Monday, April 20, 2009

Meccano Bayko

The Bayko constructions I have posted so far has been what is known as Plimpton Bayko, and have all been from a 1950s set number 1. Plimpton made different sets before WWII and in the immediate postwar period. After the 1950s, the Bayko line was purchased by Meccano, and underwent modification.

Unfortunately, Meccano was itself having problems, and the Bayko line did not survive.

This can all get rather confusing, since a "Meccano set" is a metal construction set much like Erector sets. In fact, in much of the world "Meccano set" is often improperly used to denote any set of this type, just as "Erector set" is so used by many Americans. Meccano Bayko i no more like Meccano/Erector type sets structurally than Plimpton Bayko was, and that's not much. Unfortunately, while compatible, there are enough differences to warrant making a distinction, and the larger pieces are actually marked "Meccano Bayko" on the backs, so there we are.

The most obvious differences are the yellow windows and the green roofs. But the plastic used is different, and lighter colors are present overall. In my construction above, I didn't bother to distinguish between the darker Plimpton red and brighter Meccano red in the bricks, or duller and brighter white. Partly this is a test to see whether I accept the results or would prefer not to mix.

The Set 1 I referred to above is my only really coherent Bayko set. Aside from that I have a "Plimpton set 3" that was cobbled together from mismatched parts by a seller that does that as well as offering individual parts, and a hodgepodge of mixed pieces and a couple of partial sets, including the Meccano Bayko from which I built today.

In addition to color changes, Meccano Bayko dropped the one piece hip roofs characteristic of Plimpton Bayko, and expanded the flat roofs, of which Plimpton had had one size, to multiple sizes, each with matching ends. The flat roofs offer more flexibility, usable in pairs as peaked roofs, or flat as flat roofs, platforms, etc. They probably also allowed smaller boxes for the sets, which may have been the biggest appeal for the manufacturer.

Unfortunately, Meccano Bayko roofs include two size A, one B, one C, and no matching ends. The ends for the Plimpton flat roof pieces seems to be equivalent to size B, so if I had two size B roofs ...

The yellow windows also have tabs for glazing, as do some green windows I got in another odds & ends batch. But neither batch included any glazing.

Well, this is what makes buying used stuff on the Internet interesting.

The plan for today's building was originally published in Meccano Magazine, and is available on the Baykoman web site, an absolutely amazing repository of information on almost all things Bayko. click on 'Architect' in the left hand column, then "April 1964 / Shop & Office" near the bottom of the page.

An extra treat on each of the 'Architect' pages is that there are color images of each structure by Andy Harris, who also has some fine Bayko web pages and Lott's Bricks web pages. The latter has been especially helpful with my recent Lott's Bricks activity, as has Andy himself. Which is how I went from Lott's to Bayko this week,

And please check the Bayko Collectors Club - for Bayko of course, but also for Lott's Bricks, Anchor Stones, and many of the other things we explore in the Block Play Blog. Tell them I sent you.

The Internet has loads of good block play.

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