Translation of pages 10 – 13
Pius Meyer collects and builds cranes
The lack of available construction cranes in 1:50 scale led Pius Meyer to resort to scratch building during his early teens. In his hobby room today there are thirteen scratch built crane models among commercially available ones.
tinplate crane by Boilat (unknown manufacturer). The model is, mea- sured by today’s standards, impres- sive. Despite this, the offering of construction cranes in 1: 50 scale remains meagre.
If life gives you a lemon, make lemonade!
by Daniel Wietlisbach
A s a child, Pius Meyer received the first of his cranes. It was a tinplate model and was used exten- sively in his sandbox.
At the age of 12, Pius Meyer acquired the first scale model for his collection. It was a Fuchs 50 R mobile excavator (model number 102) for which he had saved up his allowance. Today this model still looks as if it were new and just un- packed.
At the end of the 1960s the fa- mily moved into one of the new houses in a subdivision near Zu- rich. The neighbourhood around his new home was riddled with new construction sites with lots of cranes. The local construction companies used the mainstay cra- ne of the time, a tower counter- weight boom crane by EWK (Ei- senwerke Kaiserslautern). Other cranes in use at the time included
Peiner, Liebherr and Wolff balance cranes and luffing jib tower cranes from Swiss Crane, Pingon, Potain, Weitz, Kroll and Wolff. To this day Pius Meyer can recognize the dif- ferent sounds each of their quiet electrical motors makes. It was the immense power of these cranes that left a lasting expression on the young collector. A few years later, in the mid 70ties, the first shopping center in Switzerland was built ne- arby. This huge construction site added more opportunities to view cranes in action.
Using the combined purchasing power of Godparents and parents it was possible to acquire further models at birthdays and Christmas time. Especially memorable from this period are two mobile crane models. They are HC 100 by Ce- mag (NZG 123) and TM 800by Gove (NZG 136). They are still a part of his collection today. A la- ter addition was a fully functional
Early on the young collector took the initiative and started scratch building his own cranes in 1:50 scale. Unfortunately there are no survivors of the first attempts, since the chosen material, card board, was not rigid enough and did not survive a move. But his techniques improved and the next models where constructed using wood to re-enforce corner joints. The wood came from his father’s carpenter shop were ample supplies could be found. To this day he prefers to use wooden profile pieces, not the expensive offerings found in hob- by shops but less pricy wood from do-it-your-self shops. For the fine metal angle pieces he uses brazing rods as they have the advantage of being absolutely straight. Glue is used to assemble the cranes and give them sufficient strength, since they are not meant to be played with. The functionality aspect is not his first concern. More emphasis is put into the wealth of detail found on the cranes depicted. Despite this