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Meccano Blue/Gold Outfits 1934-1937

In 1934, there was a change in colour scheme.  Meccano was almost entirely enamelled in a dark red/green from 1927 onwards, and this had been extremely successful.  The depression in the 30's led to a substantial drop in sales, and the colour change was perhaps an attempt to reinvigorate the brand.  The colour change was introduced for the Christmas 1934 season.

This page was looking a bit thin, and then Malcolm Hanson sent me a quite ridiculous number of outfit pictures which have made it clinically obese.  I have therefore made this page exclusively for the "letter" outfits between 1934 and 1937. The numeric outfits launched in 1937 are shown on their own page here.

To start with here's a copy of the Meccano pages from the catalogue for 1937 (printed June 1936) showing the full range of outfits.  Click on any thumbnail to see the full page:

Introduction
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Loading picture MCat37-1
Outfits A & B
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Loading picture MCat37-2
Outfits C, D, E
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Outfits F, G, H
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Loading picture MCat37-4
Outfits K & L
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Outfits 000 & 00, Accessory outfits
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Loading picture MCat37-6
X-series outfits
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Loading picture MCat37-7
Clockwork motors
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Loading picture MCat37-8
Electric motors
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Loading picture MCat37-9
Meccano parts, page 1
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Loading picture MCat37-10
Meccano parts, page 2
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Loading picture MCat37-11
Meccano parts, page 3
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Loading picture MCat37-12
Meccano parts, page 4
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Loading picture MCat37-13
Aeroplane constructor outfits 00, 0, and 1
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Loading picture MCat37-57
Aeroplane constructor outfit 2 and motors
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Loading picture MCat37-58
Aeroplane constructor special outfits 1 and 2
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Loading picture MCat37-59
Aeroplane constructor parts, page 1
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Loading picture MCat37-60
Aeroplane constructor parts, page 2
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Loading picture MCat37-61
Motor car constructor outfit 1
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Loading picture MCat37-62
Motor car constructor outfit 2
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Loading picture MCat37-63
Motor car constructor parts, page 1
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Loading picture MCat37-64
Motor car constructor parts, page 2
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Loading picture MCat37-65
Dinky builder outfit 0
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Loading picture MCat37-66
Dinky builder outfits 1 and 2
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Loading picture MCat37-67
Dinky builder outfits 3 and A, and parts
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Loading picture MCat37-68
Kemex outfits
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Elektron outfits
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Loading picture MCat37-73

Chronological variations

A brief summary of the many changes and new releases during this period is as follows:
1934 New colour scheme of gold strips with blue flat and flanged plates introduced late in the year.  New outfits released ranging from A to L (missing out I and J).  'Conversion' outfits available to convert existing numeric outfits to new lettered series, e.g. a 5K outfit would convert a 5 to a K.
Wheels and small brackets are in medium red, blue flat and new fibre plates have a gold cross-hatched pattern over one side.  Fibre plates are introduced, made from cardboard.
Meccano Lighting Set introduced December 1934.
Red/green outfits 000 to 7 still available.  Dinky Builder outfits launched.
1935 Channel segments replaced by large flanged ring in outfits K and L.  2½''x1½'' and 5½''x1½'' fibre plates added to most outfits.  Fibre plates replaced by square-cornered flexible plates in thin steel during this year.
1936 Outfit 0 launched to fit below outfit A.  Outfit 0a converts it into an outfit A.  Red/green outfits now officially 'discontinued', but still available for export, particularly 000 and 00. 
Frank Hornby dies 21st September.
1937 Letter-sequences outfits dropped, replaced by new outfits 0 to 10, still in blue/gold.  Click here for details of the numeric outfits from this date/

Pictures wanted!

If you have any pictures of missing outfits below, or another picture of an outfit that is better or not quite the same as one that's already here, please help us by sending a copy of it! It would be very much appreciated.  You can email it straight to us, or upload it to the Rust Bucket forum...

Meccano "Letter Series" Outfits

Blue/gold outfit 0 from 1936
This image does not belong to the webmasters and is copyright.
Please do not download or copy it for any purpose. It has been
kindly provided for use on this site by the image owner,
Malcolm Hanson
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Loading picture BG 36 O 1

Outfit 0

The smallest of the 'lettered' outfits was outfit 0 (zero!), strangely enough, introduced in 1936.  Here's an untouched example of a 1936 outfit 0, showing us some interesting elements such as the black small loaded hook, and the axle wrapping with a green Meccano label.  A close-up of the parts tray can be seen here.


