And now for something completely different! UGears contacted us and offered to send a number of kits; I believe this is the first review of the group. UGears is a Ukrainian company started in 2015, and UB LLC are their US Distributor. Their extensive product line is well worth taking a look at if you’re a fan.
Each of their kits consist of precision laser-cut plywood parts and an extensive, full color assembly manual. In the case of the monowheel, there were 5 large sheets containing 300 parts plus, thoughtfully, a number of spares. In order to nest the parts efficiently, you need to search each sheet for the parts required for one of the 20+ assembly stages, so make sure you have plenty of work space. The laser cutting is so fine that most of the parts punched out cleanly, with one or two very small attachment points that were cleaned up with a swipe of sandpaper (also included). That laser cutting also includes each part number and every part is illustrated before, during and after its’ assembly phase. Finishing out the package were a series of rubber bands, a small stick of wax, and the aforementioned assembly manual. UGears also thoughtfully includes, as one of the parts, a tool that includes a measuring guide as well as a hook for installing the rubber band “motor”.
This is a complex device with a number of parts that are similar in size and shape, so take your time working through each sequence. Despite my care, I managed to install one set of parts on the driving wheel assembly in an incorrect location – fortunately, I was able to pry the assembly apart and correct my mistake. Also, pay careful attention to any instructions to lubricate any of the moving parts with the stick of wax. Initially, I was unable to get the completed kit to roll, probably due to friction in the multiple interconnecting gears, rollers, and links. As I continue to wind it up and run it however, I get a little more distance out of the wheel each time. I shot a video that hopefully will become part of the review showing the monowheel in operation, it’s working better now than the video would suggest.
So – if you’re looking for a change of pace from glue and paint, and want a project that you can work on in a hotel room, in front of the TV, or with a younger modeler, these kits are highly recommended. If your interest extends to fantasy/steampunk/retro designs, take a look through the UGears catalog – I have my eye on several new acquisitions.
Our thanks go out to UGears and to UB LLC for providing this unusual and enjoyable kit.