Paper Models, Automata and other Kinetic Art  by the manicpapermechanic

All models are made of paper. Some are moving, as soon as you turn a handle.
The kits consist of several sheets with parts to cut out and glue together.

I have done some videos recently. You find them on my youtubechannel:

My email adress:

( Changes possible.)


Something different, not completely made of paper, but nevertheless fascinating:

Flying machines


The rubber-driven-car-project

Click to learn more ...
A gallery of some of my kinetic projects

( made of paper and/or sometimes from wood or other stuff )
You want to learn something about automata, papercraft ...?

Click here for a long list...



the one and only automatic tomato in the world!

My very first own design. These moving paper models are called Automaton in English. I realized, that the word tomato is part of that

expression ... so I had to build an Au-tomato. I wondered why nobody else had the idea ...

(There is a kit of this model - with instructions. If you are interested, simply send me an email.

My emailaddress is to be found on top of this page,

right below the guy with the hat and no face -

he's called the thirdman btw.)


dragon anim

Behold, the Great Red Dragon ...




Sky and Sea


The Guy Who Rolls His Eyes - a prototype made completely of paper except some kebabsticks. And a piece of string. And... no, nothing else.


The Fish - also a prototype, the mechanism is made of wood

The Bird That Doesn't Catch Anything (Because He's Short-Sighted) - also a prototype with a wooden mechanism

Earthquake in Midgard - Thor's Hammer

The Tin-Can-Dragon, a trial in using used tin cans for making an automaton. It works very well.

The Fearless Tiger-Tamer
I have completed a new automaton this week. I guess it's the most complex so far. I'm quite proud of it I must say. Design, function, idea - I'm satisfied with the result. It's called Dr. Van Helsing and the invisible vampires.  Yes, you are right, the famous opponent of Dracula from the films and original book by Bram Stoker. In my model he gets confronted with something new. Quite funny I think.

There is already a video:

van helsing video

The model is driven by a crank, that turns the main shaft. On this shaft there are two cams with teeth, that move two levers producing the movement of the coffins. We have also two friction wheels on the main shaft turning an extra shaft for the Doctor. This movement is limited to a certain part of a circle  - approximately 100 degrees.(out of 360), so he looks always to the front of the model. It was really fun to build, and I hope it's fun to watch, too. The meaning of the model is perhaps not so easy to understand - but if I explain it here, the fun will be gone.
Attention Spoiler:
Okay, I explain it anyways. The vampires in this model are invisible. You only see the coffins move. So the Doctor doesn't know how to kill them. It might as well be, that it is only one vampire moving from one coffin to the other. And there is another possibility: You know, vampires don't have a reflection in mirrors. So, does Van Helsing look into a mirror? Do WE look into a mirror? Or is Van Helsing just gone mad? Is everything just an illusion?
Another problem for the doctor is that he forgot his garlic at home. So he is quite vulnerable here, what you can see, if you watch carefully.


An all new automaton, "Red Dragon II". The model itself is old, but I re-painted it, added some new details. The mechanism is from and is called crankcam. It produces an extra movement with two cams. There are various cams to use, I used the one that produces 3 liftings per cycle. The flexibility of the wings and the speed of the movement (flap) of the wings as well as the small distance the wings move up and down causes the wings to oscillate somehow, almost like the wings of a hummingbird. A nice model, I think.

Snail-Race: two plastic gears (one worm gear and a normal one) drive an axle so that a circular disc turns together with the snail on top of the platform very,very sloooowlyyyy. Will it ever reach the finish line?

If you are interested in making moving paper models, kinetic art and the like ... I put together a sort of list with links, books and so on ...
Just click here:


© by the manicpapermechanic( Bernhard Roeck ) 26.02.2005 - 06.11.2006 / Sept.-Oct. 2016

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