Blue/gold outfit A
This image does not belong to the webmasters and is copyright.
Please do not download or copy it for any purpose. It has been
kindly provided for use on this site by the image owner,
Malcolm Hanson
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Loading picture bg-a-36
Blue/gold outfit A from 1934 catalogue
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Loading picture bg-a-cat34

Outfit A

To the left is a badly restrung outfit A from 1936.  The backing is too light, the axles unpacked, and I don't know where the nuts and bolts have gone – presumably these should be in an envelope under the flanged plate? It's obviously a near copy of the catalogue picture to the right (dating from 1934, before the addition of the curved plates).  If anyone has a better version, please send it!


Blue/gold outfit B from 1934
This image does not belong to the webmasters and is copyright.
Please do not download or copy it for any purpose. It has been
kindly provided for use on this site by the image owner,
Malcolm Hanson
Click on this image to see a larger version.
Loading picture bg-b-34
Blue/gold outfit B from 1934 catalogue
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Loading picture bg-b-cat34

Outfit B

The outfit B shown left is much better -- still restrung but this time to the original card, with the correct labelled small parts tin and still most of the axle wrapping intact.  The cord is blue, interestingly enough (previous cord was red).  Note also the early road wheels, where the boss is attached only to the rear stamping, not to the outside of the gold hub.  To the right is the catalogue picture from the same year, 1934.


Blue/gold outfit C from 1934 catalogue
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Loading picture bg-c-cat34

Outfit C

We don't have a picture of an outfit C, but I'm sure one will turn up sooner or later.  The catalogue of 1934 shows a green wrapping for the axles, which is unusual.


Blue/gold outfit D from October 1936
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Loading picture bgD-Oct36
Blue/gold outfit D from 1934 catalogue
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Loading picture bg-d-cat34

Outfit D

This outfit D from October 1936 has been restrung, but is in good condition for the age.  Note that the pulleys are brass rather than the later red.  The two small parts boxes have a wrap-around paper label rather than one stuck on as in previous red/green outfits.  Axles and cord are stored under the large flanged plate.  Only three parts are now held on by split pins – the ½'' and 1'' loose pulleys.  Note the later issue road wheels with full bosses.  The manual covers outfits from 0 to D.


Blue/gold outfit E from 1934
This image does not belong to the webmasters and is copyright.
Please do not download or copy it for any purpose. It has been
kindly provided for use on this site by the image owner,
Malcolm Hanson
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Loading picture bg-e-34
Blue/gold outfit E from 1934 catalogue
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Loading picture bg-e-cat34

Outfit E

Another very nice restrung but hardly used outfit is shown left.  Again, the small parts boxes and axle wrapper are present.  Outfit E was the first of the two-level lettered outfits.  This outfit dates from 1934, and includes the manual covering outfits A-E.


Blue/gold outfit F from 1934 catalogue
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Loading picture bg-f-cat34

Outfit F

We don't have an outfit F yet, either.  Do you have pictures?


Blue/gold outfit G from 1934 catalogue
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Loading picture bg-g-cat34

Outfit G

Or a G...


Blue/gold outfit H from 1936
This image does not belong to the webmasters and is copyright.
Please do not download or copy it for any purpose. It has been
kindly provided for use on this site by the image owner,
Malcolm Hanson
Click on this image to see a larger version.
Loading picture bg-h
Blue/gold outfit H from 1934 catalogue
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Loading picture bg-h-cat34

Outfit H

The outfit H from 1936 was the smallest outfit that came in both cardboard and wooden boxes.  The box is identical to the previous dark red/green outfit 5 box, except that the upper tray is now painted yellow rather than blue.  Apart from the nuts and bolts being in tins for part 37F (fifty nuts and bolts) instead of the usual small parts boxes, this is a nice outfit.  To the right is shown the catalogue picture from 1934.  Note that all the larger outfits like this were supplied with the parts wrapped in paper in groups (to protect them during shipping), but the catalogue pictures always show the parts unwrapped and simply placed in the trays.


Blue/gold outfit K from 1935/6
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Please do not download or copy it for any purpose. It has been
kindly provided for use on this site by the image owner,
Malcolm Hanson
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Loading picture bg-k
Blue/gold outfit K from 1934 catalogue
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Loading picture bg-k-cat34

Outfit K

This outfit K is excellent and very interesting.  In 1935 the most significant change was the replacement of the channel segments by the large flanged ring, and you can see that the box had to be arranged to take this large new part.  Although this outfit is allegedly from 1935, it appears to me to be a 1936 parts listing – the major difference being the change from fibre plates to tinplate flexible plates.  We can also see the later improved road wheels in this outfit, with the bosses passing all the way through the part.

The catalogue picture to the right is of the 1934 outfit, but we can't see the underneath layout, which would have been very similar to the previous dark red/green outfit 6.


Blue/gold outfit L from 1936
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Loading picture OutfitLbox
Blue/gold outfit L from 1934 catalogue
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Loading picture bg-l-cat34

Outfit L

This is the daddy of them all, outfit L.  The pictures aren't good, sorry, but this outfit is rare enough that we can't choose, particularly when it's is in such good condition.  To the right is the catalogue picture from 1934, with all the parts unwrapped as usual.

