They explained that although they wanted to support the enthusiast, they were not going to take Meccano back to what it was. The market and the retail environment has changed and Meccano had to change with it. Lots of things were discussed at that, and subsequent meetings.
The 'connoisseurs' set was discussed at length and a questionnaire was circulated via the clubs and societies. Of course, there was the call to re-issue the No.10 set but, if you think about it rationally, the cost would be phenomenal and, let's be honest, even if they did how many would they sell? Very few I suspect. It is perfectly possible to buy good, even unused 10 sets today at far less than it would cost to make one, let alone what the retail price would have to be. After much discussion it was decided to go back to the original Frank Hornby principal and to supply parts to make a model of a current icon of our age. Looking out of the office window in any great city and you will see a tower crane. Indeed, looking out of my window here I can see one.
|The production set box|
|The tower from the test/display model|
The problemIt is very easy to look at a problem in hindsight and say that it should never happen, but it does. The crane had been designed and built using real Meccano. I know from first hand experience that the models are not designed using CAD as many others have stated in recent weeks. As I have explained, the crane was prototyped and built using actual Meccano parts. Any parts that do not exist in the range are drawn and then 3D printed so they can be used to provide the part in a real model. Don't forget, you can click on any of the pictures in our posts to enlarge them. most of them will have been made to a larger size than the Bloger software will display them within the post.
|The problem - miss-alignment of round holes|
|as you can see it fits perfectly on this test model|
|The narrow girder bolted to two angle girders from our own collection.|
the one on the left is French production from the 1980s/90s and the one
on the right is Binns Road production of the late 1960s/70s
|Standard girders are connected through the round holes - it should not be possible|
Okay so now we know what has happened Meccano have told Ralph and Sue's Meccano News that:
"We are aware of the problem, working on it now
and will offer the solution by early next week."
So we know it will be sorted out for existing customers and future sets. Let's look at a few alternatives that can be implemented right now for those who want to build it without waiting for the solution to be rolled out.
The first suggestion to be made was published on the Rust Bucket forum by our good friend John Hornsby. This is the one I will use on our production model we have here in the office awaiting to be built. It entails using a few standard and narrow strips (that most of us serious Meccano nuts have in abundance) bolted to the inside of the girder. To be honest, even if there was not a fitting problem I would probably have adopted this route to free-up those girders for use in other models.
|A simple solution for now|
|Extended range parts fit nicely and are another work-around|
Good News!If you have bought a Tower Crane set and need replacement girders please contact customer service via the Meccano.com website (link below)
Follow this link:
Claim your parts by calling or send an e-mail to the Meccano support team and your replacement parts will be sent to you.
Please pass this information on to any other people you know who have purchased the crane set in recent weeks. This problem has now been rectified on the production sets and all new sets will contain the correct parts.