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.
Other model reviews and posts you might like
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 CHECK PRICES
Review: Wilesco D320 Steam Lorry with Radio Control
Review of the Wilesco D320 Steam Lorry Take a look back at the history of how goods were transported with this fully-working scaled model lorry that can be dated back as far as 2015. Back in those days, goods transporting was far more laidback despite being a more labour-intensive and time-consuming process. Fitted with a fully functioning steam engine that is powered by dry fuel tablets, the Wilesco D320 is a must-have for hobbyists and collectors alike. Good for at least fifteen minutes of running per use, this steam lorry also comes complete with a radio control that allows you to turn the lorry left and right as it trundles along. A real thing of beauty, the D302 contains a solid brass boiler, flywheel and drive chain and can have a number of accessories attached. These could include a pull-along trailer, and a canvas to cover the onboard trailer but there are many other options out there. While this model might look like a toy, it is not suitable for children under the age of 14 and adult supervision is always required. The Wilesco D320 is a real working steam engine which means fire, steam and hot surfaces, so care should always be taken when being used. Under the Hood The driver’s cab is where the boiler and double-acting cylinder are placed while the steering mechanism of the D320 can be found at the rear of the model. That boiler can hold around 200ml of water and keeping it full is done by removing the caps roof. A sight glass will let you gauge the level of water so that you know when you will need to refill. A steam pressure gauge is also featured and will let you know everything is hot enough to start moving. With measurements of 49 x 22 x 26cm and a weight of 3.1kg, this is a fairly sizable and heavy unit compared to other Wilesco steam engines. This is very welcome however as you just know that you have something that has been built to high quality and with sturdy materials. Radio control helps by adding convenience to the operation of the unit, saving you from chasing it around to set the steering in motion. As for maintenance and clean up after use, this is fairly minimal compared to other steam engines from Wilesco. Radio controlled Built to scale Many accessories available Solid brass boiler Weighs 3.1kg This nostalgic model from Wilesco is definitely one of their most beautiful and once up and running, the sound emitted is typical of their whole range of model steam engines. When not in use and out on display, the Wilesco D320 will bring charm to any room and will be a real talking piece with visitors. Whether you are a collector, hobbyist or somebody interested in the history of steam engineering, the Wilesco D302 is a model that you should certainly consider owning. In terms of pure beauty and power, this is without a doubt one of the finest pieces that Wilesco has produced. CHECK PRICES
Review: Wilesco D22 Steam Engine Model Kit
Review: Wilesco D22 Steam Engine Model Kit Stationary steam engine enthusiasts are going to love the twin-cylinder Wilesco D22, a complete model that is the fastest in the entire Wilesco collection. Equipped with a base mounted countershaft and with a highly decorative finish, this is a super-efficient engine and one that the hobbyists among you will adore. The history of steam engines is certainly fascinating and this model is an engine that an industrial Victorian factory might have used. When running you can just imagine the many workers that would have to operate this engine. The Wilesco D22 is definitely a great educational tool and a way of introducing the history of steam engineering to children. Ideal for steam engine enthusiasts or as an educational tool for children, the Wilesco D22 is one of the most powerful stationary model steam engines around and can power almost any accessory set-up. Do be advised, however, that any children using this model should be supervised by adults and young children, in particular, should not be left alone to play with the engine. Power and Beauty With a silver/black finish and a brass boiler with a nickel-plated finish, the Wilesco D22 is certainly beautiful to look at. It certainly runs beautifully too, with its self-starting twin-cylinder steam engine and countershaft that is base mounted. In fact, since Wilesco discontinued the D32 more than 30 years ago, this is their only two-cylinder model. Other features of this powerful and efficient stationary steam engine include a safety valve, water drain valve, a pressure gauge and a hand wheel shut off. Mounted on a sturdy metal base, this model is one of the larger models in the Wilesco catalogue with measurements of 35.5 x 30 x 20cm. With a weight of 2.8kg, it is also one of the heaviest in their range as well. The Wilesco D22 is a self-starting model, so there is no need to turn over the flywheel manually. Once it starts to generate steam, you just turn the steam valve and away it goes. With a beautiful sound as the engine ticks over, there are not many other stationary engines that can offer the same satisfying hum as the D22. Wilesco’s only two cylinder model Self-starting Brass boiler Fast Runner Weight of 2.8kg Technically complete (not in kit form) There are a number of accessories from Wilesco that you can connect and power from this steam engine – further adding to the educational and aesthetic nature of this highly efficient and powerful model. Compatible with Wilesco products such as street lights and drilling machines, there is no end to the fun that can be had with the twin-cylinder engine. Without a doubt, this beautiful model is one of the best that Wilesco has produced. In fact, most avid collectors will tell you that no collection is complete without a Wilesco D22. Whether you are a hobbyist or want to educate your children on the history of engineering, the D22 is certainly an option you should consider. CHECK PRICES
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.