Leonardo’s Anemometer


Within the frame of his studies about the flight, Leonardo designed an instrument for measuring the wind intensity and direction. In the so called “thin sheet anemometer”, the wind intensity is proportional to the shift of the thin sheet, measured along a graduated scale. The wind direction is shown by the position taken by the wind vane.

anemLeo-250pxIn the original Leonardo’s drawing (between 1483 and 1486), on folio 675 of the Codex Atlanticus Leonardo annotates: “A misurare quanta via si vada per ora col corso di un vento. Qui bisogna un orilogio che mostri l’ore, punti e minuti” (for measuring distance traversed per hour with the force of the wind. Here a clock for showing hours, points and minutes is required).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe model, originally released in 2007, is made up with 21 pre-built parts, that can be assembled together without glue by means of the Removable Interlocking Pin System (RIPS). The complete set, inclusive of the assembling instructions, can be contained in an elegant kit box (to build).


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“Remaking the Heavens” /1


For long time I surfed the web in searching for hi-res digital files representing celestial (and terrestrial) gores by Venetian cartographer Vincenzo Coronelli (1650-1718). The best I found was a pdf version of the “Atlas Céleste, composé d’un globe de douze pieds de circonférence, du P. Coronelli, …”, edited in Paris in 1782, at the Bibliotèque Nationale de France website. Though they have good resolution, the scans were roughly converted in B/W files, and some of them are compromised by the book binding.

My research stopped two months ago, when I met online the “Libro dei Globi”, a collection of fac-simile gores edited by Theatrum Orbis Terrarum Ltd. (Amsterdam) in 1969, from the original Coronelli’s prints published in Venice in 1701. I could not wait anymore! I bought it from Sequitur Books (USA) and now, that big book is on my desk. So, it’s time to start my new project:


The project “Remaking the Heavens” consists in a large celestial paper globe (50 cm diam.) illustrated with digitally re-colored Coronelli’s gores from the “Libro dei Globi”, edited in Venice in 1701.

aThe title of the project could seem too ambitious, though what I would like to do is the modern version of the past common practise of coloring the b/w prints by hand, often according to the wishes of the buyer. Obviously, being a paper model designer, the globe will be entirely made of paper, therefore the technique I will use for making it will be completely different from the classical one. And it will be a little bit different from the other globes I designed so far.

I will keep you updated on the progress of the project…

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WAP downscaled to 50%


Herbert (moderator at the German paper modellers forum KARTONBAU.de) downscaled WAP to 50%. He posted  three movies and some picture of his work to the German forum. The result is terrific! Consider that Herbert built a lot of tiny rivets to add 3D effects to some parts (like the gears, for example). Here, I have merged the three movies and posted some nice Herbert’s pictures. Take a look and enjoy Herbert’s amazing work!



 Go here to download WAP automaton

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PaperPino’s Newsletter

newsDear Friends,
now you can subscribe to my Newsletter service. Look at the end of the right column and insert your e-mail address. Do not worry, I will not bother with too many news…, my models creation proceed slowly (though inexorable…), so will my news.
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Do you remember “The MATRIX”?


after the hako infection (2004)paper toys, paper models, paperpino, The MATRICKS

Download The MATRICKS

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The first time the word “America”…

… appeared on Earth.

paper globe

Globe diameter: 12 cm


In 1901 Joseph Fisher, a Jesuit historian who was conducting research in in the library of Prince Johannes zu Waldburg- Wolfegg in Wolfegg Castle in Württemberg, Germany, discovered the famous large Waldseemueller’s map called Universalis Cosmographia (1507), as part of the Cosmographiae introductio by the German cartographer Martin Waldseemueller (1470–1520). frontespizioThis was the beginning of an intricate and exciting story where one of the protagonists was a small print depicting twelve gores: the first published ready-to-build world globe with, for the first time, the “New World” surrounded by water. And, for the first time, the name  America appeared on Earth.

