Jump to content

Meccano Violin Man restoration for Ozzy


Recommended Posts

Hi Oz. Thanks for the details. 


Funny to know this Violinist Model has been in Germany before. As everybody can see now, the auctioneer gave the dimension with about 41“ (104 cm).


As a quick guess: although this is an elaborate and very eye catching object, I don‘t think it is one of MECCANO‘s official shop window displays, mainly as the parts are a mix of different production periods. Could still have been on display by individual initiative. The motors, if they don’t look like they should be running for a long while, could indicate the model has not been made for unsupervised operation. Finally, MECCANO would not have missed to place a label in prominent position - this of course might have gone lost.


I‘ll try to ask the Meccano community for any hints. German construction set fans tend to prefer models of real heavy machinery originals. This style and fantasy approach to me might well have come from The Netherlands or Belgium, the wider region of Claus and also Breker, the auctioneer.


Hope, nobody is going to develop a Klaus-Phobia. (Dirk, John, ... 😉)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 41
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

  • robothut


  • Lunik


  • roboz


  • Dirk


Top Posters In This Topic

Posted Images

Gilbert sent me these images from a sale of the violinist. It sold for $920. They might help John or Oz.#



















Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bow seems to be upside down in these pictures and nice to see Meccano man had the poor posture even back then. The support pipe I added cam be removed and the poor posture will return if need be.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When I hear window display I was thinking some Mom and Pop toy store window, it looks  fan built not a Meccano shop build to me. The wiring was done by some one that should have done it better.

As for the Mecano parts changes threw the years what I found on line was this.

1926 Red & green metal parts.

1934 girders were gold and plates were blue

1958 they switched to light red & green colors.

1964 They added Black and Yellow parts.

1967 Silver parts became Zink plated

1970 They added electronic parts and Blue parts.

1981 They added plastic parts.

1985 6 speed gear motors.

You can find most all these parts in the violin man build .

It might be fun to make a version using AC motors that could be left ON for display use, maybe use old erector set parts "like I grew up with" just to be different.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 4/11/2021 at 2:13 PM, roboz said:

Been trying to uncover some history on this ...


My request about the MECCANO VIOLINIST involved Germany‘s mailing list ‚Freunde des Metallbaukastens‘, the publisher of their magazine ‚Schrauber & Sammler‘, the UK based mailing list ‚Spanner‘, the publisher of ‚Constructor Quarterly‘ and here is what Mr. Max Ferranti, president of the Italian ‚Gruppo Amatori Modellismo Meccanico‘, G.A.M.M., kindly responded:


„The author was Mr. Bruno Rismondo, a milanese engineer member of the GAMM who died some five/ten years ago. He exposed his model in september 1993 at the annual club's show which takes place within the frame of the "Novegro Hobby Model Expo". I presume it was the first time that he displayed the violinist and on that occasion was awarded as the best model. Mr. Rismondo was a remarkable modeller and has been the director of the milanese Science Museum (Museo Nazionale della Scienza e della Tecnologia) for many years.


I will ask members who have known Rismondo if they have any other information to try to complete the story of this model.


and many thanks for the pictures and videos of the Violinist; they are of much value to us.“


Thanks to all contributors who helped to drill down to this point.

My congratulations, Oz, for owning this top award winning model. As expected it is none of MECCANO‘s official shop window displays. It is the personal elaborate creation of a highly respected Meccano enthusiast. 


There might be more info coming up. 


Link to comment
Share on other sites

>>>Oz, please check your mailbox for my PM.


‚Constructor Quarterly‘ is the top glossy art paper magazine for the Meccano man. It was its publisher/editor, Mr. Robin Johnson, who first threw in an Italien name to my search for the MECCANO VIOLINIST’s origin. He is very interested to learn more about this machine. He is thinking of an article in his magazine. 


Another fellow Meccano man commented, the Violinist looks like not being constructed from Meccano parts exclusively but might also have AMI-LAC elements as e.g. the flexible plates. AMI-LAC is a traditionally manufactured system from Italy, compatible with Meccano.


I have also located two more pics of the violinist in the G.A.M.M.‘s gallery of a later event (scroll down to last 4th and 3rd pic to the bottom):



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here's an email from regarding this rare creation & a possible follow up article 


Hello Oz,

It's good to be in touch with you re the above remarkable Meccano model by the late Bruno Rismondo.  I first became aware of it almost 30 years ago, but all my efforts to obtain photographs and a descriptive article suitable for Constructor Quarterly (my magazine) came to nothing, and so I gave up the project and forgot all about it.  I knew Bruno had died and was told that his violinist was "very valuable and had been locked away". 


That the model has surfaced again after all these years is a cause of some excitement here, even more so because I am STILL publishing the magazine and it is not too late to fulfil my ambition.


