by: George Redell [ ]
Leonardo da Vinci did not invent the pendulum clock. The first mechanical clocks were invented around the start of the 14th century. Da Vinci did improve on the design of the pendulum clock making it more accurate. The Da Vinci design was different because it included separate mechanisms, one for minutes, and another for hours. The clock operated by using a small metal ball, connected to a string, which wraps around a brass post, then unwinds repeating on to another brass post. By lengthening or shortening this string it would adjust the speed of the time. A counterweight acts as the clocks power source.
This is the 11th kit in the Da Vinci series made by Academy Hobby Models. Each kit is based on a drawing by Leonardo Da Vinci and do not require any glue, paint, or batteries. The instructions are easy to read and consist of 13 steps. There are a lot of loose parts in this kit, so you need to keep track of them. The plastic parts are molded in two colors dark grey and wood color.
3 plastic sprues
8 plastic pieces not attached to any sprues
1 plastic base
6 metal rods/shafts
1 white thread
1 black thread
1 plastic jig
The step by step instructions are easy to follow and on top of the instructions there is chart showing the rods/shaft actual length. This is very useful when determining which rods/shafts are used in the instructions. A jig is also included (part # A10) to help insert the rods/shafts into the gears leaving the proper length protruding out of the gears. In Step 3 you must tie a knot on the end of the white thread after inserting it into a hole. The instruction say to tie only one knot but I had to tie three knots to keep the knot from sliding out of the hole. This string is part of the counterweight which powers the pendulum. All the parts fit together nicely with very little clean-up. There was no flash on any parts and the wood colored plastic looked realistic. You have the option of leaving the legs off or installing them for the added height which I recommend. If you install the legs the clock will run longer. You will need to add a little weight to the counterweight, I used two coins as suggested in the instructions. The kit took me about 45 minutes to complete.
To start the clock, turn the lever winding the string back into the clock, the weight of the coins in the counterweight pulls this string out of the clock, turning the gears, which spin the pendulum. To adjust the speed of the clock, shorten or lengthen the pendulum string and move the brass rods closer and further away from each other to adjust the speed. To see the clock in operation please watch the video.
This is another great kit in Academy’s Da Vinci series. I have reviewed a couple of Da Vinci kits in this series and this one was a little more complicated than the others I have done. The recommended age on the box is 14 which I think is about the right age group to complete this kit without the help of an adult. The kit was a fun quick build and I look forward to more kits in the Da Vinci series.