Steve Briancourt



The USS Missouri was an Iowa class battleship displacing 58,000 tons. So even at 1:100 scale it is almost nine feet long a foot wide and over two feet high. That is the scale chosen by Steve Briancourt for this model - in Meccano.

It was the latest in a long line of outstanding Meccano models at Bristol in 2017.

Steve explains that, at present, what you see is:

• the internal structure, formed from three sections, each pin jointed to the next by three pins

• all driving mechanisms for systems and turrets

  1. the partially built superstructure in its final authentic colour (Haze Grey).

Estimated final weight is around 90kg.

The pins transfer all the loads from the forward and aft sections into the centre
section. Inserting/removing the pins allows for very quick assembly/disassembly for storage and transport. The superstructure simply drops into place, locating on two pins, and automatically engaging the mechanisms to the motor drives.

The whole ship is supported on three vertical posts, held there by its weight. All the loads from the structure concentrate at the three support points, hence the very robust looking local structure. Each structural member has been arranged according to it being in tension or compression, and the assembly is known as a 'determinate' structure (no redundant load paths). This makes it exceptionally rigid.

Much of what you see is restored Meccano which started life as junk. The model incorporates the following working systems:

• 4Four propeller shafts and two rudders

• Three main turrets with rotation, elevation and gun recoil

• Ten smaller turrets with rotation

• Two drop anchors

• Four gun director radars

All motorization for the systems (other than recoil re-set) is in the central section with all drives transferred via 'contrate gear' clutches that align and engage during assembly.