard strips and conventional trunnions! It also has some mini bent trunnions made from bent 1 inch triangular plate (old part number 77) that look very interesting. Like all the other sets it has another good selection of black nuts, bolts and pivot bolts in various lengths. Until now, the only black fixings have been standard length, hex socket bolts and the nuts and bolts supplied with the Army Multikit and Combat sets of years ago.
|New mini trunnion looks useful|
This, of course is nonsense but the wording of the press release was ambiguous and open to translation. For some reason there are a band of enthusiasts out there that always seem to expect the worse every time Meccano do something new. The reality is the sets have smaller parts and strips that utilise something that has been around for a while - ¼ inch hole spacing. All parts are compatible with 'Standard' Meccano and, as is the case with this model, they work well together.
|The chassis and steering - almost conventional|
The chassis builds easily and the steering gear is far more positive than I expected it to be. The assembly of the rest of the new body is very easy and I found no problems with it apart from the order of build might frustrate a inexperienced builder as a lot of parts are left to hang loose for several stages before the part is fully secured. I think there are a few issues with these instructions generally that I will hold judgement on until we have built all five of the alternative models.
|All looks flimsy at this stage...|
The model is stronger than I expected it would be. The only improvement I made was to the winch. It works much better with the addition of a couple of spacer washers (still available in the kit but not used) to prevent the multipurpose gears from binding on the support strips. Lots of play value and I think a good overall kit for the enthusiast and the one off purchaser.
From our point of view the red/silver parts fit in nicely with our preferred colour scheme. The chunky off-road tyres look useful and I am sure the black curved parts (used as mud guards) will find some reuse. Personally I like this one...
|Chunky and solid finished model|