Other model reviews and posts you might like
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 SW1 Blue Working Live Steam Wagon with Barrels
Review: Mamod SW1 Blue Working Live Steam Wagon with Barrels
Mamod’s world renowned model making company have once again managed to create a beautifully elegant model. This time in the form of a steam wagon modelled from versions that would have been used in the 1900’s. Wagons were traditionally used for carrying heavy goods, animals and people and the Mamod SW1 embodies the fragment of history it has been taken from wonderfully. The truck the SW1 draws inspiration from in particular is the Foden steam truck, a popular truck from years gone by.
The model has been finished with a striking blue colour, along with six miniature (yet realistic looking) wooden barrels and a steering rod and handle. The parts of the wagon are fully functional, making this model not only great for display purposes, but for active entertainment too! Many models by Mamod are to be put together by the buyer, but luckily for those of you who just want to play without the kerfuffle and argument of fixing something together yourself, this model is ready to go. Simply grab the solid fuel tablets, filler funnel and lubrication oil (all of which are included with your purchase), add water and the steam wagon will work its wonders.
Mamod have thought about every detail when constructing the SW1 and have made it so that the wagon can move both forwards and backwards, just as a real wagon would. A list of the specifications of this product are as follows, to give you a better idea of what kind of size and weight you’ll be looking at upon buying the SW1 steam wagon:
approximately 16 inches/41cm in length
pressure safety valve (maintains the pressure of the working parts)
dimensions of 405 x 181 x 145 mm
3.8kg in weight
As you can see, this model is reasonably heavy for a model of this size. However, this is due to the exceptionally high quality of the gauge steel and brass metals the wagon is made up of. This metal is made to last and with good care and cleaning, will be a proud part of your family’s toy and model collection for many years to come.
As a result of the SW1 steam wagon’s parts and the fact that the model needs fuel and heat for it to work, it is not a suitable product for children under 14 years of age. However, kids of all ages will absolutely love this wagon, they’ll just need some supervision from an adult. The face of any child will light up when you show them this live steam wagon – it’s almost like a mini fairytale land has come to life right before their eyes! How marvellous! Toys are without a doubt not just for kids and the SW1 is no exception. This model would be a great buy for any hobbyist with a passion for scaled down models, history and simply for those who have some spare time on their hands and enjoy spending it actively.
The SW1 steam wagon will look great amongst any set, no matter what kind of models the collection is primarily made up of.
Review: The Hornby Santa’s Express Train
Review: The Hornby Santa’s Express Train
The Hornby Santa’s Express Train Set perfect for beginners as it includes a power transformer and a mat. It also has an oval track as well as the Santa’s festive train attached to it. Its spectacular decorations make it the best set for Christmas occasion.
Who’s this for?
Interestingly, the Hornby Santa’s Express Train is a perfect fit for beginners and is also suitable for users of all ages; young and old. Then again, it is ideal for seasoned modellers. The fact that it fascinates people of all ages makes it perfect for the festive season. Building the set around the base of your Christmas tree ensures an outstanding decoration that you may need for the festive season.
You can also gift this locomotive to anyone for the Santa festive season. The included additional track packs can be used to provide a larger layout. Its steam engine works to ensure that the locomotive serves you well.
How do other customers feel about the Hornby Santa’s Express Train?
Customers who have used this locomotive applaud its fascinating appearance from the Christmas tree which delights both children and grown-ups. Its durability has also been commended since it can be used all year round after Christmas celebrations are over, for decorations. Consumers have also been excited over the ease of assembly that is associated with the Hornby Santa’s Express Train Set.
Moreover, its provision of value for the money spent is said to be excellent. Its smooth and quiet operation is another factor that has pleased the customers on Amazon.
Let’s look at the key features of this outstanding piece of locomotive
This locomotive occupies less storage space with minimum storage requirements set at 1600mm*1180mm. It weighs 921g which makes it slightly lightweight and therefore easily portable. The locomotive has everything that will help you to start using it immediately. This includes an oval track, power transformer as well as a mat.
Moving on, the Hornby Santa’s Express Train Set includes its steam engine that is used to power it up. Additionally, there is a wagon that is full of presents. Moreover, the reindeer box van-3rd Radius starter oval power track is available. It has an engine that is charged with the responsibility of starting the train. These features ensure that you get a spectacular decoration during and after the Christmas season.
In a nutshell
The Hornby Santa’s Express Train Set presents to you a colourful and fascinating decoration for your Christmas tree. The wagon that is usually full of presents makes it more interesting. Its spritely little engine has enough power to start up the train. This locomotive provides room for acquiring additional trackpads which are used to construct a larger layout.
Astoundingly, the Hornby MidiMat has included therein so you can view how the train set can continuously grow into a sensational railway model. These, therefore, make this train set a perfect present that you would gift to a friend or family member. The decorations that accompany it cannot be overlooked as well as its power and capability to give you an exciting Christmas period.
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.
High-quality, steam traction and show engine
Manufactured from high-quality metal parts
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
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).