Sunday, 17 November 2013

Hot and bothered...

...or just steaming mad!

This weekend the Folk over on the Mamod forum are having their virtual exhibition. Members set out a table and display their models just like a physical exhibition. Sounds daft, but in fact it really works and is good fun. I entered last year and enjoyed it so much I have gone back for another go.

An early 1929 engine as found
My interest is in the Meccano 'built-in' engines so that is what you will find on my table starting with the 1929 vertical engines like the one pictured above. You can take a look HERE. I first got interested in the steam engines when Meccano introduced their yellow, horizontal boiler engine when I was at school. I could not afford to buy one at the time and it was not until years later that I actually acquired one of my own. I now own several and enjoy building them into models.

Not too bad from this view...

Hmmm... not so good!
One such engine was the SP3 above. Mamod made the original yellow engines for Meccano and when Meccano decided to stop selling them, Mamod continued to produce them in a slightly modified form, with a grey painted base. The engine here was purchased from eBay and was one of those not so good buys. It was this that set me off on a journey of restoration that resulted in the red version of this engine that I have shown several times before on this blog. The whole story of this project was told on the Mamod forum and you can read about the initial purchase HERE and the subsequent refurbishment HERE.

Unfortunately toy steam engines are from a different age and today the thought of letting young boys (or girls for that matter) loose with mentholated spirit, matches and boiling water would be frowned upon. In fact, it is not even considered safe for adults to play with as most exhibition venues will not allow the use of live steam of any kind. I suppose it is yet another sign of the times we live in where nobody is prepared to take responsibility for their own safety and is looking for an excuse to make a quick buck by suing anyone they can. Still it doesn't stop us having fun!


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