Porsche Flat-Six 1:4 Model: Review

If you're in the market for an air-cooled six-cylinder boxer engine these days, you'll likely be looking at spending rather a lot of money. But what if I were to tell you that you could have one for much, much less than that? Sort of.

Keep those part in order...
Keep those part in order...
Introducing the Porsche 6-Zylinder-Boxermotor, a 1:4 scale model of the highly sought after power unit. We sat down for five hours on Saturday afternoon - with a break to watch Wales lose to Australia, again - to find out what it's like.

With 290 pieces, it's certainly not lacking for detail, and with everything from paper head gaskets to tiny valve springs included, you won't want to miss anything out. Luckily there's a fantastic manual, created by the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart, featuring clear instructions interspersed with plenty of interesting history and information, as well as a few fun ads from the period.

Do keep an eye out though, as some of the German instructions seem to be more detailed than their translations, including at least one instance of part numbers present in the German but missing from English below.

You start by constructing the pistons, attaching them to the crankshaft and inserting them into the cylinders. There's no glue here, or at least there shouldn't be. The parts are of a very high quality and everything either snaps into place or is held together with tiny screws - which often need to find their way to the bottom of some quite deep holes; luckily a handily slim magnetic screwdriver is included. In the case of the two halves of each piston head, however, I found it useful to include a dab of modelling adhesive to get them to stay together properly.

... rather like this, in fact
... rather like this, in fact
From there on things fall into place pretty logically and straightforwardly, completing the model being a matter of time and patience rather than skill. There are a couple of fiddlier steps, such as getting the valve guide plates into the cylinder heads. The failure of any of the tiny plastic tabs to click entirely into place resulting in the valve stems being misaligned and the heads not sitting correctly when closed. Nightmare.

You can also save yourself many painstaking minutes of sprue-mark based deduction by resisting the urge to over-enthusiastically remove the cams from their moulded sheet without first noting their order...

Once complete, the entire assembly sits on a base powered by three AA batteries - not included, of course. This allows it to function, with the movement of the crank, pistons and valves all visible through the clear plastic exterior, the belt driven fan spinning on top, and LEDs simulating the spark plugs firing within.

It also plays the sound of the engine idling and revving, which is a nice thought, although one that would be improved in practice if the engine actually sped up when the revs did, and if you had the option of silencing it occasionally...

All in all though what you're left with is an excellently faithful recreation and a very high quality model. A fun way to either gain or impart a greater understanding of how an engine works, or just to pay tribute to one of the most iconic engines in motoring. Certainly a gift that many a PHer would be happy to wake up to under the tree!






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Comments (20) Join the discussion on the forum

  • SFO 15 Nov 2017

    how much?

  • Chemical Ali 15 Nov 2017

    How much and where to buy?

  • shirt 15 Nov 2017

    I was gifted one of these last xmas. It’s very well done, fun to build and has no glued parts so can be stripped and rebuilt over and over. It sits atop my bookshelf and is one of few car things the Mrs doesn’t mind.

  • Andrewph75 15 Nov 2017

    £129 via the link in the article

  • morgrp 15 Nov 2017

    Hmm thats too much for me - 50-70 quid I'd be tempted to buy one but £130 is a bit pricey

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