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: 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: Mamod SR1A Steam Roller
Review: Mamod SR1A Working Live Steam Roller
Young boys and older men who are interested in vehicles of all types are going to love the Mamod SR1A Working Live Steam Roller. This delightfully coloured model is a perfect replica of a 19th Century British Road roller and will provide males from every generation a chance to let their imagination run free. This is the perfect model for creating fun stories, characters, ideas and scenarios. Also, even though this is a boy’s toy, mums, sisters and daughters can still have fun playing and creating these wonderful stories and worlds as a family.
The Mamod SR1A steam roller comes fully assembled, so for those of you out there who love the finished model product, but aren’t really too keen on the building process, this is the perfect model for you. Father and son duos looking to either build up an existing collection, or start a new hobby together can jump right into the fun. Due to this model not needing any assembly, it’s perfect for boys who are just starting out their model collecting hobby and because it’s suitable for ages 14+ for non supervised use, the worries of mum and dad concerned about what to buy their teenage son are no more! (Also suitable for dads needing an excuse to add to their collection!)
As the pictures show, this model is exceedingly beautiful. The steam roller is simply designed using the most durable metal materials, giving the model a realistic overall look. A more modern and pristine look is given to the steam roller by it being finished with top quality colourful paint. (Get your hands on the model to help give it a more used authentic look! Real life steam rollers wouldn’t look this luxurious afterall. Of course, hardcore collectors wouldn’t dare ruin the exterior appearance of this fine piece, but that’s the beauty of the SR1A – it’s suitable for all!). The model’s dimensions are 255 x 177 x 144 mm, making it a perfect size to handle and not so big that it takes up too much room in a collector’s room.
The Mamod SR1A live steam roller is exactly that – live! The model is fully functioning as if it were an actual steam roller used on the street. The model uses solid fuel tablets (which are much safer than the fuel used for models similar to these in the past) and water. Water is poured in, the burner is lit and the steam roller is set to go. Once the model is fired up, it can easily be controlled by using the steering rod to control the front chassis. The flywheel controlling the belt to the rear wheel is powered by a brass piston and cylinder, just like a vehicle in the real world. Steam rollers in real life obviously have the ability to move forwards and backwards; Mamod have put thought into this too, giving their product the ability to travel in reverse, as well as forward. What really gives this model a special touch is the sound it makes; because of the real life components making up the steam roller, the sound made mimics that of a steam roller of its time. This is made possible by the chimney billowing steam from the model’s exhaust unit.
There isn’t a live steam roller quite like the SR1A on the market and the high quality materials making up this model ensure a longlasting product you’re going to enjoy today and for many years to come.
Review: Wilesco D12 Steam Engine
Review: Wilesco D12 Steam Engine
Fans of model stationary steam engines are going to love the highly detailed D12 steam locomotive engine by Wilesco. A real eye catcher and a powerful and fast engine, this stationary steam engine is also the biggest of the steam engines that Wilesco has in their range.
Ideal as a collector’s piece, for beginner steam enthusiasts or as an educational tool, the base-mounted Wilesco D12 steam engine provides a nostalgic look back at the glory days of steam engineering. Regularly used in factories of the early 1960’s, this steam engine would have required many men to operate and maintain.
While this, the D12, is a great way to educate children on the history of the steam engine, they should never be left alone with this model. Adult supervision is required at all times as there are parts that move very fast and surfaces that can be hot to the touch. This is a real steam engine after all, so care should always be taken when operating.
Built to High Quality
This dry fuel operated model steam engine comes technically complete and is not in kit form, so getting it up and running will not take much time at all. It can also power a number of Wilesco accessories with ease such as street lights or drilling machines.
The D12 has a gorgeous polished and chrome-plated brass boiler with a capacity of 250cc and a glass sight level indicator that will allow you to monitor water levels. That boiler is set atop a brick-embossed mounting with two foot bridges. The D12 is completed with an oscillating brass piston and cylinder and a flywheel with a grooved pulley.
The steam whistle with chain is what is used to help control the pressure inside the boiler. When you sound that whistle while the already beautifully sounding engine is running, you will most definitely get goosebumps.
Measuring 31.5 x 25.5 x 17cm and weighing 1.6kg, you are getting one of the heftier stationary steam engines in the range. This just adds to the satisfaction that you will feel, as it is a very sturdy unit. Clean up after use takes a bit of time but you would not have it any other way if you want this piece to stay looking fantastic.
Weight of 1.6kg
Technically complete (not in kit form)
Wilesco’s largest engine
Spring loaded safety valve
Whether you’re a fledgeling enthusiast or an experienced collector, the Wilesco D12 is a stationary steam engine that is well worth checking out. Solidly built and beautifully designed, this steam engine is a great addition to any collection. Furthermore, with the many accessories that can be added, this engine can really serve up a treat.
Gorgeous to look at and extremely satisfying to run, the Wilesco D12 certainly comes highly recommended. When on display the D12 will certainly add appeal to any room and will become a regular talking point whenever you have visitors over.