Da Vinci's Drawing Machine

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This was actually released several months ago, but none of our distributors carried it - well, they finally do and we are very excited to finally be able to offer one of the coolest models we've seen in a long time.

Inspired by Leonardo da Vinci’s Robot Knight (built around 1495), this all-wood automaton kit will amaze your friends just as The Florentine’s device amazed kings and queens some 5 centuries ago. Leonardo built what was considered to be history’s first robot. His Robot Knight could perform many actions including shaking hands, playing the drums and could even hug an amused guest. It was rumored that the robot had another special skill…it could draw a picture.

Using wooden cams as the "software", you can draw one of four pictures simply by turning the crank, and watching the arm move.

As with many of the puzzles kits and models we offer, there are no tools required for assembly. Glue is required, and is included with the kit.

Assembled size (estimate) : 15.7" x 11.8" x 3"

Notes from Alex:

There are actually two other versions of this model - they all draw the same things - but we liked the dragon on this one (which should not surprise anyone).

Despite the difficulty we're going to have transporting it, we finally built a display model. It is an extremely impressive piece once completed. The assembly does required gluing a fair number of parts - most are decorative, but still essential to the final model. In addition to glue (they do provide some in the kit) small clamps may be helpful - we used clothespins.

Because of all the gluing, it's best to plan on assembling this over a few days to allow the sub-assemblies to dry. The instructions are set up in such a way that while you are waiting for one part to dry, you can continue on a different section.

We'd recommend disconnecting the springs if the model is going to be stored for an extended period of time, to prevent the brass pins from denting the wood cams.

As far as the finished piece - like many of our working models, it's a question of expectations. The completed drawing are simplistic, but recognizable. Going through the assembly process and operating the model gives a very deep understanding of how "real" automatons work, and an appreciation of the intricacy and precision required in their creation. We'd wholeheartedly recommend it for any automaton fan.