BUILDING MODELS FROM PLANS
Detailed scale plans of fairground rides, organs, transport and attractions have been available for over forty years. In that time thousands of models have been built from the plans giving endless pleasure to their builders and to people who have seen the completed models at shows. Many models have gained prizes at exhibitions nationally and around the country.
The MFD and DRE designs come as a set of engineering drawings with a full set of instructions. The drawings are correct to scale and proportion so that the completed model is a miniature reproduction of the full size item. These drawings give the shape and size of the components and how they fit together. The instructions, which are laid out in a logical building sequence, describe in detail how to build the model, fit the lights and paint it. A full list of material suppliers comes with each set of plans. All models are designed so that they can be built up and stripped down like their full size counterparts. The designs in the ‘Masterclass’ series do not necessarily have a full set of plans and may only have limited instructions – please read the descriptions for each model. If you have any doubts then do contact me before purchase.
Most of the plans come in 1/24th scale with extra sheets being available for some models for those who wish to build in the larger scales. All plans can be scaled so that models in 1/76th, 1/48th, 1/43rd, 1/16th and 1/12th may be built. Most working fairground models are built in 1/24th scale – in this scale a major ride will be less than 30” (750mm) in diameter which means that it will pass through a house door whilst set up on a baseboard. In the larger scales models need to be dismantled to take them out of the house and then reassembled for shows.
The models are made from wood, plywood and metal. Apart from simple hand wood and metal working tools a vertical drill and bandsaw will save time and increase accuracy but they are not essential. Neither are particularly expensive. I supply any machined metal parts required for the mechanism. Kits are available for some of the simpler models and these are supplied with all of the metal brackets cut to shape and size, the holes drilled, any soldering completed and rods threaded where necessary. Hardwood stripwood is used for the structure of the models and this is supplied with the correct section and generally cut to length. Similarly much of the plywood is cut to shape and size. Only simple hand tools are needed to build a model from a kit. For some designs I supply all of the brass brackets etched precisely to shape, size and with holes formed. These save the modelmaker a considerable amount of time.
If you have no previous experience of building from plans or of working in wood or metal then it is best to start with a simpler design like one of the kits or MFD organs. The smallest organ will take about 25 hours to build whereas the rides take at least 200. The time you take depends on just how much detail you want to add and the time spent on painting. Most fairground modellers view a ride as something that is going to take a year or two to build – though they can be completed very much more quickly. Material costs vary from model to model and spread over the building time equate to probably no more than the cost of a couple of pints of beer a week. Full technical support is provided by post or email.
All the drawings and instructions are copyright and copying them is prohibited. It is a condition of sale that the drawings and instructions are only used by the purchaser to produce a model for his/her own pleasure. I retain the rights to commercial production of all designs and the parts contained in them in any scale.