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peebeep
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resin fondler
What are Strandbeest? They are the brainchild of artist/designer Theo Jansen who's been making large, wind powered robots since 1990. When I first saw these on a Youtube video I was mesmerised and when I saw this model advertised I immediately bought one! Here's some Strandbeest in action:



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The model ends up 20cm long, 13cm wide and 17cm tall.

BTW, strandbeest is Dutch, strand = beach, beest = beast.

Here we go, adding rubber feet to the legs.

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Adding con-rods to the legs. You get the feeling that these will fall off easily during assembly and you wouldn't be wrong. ;)

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Test fitting the main frame and crankshaft. You have to pull it apart to fit the legs, because the bottom rods on the frame are the axles.

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You have to make sure the frame and crankshaft orientation is as per the instructions, I thought I had it right....

...but continuing anyway, you split the frame components and wiggle the legs in.

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Then you add more con-rods that control the motion from the crankshaft to the legs. I mentioned earlier, the parts at this stage are a loose fit and come apart easily, but once all the connecting rods are added it all holds together. No glue is required at any time. Eventually you end up with two of these sub-assemblies.

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The two sub-assemblies are then push fitted together after looping the supplied clear elastic into the frame then running around each end to stop it all from coming apart. Next up fit the turbine. You add the card sails to the five blades and they're held in place with plastic collars. A couple of cog wheels can then be push fitted, add the sails and away you go. Except I had the the crankshaft the wrong way round. Disassemble, disassemble! The legs will stay in place but I had to pop off the con-rods at which point other bits started to fall off! Once the crankshaft was put the right way around it only took a short time to put it all back together again, add the cogs and finally the sails.

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There is very little friction in the whole thing and the sails spin easily with a small puff of wind. It works! the motion is obviously robotic, but there is something organic and insect like about it. This has been a hoot to put together and it's kept me occupied in a very happy state today. Highly recommended

PS: The jet noise in the video is a hair drier providing the wind!

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