In September1926 a two page full colour leaflet was enclosed with the Meccano Magazine Announcing "Good News! The New Meccano" Meccano in colours. Although stated in the leaflet far from all of the parts were in the new colours, strips and girders were still finished in nickel, plates and some circular plates became bright red and braced girders were enamelled in pea green. Until this time all Meccano parts had been nickel plated since 1909, this was applied to all the parts except those made from brass.  By 1926 the image of nickel plated Meccano was looking rather tired and something needed to be done to bolster the image and sales of Meccano. Full page black and white ads followed this up in subsequent months in the Meccano Magazine with headlines such as  "Good News! Lets see the colours", "Look Dad its in Colours Now." There does appear to have been a rush to get  the "New coloured Meccano" sets in the shops for the Christmas sales period. Factory stocks of nickel parts were over sprayed with the new enamel to get enough coloured parts for the new sets for Christmas. I have come across parts from that period with bright pristine nickel was underneath the enamel. During this change over time the Outfit contents remained more or less the same the same as did the Accessory sets so an owner of for instance a number 3 set in nickel could progress to the No.4 Outfit by purchasing a red and green outfit 3a. The 1927 manual remained the same except on the pages listing "Accessory Parts" some are asterisked indicating they were available in red/green or nickel. Meccano enthusiasts were still able order from their Meccano dealer most parts in the  nickel finish, throughout the red and green production period. I would imagine though in an case many dealers would have had parts and sets in nickel remaining in stock. In mid 1927 Meccano announced that in future all parts would be finished in enamelled colours, there were just a few exceptions such as sprocket wheels and eccentrics although later these later became enamelled too. The strips, girders and other nickel parts were now all finished in a new shade of dark green. Plates, circular parts and some other parts were finished in Burgundy red very similar to that used by the LMS on their express locomotives. I often wonder why they did not continue with the lighter red and green, but the darker colours have a certain charm I think. Following the introduction of coloured Meccano a wealth of new parts were introduced into the system, including the most expensive part ever, the "Geared Roller Bearing". In 1928 Meccano introduced tins of red and green enamel paint to enable boys to convert their nickel parts to colour or touch up parts damaged "through mishandling." to quote an ad in the Meccano Magazine. I own two of these small tins of paint I have never opened them, although the original owner clearly had! As the red and green sets become established their popularity  grew and saw the peak time for Meccano sales in 1931-32 during the inter-war period. Along with the many new parts the excellent range of "Super Model leaflets" were produced it was too the peak time for sales of the Meccano Magazine. To quote from a 1927 advertisement  in the Meccano Magazine "All the steel Meccano parts are now enamelled in red or green, and these in combination with the bright Wheels and Gears produce an exquisite effect." You can see the truth in this statement from my web page  Models I have built from my 1930 No.7 Outfit.  In 1933 further changes were made to the colours of parts, braced girders were changed to medium red similar to the post war colour, pulleys, spoked wheels, flanged and bush wheels became navy blue, green parts became a lighter shade of green. It looks as though the colours were looking just fine in the 1934 No. 1 and No.5 outfits shown on the right.  I imagine the revised colours, that were never mentioned in the MM did not help flagging sales, something completely new was needed! Just around the corner in October 1934 huge changes were on the way!  Blue and Gold Meccano I first became interested in this period of Meccano history after purchasing a 1930 No.7 outfit that had been built up at around that time by the original owner. Although the outfit lacks the oak cabinet it was almost complete, including all the electrical parts plus many additional extra parts. A original 1929 No.7 Outfit in oak cabinet with lift out tray and two drawers. Shown on the right. Below is a large dealer’s display board from 1928 with illustrations of many contemporary models, the area at the bottom would have shown some of the current range of sets. Published September 05 2022 Revised November 27 2023
Superb presentation of the 1930 No.1 Outfit
References: Contemporary Meccano Magazines and Manuals, The Hornby Companion Series "The Meccano System" by Bert Love and Jim Gamble, Factory of Dreams by Kenneth D. Brown. 1930 0utfit No.1 picture from the collection of the late Malcolm Hanson courtesy of NZ Meccano Roger Marriott is the owner of the display board. No.5 and No.1 1934 Outfits from Mike Rhoades collection shown at Didcot 100 Years of Meccano exhibition 2001 1929 No. 7 picturecourtesy of Vectis Auctions
1927 Meccano advertisment