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Review: Sunnytech® Hot Air Stirling Engine Model Educational Toy Sc02
Review of the Sunnytech® Hot Air Stirling Engine Sc02
The Sunnytech Single Flywheel Hot Air Stirling Engine is a well-crafted, fully working model which demonstrates the operational principles of Stirling engines.
What is a Stirling engine?
A Stirling engine is an external combustion engine. That is, it is an engine that gets its energy from an external heat source, in contrast to the internal combustion engine where the heat input is generated within the engine itself.
The Stirling engine was invented in 1816 by Robert Stirling, who wanted to create an alternative to existing steam engines, whose boilers could often explode because of the high steam pressures used and the strength limitations of the materials available to engineers at the time.
How does a Stirling engine work?
Like all heat engines, the Stirling turns heat energy into mechanical energy. The key feature of the Stirling engine is that it uses a fixed amount of gas – usually air – enclosed in a sealed container, with the heat consumed by the engine applied externally. This means that the engine can run on just about any heat source, including coal or gas, solar energy, chemical reaction and nuclear energy. It can also work with very low temperature differentials, which means a Stirling engine could be powered by body heat or even the steam from a cup of coffee. And because it uses heat from a constant source and does not, like an internal combustion engine, rely on a succession of explosive ignitions, the engine runs very quietly.
The heat source used in the Sunnytech Single Flywheel Hot Air Stirling Engine model is supplied by a small methylated spirit burner, which comes included, and the engine’s output is delivered – as the name suggests – by a single flywheel.
The Single Flywheel Hot Air Stirling Engine is robustly constructed from steel, copper and aluminium, and comes fully assembled, which means that you can have it up and running within minutes of taking it out of the box. Just fill the burner with meths, light the wick, let the working fluid (air) heat up for 30 seconds, give the flywheel a spin, and off it goes.
The model’s main features are:
Specification: Single Flywheel Hot Air Stirling Engine
Model No.: SC02
Size: 130mm X 80mm X 115mm
Materials: Aluminium, Copper and Steel
The Single Flywheel Hot Air Stirling Engine is an ideal collector’s item for engineering enthusiasts, as well as an engaging educational demonstration model. Most importantly, it is lots of fun. It should, however, only be used under adult supervision, and it is not suitable for children under 10 years old.
Customer reviews of the Sunnytech Hot Air Stirling Engine are consistently excellent. People who have bought it are particularly impressed by its quality and performance. In today’s world, where everything is made from plastic, the look and feel of a solid, tactile piece of high-quality workmanship is immensely satisfying. It has an elegant design, is well engineered and constructed, and runs like a dream.
Review: Working Live Steam Mamod 1920’s Red London Omnibus LB1R
Review: Working Live Steam Mamod 1920’s Red London Omnibus LB1R
Oozing in class, this remarkably beautiful London bus throws collectors back to a time gone by. A world renowned icon of England to this day, the red bus of London is forever popular. Mamod does this symbol of London and the history of the British bus justice. Not straying from the real life 1920’s omnibus the model is based on, the LB1R comes in a vibrant red colour, with lovely old fashioned signs painted in yellow and red. The small details of the curved staircase, steering wheel, driver’s seat and engine give this beautiful bus detail, even down to the most minute parts.
Each LB1R is made to order from heavy gauge steel and brass. These heavy materials give the finished piece a weight of 3.8kg. The model’s dimensions are: 455 x 285 x 170mm (not quite as big as a real London bus, but big enough to admire without a microscope!) and come with fuel tables, oil and a funnel (everyone knows how annoying it is to get a gift that needs batteries, without batteries in the box. You won’t have to worry about this with the LB1R). No fear of overdoing it, though! The models are equipped with a pressure safety valve. If you’re still worried about the safety of the model, rest assured, Mamod’s switch from old fashioned methylated spirits to solid fuel tablets means that running the London steam bus is safer now than ever. The first time you’ll use the product is simple too! No faffing around, and with this particular model in the wide range of Mamod models available, no assembly is required. Just add water and off it goes. Every single omnibus is hand crafted with expertise in England.
This model is a perfect gift for a man who you would ordinarily spend hours pondering over about which gift to buy for them. The LB1R is unique – how many other men can say they were gifted a live working steam London Omnibus? Men who will enjoy this gift in particular are ones who enjoy history and English culture, men who are interested in a range of vehicles, men who appreciate finely crafted models, those who you think welcome a new hobby and last, but most certainly not least, those who are avid hobbyists and would love to extend their collection of exquisite models. Children will also benefit from this little slice of history, but bear in mind that due to the fuel and steam, it isn’t suitable for those under 14 years old to use without adult supervision.
Due to its precise craftsmanship and good quality materials, Mamod’s LB1R London bus is made to last, making it a worthy investment. Just as the real London bus has transcended through years of history and time, your own model will bring about years of delight through generations of your family. This is definitely one to be passed down from grandfather to grandson, giving the piece sentimental value, as well as monetary value.
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: 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