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Review: Mamod TE1a Green Traction Engine
Review of the Mamod TE1a Green Traction Engine
When is a toy not actually a toy? When it is an actual steam engine in full working order, powered by its own boiler. This is the 1313 Steam traction engine from Mamod (model number TE1a Green), a replica model of a Victorian era English tractor engine that comes in black, with a British racing green boiler, and cheerful red wheels. There is also a version in brass with black wheels. This engine is modelled on the traction engines made by the iconic Doncaster Works, which also produced the famous Mallard and Flying Scotsman steam engines.
Traction engines powered their way along the roads, such as they were in the late 1800s, earning them the name of road locomotives, to differentiate them from railway locomotives. They pulled heavy loads and were a crucial cog in the industrialisation of nations. Their demise came in the early 20th century as the internal combustion engine replaced steam.
The 1313 is Mamod’s standard model traction engine in its range. It’s hugely popular and for good reason – this working model is affordable and perfect for beginner collectors, or as a gift to a youngster keen on Victorian engineering. It’s been made by Mamod in England for 50 years now, using the exact same design, although early models used methylated spirits for fuel. It isn’t unusual for owners to still have, and use, engines that had been brought 30, 40 or 50 years ago. These have become almost heirloom toys, with parents handing them down to their children, who also pass them on.
The Steam traction engine comes fully assembled and ready to go. Because it gets very hot, and has lots of sharp bits, not to mention the potential dangers of the steam and boiler, this toy is recommended for children aged 14 years and upwards.
The boiler is stoked through the solid fuel blocks provided with the engine, and once it gets sufficiently hot, the little engine will power along quite quickly. It also comes with Mamod oil for lubrication. You only need to add water to the boiler. However, you really need to put water in that is already boiling. Otherwise, you’re in for a bit of a wait for the steam to get up.
The engine is really robust, being made of heavy gauge steel and brass and a reasonable size at 10 inches long. For the metric minded, its full dimensions are 178mm x 137mm x 270mm. It’s also reasonably hefty at four pounds, or 200 grammes, but not as weighty as you might expect from such a little powerhouse.
This is simply a fun toy to play with. There is a sense of excitement from the steam coupled with the smell of the fuel burning, and the power of the traction engine as it moves along. It is also educational, helping youngsters understand the power and engineering of the great steam engines of our past.
Exact replica of a Victorian road locomotive
Steel and brass
Working steam engine with boiler
Moves at speed along the ground
1 x packet of solid fuel tablets
1 x bottle of lubrication oil
Weighs 200 grammes
Measures 178mm x 137mm x 270mm
For ages 14 up
Review: Nanoblock NAN-NBM001 Steam Locomotive
Review of the Nanoblock NAN-NBM001 Steam Locomotive
Although less well known than their competitors in the children’s building block market, Nanoblock manufacture traditional children’s model making kits using the ‘raised dot’ blocks which any child or parent will know well.
This kit allows children to create a model of a tank locomotive – a steam engine without a tender, to you and me – and includes over 800 individual building blocks for just this purpose. Don’t worry though, it comes with instructions and a picture to follow too.
Just as with all building block toys, this kit isn’t suitable for children aged under 3 years as they may choke on the pieces. The manufacturer recommended age group is from 12 years and older, with adult supervision. With that aside, however, it is sure to be enjoyed by young and old alike.
Once built, the model depicts a black steam locomotive, pausing at a signal as it journeys along a railway line through pleasant green countryside. Youngsters will be enthralled by the romance and magic of steam, while the older generation will become equally fascinated by the details contained in the model and in reminiscing of times past.
The 800 blocks included in this model kit are manufactured from the highest quality materials and are compatible with other kits in the Advanced Hobbies Collection from Nanoblock. You may also find that they fit with building blocks from a certain other well-known company.
Playing with Nanoblock helps children develop their planning and organisational skills as well as encouraging creative play and building imagination. Children can use the included blocks to build anything that their imagination can create, and by extending the kit with other Nanoblocks, can stretch the limits even further.
Unlike some cheaper makes and models of building block, Nanoblocks are carefully designed, precision manufactured and constructed from high-quality materials to ensure that you never experience the frustration of blocks sticking or not fitting. All Nanoblock products work together seamlessly and fit each other with perfection and precision to give the best possible experience when building.
