Christmas is just a matter of days away and people across the UK will be putting the final touches to their preparation for the big day.
This time of year sees the high streets all over the nation swell with sight of stressed shoppers looking for that perfect gift for a loved one. One of the worst things about the festive period is if there is a person that you just cannot think what to get them. Fear not, however, as there is help at hand in the form of a model steam engine from Mamod. These beautifully crafted products can provide the start to a lifelong hobby or provide a sense of nostalgia for the older generation.
2013 sees Mamod showcase two models that are the epitome of what the company is all about. They bring to life the age of steam that was so prominent during the early 20th century in the UK and evoke memories of time gone by. They are also great models for introducing people to majesties of steam.
The Showman's Special and Beam Engine could provide the perfect gift for a loved one to unwrap on Christmas morning.
The Showman's/Showman's Special – £239/£384
The Showman's models are a throwback to the glory days of steam engines and are the perfect recreation of two vehicles that would have been regular sights on the streets of the UK in the early days of the 20th century. The Special is an upgrade on the original model and is the only product within the entire Mamod range that has the ability to convert steam power into electricity.
It features a dynamo that can turn on the canopy lights and boasts being able to move and power the lighting at the same time. The Special is also a much superior option to the standard Showman's and is both stronger and is able to run for longer than its counterpart. What makes it more powerful is the use of a 9mm oscillating piston and cylinder arrangement.
While many people may be put off by the hike in price, Mamod reassures that you are paying for the time and engineering skill that went into developing such a crafted model.
In terms of specifics the Special measures 177 x 137 x 294mm and weighs 2,750g.
The Beam Engine – Fuel tablet (£260), Gas Fired (£349)
The Beam Engines are exclusive products to Mamod and, unlike The Showman's models, can not be found in any other retailer. It comes in either a fuel tablet or gas fired option and while the latter is slightly more expensive, it again highlights the craftsmanship that has gone into creating a model of this ilk. They are designed on the famous James Watt Beam Engine and utilises the "tried and trusted double acting slide valve cylinder, found on the successful SP6, and other valve engines".
The engines feature a slide valve arrangement and can produce more as, according to Mamod, "the steam is used twice". It first travels to the valve block and then is pushed through the cylinder block to drive the piston.
Such is the power of this model at top speed, people have remarked that it can be a blur as it rushes round.
The gas fired version measures in a 210 x 260 x 200mm and weighs 2,000g.