Vollmer Tripsdrill Old Ladies Mill (#3628) Diorama

I came across this model purely by accident. It's based on a real ride in the Tripsdrill Adventure Park near Cleebronn, Germany. Looking at the Tripsdrill website, they have some rather unique rides. From what I can tell (having never visited the park), this ride appears to be a slide mounted inside an old windmill.

Apart from the ability to add a standard 16vAC motor to operate the windmill, the model is essentially static. However, I thought it would be nice to somehow modify the model so that figures appear to slide down the chute between the two buildings. After some thought, I came up with a way of achieving this, but it would require the model to be built directly onto a diorama.

The plan is that HO scale figures will be mounted on a 6mm wide timing belt. The belt will follow a triangular path with a drive motor mounted at one of the corners. The belt will travel down the chute into the Gift Shop(?) and through the base of the diorama. It will then move back towards the windmill underneath the diorama, and up the tower of the windmill back to the chute.

Firstly, in order to align the slide mechanism properly I needed to temporarily prebuild part of the model. This enabled me to get the correct dimensions of the model, and also determine which pieces would require modification prior to final assembly.

The base of the windmill, and other horizontal / floor pieces, conveniently came with large holes in their centres down which the wires of the windmill's motor are intended to be fed. I've enlarged these holes slightly and will use them to convey the timing belt up the windmill. New holes will be drilled for the windmill's motor.

The pieces that make up the slide section that runs between the two buildings.

A hole needed to be made through the wall of the windmill so that the belt could pass from the windmill tower to the chute. The pulley inside the windmill was the trickiest to position correctly because it needed to feed the belt down the chute at just the right angle, but also needed to be positioned to ensure that the belt didn't snag on the holes in the floor pieces and left enough "headroom" for the figures that would be attached to the belt.

The drive motor (a McLennan 21:1 Geared motor #1271-12-21) is pushfit mounted into a block of wood. This block of wood is crudely held in place with two screws - removing one screw allows the block to be pivoted so that the timing belt can be installed. I used three aluminium timing pulleys - one with a 4mm bore (for the motor), whilst the other two have 3mm bores. The timing belt is 6.25mm / 0.25" wide and ended up being about 600mm long.


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