Mat Irvine: The human-powered ornithopter is one of Leonard da Vinci’s best known concepts, a predecessor to the aeroplane, though designed with flapping wings like a bird or a bat.
The instruction manual (below) is easy to follow.
Closeup of the business end of the clockwork mechanism (below) which doubles as a base with nameplate.
Italeri: Leonardo da Vinci Flying Machine Ornithopter
Scale (nominal): 1:25
Parts: 28 (including motor)
Assembled wingspan: 240 mm (9 in)
Manufacturer’s ref: 3108
Leonardo's Marvellous Machines here, including the ornithopter.
SMN Note: Steampunk and sci-fi fans rejoice: this kit is a gift to any diorama or model group that involves a fantasy element, and the 1:25 scale is a reasonably widely-used one, too. At a pinch, you could include Leonardo's ornithopter with suitable 1:18 scale cars - perhaps a DeLorean, a Batmobile, in fact, more or less anything that lends itself to a fantasy setting.
Then there's John Carter of Mars, a movie that vanished without trace, but one that had some really good special-effects, including some ornithopter Martian flying machines (below) the whole thing courtesy the writings of Edgar Rice Burroughs.