Machine Works Haynes V8 Model Engine Kit Review

with Digital and Interactive Augmented Reality


This Christmas, if you are looking for a gift that will entertain and educate whilst being lots of fun and can be worked on together by car loving engine fanatics like a parent and child, a fully functional, motorised model of a V8 internal combustion engine that comes in kit form ready for assembly seems like an excellent idea.

The Machine Works Haynes V8 Model Engine Kit is a comprehensive but manageable kit of a simplified replica working engine that does not require any glue to assemble. Once completed the battery-powered engine model can be turned on to reveal moving parts, lights and sounds. Encased in a transparent housing so that you can see how the engine works and with the aid of a special interactive augmented reality app on your tablet or smartphone. Not only an excellent model building kit but an educational kit to see and learn how an internal combustion engine works and powers a car.

On opening the box, it looks quite a daunting experience looking at lots of bags filled with over 250 parts to assemble. The box contains all the parts that you need to build the engine, including a screwdriver. It doesn’t require any special tools or glue and comes with a Haynes style manual on how to assemble the parts. Once completed, you will have built a functional, motorised model of a V8 internal combustion engine and be able to see how it works, complete with illuminated spark plugs and engine sounds.

Firstly, the instruction/assembly manual. This is very well put together and has step-by-step illustrated diagrams. It is easy to follow and makes assembly straightforward.

Secondly, the parts. There are more than 250 parts and whilst at first can seem quite a daunting task, the manual has a complete parts list and isn’t as daunting as it seems (as long as you don’t just put everything into one big pile).

Thirdly, assembly. Despite the number of parts, assembly is pretty straightforward. The manual gives detailed instructions with step-by-step diagrams that are easy to follow. No special tools are needed, just a screwdriver which is suppled, and nothing needs to be glued together. The engine is pieced together using small screws (all of which are the same size to make it easier). As long as you don’t rush it, it will take several hours to assemble and get it right. Once assembled, you can add batteries (3x AA batteries) and have a V8 engine where the spark plugs light up, the pistons move up and down and the crankshaft rotates. As it is housed in a transparent case you will be able to clearly see all the movement.

Lastly, the app. The fun doesn’t stop once the engine is assembled. Download the Machine Works V8 for Android / IOS smartphones and tablets and the app gives exploded views of the engine, animations of five key components and detailed descriptions of 11 engine parts. It explains and shows how the engine works.

The app works by scanning the completed model. You can switch between normal, x-ray and exploded views. The app also has a How It Works section explaining how different components work and what their functions are. Also in the app is a digital copy of the manual complete with parts list and assembly instructions.

Overall, the Machine Works Haynes V8 Model Engine Kit with digital and interactive augmented reality is a fun construction kit that will show what the engine looks like but also how it works with its moving parts and app interaction – it even has engine sounds. It would make the perfect gift, especially with Christmas coming up, for people that like to build models and explore how things work.

Whilst it is perfect STEM product for model builders and curious minds, it would also make an excellent gift for sharing and bonding. It would be perfect for dads/mums and sons/daughters, grandads/grandmas and grandsons/granddaughters… and the younger members of the family (boys and girls aged 10+) to build as a project together, giving the gift of quality time, a special bonding experience and guarantees a whole lot of fun whilst learning something new! It also helps develop patience, hand-eye coordination, manual dexterity skills, problem solving, reading and following instructions.

This kit has nearly everything you need to build your own model V8 engine (you just need to supply the batteries and a smartphone or tablet if you want to use the augmented reality and digital content), see how it works and learn about the different components and their functions within an engine.

A really cool construction project that is so much more than assembling parts. Highly recommended educational fun.

Rating: 5/5

RRP: £59.99

Available to buy from Amazon here.

DISCLOSURE: We received this product for free for the purpose of writing an honest and impartial review. All thoughts and opinions are our own. This review uses affiliate links which we may receive a small commission from if you purchase through the link.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here