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Leaded Glass Airplane Kaleidoscope

Wheelscopes as Model Airplanes

Since some airplanes have a rotating propeller on the front, they became a logical model for wheelscope makers. Note the "Red Baron" model has two independent rotating wheels. We picked up the little airplane somewhere in our travels either at a flea market or antique store and assume it was made from a kit. We have actually purchased one of the these kits but not had time to assemble it.

Note also that it uses three mirrors contained in a triangular body. The difficult task here is to fabricate the body as it is smaller at the rear than at the front.

Also, the secondary (front) wheel appears to be weak and bends easily as shown. A copper ring around the wheel would help support it, but we like the idea of the protruding clear glass panels which make it look more like a propeller.

We noticed the mirrors in this model are not of the highest quality and if we ever assemble our own kit we will probably use different mirror material. If a critical observer carefully studies the image below they might find some minor flaws. However, the average person would probably never see anything but beautiful patterns as they spin the prop.

In spite of all the nit-picking, we really like this little Red Baron.

One of the problems of learning how to make kaleidoscopes from great teachers is that it tends to make you more critical of your own work and as a result, one tends to notice errors that you have been taught to avoid.

The image below is from our little red airplane.

A wheelscope needs something rotating on the objective end. Chambers permanently installed are perhaps the most common. However, removable and interchangeable rotating object chambers are possible.

With a single wheel with fixed objects, the same image is seen repeatedly as the wheel rotates which gets boring rather quickly. Placing a second or third wheel beyond the primary wheel greatly increases the number of possible images.