Other model reviews and posts you might like
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.
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: Hornby R3060 RailRoad BR ‘Tornado’ Class A1
Review: Hornby R3060 RailRoad BR ‘Tornado’
The Hornby R3060 RailRoad BR ‘Tornado’ Class A1 Steam locomotive was built in England and completed in 2008. Astonishingly, the first of its kind was built in 1960 by British Railways. Indeed, this locomotive was tested and proved up to 97km/h. Of course, since its creation it has been running on the UK rail network as well as on mainline-connected heritage networks. It is a great gift for train enthusiasts on a special day or during the festive season
Who’s it for?
The locomotive is best suited for young as well as old keen modellers. Also, it can be used by newcomers and therefore caters for a range of users. It provides an ideal complement to the various locomotives, rolling stock, track, buildings, and accessories in the Hornby catalogue.
This locomotive is DCC ready and compatible with analogue train layouts. It can also easily be converted to suit a DCC digital layout. The model is suitable for you if you are in search of a static display model. You can gift this locomotive to anyone, and it will suit their needs.
What do customers think?
Customers who have bought and used this locomotive attest that it is a beautiful model that has been reasonably priced. Consumers who have used the Hornby R3060 RailRoad BR ‘Tornado’ Class A1 Steam Locomotive confirm that it is nicely detailed. Additionally, the locomotive can be upgraded with extra parts, so it remains realistic and up to date. Moreover, customers on Amazon have commended the quality of this locomotive.
Customers on Amazon have also been impressed by the ability of this locomotive to run quietly and smoothly as well. The locomotive has also been rated as being a good performer across a varied track layout.
The locomotive weighs only 599g for easy portability from one point to another. The fact that the locomotive uses an electric engine ensures that there is no battery needed for its operation. Also, it is DCC ready as it has a special socket which is ready to receive a DCC decoder. This locomotive is 293 millimetres long and features a 00 gauge that it uses for operation. Its motor is made of three poles that contain flywheels which also helps in operation.
So, what is the bottom line?
The Hornby R3060 RailRoad BR ‘Tornado’ Class A1 provides a thrilling collection of locomotives with varied rolling stocks. The lightweight property of this locomotive ensures that you do not have to scratch your head when you have to move places. If you are considering a locomotive model to gift to someone or for yourself, this is the perfect fit.
Its quality and therefore durability has attracted more consumers. Furthermore, the Hornby R3060 RailRoad BR ‘Tornado’ Class A1 is DCC ready which is a unique capability. You can therefore never go wrong with this locomotive irrespective of the person you are purchasing it for. Its impressive capability of offering good value for the money spent has remained a key marketing feature for this locomotive.
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.