Mamod recently announced the launch of its new marine engine range providing modellers with a reason to get nautical once again.
The company's connection with the water has been a deep rooted one and goes back a number of years. While the boats are not available from Mamod outlets, the firm has created a variety of engines, accessories and boilers that would be able to power a boat and have it chugging happily along the water. However, there was a time when Mamod was able to boast a series of model vessels to patrol ponds and lakes up and down the land.
As the company brings back the marine engine, lets take a stroll down memory lane to remember the checkered tale of one of the first model boats the company has ever produced – the Mamod Meteor. This steam yacht was the replacement for the original marine engine which was among the first to be produced by Geoffrey Malin. Sadly, the company took the decision to end to production of the marine engine in 1946 due to a lack of demand.
However, this only gave opportunity for the birth of a new ship one that could prove to be pride of a person's collection. The Meteor steam yacht took the design of a World War II torpedo boat and managed to shift 1,500 units but this was deemed as a failure by Mamod's high standards. At the time the company believed that its diminished popularity was simply down to the era in which it was produced.
With Great Britain just coming out of a sapping war effort the public may not have been ready for another reminder of the great loss that the country had suffered, despite emerging for the battle as victorious. The boat was completely functional and there was no particular flaw in the design of the model but it may have just been a case of wrong place, wrong time.
Despite the underwhelming nature of the response to the Meteor, Mr Malin and Mamod were determined to keep a boat within the company's offering. Due to the modeller's skill at creating these types of products and background in marine engineering it was deemed appropriate to keep a similar model in the company's portfolio. However, this was not matched by the public but the demand for boats was on the wane following the war.
As the Meteor failed to capture the imagination, Mamod and Mr Malin went for a new approach, something that had not been tried out at the company's premises – electric engines. Through using a FROG Revmaster motor, which was most commonly used for flying model aircraft the company launched the Conqueror.
Mamod's first foray into the electric engine market was again a miscalculated one as the Conqueror sank without a trace. The model was meant to be the revival of the boating models but was even less successful than the Meteor and only a sold a meagre 200 units. Both the Meteor and the Conqueror were discontinued in 1952.
The company's decision to bring back the marine engine is a bold move but one is hoped to finally give model boats the adulation they deserve.