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Flipper I Quattro Cavalieri
This pinball machine has the particularity of making 4 people play at the same time.
All players must therefore reach their goal (which I will explain in a moment!) but in a board game to ensure that the common purpose is to make the gear in the center of the four-player pinball machine work.
The "Four Knights" pinball machine has a central square-shaped device where, for each side of the square itself, there is a pinball machine.
So, in the end, the pinball machine in question has a "cross" shape.
The four pinball machines are all the same and each player has the objective of bowing his knight in the middle of the gaming table.
In order to achieve the goal, the player has two lanes, one to activate the mechanism that will bow the knight and the other, with a similar mechanism, will be used to totalize the score.
The ball thrown in the left lane, will activate, by means of a rotor, a mechanism "Lantern" by Leonardo da Vinci that will impress its movement to another set of gears placed on ball bearings, and after a series of throws the gears themselves will trigger the safety lever that, released, will allow the Knight to bow thanks to the various ropes and pulleys.
When the Knight has bowed, another device, operated by himself, unlocks its part of the central mechanism.
When all four players have unlocked their part of the mechanism, a rack will activate the counterweights that with their movement will open the device in the shape of "Iris" from which, by means of chains, will rise from the lower floor the "Sword in the rock".
Since all the players will not reach their goal at the same time, it depends on their ability, who will have done it first will have more time to totalize the highest possible score, this is possible by throwing the ball in the right lane, where the rotor connected to the gear "Lantern" of Leonardo da Vinci will operate the toothed wheels that with their rotary motion make turn a mechanical counter.
When everyone has reached the common goal of bowing to their knight and having operated the central device that reveals "The sword in the rock", the game will be over. At this point, the player who has scored the most on the mechanical marker, will be the "First Knight" and is the one who will have the right to pull the sword.
The pinball machine has a size of 4 meters by 4 meters and is entirely handmade.
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.
Leonardo's lantern gear was the inspiration behind the "The Elastic Machine F=kδ"
Several months after the trip to Vinci, I visited a Renaissance market where I saw a wooden pinball machine. 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 the first pinball machine was invented in 1935 by the American company, Gottlieb.
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. After many attempts, the 'Flipper 7° 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.