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Nessie: Come and get it!



Lurking deep the impenetrable waters of Loch Ness in bonny Scotland lives the mysterious Loch Ness Monster; Nessie, as she is known to her friends. Recreated here is a mechanical version of that fabled beast. Turn the handle and the humps rock and the head and tail bob all powered, of course, via a scotch yoke.

Download the parts and follow along with the illustrated instruction to make your very own mythical beast!

Print out the pages onto thin card (230 micron / 67lb) Score along the dotted and dashed lines before carefully cutting out the pieces.

Crpto-zooological paper project!

Making the Slider.

Glue the teeth to the grey areas on the slider. Be as accurate as possible with this to ensure that the rack and pinion works well.

Fold round the slider and glue it together. A chopstick is useful for pressing down the glued edges.

Glue the two yoke sides into place as shown

Glue the two cam ends into place using he grey areas for alignment.

Making the Drive Wheel.

Assemble the drive pin by folding round and gluing the main square section tube then rolling round the long tab and gluing it into place.

Assemble the square sectioned drive shaft. Fit the drive shaft and drive pin into the drive wheel.

Fold the drive wheel in half and glue it together to make double thickness card. Once the glue is dry carefully cut out the circle.

Assembling the handle.

Make the handle in three steps. Fold round and glue the two square section tubes. Fold one tube into the other and glue at ninety degrees. Roll round the long tab and glue it down.

Putting Together the Box.

Glue the two box stiffeners up the height of the box so that they are almost, but not quite, touching the centre hole. Repeat this process with the other box side. The box stiffeners give rigidity to the box.

Glue the two box halves together as accurately as possible. Glue on the two ends to close the box.

Fold up and make the two slide holders as shown.

Glue the two slide holders to ends of the box. Thread the drive shaft through the holes in the box.

Secure the drive shaft into place with the washer. It should still be free to turn.

Glue the handle to the drive shaft.

Drop the slide over the drive pin and into the slide holders. Turn the handle to ensure that the slide moves back and forth freely.

Assembling the Hump Wheels

Glue the teeth to the grey areas on the short wheel section. Be as accurate as possible.

Join the two wheel sections together. Line them up with a ruler to ensure that they are straight.

Glue the wheel strip to the wheel sides starting to the side of the first tab and working your way round a few tabs as a time.

Glue the axle pieces into place.

Thread the axle through the square hole and out approx 4mm through the other side then glue it into place.

Turn the main handle on the front of the box until the drive pin is at the bottom of its travel and the slide is centred.

Fit the two hump wheels into their holes so that they mesh with the rack and are lined up straight as shown. Secure them with washers on the other side of the box making sure that they are still free to rock back and forth.

Making the Head.

The two horns are made from tightly rolled tubes of paper. Roll the main body of the horns and glue it down. Keep the bottom flat so that the top has a slight curve.

Roll the rest of the long tab round and glue it down to make a step.

Fit the two horns up through the two holes in the head and glue them into place.

Assemble the neck and glue the head into place

The Cam Followers

In keeping with the Scottish theme I was originally going to use a Watt linkages to move the head and tail.(The Watt linkage was invented by famous Scotsman James Watt.) In the end I decided that the model was already quite complex and these linkages would only add yet more complexity. Perhaps someone would like to give it a try?

The head and tail of this project are powered by cams. Assemble the cam linkages by folding the stiffeners into the middle as shown.

Fold round and glue together the linkage as shown.

The cam follower is a semi-circular tube. roll the card round a pencil to curve it gently before gluing the part together as shown.

Glue the cam follower linkage to the grey area on the end of the box as shown so that the cam follower rests on the cam surface.

Fold of the head and tail support and glue them to make double thickness card. Once the glue is dry cut away the waste pieces.

Glue the head and fail supports to the cam follower linkages as shown then glue the head and tail into place.

Finish off the project by gluing the two pieces of ripply Loch Ness into place. Turn the handle and Nessie will come to life! The scotch yoke will move the slider back and forth, the rack and pinion will rotate the humps and the cam s will move the head and tail up and down.

Rear view showing the mechanism. (Always the best bit in my opinion 🙂

16 reviews for Nessie

  • Mighty!

  • Rob,
    This is your BEST


    This is your BEST sculpture ever!


    • I have to agree with Nan.

      I have to agree with Nan.

  • This is a wonderful

    This is a wonderful mechanical sculpture. I'm looking forward to the assembly.


  • Thanks for your comments

    Thanks for your comments everyone. Nessie is now ready to download. Have fun!

  • Aww this is so cute! I love

    Aww this is so cute! I love it! 🙂

  • As my daughter would say:

    As my daughter would say: "Awesome!"

  • Wow, this is amazing! Can’t

    Wow, this is amazing! Can't wait to have Nessie made and sitting on the mantelpiece up here in Scotland, great job Rob! 🙂 Thank You! 

    Oh by the way, Loch Ness is spelt with a 'h' instead of Lock Ness with a 'k'. 🙂

    Thanks! Sorry about the typo – I’m blaming the spell checker for that one – RI

  • Rob, a true work of art. 

    Rob, a true work of art.  Can't wait to make it.


  • This looks fabulous, Rob. I

    This looks fabulous, Rob. I have to agree, you've outdone yourself. I can't wait to build it!

  • Any chance you’ll upload the

    Any chance you'll upload the green & blue model? It looks beautiful too:) 

  • Looks fantastic (in the

    Looks fantastic (in the literal sense of that word…)! Can't wait!

  • At this gloomy and rainy

    At this gloomy and rainy weekend Nessie was born and is pleased with the first swimming attempts in "Loch Ness".


    Nessie im Loch Ness

    I love it! – RI

  • with all the mechanisms

    with all the mechanisms involved i thought this project might be a little complicated but the mechanisms work so well together that it isn't as hard as i thought it was  going to be.the nessie character looks great and a very pleasing project to make and then watch nessie bob up and down as her humps move through loch ness i really enjoyed this project and cant wait to see what rob is going to create for us next.also here is picture of the nessie i made.

    Thanks of your feedback, I glad you liked it! – RI

  • The assembly gave me back a

    The assembly gave me back a lot of pleasure. When you cut the individual parts it becomes apparent how much creativity is included in this project through to print-ready publication. The structure fits together well and is making good progress in the right order. Completed it looks even more attractive as shown in the photos. My model was a bit stiff. I cut out the "slide supports" for the slider incrementally lower by 1- 2 mm. With success.


    Nessie Vorder- und Rückseite

  • A little late, I made ​​a

    A little late, I made ​​a video clip of Nessie. 

    For a small mechanical gadget me the suggestion of Rob has inspired, for the tail a "Watt Linkage" install. In addition I have the model "Watt Linkage" built on a 1: 2 scale and modified.


    Modifikation am Paper model " Nessie"

    • How do you connect all the

      How do you connect all the Paper Automata together?

  • ini kok enggak bisa di

    ini kok enggak bisa di download ya ?

    padahal saya sudah jadi member disini tapi kok enggak bisa di download

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