Reviewed by Louise Edwards
Lockdown rules may have been slightly relaxed recently but there are still lots of school children (and shielding adults) who will be at home, unable to catch up face to face with friends and wider for some time.
If you are looking for something educational, and fun, to do then how about a building kit to create a V8 engine with digital and interactive reality? The Hayes Machine Works kit is suitable for 10 years and has 5 interactive engine areas and over 250 parts. By following the clear step by step instructions with diagrams you can construct a fully working motorised model of a V8 engine.
On opening the box, you are faced with a selection of bags all with different parts in them. I have to say it was a little daunting but nothing ventured, nothing gained!
The machine is held together with small screws – luckily all the same size and a screwdriver is included in the kit. The screwdriver and screws hold together with magnets which is very useful.As there were three of us working together on this we could have done with an extra screw driver but we managed to find a micro one in the tool kit.
Along with my 10 year old and 13 year old we set about finding out where we needed to start.
The instructions are very clear and we started off really well assembling the pistons and connecting rods, which we fitted to the crankshaft then put these into the cylinder block. So far so good! Some parts of the assembly are pretty fiddly and you do need to make sure you have good eyesight to see the numbered parts and also make sure the correct numbers align with the correct numbers for example making sure the camshafts are in the correct order and placed on the correct part of the cylinder heads.
We ran into a few difficulties at times and I did have to take the timing belt cover off several times but this was user error and nothing to do with the instructions or quality of the product which is really very good.
The instructions also give a detailed description of how a full-sized car engine works and even if you aren’t necessarily going to be a motor mechanic it is still really interesting to see how things work like clockwork.
You do need to supply your own three AA batteries.
Not being an expert in this area we were impressed by the kit and thought it is brilliant for anyone who is looking for something educational to get stuck into and doesn’t mind a bit of fiddly work. I would say at 10 year old would need some help from an adult but an older teenager would be able to do this on their own and get great satisfaction from assembling and seeing the completed kit.
Once the model is made you just place it onto the mat which is included and download the app to see the engine using Augmented Reality which creates an interactive experience. You can view an exploded view of the model with the animation of key components of engines and detailed descriptions of the different parts of an engine bringing the model to life!
Highly recommended educational fun which is brilliant for aspiring mechanics or engineers.
These products can be purchased from here.