Lee Bertolone's Merkur-Built Dragline

Lee writes: "I am forwarding to you pictures of 5 models (bulldozer, mining truck, cable shovel, dragline and level luffing shipyard crane) made from Merkur M-8 sets. In a few cases I sent more then 6 pictures so I could show more detail (i.e. rigging the dragline bucket which wasn't as easy as it sounds).

Re the dragline; because of the long and relatively heavy boom I had to add 7 lbs of counterweight (a steel block) to the rear of the cab. It probably could use a bit more but it doesnt tip anyplace in a 360 degree swing. The level luffing crane has 3 lbs of counterweight. I didn't attempt to motorize these models because once the weights are added there is hardly enough room for manual controls let alone motors, gears, batteries and wires. Your comment that is with the Merkur Shovel you [Doc] built about the caterpillar track unit being able to be used for other models is right on. I obviously used a version of it for both the dragline and the bulldozer.

My preference is to free-lance my models. It takes much longer then building from plans (most of the models were re-built 3-4 times because of concerns about proportion, aesthetics, will it work like the prototype etc) and it can be both challenging and frustrating at times but you end up with a unique model and a sense of satisfaction. For the mining truck, dragline, bulldozer and cable shovel I used two books (Giant Earthmovers by Keith Haddock and Giant Earthmoving Equipment by Eric Orlemann) for ideas. I also looked at models on the Meccano Web ring. Die cast models are a big help because they are 3D."