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Flipper Il Drago
The aim goal of the pinball is to win the flag placed on the castle tower, in order to do this, the player must launch the balloon down the corridor that leads to the "rotating blade" which operates a series of gears to open the gate of the tower and to make the Dragon move. The rotation of the blade drives the first gear that has the task of triggering the counterweight safety catch and relative pulley which is attached to a wire that lifts the counterweight itself.
Below, other pulleys have the task of lifting, by means of threads, the wings and head of the dragon which defends the castle.
When the counterweight reaches, by means of the ball hitting the rotating the blade, the top of the rod to which it is anchored, the gate is opened by means of a concentric wheel anchored to the main axis of the gear which has moved a series of four pulleys. When the gate is open, access is granted to the bridge that leads to the tower.
Here, another device, if struck, raises the flag and returns the ball to the player.
At this point, to finish game, the ball must be fired once again to the rotating blade, which, at the last turn, operates a device at the top of the structure which unlocks, by means of a wire, the safety of the entire traction gear.
The counterweight, thanks to the force of gravity, travels downwards, returning the Dragon to its starting position and closing the gate. As the counterweight returns to its original position, a lever releases the safety and returns the pin ball to the start.
Â It was a visit to the Leonardiano Museum in Vinci that inspired me to make my first prototypes. The genius of Leonardo allowed him to create incredible feats of engineering, all achieved without any of today's technology.Â
Leonardo's lantern gear was the inspiration behind the "The Elastic MachineÂ F=kÎ´"
Several months after the trip to Vinci, I visited a Renaissance market where I saw a wooden pinball machine.Â Although it was quite basic, the children playing with it were having a great time. I wondered whether Leonardo would have been able to make one, but it probably would never have occured to him as theÂ first pinball machine was invented in 1935 by the American company, Gottlieb.Â
I imagined what it would have been like to like in Leonardo's time, and thought about what sort of pinball machine he might have invented, using Leonardian gears and the rules of physics: levers, kinetic energy and gravity.Â After many attempts, the 'Flipper 7Â° Quadrante' was born. After its succes, I decided to make another one, that was more 'medieval' than the first. As I live in a small Rennaisance village, which has it's own castle, I decided to use that as a model so the 'Flipper il Castello' took shape.Â Â
After this, I happened to spot a picture of St George and the Dragon, so my imagination led to to include a dragon in my next pinball machine. The "Flipper il Drago" works according to a system of levels, pulleys and weights, inspired by Leonardo's writings.Â
As well as being passionate about Leonardo's machines, I'm also interested in the Medieval period and a king and his loyal knights were the inspiration for 'La Catapulta' game.
Watching the film "The First Knight" aroused my fantasy and so I set to work on the construction of a new game "The Joust of 7" that slowly came to life like all the others!
The last work I did started from the idea that there were more players and then I made the pinball "The 4 Knights", a game where four players must join forces to get together to the same goal.
All my games are handmade and built with recycled wood, mainly pine and beech. Each piece that makes up the game, is crafted with care, and made in wood to make it more durable and able to withstand humidity, dust etc.Â
Each game must be treated with care, because, as the saying goes, 'wood lives until its burnt', almost as if it possesses a soul. To ensure that each game lives as long as possible, you have to treat it with respect.Â
As I'm an eternal dreamer, every time I see a project come to live, I imagine how much Leonardo himself would have enjoyed playing with it...and sometimes I hear him laughing next to me.Â