Blue/gold outfit L upper and lower trays from 1936
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Loading picture OutfitLtrays
Blue/gold outfit L drawers from 1936
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Loading picture OutfitLdrawers

The outfit shown above left (and in the two photographs left and right) dates from at least 1935 (with the two large flanged rings), and more likely from 1936 (because of the later style road wheels, the apparent lack of fibre plates, and the new curved plates), although in 1936 it should be missing the loom healds.  This is the last outfit to contain all the "supermodel" parts from outfit 7 such as the loom components and electrical parts, although these last have disappeared into the small parts boxes.


Blue/gold outfit L from 1935
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Loading picture BG 35 L 1
Blue/gold outfit L from 1935, top tray
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Loading picture BG 35 L 2

Here are better pictures of another outfit L, but not in quite as good condition.  It's supposed to date from 1935, but that would mean it should have fibre plates rather than flexible steel ones, but doesn't have the curved and U-section plates of 1936, and it still has loom healds (which should be there in 1935 but not 1936).  It also has the earlier road wheels of 1935.

Blue/gold outfit L from 1935, drawer contents
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Loading picture BG 35 L 3

It's not likely that every single part in an outfit like this is original from the factory, nor is it certain when the changes took place, as we have so few examples.  We must also bear in mind that for low volume, flagship outfit like this, contents may have been substituted as they became available.


Meccano "Letter Series" Accessory Outfits

Blue/gold outfit Aa from 1935?
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Please do not download or copy it for any purpose. It has been
kindly provided for use on this site by the image owner,
Malcolm Hanson
Click on this image to see a larger version.
Loading picture BG 35 Aa

Outfit Aa

As Malcolm says, this outfit is missing the stringing card, small parts packet, and the manual.  We don't currently know the layout of this outfit, so if anyone has a better example or a photograph, please say so below.  The road wheel is early but the 5½''x2½'' plates are metal instead of fibre, so this is perhaps very late 1935 or early 1936 (or even perhaps doesn't have the correct contents).


Blue/gold outfit Ba from 1934 catalogue
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Loading picture bg-ba-cat34

Outfit Ba


Blue/gold outfit Ca from 1936
This image does not belong to the webmasters and is copyright.
Please do not download or copy it for any purpose. It has been
kindly provided for use on this site by the image owner,
Malcolm Hanson
Click on this image to see a larger version.
Loading picture BG 36 Ca

Outfit Ca

Again, this accessory outfit Ca doesn't have a stringing card and so we don't know the layout.  It does have its correct manual, though.


Blue/gold outfit Da from 1934
This image does not belong to the webmasters and is copyright.
Please do not download or copy it for any purpose. It has been
kindly provided for use on this site by the image owner,
Malcolm Hanson
Click on this image to see a larger version.
Loading picture BG 34 Da 1

Outfit Da

Truly exceptional, this outfit Da from 1934 is completely untouched and includes its advertising paperwork and a rare example of the paper envelope for the nuts and bolts and other small parts.  Original accessory outfits from this period are very rare indeed.  A closer picture of the parts in the tray can be seen here.


Blue/gold outfit Ga from 1934 catalogue
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Loading picture bg-ga-cat34

Outfit Ga


Blue/gold outfit Ka from 1935
This image does not belong to the webmasters and is copyright.
Please do not download or copy it for any purpose. It has been
kindly provided for use on this site by the image owner,
Malcolm Hanson
Click on this image to see a larger version.
Loading picture bg-ka
Blue/gold outfit Ka top tray detail
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Please do not download or copy it for any purpose. It has been
kindly provided for use on this site by the image owner,
Malcolm Hanson
Click on this image to see a larger version.
Loading picture bg-ka1b

Outfit Ka

At a staggering 225/-, outfit Ka was considerably more expensive even than the K outfit it upgraded.  It is particularly rare, as only the owner of a blue/gold outfit K would seriously consider buying one.  We can imagine that many L outfits found their way to dealers' windows as the pinnacle of Meccano ownership, but only a very confident shop owner would think of stocking the Ka outfit.  This example is used but not at all bad, dating from at least 1935 because of the large flanged ring.

The previous style outfit 6a box is still in use, but has been 'butchered' to fit the large flanged ring from 1935 onwards.


Meccano "Theme" Outfits

Mechanised Army outfit from 1939
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Loading picture Image30405

Mechanised Army

The Mechanised Army outfit was announced in the August 1939 issue of the Meccano Magazine, just in time for the Christmas sales. Wartime inflation and taxes raised the price from 10/6 at its launch to 17/9 by the end of the following year. It was reasonably successful, enough to make the parts not impossible to find nowadays, but they are rarely in good condition as most of the models called for creasing the flexible plates beyond repair. As a result, immaculate unused outfits such as the one above left are very rare indeed. A close-up of the parts can be seen here.

