Model steam engines are manufactured according to a variety of scales and gauges. The choice of scale and gauge is crucial as they are the major differentiating factors between the model steam engines.
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Review: Working Live Steam Mamod 1920’s Red London Omnibus LB1R
Review: Working Live Steam Mamod 1920’s Red London Omnibus LB1R Oozing in class, this remarkably beautiful London bus throws collectors back to a time gone by. A world renowned icon of England to this day, the red bus of London is forever popular. Mamod does this symbol of London and the history of the British bus justice. Not straying from the real life 1920’s omnibus the model is based on, the LB1R comes in a vibrant red colour, with lovely old fashioned signs painted in yellow and red. The small details of the curved staircase, steering wheel, driver’s seat and engine give this beautiful bus detail, even down to the most minute parts. Each LB1R is made to order from heavy gauge steel and brass. These heavy materials give the finished piece a weight of 3.8kg. The model’s dimensions are: 455 x 285 x 170mm (not quite as big as a real London bus, but big enough to admire without a microscope!) and come with fuel tables, oil and a funnel (everyone knows how annoying it is to get a gift that needs batteries, without batteries in the box. You won’t have to worry about this with the LB1R). No fear of overdoing it, though! The models are equipped with a pressure safety valve. If you’re still worried about the safety of the model, rest assured, Mamod’s switch from old fashioned methylated spirits to solid fuel tablets means that running the London steam bus is safer now than ever. The first time you’ll use the product is simple too! No faffing around, and with this particular model in the wide range of Mamod models available, no assembly is required. Just add water and off it goes. Every single omnibus is hand crafted with expertise in England. This model is a perfect gift for a man who you would ordinarily spend hours pondering over about which gift to buy for them. The LB1R is unique – how many other men can say they were gifted a live working steam London Omnibus? Men who will enjoy this gift in particular are ones who enjoy history and English culture, men who are interested in a range of vehicles, men who appreciate finely crafted models, those who you think welcome a new hobby and last, but most certainly not least, those who are avid hobbyists and would love to extend their collection of exquisite models. Children will also benefit from this little slice of history, but bear in mind that due to the fuel and steam, it isn’t suitable for those under 14 years old to use without adult supervision. Due to its precise craftsmanship and good quality materials, Mamod’s LB1R London bus is made to last, making it a worthy investment. Just as the real London bus has transcended through years of history and time, your own model will bring about years of delight through generations of your family. This is definitely one to be passed down from grandfather to grandson, giving the piece sentimental value, as well as monetary value. CHECK PRICES
Review: Wilesco D5 Steam Engine Model Kit
Review of the Wilesco D5 Steam Engine Model Kit This is a gorgeous, highly detailed steam locomotive engine that is also a working model that produces actual steam. It’s ideal for beginner steam enthusiasts, especially younger ones as it can be used by children as young as eight years old. There is always something very special about steam engines, and the way they powered the industrial age. Models like this are a good introduction to this time period, and a hand-on way to learn about history and engineering. If you are giving this to a child, bear in mind that it will require adult supervision and is most certainly not suitable for children under three years old. It is also a working steam engine and it does turn the flywheel quite fast. The D5 Steam Engine from Wilesco is in kit form, so you’ll have to assemble it, but that’s more than half the fun of having a working model. Assembly is straightforward; there’s an easy to follow manual, which includes illustrations so you don’t feel lost trying to work out what goes where. No soldering is needed; the components are put together by screwing them into place. It’s an attractive model, with a faux red brick platform and chimney stack, rather like a Victorian factory might have had. The boiler has a shiny, brass effect thanks to the nickel finish, as does the oscillating cylinder and the piston. There is also the red and brass effect fly wheel. There’s an inspection glass that is the water level indicator at the front of the boiler, with a dome steam powered whistle on top. The spring safety valve is also located here, and this is where you need to insert the water using the funnel. The piston and wheel generate power, and once in motion it gets quite a speed up. This is a noisy toy, and you do get a lot of steam, all of which makes it quite exciting to watch in action. The engine used a dry fuel to heat the water for steam. There is no need for additional batteries. It really does bring to life the age of steam, and it has identical specifications to Wilesco’s D6 steam engine. The D5 is the kit version, and the D6 comes fully assembled. The Wilesco D5 Steam Engine Model Kit is quite light, weighing just 739g. This is not a huge model, even though it is fully powered. But it is a good enough size for an entry level type of kit at 21 x 15 x 15 cm. It should be possible to use the engine to power small devices by connecting to a dynamo too. There are lots of possibilities, and you are only limited by your imagination. There are other Wilesco models that you can attach to the engine, and you can drive other Wilesco models from its range. Comes in kit form, no soldering required Has a brass effect boiler with nickel finish Boiler house has a brick finish, brass oscillating cylinder and also pistons There is a dome steam-powered whistle A driving pulley powers the flywheel Uses a dry fuel Weights 739g CHECK PRICES
Review: Mamod SR1A Steam Roller
