Other model reviews and posts you might like
Review: Wilesco D320 Steam Lorry with Radio Control
Review of the Wilesco D320 Steam Lorry
Take a look back at the history of how goods were transported with this fully-working scaled model lorry that can be dated back as far as 2015. Back in those days, goods transporting was far more laidback despite being a more labour-intensive and time-consuming process.
Fitted with a fully functioning steam engine that is powered by dry fuel tablets, the Wilesco D320 is a must-have for hobbyists and collectors alike. Good for at least fifteen minutes of running per use, this steam lorry also comes complete with a radio control that allows you to turn the lorry left and right as it trundles along.
A real thing of beauty, the D302 contains a solid brass boiler, flywheel and drive chain and can have a number of accessories attached. These could include a pull-along trailer, and a canvas to cover the onboard trailer but there are many other options out there.
While this model might look like a toy, it is not suitable for children under the age of 14 and adult supervision is always required. The Wilesco D320 is a real working steam engine which means fire, steam and hot surfaces, so care should always be taken when being used.
Under the Hood
The driver’s cab is where the boiler and double-acting cylinder are placed while the steering mechanism of the D320 can be found at the rear of the model. That boiler can hold around 200ml of water and keeping it full is done by removing the caps roof. A sight glass will let you gauge the level of water so that you know when you will need to refill. A steam pressure gauge is also featured and will let you know everything is hot enough to start moving.
With measurements of 49 x 22 x 26cm and a weight of 3.1kg, this is a fairly sizable and heavy unit compared to other Wilesco steam engines. This is very welcome however as you just know that you have something that has been built to high quality and with sturdy materials.
Radio control helps by adding convenience to the operation of the unit, saving you from chasing it around to set the steering in motion. As for maintenance and clean up after use, this is fairly minimal compared to other steam engines from Wilesco.
Built to scale
Many accessories available
Solid brass boiler
This nostalgic model from Wilesco is definitely one of their most beautiful and once up and running, the sound emitted is typical of their whole range of model steam engines. When not in use and out on display, the Wilesco D320 will bring charm to any room and will be a real talking piece with visitors.
Whether you are a collector, hobbyist or somebody interested in the history of steam engineering, the Wilesco D302 is a model that you should certainly consider owning. In terms of pure beauty and power, this is without a doubt one of the finest pieces that Wilesco has produced.
Review: Mamod SA1L Working Live Steam Limousine (Silver)
Review: Mamod SA1L Working Live Steam Limousine (Silver) – Classic Car of Yesteryears
Car fanatics and lovers of the Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost are going to love the Mamod SA1L live steam limousine. The SA1L takes its inspiration from the widely loved Rolls-Royce car. The Rolls-Royce name and many car models in their series have managed to acquire titles for themselves that are certain to make them blush. From the, ‘best car in the world’ to the ‘Silver Ghost’ name, reputation and more, the cars manufactured by Rolls-Royce are undoubtedly some of the greatest in history. Mamod know a good thing when they see one and have outshone themselves with a model car that, dare it be said, is on par with the Silver Ghost it mimics. Just like the Silver Ghost, this model car is appealing to the eye, sturdy, reliable and fun.
The SA1L is perfect for those who people missed out on the chance to drive their own luxurious car from times gone by. If you’ve got a teenage son who loves cars (as most teenage boys do) and you’re not ready for him to hit the road just yet, this car is the perfect gift. Whilst younger children usually have a fascination with cars, this model is not like a generic toy and needs supervision from an older teenager (14 years old +) or adult. For these reasons, the model is great for families who would benefit from some good old fashioned quality time together. What better way to spend a Sunday afternoon than by turning the television off and throwing yourselves back into yesteryear with a swanky car good enough to make modern day cars jealous of?
This fully functioning model is made up of many components that are needed to work together to run:
fuel tablets, oil and funnel (these are included when you buy the model)
pressure safety valve (to control the pressure of the working parts of the car)
heavy gauge steel and brass (crafted in England)
When the model is constructed (and the SA1L has already been built for you, so you don’t even need to worry about that), it weighs 3.8kg, is roughly 16 inches (41 cm) in length and its dimensions are 410 x 198 x 160.
Mamod has a keen eye for detail and even the interior of the car is well upholstered. A Lilliputian would be happy perching in one of these seats; it really is as if someone has take a real life Silver Ghost and minimized it!
This model is simply stunning and will benefit from a home or person that is dedicated to taking pride and care in their selection of live steam vehicles and models. If this is something you are interested in, then the SA1L is definitely worth you sparing a minute to look at and consider adding to your set. If you do decide to invest in this fine piece, you’ll probably end up being the envy of all your model collecting family and friends!
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: 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