Other model reviews and posts you might like
Review: Mamod SP4 Stationary Live Steam Engine
Review: Mamod SP4 Stationary Live Steam Engine
This beautiful model is the Mamod SP4 steam engine. You would expect an engine of any kind to not be too aesthetically pleasing, they are designed to be the power unit, not the focal unit everyone lusts after. However, second best is never good enough for Mamod and their live steam engine units always look and play the part.
This steam engine is engineered in England using the highest quality metals. Not straying far from the classic Mamod use of colours, the SP4 is made up of bold red, silver and black colours. These colours create a glossy and tasteful finish to the model. Each model is:
260 x 208 x 185mm
heavy duty brass boiler and piston & cylinder unit
a water gauge connected to the boiler
a chrome plated fire box
solid fuel, oil and filler funnel (for hours of fun running the unit)
The SP4 resembles an old fashioned steam engine that would have typically been used in the past to run a range of things: pumps, mills, machinery and more. Stationary engines had no purpose without the other pieces of equipment and Mamod knows this very well. Never missing an opportunity to allow their models the ability to mimic the real world from times gone by, Mamod has created the SP4 steam engine with the opportunity to connect with other models. This live steam engine can be used to power pieces from the 1336 WS1 workshop and running them has never been easier. The SP4 is already assembled, so you don’t need to be an engineer to work out how to run this engine. Simply add water, light the fuel and the engine will work. This would be great to connect to other pieces – you could be running your own mini mill in no time.
This engine is suitable for a huge range of people due to its versatility. If using alone to just appreciate the power unit, it’s a fantastic educational tool for little ones and adults alike. It is worth noting, however, that children under 14 years old should not be left unsupervised with this product. That’s nothing to worry about, though, because adults will have a great time teaching their children and grandchildren all about the times of the past! Your kids are going to come top of their history class with their new model. The unit is also a fantastic gift for hobbyists who already have units from the 1336 WS1 series. Once they acquire the Mamod SP4, they’ll be able to fit all the pieces together and they’ll help each other work! Even if the hobbyist in your life does not have any other Mamod models, this is most certainly still one to think about for them. It’s a given that engines of the past were only used to power other units, but Mamod have made that a thing of the past by creating an engine one can appreciate by itself and will look perfect amongst any model collector’s pieces.
If you’ve already got a collection of live models, but not a stationary engine, the SP4 should most certainly be at the top of your list!
Review: Wilesco D16 Steam Engine
Review: Wilesco D16 Steam Engine
Wilesco is renowned for their high-quality steam engines and they have not let us down once again with the gorgeous Wilesco D16 stationary steam engine. A fully working steam engine that has been modelled on the original engine from the industrial era, this is a beautiful piece of machinery that would not look out of place in any hobbyist’s collection.
Perfect for budding enthusiasts or for use as an educational tool, the D16 can be used to drive many other accessories and be modified by those that know how. With a fast-moving engine that will run for a good 20 minutes per use, this stationary engine will provide a sound that can only be described as sublime.
Not be used by children under the age of 14 without adult supervision, the Wilesco D16 steam engine has some parts that can move quite fast while anything that involves fire and heat should obviously be used with care.
The Wilesco D16 has nickel polished finished brass boiler that has a capacity of 250ml and a glass sight indicator. Complete with a cream coloured brick embossed finish, the boilers housing contains two foot-bridges.
Containing a reversible twin-acting brass piston cylinder and a flywheel with a grooved pulley and die-cast railings, this stationary engine has the power to drive a selection of other Wilesco models such as two-wheel grinders and drilling machines.
Operating the Wilesco D16 is done via the steam whistle with pullable chain, steam regulator valve and spring loaded safety valve. Mounted on a sturdy painted metal base, the D16 generates realistic looking smoke by using condensed water that is fed to a hidden tank at the rear of the boiler housing.
With dimensions of 31 x 25 x 28cm this is a good sized engine and with a weight of 1.8kg, it is one of the heavier in the Wilesco stationary engine range. Equally good in operation or as a decorative piece, this steam engine is certainly one that will improve anyone’s collection.
As with any steam engine, maintenance is extremely important and in some cases quite a timely expense. However, many will tell you that this just adds to the fun of this hobby as there is nothing quite like a steam engine in tip-top condition.
Functioning steam whistle
Realistic looking smoke
Avid collectors and hobbyists alike will not be disappointed with this beautifully crafted and well-built steam engine by Wilesco. These steam engines when well-looked after and rarely used can become a good investment as well as a great display piece. Even when used regularly but well-maintained, model steam engines are something that can stay in the family for many decades.
Ideal for those looking to get into this fantastic hobby or those that want another to add to their collection will not go wrong with the Wilesco D12 stationary steam engine. Certainly a good looking and powerful engine, the D12 is well worth checking out.
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 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