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: 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: 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 D21 Steam Engine
Review of the Wilesco D21 Steam Engine
Wilesco D21 is an operating model of steam engine whistle. This Wilesco D21 is used to operate the mechanical workshops like a drill press, table saw, and grinder because this steam engine provides the output as mechanical energy. This steam engine whistle uses steam and steam is transformed by boiling water through the heat in the boiler of Wilesco D21.
How it Works
First thing first, you have to add the water in the boiler. Fill the boiler 2/3 at least and then apply boiler fill cap. That cap inserted over the boiler is also the whistle. Start burning the boiler now. You can burn the boiler through gas burner or solid fuel tablets of Esbit. Now you have to oil the piston and other parts of the Steam Engine. In the meanwhile, water gets boiled. Release steam through the piston to operate the engine and the workshop attached to it.
Appropriate Age Group
The manufacturer group Wilesco recommends this model D21 for the children of 12 years and more. But if your child is 10 years old and you feel that your child is sharper than the other kids of the same age and he can handle a bit of technicality then you can think of buying one for him as well. Wilesco Group recommends that D21 Steam Engine Whistle must be used under the direct supervision of an adult so that any discrepancies may be avoided. This product is strictly prohibited for the children of less than 36 months.
Wilesco D21 is a TUV (German Test Certificate) certified model of a Steam Engine Whistle. It has a metal body. No batteries are required to operate this steam engine model. You cannot operate Wilesco D21 by remote control. You can only run this steam engine model manually. This manual operation ability provides in-depth knowledge to a child operating this model.
Wilesco D21 has a firm body. Its body is made up of metal, and the presence of safety valve means this manufacturer does not compromise on quality. The pressure gauge can help you to be aware of the internal condition of the boiler. You can easily keep an eye on the readings to prevent any unpleasant incident. Wilesco D21 has a 500ml tank capacity which is more than enough for a child to operate its workshop using this steam engine model.
Steam Engine Model D21 by Wilesco is not very huge. It weighs only 2.7kgs, so the shipping costs are not massive. It is not very difficult for the children to handle it because the children of 10-12 years can easily handle this 3kg steam engine model by Wilesco.
There is no need to set up this Wilesco D21 because it is already assembled before delivery. When you receive this Steam Engine Model D21 by Wilesco, you may need to put on just a chimney and a couple of other things. So you have not to pay any setup cost if you purchase this Steam Engine Model.
In my opinion, the D21 Steam Engine Model is a fantastic design and a classy piece of product from Wilesco.