Chuck's Creations

Six delightful clockwork creations from Chuck Donovan, using Meccano and Hornby motors.

"Fire Dragon"

“I used a Hornby model 30 wind-up engine which I obtained off of eBay. In doing some test runs, I found that the little engine does not take to carrying much weight and the travel distance would be greatly reduced by the addition of a few ounces.  So  weight became a major consideration in choosing materials for constructing what  became my first wind-up steam engine and christened "FIRE DRAGON."  The side rods and steam chests are parts left over from a Hornby model 40 locomotive.  The boiler is a tin can (string beans) and  the cab is a large pepper can.  The brass rings on the boiler are 3 inch decorative rings purchased from a "Hobby Lobby" store and fit nicely with little modification.  Working with tin cans has been an education as the metal is very thin and therefore difficult to cut and trim.  The roof is aluminum stock and cowcatcher is from a Bachmann engine.  Weighing in at 20 ounces it will run in the 140 foot range on  my circular test track.”

"Silver Shark"

"I used a Hornby Model 40 clockwork  motor.  I also added two batteries and incorporated 4 blinking red LEDs in the tops of the end cowls which were made from sheet brass.  The cab section is guards van ends from Mamod.  The frame and roof are 0.32 inch brass sheet.  It has been christened  the "SILVER SHARK" and gets approximately 150 feet per winding.  Not prototypical but very appealing, at least to me."

"Cyndi Sue"

"The chassis parts are from a Mamod wagon and the wheels from IP Engineering in England. The motor is a large Meccano wind-up and is geared directly to rear wheels.  The body is all brass stock with Plexiglas windows and the pantographs are from G. Tebolt train parts. An on-off switch handle extends to rear from underneath frame. "

"Mr. Rogers"

"My favorite clockwork (although another is under construction) is MR ROGERS. Chassis is Mamod freight van and motor is old #1 Meccano as well as gears and chain.  Figure is old Barclay.  The body is brass stock and bell is pre-war Lionel.  Roof vents are from rifle ammo box liner."


"TERMINATOR is rough around the edges and still is but runs well with old large #1 Meccano motor and gears.  The wheels are steel from PPS in England, chassis is from a Mamod goods van, figure is old repainted Barclay, and cab is modified Mamod, and rest of body is salvaged Mamod or brass stock.  Ladders are Lionel and grille is from Hobby Lobby crochet department.  Cab roof antennae are Lionel. "


"I got carried away and the result is called "Dragonfire."  The decals I found  are made for Boy Scout pinewood derby cars.  The orange strips cover up the bolts that hold it all together.  It's power comes from a Meccano #1 wind-up motor and the gears and chain are also.  Rear wheel drive.  Body is a mix of Mamod and brass stock and I think the most interesting part is the opening door (Mamod). The wheels are from PPS in England. Even though I gave it a front leaning rake to emphasize its speed."

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