From Wikipedia: Five copies of the globe gores are extant. The first to be rediscovered was found in 1871 and is now in the James Ford Bell Library of the University of Minnesota. Another copy was found inside a Ptolemy atlas and is in the Bavarian State Library in Munich. A third copy was discovered in 1992 bound into an edition of Aristotle in the Stadtbücherei Offenburg, a public library in Germany. A fourth copy came to light in 2003 when its European owner read a newspaper article about the Waldseemüller map. It was sold at auction to Charles Frodsham & Co. for $1,002,267, a world record price for a single sheet map. In July 2012, a statement was released from Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich that a fifth copy of the gores had been found in the LMU Library’s collection which is somewhat different from the other copies, perhaps because of a later date of printing. LMU Library has made an electronic version of their copy of the map available online.

Waldseemueller’s group of cartographers derived the word “America” from the name of Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci, who was the first to argue that the land mass discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1492 was a new continent, and not part of Asia. Waldseemueller and his fellow scholars used an account of Vespucci’s voyages to draw their new maps. The real merit of Vespucci in the exploration of the New World is still subject of debate, making the story of the Cosmographiae introductio, the large map and the small globe even more fascinating.

You can find a lot of information on Wikipedia, of course. If you are really interested, I suggest to read Toby Lester’s The Fourth Part of the Globe (Free Press, 2009).

Note: The twelve gores I used for this globe design were adapted from the high-res. file (1509 edition) freely downloadable at the Library of Congress website.

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Pardie’s Celestial Globe (Christmas Ball version)



The Christmas Ball version of Pardies’ Celestial Globe is now available!

Merry Christmas and a Wonderful 2014!



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Celestial Globe from Ignace-Gaston Pardies’ Tables

paper globe

[diameter of the Celestial Globe: 25 cm]


Visit the David Rumsey Map Collection website to admire and download Pardies’ star and constellation maps. Another great website with a lot of information about Pardies’ masterpiece is Atlas Coelestis (sorry, mostly in Italian…).

If you have already downloaded the Globe project (before Dec. 3), but you are not satisfied by the final result because Pole holes are not well defined, download the Pole Caps for improving your model.

download the pdf file

Pardies Christmas Ball

Stay tuned! Christmas Ball version of Pardies Celestial Globe in progress…

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WAP – WARNING! Air Pockets


[25x30x40 cm, 165 parts, about 90Mb]


The Mechanism. WAP is a paper automaton whose main mechanism is Redtenbacher`s variation of the Cartwright straight-line mechanism, a twin gear driving a common slider crank. If the two gears have different but almost equal number of teeth, the up and down motion of the bar is then an addition and subtraction of two sinusoidal functions. The straight line generation, determined by the vertical motion of the bar, was a very important problem in the early history of mechanics. In WAP, the “random” motion of the unlucky airplane is generated at the center of the beam, that is free to spin. At that point, the two sinusoidal movements originate the oscillation that, together with the up and down motion of the bar, results in the air-pocket-like shaking up.

(further information at http://kmoddl.library.cornell.edu/index.php)


Cartwright mechanism

Redtenbacher's variation

Redtenbacher’s variation












The main mechanism in WAP is based on two gears with ratio equal to 1.2 (18/15 teeth). The entire cycle is completed after five turns of the handle.

Ferdinand Redtenbacher (1809-1863). The transformation of mechanical technology from a mainly workshop-based profession into an engineering science, particularly in the area of design of machines and mechanisms, is closely related with the name of Ferdinand Redtenbacher. He was of eminent historical importance for Porträtthe evolution of mechanical engineering to a technical science in the nineteenth century. Redtenbacher’s role as the originator of mechanical engineering as a science in Germany is fundamental and of general interest since the introduction of science into engineering is a “sine qua none” for the development of a powerful high tech industry. As a professor and the director of the Polytechnic School in Karlsruhe, Germany – today the University of Karlsruhe (TH) –, Redtenbacher’s influence therefore helped establish the German manufacturing systems engineering even today. (from Wauer, J., Mauersberger, K., Moon, F. C., 2010. Ferdinand Jakob Redtenbacher (1809–1863), in Distinguished Figures in Mechanism and Machine Science, History of Mechanism and Machine Science, Ceccarelli, M. Ed., Springer Netherlands).


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DRACULA (Hako version, 2004)



Years ago, paper modellers community was very excited by the so called hako designs, small paper figures mainly made of boxy parts assembled together. There was a bloom of paper hakos, some of them truly exquisite. As many others, I designed some hako models, too.

Dracula was the first one…


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