The following video popped up while I was hunting around for some other engine related info, and it reminded me of the plastic Visible V8 engine I had added to my collection of goodies from the past. There are some videos of this Revell kit online, but the quality is too poor for me to want include here – search using “visible v8”, there may be better uploaded later.
I have to confess to never ‘finishing’ my Visible V8, although that is not to say I didn’t complete the assembly. I had a problem in so far as some of the parts would have been sealed into opaque compartments if they had been glued shut as per the instructions, which I thought was rather odd. For example, the oil filter had a filter modelled inside it its casing, but the casing was opaque, so the fact that it actually contained a filter seemed a bit pointless. I’d also have to be honest and say that the fit of the parts was less than ideal, and the assembly ran very poorly, even after fettling the parts – it would turn, but the motor had a hard time, and my patience gave out when finding and fixing the ‘tight’ parts. The last aspect that I didn’t like was the wiring from the distributor to the spark plugs. This was all by push-in-and-hope connections. As an engineer, this offended me, and I always kept looking for a better way. There was also a desire to change the tiny filament bulbs to LEDs, but that never happened either – oh well, maybe one day.
Back to the paper V12…
It took approximately two years to design this spectacular magical art for you to put together. This “V12 four-stroke Engine” has semi-realistic exterior and interior detail. Each of 12 spark plugs (LEDs) is ignited accordingly to the moving cycle. Many moveable parts include a compound crankshaft, a rapid cooling fan, 12 rods and 12 pistons etc. It is made with paper entirely (except some little wood sticks,LEDs, some electrical wires, some switches, a motor and a battery holder). The instruction included in this kit is a CD-ROM (a PDF file) contains 595 pages easy-to follow diagrams and step-by-step instructions with more than a thousand detailed nice and clear pictures. All patterns are printed on 195 sheets high quality acid-free heavy paper, which can last for many years and will not turn brittle and yellow or fades with age. 1978 parts are to be cut out and folded. No paint applied. It looks pure and elegant. Various shadows created by different light sources make it look stunning. The origami-reinforced structure is applied in the engine (they will not be seen). The origami-reinforced structures make the model very rigid and keep the pieces in the accurate positions. It can be handcrafted with white glue and sharp knife etc.
More info, pics, and video can be found on the original site.