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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.
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: Bachmann Branchline 31-528A
Review: Bachmann Branchline 31-528A
Bachmann has a history of great contributions to the locomotive industry in the form of the railway models that it has designed. These models greatly represent the UK railway history. One such model is Bachmann Branchline 31-528A ‘Pearl Diver’ which is an excellent addition to the company’s catalog of railway models. The engine comes is an OO Gauge model that has a scale of 1.76.
It has a sleek and sturdy layout which keeps it balanced while running and never lets it get out of the track. The train is a passenger express.
OO Gauge (1:76 Scale)
Bachmann Branchline 31-528A
It has a 21-pin DCC decoder (DCC ready)
The train is lined with a pristine finish which makes it rust and scratch free
Length: 295 mm
The train belongs to the A2 category
It is specifically a passenger train
The wheel configuration is 4-6-2
The livery is BR Lined Green, Late Crest
Who is it suitable for?
It is strictly not a toy neither should it be used for this purpose with younger children. Children with 14 years or above age could use it but adult supervision is still recommended. It is used as a modeling device in the museums and railway industry. Some people collect such pieces as a hobby as well. It is a great item to be added to your collection owing to its great design and astounding features that you hardly get at such an economical price.
Since the Bachmann Branchline 31-528A is a passenger express, it is mostly used as a model in the industry. It comes at a great price which is quite adjustable as well due to its features.
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