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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: Mamod TE1a Green Traction Engine
Review of the Mamod TE1a Green Traction Engine
When is a toy not actually a toy? When it is an actual steam engine in full working order, powered by its own boiler. This is the 1313 Steam traction engine from Mamod (model number TE1a Green), a replica model of a Victorian era English tractor engine that comes in black, with a British racing green boiler, and cheerful red wheels. There is also a version in brass with black wheels. This engine is modelled on the traction engines made by the iconic Doncaster Works, which also produced the famous Mallard and Flying Scotsman steam engines.
Traction engines powered their way along the roads, such as they were in the late 1800s, earning them the name of road locomotives, to differentiate them from railway locomotives. They pulled heavy loads and were a crucial cog in the industrialisation of nations. Their demise came in the early 20th century as the internal combustion engine replaced steam.
The 1313 is Mamod’s standard model traction engine in its range. It’s hugely popular and for good reason – this working model is affordable and perfect for beginner collectors, or as a gift to a youngster keen on Victorian engineering. It’s been made by Mamod in England for 50 years now, using the exact same design, although early models used methylated spirits for fuel. It isn’t unusual for owners to still have, and use, engines that had been brought 30, 40 or 50 years ago. These have become almost heirloom toys, with parents handing them down to their children, who also pass them on.
The Steam traction engine comes fully assembled and ready to go. Because it gets very hot, and has lots of sharp bits, not to mention the potential dangers of the steam and boiler, this toy is recommended for children aged 14 years and upwards.
The boiler is stoked through the solid fuel blocks provided with the engine, and once it gets sufficiently hot, the little engine will power along quite quickly. It also comes with Mamod oil for lubrication. You only need to add water to the boiler. However, you really need to put water in that is already boiling. Otherwise, you’re in for a bit of a wait for the steam to get up.
The engine is really robust, being made of heavy gauge steel and brass and a reasonable size at 10 inches long. For the metric minded, its full dimensions are 178mm x 137mm x 270mm. It’s also reasonably hefty at four pounds, or 200 grammes, but not as weighty as you might expect from such a little powerhouse.
This is simply a fun toy to play with. There is a sense of excitement from the steam coupled with the smell of the fuel burning, and the power of the traction engine as it moves along. It is also educational, helping youngsters understand the power and engineering of the great steam engines of our past.
Exact replica of a Victorian road locomotive
Steel and brass
Working steam engine with boiler
Moves at speed along the ground
1 x packet of solid fuel tablets
1 x bottle of lubrication oil
Weighs 200 grammes
Measures 178mm x 137mm x 270mm
For ages 14 up
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.
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.