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: The Hornby R3064 RailRoad BR Smokey Joe 00 Gauge Steam Locomotive
Review: The Hornby R3064 RailRoad BR Smokey Joe 00 Gauge Steam Locomotive
The Hornby R3064 RailRoad BR Smokey Joe 00 Gauge Steam Locomotive has an attractive detail that comes with BR original livery. Indeed, this locomotive is pre-built and ready for use on a 00 gauge model railway set. Besides, this is a perfect entry-level train for use in railway modelling.
Who’s this for?
Impressively, this locomotive is ideal for keen modellers or beginners and can suit individuals of any age. It perfectly complements the variety of locomotives, track, rolling stocks, accessories and buildings that are available in the Hornby catalogue. Again, this locomotive can only be suitable for use with analogue train layouts and cannot function in the DCC compatible layouts. Moreover, the engine of the locomotive is designed to only run on two rail tracks.
What is the sentiment amongst other buyers and owners?
Customers who have purchased this locomotive attest that the starter loco is highly recommended for both professionals and beginners as it can easily be re-detailed or repainted. Customers who have purchased the Hornby R3064 RailRoad BR Smokey Joe 00 Gauge Steam Locomotive acknowledge that it is a good buy if you intend to gift someone you love. It is highly recommended to those who have model railway interests. Moreover, the locomotive has an excellent performance on the track due to its impeccable detail close up which enables it to run on the track smoothly.
Okay, what are some key features?
Impressively, this locomotive has a die-cast plastic engine with 0-4-0 wheel configuration to enable it to withstand gentle knocks. It has 18.4 x 10.2 x 6 cm dimensions and weighs 200 g. The locomotive comes complete and does not require any assembling. It has an electric engine and does not require a battery. Furthermore, this locomotive has a scale of 1:76, and uses standard hook and bar type couplings which enable it to operate with standard Hornby stock seamlessly.
The railroad models are all fitted with standard Hornby hook and bar type couplings which easily couple the rolling stock and locomotives in both Thomas & Friends and the standard Hornby ranges. Hence, all models that constitute the Hornby RailRoad range are a cost-effective means of adding to a train set offering an appropriate entry point into the different world of model railways.
Great, so let’s now cut to the chase
The Hornby R3064 RailRoad BR Smokey Joe 00 Gauge Steam Locomotive offers an exciting array of steam locomotives with varied rolling stock and full train packs that will enable you to expand or start your model railway. If you are considering a locomotive model for yourself or gifting someone, then the Hornby R3064 RailRoad BR Smokey Joe 00 Gauge Steam is highly recommended. Its quality has become the main reason why customers prefer to use it. Besides, the Hornby R3064 RailRoad BR Smokey Joe 00 Gauge Steam Locomotive comes ready for use and will not stress you with any assembly work.
Review: Sunnytech® Hot Air Stirling Engine Model Educational Toy Sc02
Review of the Sunnytech® Hot Air Stirling Engine Sc02
The Sunnytech Single Flywheel Hot Air Stirling Engine is a well-crafted, fully working model which demonstrates the operational principles of Stirling engines.
What is a Stirling engine?
A Stirling engine is an external combustion engine. That is, it is an engine that gets its energy from an external heat source, in contrast to the internal combustion engine where the heat input is generated within the engine itself.
The Stirling engine was invented in 1816 by Robert Stirling, who wanted to create an alternative to existing steam engines, whose boilers could often explode because of the high steam pressures used and the strength limitations of the materials available to engineers at the time.
How does a Stirling engine work?
Like all heat engines, the Stirling turns heat energy into mechanical energy. The key feature of the Stirling engine is that it uses a fixed amount of gas – usually air – enclosed in a sealed container, with the heat consumed by the engine applied externally. This means that the engine can run on just about any heat source, including coal or gas, solar energy, chemical reaction and nuclear energy. It can also work with very low temperature differentials, which means a Stirling engine could be powered by body heat or even the steam from a cup of coffee. And because it uses heat from a constant source and does not, like an internal combustion engine, rely on a succession of explosive ignitions, the engine runs very quietly.
The heat source used in the Sunnytech Single Flywheel Hot Air Stirling Engine model is supplied by a small methylated spirit burner, which comes included, and the engine’s output is delivered – as the name suggests – by a single flywheel.
The Single Flywheel Hot Air Stirling Engine is robustly constructed from steel, copper and aluminium, and comes fully assembled, which means that you can have it up and running within minutes of taking it out of the box. Just fill the burner with meths, light the wick, let the working fluid (air) heat up for 30 seconds, give the flywheel a spin, and off it goes.
The model’s main features are:
Specification: Single Flywheel Hot Air Stirling Engine
Model No.: SC02
Size: 130mm X 80mm X 115mm
Materials: Aluminium, Copper and Steel
The Single Flywheel Hot Air Stirling Engine is an ideal collector’s item for engineering enthusiasts, as well as an engaging educational demonstration model. Most importantly, it is lots of fun. It should, however, only be used under adult supervision, and it is not suitable for children under 10 years old.
Customer reviews of the Sunnytech Hot Air Stirling Engine are consistently excellent. People who have bought it are particularly impressed by its quality and performance. In today’s world, where everything is made from plastic, the look and feel of a solid, tactile piece of high-quality workmanship is immensely satisfying. It has an elegant design, is well engineered and constructed, and runs like a dream.
Review: Bachmann Branchline 31-528A
Review: Bachmann Branchline 31-528A
Bachmann has a history of great contributions to the locomotive industry in the form of the railway models that it has designed. These models greatly represent the UK railway history. One such model is Bachmann Branchline 31-528A ‘Pearl Diver’ which is an excellent addition to the company’s catalog of railway models. The engine comes is an OO Gauge model that has a scale of 1.76.
It has a sleek and sturdy layout which keeps it balanced while running and never lets it get out of the track. The train is a passenger express.
OO Gauge (1:76 Scale)
Bachmann Branchline 31-528A
It has a 21-pin DCC decoder (DCC ready)
The train is lined with a pristine finish which makes it rust and scratch free
Length: 295 mm
The train belongs to the A2 category
It is specifically a passenger train
The wheel configuration is 4-6-2
The livery is BR Lined Green, Late Crest
Who is it suitable for?
It is strictly not a toy neither should it be used for this purpose with younger children. Children with 14 years or above age could use it but adult supervision is still recommended. It is used as a modeling device in the museums and railway industry. Some people collect such pieces as a hobby as well. It is a great item to be added to your collection owing to its great design and astounding features that you hardly get at such an economical price.
Since the Bachmann Branchline 31-528A is a passenger express, it is mostly used as a model in the industry. It comes at a great price which is quite adjustable as well due to its features.