Review: Mamod SR1A Working Live Steam Roller Young boys and older men who are interested in vehicles of all types are going to love the Mamod SR1A Working Live Steam Roller. This delightfully coloured model is a perfect replica of a 19th Century British Road roller and will provide males from every generation a chance to let their imagination run free. This is the perfect model for creating fun stories, characters, ideas and scenarios. Also, even though this is a boy’s toy, mums, sisters and daughters can still have fun playing and creating these wonderful stories and worlds as a family. The Mamod SR1A steam roller comes fully assembled, so for those of you out there who love the finished model product, but aren’t really too keen on the building process, this is the perfect model for you. Father and son duos looking to either build up an existing collection, or start a new hobby together can jump right into the fun. Due to this model not needing any assembly, it’s perfect for boys who are just starting out their model collecting hobby and because it’s suitable for ages 14+ for non supervised use, the worries of mum and dad concerned about what to buy their teenage son are no more! (Also suitable for dads needing an excuse to add to their collection!) As the pictures show, this model is exceedingly beautiful. The steam roller is simply designed using the most durable metal materials, giving the model a realistic overall look. A more modern and pristine look is given to the steam roller by it being finished with top quality colourful paint. (Get your hands on the model to help give it a more used authentic look! Real life steam rollers wouldn’t look this luxurious afterall. Of course, hardcore collectors wouldn’t dare ruin the exterior appearance of this fine piece, but that’s the beauty of the SR1A – it’s suitable for all!). The model’s dimensions are 255 x 177 x 144 mm, making it a perfect size to handle and not so big that it takes up too much room in a collector’s room. The Mamod SR1A live steam roller is exactly that – live! The model is fully functioning as if it were an actual steam roller used on the street. The model uses solid fuel tablets (which are much safer than the fuel used for models similar to these in the past) and water. Water is poured in, the burner is lit and the steam roller is set to go. Once the model is fired up, it can easily be controlled by using the steering rod to control the front chassis. The flywheel controlling the belt to the rear wheel is powered by a brass piston and cylinder, just like a vehicle in the real world. Steam rollers in real life obviously have the ability to move forwards and backwards; Mamod have put thought into this too, giving their product the ability to travel in reverse, as well as forward. What really gives this model a special touch is the sound it makes; because of the real life components making up the steam roller, the sound made mimics that of a steam roller of its time. This is made possible by the chimney billowing steam from the model’s exhaust unit. There isn’t a live steam roller quite like the SR1A on the market and the high quality materials making up this model ensure a longlasting product you’re going to enjoy today and for many years to come. CHECK PRICES
Review: Wilesco Showman’s Engine D409
Review of the Wilesco Showman’s Engine D409 The Wilesco Showman’s Engine D409 is a fully working scale model of a steam-driven farm engine, the likes of which would have been used to power agricultural machinery such as threshers and ploughs before the modern tractor. You can still see a small number of engines of this type in the UK today, powering old-fashioned fairground carousels and other rides, as well as at shows and fayres around the country, where they often draw a large crowd of fascinated onlookers. This technically perfect scale replica is painted in traditional colours and carries traditional writing on the side of the canopy indicating its origin in Middlesex, England. It is delivered ready-made, with no assembly needed, and will look stunning either as a static model or a working demonstration of times gone by. On the model itself, the boiler measures 7.3” by 1.8” and has a water volume of 14in. A water gauge glass is included, and the boiler vessel itself is chemically painted black, giving a durable protective finish. A powerful, double action cylinder powers the engine alongside the red-painted, 3.2” flywheel. Depending on the direction of rotation of the flywheel, the engine can be run in forward or reverse. Traditional chain steering as would be seen on a full-size engine of this type is included along with a spring loaded safety valve, steam regulator, steam jet oiler, footbridge, and steam whistle. A clutch engaged gear wheel allows the engine, and dynamo, to be used while stationary as well as when moving. A dynamo lights the eight LEDs mounted on the canopy of the engine. Water is condensed and reused from the engine, just below the chimney. Users will be able to run the engine for up to 15 minutes on each charge of fuel. Each individual part of the engine is carefully constructed from finely painted, high quality, metal. The model is a total of 13” long, almost 6” wide, 8” high and weighs 4lbs. Fuel, in the form of dry spirit tablets, as well as other consumables, are available from specialist retailers as well as online. As a working steam engine, this item is not a toy and is not recommended for anyone aged under 18. Where the engine is being used in the presence of children, close supervision by a responsible adult it required. Steam engines can be dangerous, and if not properly maintained there is a very real risk of explosion. Users should be certain to follow all operating and maintenance instructions provided by the manufacturer. Key features: High-quality, steam traction and show engine Manufactured from high-quality metal parts Fully painted Technically perfect, fully working engine Clutch gear enables stationary as well as mobile use Dynamo powers LED lighting around the engine canopy Delivered ready-made, no assembly needed A stunning static model, or fascinating demonstration of technology from times gone by CHECK PRICES Variants of the Wilesco Showman’s Engine D409 Many Wilesco products are available in different variants – the D409 reviewed here is a working steam model that can be upgraded with a radio remote control. The model also comes in two other variants: Wilesco Showman’s Engine D499 – which is the same fully-built model, with remote control. Wilesco Showman’s Engine D419 – which is a kit for the model (which requires assembly).