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da Vinci Rolling Ball Timer Kit

Academy da Vinci Rolling Ball Timer Kit Review

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review May 2017 Manufacturer Academy
Subject da Vinci Rolling Ball Timer Scale N/A
Kit Number 18174 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Fun project Cons Nothing noted
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $22.98


da Vinci Rolling Ball Timer Kit
da Vinci Rolling Ball Timer Kit

Leonardo Da Vinci developed a number of designs that were well before their time. His vision of vertical flight with his spiral helicopter, paddle wheel-powered vessels, and the early armored car may have been laughable in his day, but were the stepping stones for today's MV-22 Osprey, turbine-powered Ticonderoga-class cruisers, and M1 Abrams tank (and their analogs from other nations of course).

Here is the latest release from Academy in the da Vinci series with this rolling ball timer. Developed from his sketchbook concepts, this mechanism is brought to reality by the engineers at Academy Models. I enjoy seeing these kits arrive in our lab and of course it went straight to the workbench after getting the parts photos completed.

da Vinci Rolling Ball Timer Kit da Vinci Rolling Ball Timer Kit

What you see here is an interesting timer that uses the leverage of the arm to adjust its speed. The cup at the end of the arm will hold eight US quarters but the mechanism requires a period of breaking-in/loosening up before you can properly adjust the timing. I applied dry lubricant power to the key points of the mechanism and then added lots of weight at the end of that arm to get it moving. Within several cycles, I was down to the lead weights I had put into the cup for operation where I filmed the demonstration below. After a few more cycles, I was able to replace the lead weights with the quarters.

This is a fun project and you can do a quick-build-up since everything is snap together, or you can take a little more time and add some paint details to bring out the nice work done by Academy.

My sincere thanks to MRC for this review sample!