The Sunnytech Single Flywheel Hot Air Stirling Engine is a well-crafted, fully working model which demonstrates the operational principles of Stirling engines.
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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 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 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 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. Final Thoughts 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: 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. CHECK PRICES
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. Key features: 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. CHECK PRICES
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. Key features: High-quality, steam traction and show engine Manufactured from high-quality metal parts Fully painted 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 CHECK PRICES 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).