Other model reviews and posts you might like
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: 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: Wilesco D5 Steam Engine Model Kit
Review of the Wilesco D5 Steam Engine Model Kit
This is a gorgeous, highly detailed steam locomotive engine that is also a working model that produces actual steam. It’s ideal for beginner steam enthusiasts, especially younger ones as it can be used by children as young as eight years old. There is always something very special about steam engines, and the way they powered the industrial age. Models like this are a good introduction to this time period, and a hand-on way to learn about history and engineering.
If you are giving this to a child, bear in mind that it will require adult supervision and is most certainly not suitable for children under three years old. It is also a working steam engine and it does turn the flywheel quite fast.
The D5 Steam Engine from Wilesco is in kit form, so you’ll have to assemble it, but that’s more than half the fun of having a working model. Assembly is straightforward; there’s an easy to follow manual, which includes illustrations so you don’t feel lost trying to work out what goes where. No soldering is needed; the components are put together by screwing them into place.
It’s an attractive model, with a faux red brick platform and chimney stack, rather like a Victorian factory might have had. The boiler has a shiny, brass effect thanks to the nickel finish, as does the oscillating cylinder and the piston. There is also the red and brass effect fly wheel. There’s an inspection glass that is the water level indicator at the front of the boiler, with a dome steam powered whistle on top. The spring safety valve is also located here, and this is where you need to insert the water using the funnel. The piston and wheel generate power, and once in motion it gets quite a speed up. This is a noisy toy, and you do get a lot of steam, all of which makes it quite exciting to watch in action. The engine used a dry fuel to heat the water for steam. There is no need for additional batteries.
It really does bring to life the age of steam, and it has identical specifications to Wilesco’s D6 steam engine. The D5 is the kit version, and the D6 comes fully assembled.
The Wilesco D5 Steam Engine Model Kit is quite light, weighing just 739g.
This is not a huge model, even though it is fully powered. But it is a good enough size for an entry level type of kit at 21 x 15 x 15 cm. It should be possible to use the engine to power small devices by connecting to a dynamo too. There are lots of possibilities, and you are only limited by your imagination. There are other Wilesco models that you can attach to the engine, and you can drive other Wilesco models from its range.
Comes in kit form, no soldering required
Has a brass effect boiler with nickel finish
Boiler house has a brick finish, brass oscillating cylinder and also pistons
There is a dome steam-powered whistle
A driving pulley powers the flywheel
Uses a dry fuel