It would be wonderful if you could write me a descriptive article, with as much detail of the various mechanisms as you can manage.  However, all of this would be no use unless we can get hold of some good photographs, taken against a proper backdrop.  It really needs the services of a professional photographer with a studio.  Do you know such a person?  If so, could you possibly get a quotation for me?  Please be assured that I would give your efforts full acknowledgment and publicity in the magazine, as well as a copy for you when published.


Meccano robots are not a new idea, of course, but this one is pretty exceptional for they do not usually carry out such intricate movements without the involvement of computers (Arduino?).


I look forward to hearing from you in due course and, hopefully, to our collaborating over this wonderful project.


Warmest good wishes,



(CQ Ed) 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here's a wonderful update I received from Klaus



I have received more interesting info. Attached find

- Email from Max Ferranti (president of G.A.M.M., Italy) with some personal details about Bruno Rismondo.

- pdf extract of a report from the G.A.M.M.‘s exhibition 1993, with the Violinist on display featuring a music cassette player


A couple of fellow construction set friends have kindly checked the archives of their local clubs. From the AMS (AMSclub, Amateure fuer Metallmodellbau in der Schweiz), Switzerland, I received this pdf extract of the AMS Bulletin Nr. 31 (Winter 1993/94). No other mentioning of the Violinist in any of AMS‘s publications. And nothing re the Violinist has been found in the CAM‘s (Club-Amis-Meccano,France) archives. So this research of old sources might have come to the end. 


The AMS report only briefly describes the Violinist. The detail of the cassette player is specially amusing. - Has the player been placed somewhere close to the model or had it been hidden inside the mechanism? Who did perform that sonata? - The cassette/recorder probably not sold with the machine?

I have provided a translation of the pdf’s short section covering the Violinist. Unfortunately the pdf is based on photos, no text format. Can’t easily feed it into Google Translate. Please let me know if you‘d appreciate the full article translated.


Max Ferranti‘s info is great, as he talks about the model‘s exibition, history and Bruno Rosmondo‘s love of playing the violine himself.



Have already forwarded these details to Robin Johnson.


Best regards,



... In the first place to be mentioned is the more than half-life-size violin player from Rismondo, see pictures 2, 3 and 4, the builder of which was awarded the trophy of the recently deceased, well-known and valued club member Lucio Paglia. The violinist operates the violin bow in an absolutely realistic way. The finger play of the left hand on the strings is also amazing ... if you watch the movement of the individual, multi-articulated fingers (Fig. 4), you can hardly suppress a certain shudder! In addition, a cassette player plays a violin sonata so that one is tempted to regard the notes as produced by the model. ...




Dear ...,


I join a picture of Mr. Rismondo receiving the Award for the best model of the annual GAMM exhibition, I presume in 1993 for the Violinist but could be for another model in a later year.  


And I have also received some more informations about it. The model has been exhibited since 1993 for almost all of the 90's both in Novegro and in other GAMM exhibitions including one in Trieste and one in Florence. As you have rightly assumed Rismondo had made the model because he himself was a violin player and therefore he had taken care that the movements of the arm were exactly what a "good" violinist must do when articulating the shoulder. He had chosen to make it comparable in size to that of a child and showed a photo with the robot next to a child, probably his granddaughter. When Rismondo died, we lost contact with his numerous excellent models because the family sold all the Meccano material (models, boxes, parts) without involving the club or any of its members.


Perhaps you might be interested in the fact that among Rismondo's "disappeared" models, there was also an ingenious model reproducing an individual pursuit between two cyclists. Not a real robot but a model that can show the constructor's skills. Old members have good memories of said model and we still have the original description in italian and few pictures. The model has also been described in the Bulletin of the swiss club AMS (Amateure für Metallmodelbau in der Schweiz); to be found at www.amsclub.ch / Publikationen / Bulletin Inhaltsverzeichnis / B33 von 1994 and a modified and more compact version in B38 von 1998. A replica with some more changes was recently published in the Magazin "Schrauben & Sammler" (in which Georg Eiermann is involved) of wich I attach copies of the relevant pages.


Please transmit my regards to Georg Eiermann.


Mit freundlichen Grüßen,

Max Ferranti

Bruno Rismondo.jpg


Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 months later...

The motor reversing switch that was origional used for the hand that moves up and down the violin neck has be found and repaired to operate. All functions are now working as originally designed.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Great, John.

Smooth action.


Gipsy tune actually wouldn‘t fit into your spacey world.

But hope Ozzie is going to add some adequate old school device.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Happy to report the violin robot was magnificently bought back to like by John

But now it will also be featured in the cover art of Decembers CQ magazine 

To think this item was an after thought almost destined for the scrap heap !!



Violin RObot Cartoon.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...

Important Information

This site uses cookies to improve your visit. If you're happy with this, please continue.