Wednesday 5 September 2012

RS Components Windmill kit

During the holidays, RS Components got in touch to ask if we'd like to review one of their kids' kits, to construct either a windmill or a car. We said yes please and opted for the windmill. When it arrived, Sophie said "ooh, it looks like it's everything you need to make a bomb" ! Hmm not sure which websites she's been looking at !!

Juliette excitedly started cutting along the lines, under strict instructions not to cut along the dotted lines, as those indicate folds. She did a great job.

Both girls then started colouring in some of the white spaces to create a really funky windmill. They kept getting distracted though because they were more interested in looking at the strange things on the table like crocodile clips and the motor, which totally intrigued them !

After downloading and printing the instructions online, I helped them fold along the creases and construct the cardboard windmill base. They were very impressed that it looked almost identical to the one on the instruction sheet !

Juliette couldn't wait to get stuck in with the battery but there was still some fiddly construction to get through first ! Patience is a virtue, Little Miss J !

The instructions tell you to push the dowel rod through the two sides of the windmill wall. This was simple enough but I though the rod could have done with being a bit longer because it barely stretched across the gap. Once the windmill sails were added, when they turned, they rubbed against the side of the windmill. Having a longer dowel rod would allow you to move them forward slightly to solve this issue too. I got round it by creasing the windmill wall slightly backwards so it was a bit concave.

The motor is attached to the base with bag ties which is nice and simple. OK, Juliette, time for the crocodile clips and batteries ! The motor is attached to a rotating pin which should make the sails turn via an elastic band. I say should because the elastic band was much too wide to fit into the groove on the rotating pin. I carefully cut it in half widthways - which was a bit fiddly - but it still kept pinging off within a few seconds of setting it all up so the sails never got to turn, which was disappointing and frustraing.

We turned it around by removing the motor from the windmill and transforming it into a candy-floss machine (according to Juliette). If you make a plasticine spiral then put it on the rotating pin, it whizzes round and makes the spiral uncoil itself, which the Madhouse Mini-testers thought was hilarious ! 

I'm sure the windmill kit just needs a better elastic band for it to work properly and, I should point out, this was a prototype kit to get feedback before marketing them. I would also have liked to have slightly thicker cardboard to make it more durable and a longer dowel rod, as I've already mentioned.

The Madhouse Mini-testers loved learning about motors, batteries and crocodile clips though and had great fun with the project, even if it didn't work perfectly.

Disclosure : The batteries, DC motor, and wire cables used in this project were supplied by RS Components UK, the world’s leading high service distributor of electronics and maintenance products. If you are a blogger and would like to conduct this task with your child, please get in contact with 
RS Components Marketing and register your interest.

Other reviews you may be interested in :

Yellow Moon rainforest-themed crafting supplies review


  1. Looks great fun

  2. Well done - it looks really complicated.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...