The steam locomotive model is easy to build following the included instructions and the picture on the box. You will be fascinated to see it develop, layer by layer, as you construct it and will end up with a model reminiscent of something from a Ghibli movie. The locomotive itself is in the Japanese style, with plenty of extra ‘knobbly bits’ and details such as coal in the bunker.
Once the Nanoblock Steam Locomotive is completed, the finished item will look fantastic adorning any child’s bedroom (or an older child’s den) or can be taken apart and the blocks used to construct anything else that your heart desires.
Over 800 building blocks included
Full building instructions included in four languages
Minimal and easy use packaging
Manufactured from high-quality, long-lasting materials
Combines with other kits from the Nanoblock Advanced Hobbies Collection
Develops children’s imagination, creativity, organisation, and planning skills.
Review: Bachmann Branchline 35-077
Review: Bachmann Branchline 35-077
Bachmann has a huge name in the manufacturing industry. The Bachmann Branchline 35-077 is gorgeous Class E railway engine model. The steam engine is a OO Gauge class and has a great design and sturdy construction.
The Class E4 tank steam locomotives were powerful for their size and became stalwarts of passenger, freight and branch work for over 50 years. This model has fantastic detail and would make a great addition to your collection.
Made of steel with a glossy finding to keep it shining
OO gauge with scale 1.76
DCC Ready. 6-pin socket
Route discs and fire lamps
Good runner at a low speed
This product has now been discontinued.
The steam engine is a small model that can be used for modeling purposes in museums or in train industry as well. It is used as a toy as well. It is a great tool to be used in the industry as well as a toy which as to be used under supervision for the kids. It runs at a great speed, the infrastructure is well balanced and easy to operate as well.
This model runs fantastically well out of the box in comparison to many other models on the market, and only continues to improve over time. The sturdy and sleek design and the good performance make it a great piece to be added to your collection.
Review: Wilesco D12 Steam Engine
Review: Wilesco D12 Steam Engine
Fans of model stationary steam engines are going to love the highly detailed D12 steam locomotive engine by Wilesco. A real eye catcher and a powerful and fast engine, this stationary steam engine is also the biggest of the steam engines that Wilesco has in their range.
Ideal as a collector’s piece, for beginner steam enthusiasts or as an educational tool, the base-mounted Wilesco D12 steam engine provides a nostalgic look back at the glory days of steam engineering. Regularly used in factories of the early 1960’s, this steam engine would have required many men to operate and maintain.
While this, the D12, is a great way to educate children on the history of the steam engine, they should never be left alone with this model. Adult supervision is required at all times as there are parts that move very fast and surfaces that can be hot to the touch. This is a real steam engine after all, so care should always be taken when operating.
Built to High Quality
This dry fuel operated model steam engine comes technically complete and is not in kit form, so getting it up and running will not take much time at all. It can also power a number of Wilesco accessories with ease such as street lights or drilling machines.
The D12 has a gorgeous polished and chrome-plated brass boiler with a capacity of 250cc and a glass sight level indicator that will allow you to monitor water levels. That boiler is set atop a brick-embossed mounting with two foot bridges. The D12 is completed with an oscillating brass piston and cylinder and a flywheel with a grooved pulley.
The steam whistle with chain is what is used to help control the pressure inside the boiler. When you sound that whistle while the already beautifully sounding engine is running, you will most definitely get goosebumps.
Measuring 31.5 x 25.5 x 17cm and weighing 1.6kg, you are getting one of the heftier stationary steam engines in the range. This just adds to the satisfaction that you will feel, as it is a very sturdy unit. Clean up after use takes a bit of time but you would not have it any other way if you want this piece to stay looking fantastic.
Weight of 1.6kg
Technically complete (not in kit form)
Wilesco’s largest engine
Spring loaded safety valve
Whether you’re a fledgeling enthusiast or an experienced collector, the Wilesco D12 is a stationary steam engine that is well worth checking out. Solidly built and beautifully designed, this steam engine is a great addition to any collection. Furthermore, with the many accessories that can be added, this engine can really serve up a treat.
Gorgeous to look at and extremely satisfying to run, the Wilesco D12 certainly comes highly recommended. When on display the D12 will certainly add appeal to any room and will become a regular talking point whenever you have visitors over.