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Gigantic Meccano model built by Peterlee enthusiast
A NORTH-EAST Meccano enthusiast has completed building a gigantic working model of a bucket wheel excavator – piecing together thousands of components over the past year.
Joe Etheridge, 69, who has been making Meccano models since the age of three, said it was one of the most ambitious models he had made.
The machine is modelled from photographs of a German Orenstein Koppel bucket wheel excavator used on the oil sands of Alberta, Canada.
Built of a scale of 40/1, it has eight sets of caterpillar tracks and 11 motors driving it – the buckets revolve, while the conveyors move through the model, which also drives on its tracks.
Mr Etheridge of Peterlee, County Durham, said: "I chose to make this as I thought it was unique.”
The model, which is 6ft 5ins long, will be moved in four sections for its first outing at the weekend.
It will be displayed at the Locomotion, the National Railway Museum at Shildon, when it hosts Model Motion - The World of Railways in Miniature.
There will be trade stands and other displays, including one by the North-East Meccano Society. Visitors can enjoy a short ride on a steam train at the museum during the weekend.
Model Motion is on Saturday and Sunday, March 16 and 17. Doors are open between 10am and 4pm and entry is free.