Other model reviews and posts you might like
Model Steam Engines: Explaining Scales
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. What makes things more confusing is that many model steam engine enthusiasts, and even seasoned fans, often use the two words ‘scale’ and ‘gauge’ interchangeably. However, they are two distinct attributes.
For starters, scale establishes the size relationship between the model engine and the real one. It is often represented as a ratio, such as 2mm:ft or 1:148 scale. This means that every part of the model engine is one-one forty eighth the size of the original steam engine. On the other hand, gauge is an attribute of the railway track. It is the distance between the inner edges of the track rails. Gauge is a more important attribute to consider, when purchasing a model steam engine. Let us understand why by looking at the main gauge types.
O Gauge model engines were produced from the beginning of the 20th century, and were among the most popular models for a long time, until the 1960s. Since then, they have lost their popularity and are difficult to find. They were manufactured in multiple scales from 1:1.48 to 1:43.5. But, they eventually lost their fame to smaller scale models. O Gauge model steam engines are not known for their finer details and accuracy. In fact, they were designed for pre-adults and therefore, cost-effectiveness, and durability were given more importance. Although they are valued by some collectors because of their rarity, most of the collectors and enthusiasts, with an attention to detail, do not prefer these models.
OO Gauge or Double-O Gauge model steam engines belong to a family of model railway systems, which follow the standard gauge model. The OO Gauge has a railway track that is 16.5mm wide, and is built at a scale of 1:76.2 or 4mm:ft. A highlight of OO Gauge models is that they rank very high in terms of realistic appearance and finer details. For this reason, they are of great value to serious collectors. Moreover, many of the manufacturers also place a lot of emphasis on durability and affordability. Naturally, they are among the most popular model steam engine categories today.
G Gauge models are big in size. They are manufactured on a scale range of 1:22.5. Because of their relatively huge size and highly durable construction, they make the best garden railway models. Their extensive use as garden models have led to modern train enthusiasts to believe that the G in G Gauge stands for Garden. The truth is that the G comes from groß, which means “big” in German. Oh yes, the G Gauge models were born in Germany, just like many others. A large scale means that the parts are not as intricate as the other models, say O Gauge for instance. Therefore, they are easy to produce and are readily available.
As you can see, the choice of gauge will be quite obvious to you based on the purpose of your purchase of a model steam engine. If you want a garden mode, then G Gauge is what you need. If you are a collector who enjoys the finer details, then OO Gauge is what does the job for you. However, if you are buying a model engine for your kid, then O gauge is just the thing.
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.
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.
Review: Bachmann Branchline 31-465
Review: Bachmann Branchline 31-465
The 31-465 Bachmann OO – Class C Wainwright 0-6-0 31579 in BR black with late crest is another great model from Bachmann. This locomotive model is an astounding addition due to its excellent speed, well-balanced design, and an economical price. The model belongs to the Class C Wainwright category. The entire structure has a great glossy finish which makes it more attractive for the consumers. It can be used for modeling purposes in the railway industry mainly.
There are many excellent and astounding features that make Bachmann Branchline 31-465 an extra special item from Bachmann’s locomotive model collection:
It belongs to the Class C wainwrights category
OO Gauge (1:76 scale)
It has a 21-pin DCC ready sound decoder in a socket
It has a 1.1 ampere with plug decoder and back emf
It is not suitable for younger children and to be used in toy making. It is strictly not a toy. It is used for modeling purposes in the train industry, in museums and in educational institutions. 4
There have been some reports regarding the crest not being in line and not sturdy enough, but this issue has been resolved with subsequent models. Check with your supplier before purchasing to see if this is an issue. The model is a very good representation of the real locomotive, which is something that will delight model enthusiasts.