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: Burrell Showman’s 8 NHP No.3938 ‘Quo Vadis’
Review of the Burrell Showman’s 8 NHP No.3938 ‘Quo Vadis’
This magnificent miniature replica of a Showman’s road locomotive revisits a golden age in travel, dating back almost 100 years.
These locomotives were mainly used to transport a fun fair or circus from town to town and, once the destination was arrived at, it would then serve as a power source for the entertainment.
A far cry from motor vehicles today which whizz past you in an instant, the arrival of this beautiful piece of machinery would have been easily visible on the horizon with the emission of vast plumes from its slender chimney.
The fact that Showman’s road locomotives had numerous uses – from vehicle to power supply source and beyond – was just one reason behind their immense popularity.
This beautiful miniature model is aimed at collectors who appreciate fine vintage craftsmanship. It will also interest those who collect models and artefacts relating to modes of transport dating back to the 1920s.
Introducing the iconic Quo Vadis model
All of these road locomotives were given names – much like car models of today – as well as an identifying serial number. This particular model is a direct miniature replica of the much-loved ‘Quo Vadis’, number 3938.
Purchased in 1922, the Quo Vadis travelled the roads of England for well over a decade before being sold on to amusement contractors in 1935.
By the time it was once again purchased, in 1965, it had been retired ten years earlier and was in a sad state of decay and disrepair. Quo Vadis was subsequently restored and is now a truly iconic symbol of the era to which it belongs.
This collectable piece is a representation of the restored locomotive which, by extension, also makes it identical to how the vehicle original appeared upon completion of design in 1922.
Showman’s road locomotives stood out for many reasons, not least their attention to aesthetic deal.
Three key aspects became signature characteristics of these stunning vehicles – the canopy which runs the length of the locomotive, the tall and slender chimney and the highly decorative, skilled paint work.
Attention to detail that will impress the discerning collector
The Quo Vadis boasted all three aforementioned characteristics, and they are superbly brought back to life in this eloquently designed model.
Only 1,500 of these miniatures have been commissioned, each of which comes with a certificate of authenticity.
The structure is made from diecast metal as well as plastic components. It is suitable for children of all ages but will probably be best appreciated by an enthusiast of vintage road locomotives.
Perfect for display at home, this model will appear particularly well in a cabinet that is accompanied by appropriate lighting to illustrate its delicate features.
Online reviews have praised the model for its historic accuracy, customised packaging and impressive attention to the smallest of details.
Outstanding collector’s item
One of just 1,500 miniature replicas commissioned across the globe
Comes with certificate of authenticity
Eye-catching attention to detail
Appropriate for children and adults
Presented in customised packaging
Review: The Hornby R3064 RailRoad BR Smokey Joe 00 Gauge Steam Locomotive
Review: The Hornby R3064 RailRoad BR Smokey Joe 00 Gauge Steam Locomotive
The Hornby R3064 RailRoad BR Smokey Joe 00 Gauge Steam Locomotive has an attractive detail that comes with BR original livery. Indeed, this locomotive is pre-built and ready for use on a 00 gauge model railway set. Besides, this is a perfect entry-level train for use in railway modelling.
Who’s this for?
Impressively, this locomotive is ideal for keen modellers or beginners and can suit individuals of any age. It perfectly complements the variety of locomotives, track, rolling stocks, accessories and buildings that are available in the Hornby catalogue. Again, this locomotive can only be suitable for use with analogue train layouts and cannot function in the DCC compatible layouts. Moreover, the engine of the locomotive is designed to only run on two rail tracks.
What is the sentiment amongst other buyers and owners?
Customers who have purchased this locomotive attest that the starter loco is highly recommended for both professionals and beginners as it can easily be re-detailed or repainted. Customers who have purchased the Hornby R3064 RailRoad BR Smokey Joe 00 Gauge Steam Locomotive acknowledge that it is a good buy if you intend to gift someone you love. It is highly recommended to those who have model railway interests. Moreover, the locomotive has an excellent performance on the track due to its impeccable detail close up which enables it to run on the track smoothly.
Okay, what are some key features?
Impressively, this locomotive has a die-cast plastic engine with 0-4-0 wheel configuration to enable it to withstand gentle knocks. It has 18.4 x 10.2 x 6 cm dimensions and weighs 200 g. The locomotive comes complete and does not require any assembling. It has an electric engine and does not require a battery. Furthermore, this locomotive has a scale of 1:76, and uses standard hook and bar type couplings which enable it to operate with standard Hornby stock seamlessly.
The railroad models are all fitted with standard Hornby hook and bar type couplings which easily couple the rolling stock and locomotives in both Thomas & Friends and the standard Hornby ranges. Hence, all models that constitute the Hornby RailRoad range are a cost-effective means of adding to a train set offering an appropriate entry point into the different world of model railways.
Great, so let’s now cut to the chase
The Hornby R3064 RailRoad BR Smokey Joe 00 Gauge Steam Locomotive offers an exciting array of steam locomotives with varied rolling stock and full train packs that will enable you to expand or start your model railway. If you are considering a locomotive model for yourself or gifting someone, then the Hornby R3064 RailRoad BR Smokey Joe 00 Gauge Steam is highly recommended. Its quality has become the main reason why customers prefer to use it. Besides, the Hornby R3064 RailRoad BR Smokey Joe 00 Gauge Steam Locomotive comes ready for use and will not stress you with any assembly work.
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!