Motor car constructor outfit 1 from 1938 catalogue
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Loading picture bg-mc1-cat38

Motor Car Constructor Outfit 1


Motor car constructor outfit 2 from 1938 catalogue
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Loading picture bg-mc2-cat38

Motor Car Constructor Outfit 2


Aeroplane constructor outfit 00 from 1938 catalogue
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Loading picture bg-ac00-cat38

Aeroplane Constructor Outfit 00


Aeroplane constructor outfit 0 from 1938 catalogue
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Loading picture bg-ac0-cat38

Aeroplane Constructor Outfit 0


Aeroplane constructor outfit 1 from 1938 catalogue
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Loading picture bg-ac1-cat38

Aeroplane Constructor Outfit 1


Aeroplane constructor outfit 2 from 1938 catalogue
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Loading picture bg-ac2-cat38

Aeroplane Constructor Outfit 2


Special aeroplane constructor outfit 1 from 1938 catalogue
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Loading picture bg-ac1s-cat38

Special Aeroplane Constructor Outfit 1


Special aeroplane constructor outfit 2 from 1938 catalogue
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Loading picture bg-ac2s-cat38

Special Aeroplane Constructor Outfit 2


Manuals for these outfits

Click on the following files to jump to the appropriate manual for this era. After clicking, you will see the cover of the manual and underneath it a link to download the manual to your computer. Warning: some of these manuals are very large and will take several minutes to download. You have been warned!

Blue/gold manuals (1934-36)

Further information

Total number of messages on this page: 16.  This is page 2 of 3.   Previous  Next

Tony Brown      (at 4:38am, Tue 16th Mar, 10)

From the remaining green in the export set I've just got it seems to be slightly softer than the 50s green. Greg tells me the same.

Richard Payn has pictures of this set from when he owned it and I believe will be putting them up here when he gets chance.

I've got some late 40s green on its way as a 'cosmetic' restoration to replace the incorrect Gold which is in there and I'll try and do some pictures of it besides the original green flanged rings & boilers which I still have. That assumes that the subtle difference will photograph.

chalkie50uk      (at 4:03am, Mon 11th Jan, 10)

Strange - the website has "moderated" my message because I wrote the word "ma**", meaning lots - is that swearing?
(m-a**-e-s)

Reply: The automatic anti-spam warnings are pretty paranoid, sorry about that! We often have 'bears of little brain' who like to try inserting comments that shouldn't be here... the filters work hard to stop them. Sorry that you tripped up against one of them!

Chalkie50uk      (at 4:00am, Mon 11th Jan, 10)

I agree with Tom Smith. The export colour combination is superb. It also allows building with any of the (more common) mid red/green later parts. The L set that I've acquired has masses of these extra parts and, although I'm removing them to leave just the L parts in order to sell it, they match really well. My set came with its own F-L manual but also the slightly later 7/8 and 9/10 ones, so the original owner clearly had made it into a combined L/10 set. The chest is easily big enough to take masses more parts, although its weight makes trying to move it a daunting prospect!

Tom Smith      (at 7:23am, Fri 8th Jan, 10)

One of my favorite sights at a toy show a few years ago was an 'export' Blue-crosshatched/green export 10 set mint. This expert version seems to be unappreciated by the more common B/Gld fraternity, but I would cast my vote for the green any day. A fabulous combination of colors. Does anyone know for sure if the green was an exclusive shade, as at the time I was struck by its pea-green hue. 'Twas being saved by the dealer for a big-pocket collector, but I did get to see it!

Reply: The green is exactly the same as post-war medium green, although it does certainly stand out against the blue, gold, and red! It's a good job Greg didn't get to see it, or did he?

Roberto Guaitolini      (at 7:39am, Wed 6th May, 09)

Sito eccezionale!!!
E' meglio di una enciclopedia dedicata al Meccano.
Complimenti per la titanica fatica

Robert Back      (at 7:53am, Mon 29th Dec, 08)

Hi, my father has just given me an Motor car constuctor outfit No 2 which differs from the one shown on your site. My one has worm drive steering and a powerful clockwork motor its not fully complete and the non drive rear wheel is broken it is red with blue mudguards.He tells me it cost 17-/ 6d and bought it just after the war late forties. Could you give me ant further information on this outfit.
Regards
Bob

Reply: I really don't know much about these outfits yet. I know that there was also a non-constructor version which is easy to confuse. The manuals for the standard constructor car 2 are in the "Photo Gallery" in the menu top left which would be a good start. They didn't make them post-war (the last advertisement for them is 1941, and all production stopped at the end of that year) but it is possible there was still stock in some shops post-war.


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