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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
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: 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: 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.