Ever wanted to have your own mini engine kit or engine model? Well, if you have, I have compiled a list of twelve exceptionally well crafted mini engine kits – for entertainment, for education, and for fun. Working scale models surely provide a fun and unique opportunity for gearheads to find out all about the ins and outs of an engine. Also, wouldn’t it be cool to have one of these bad boys laying around on your work desk? Thought so.
A mini engine kit is too cool of a trinket to pass up, so here are our picks for the best ones around!
With more than 100 unique parts, Airfix Engineer is more like a learning tool than just an ornament. This mini engine kit has been blessed with both startup sound and engine firing sound so it has an even more realistic appearance. Nevertheless, you will have to free up some serious time for construction. Instructions for completion of the Airfix Engineer mini engine kit are quite clear – three hours of build time. Building fun for a few days for sure.
The batteries aren’t included in the package though, and you’ll definitely want those if you intend to hear your engine roar to life when it’s all put together.
Smithsonian Institution Motor-Works
Smithsonian Institution Motor-Works will ensure a great time with your kids. This engine model is a perfect knowledge tool to help your kid grasp the intricate processes of engine functions. Some do say that the only things you really need to complete the 100 piece kit are a pair of scissors and a screwdriver.
Regardless of its four-cylinder nature, the Smithsonian Institution mini engine kit accepts two AA batteries for a fantastic presentation of engine movements:
- Spark plugs fire,
- Valves open and close,
- Pistons fire,
- Belts and fan turn.
Porsche 911 Boxer Kit
Everybody wants a piece of the famed Porsche 911. Now you can have it with the intricate, rather complex and excruciatingly detailed Porsche 911 Boxer engine kit. One-quarter of the size compared with the original, the 1966 Porsche 911 mini engine kit has more than 280 parts. It is a huge endeavor, but if puzzles are your thing, engines your passion, and cars your way of life, you will freaking love it. And don’t worry, instructions are there to walk you through every step of the process and give you unique insight into the air-cooled ways of the 1966 Porsche 911 engine.
As for the time involved for the project to be completed, you’ll need to set aside around five hours to really get it together. It may take a while, but it will most certainly be worth it.
Liberty Classics Chevy Street Rod
As one of the best scale models of a proper American crate engine, the Liberty Classics Chevy Street Rod is a mini engine kit bathed with what we can only consider “premium”. Cast engine block, chrome plated valve covers, pulleys and air-con pump, as well as a removable air filter, make this thing an ornament to decorate a room with. With a scale of 1/6th compared with the real thing, the Chevy Street Rod has some functionality as well. All the belts and pulleys actually work. They drive the flex plate, which, in turn, actually moves the motor gear. Quite stunning, isn’t it?
Hawk Dodge SRT-8
Dodge fans will be thrilled about this one. This mini engine kit for the 6.1-liter V8 is the best thing a Dodge enthusiast can have on their working table. The diecast engine kit replica comes prepainted and is rather easy to assemble. With just about 60 parts in total, one can complete the kit in under an hour, but its nice finish and fabulous looks will make you happy for a lifetime.
Haynes Build Your Own
Based on the real thing, but slightly simplified, the Haynes Build Your Own four-cylinder engine with a transparent housing is a perfect educational tool. Not only does it provide exceptional construction value with more than 100 different pieces, but Haynes did all they could to make it as close to the real four stroke as possible. In that regard, the mini engine kit features illuminating spark plugs, an “Engine-Starting” Sound Chip, an electric motor and a transparent housing so you can watch all the magic happening inside. Step-by-step instructions included, of course.
Revell 85-8883 Visible V-8 Engine Plastic Model Kit
Somewhat similar to the Haynes build engine model, the Revell 85-8883 is a fantastically executed small V8 with a visible engine and moving parts. As it is adapted even for eight-year-olds, it provides a fantastic learning opportunity and a lot of fun. Is it time-consuming? Well, what do you think about five hours of assembly? Definitely cool!
The kit includes:
- hand crank movable pistons,
- rubber fan belt with vinyl ignition wires,
- display stand,
- screwdriver for construction,
- detailed illustrated instructions.
This is something else – a steam engine. Industry boomed thanks to inventions like this and now we even have the opportunity to assemble a model engine kit with a screwdriver alone. If you happen to have an engine collection, this Wilesco D5 steam engine would definitely fit right in giving you a unique insight into what the industrial world was like back in the nineteenth century.
Bear in mind that with 1.63 lbs of total weight, this is only an entry level steam engine. Wilesco has much bigger offerings as well. As for the Wilesco D5, its assembly does not require any soldering and all of it can be done with screws.
Elenker Mini Hot Air Stirling
Yet another unique engine. Based on magnetic Stirling motion, the Elenker Mini Hot Air Stirling gives you fantastic insight into how external combustion motors work. Believe it or not, some created motors like this which are powerful enough to produce electricity with enough voltage to power an Arduino computer. This one, of course, won’t be able to do that, but it is a fantastic conversational piece and something it would definitely fit well on any work table. Does it work? You bet. And fast!
Expect a few hundred RPMs per minute.
It weighs 180 grams and is made of steel, copper, and aluminum, and features a stainless steel base. Plus, that little fuel reservoir has a magnet attached to it to prevent any excess movement when this bad boy starts running fast.
Trends UK Haynes V8
With motorized internals, the Trends UK Haynes V8 simulated a real engine in great detail. While it will be fun to watch all the diodes fire up at just the right time demonstrating engine movements and processes, its construction will not pose a massive challenge. More than 100 parts of this mini engine kit can be completed even by a 14-year-old.
Its educational purposes are obvious, but we have to point out that the Haynes V8 model engine features a working electric motor, light up spark plugs, engine sounds, and automatic shut off.
Obviously, one needs a lot of power for it all. Three AA batteries are required.
Minicraft Models Visible Rotary Engine 1/5 Scale
Rotary mini engine kit? Of course, I found it. With electric motor and wiring, the Minicraft Models Visible Rotary Engine mimics the Mazda rotary Wankel engine and provides a unique insight into the works of this ingenious creation. Thanks to its transparent engine block, you may clearly see all of the internal workings of rotary assembly and enjoy spark plug flashes. Mini engine kit collectors may want to have this one in their collection along with all other fantastic pieces from the list.
Hawk 1/4 scale 426 Dodge Street Hemi
As the second entry from Hawk on this list, the 1/4 scale 426 Dodge Street Hemi is a detailed replica of one of the most famous engines in Dodge history. With over 125 parts, this Diecast replica provides a unique insight into the workings of Dodge engines. Of course, it comes with a stand and it is not extremely hard for assemble.
Dimensions? Free up 9 by 7 by 9 inches of real estate for it and you’ll be good to go.