Steam models in production today.
There are a few steam models still in production today. The
most prominent are:
Wilhelm Schroder, or Wilesco. Based in Germany. The largest company still making steam
models. Wilesco has a wide range, from the very basic to fairly elaborate 2
cylinder plants. My favorites include the “showman’s engine”, the fire engine,
and the D430 lokomobil – haven’t gotten around to obtaining one of those.
Mamod. Based in the UK.
Mamod’s line isn’t as extensive as that of Wilesco, but they do turn out
several very nice automobiles and buses that are steam powered, plus a very
nice steam tractor.
Cheddar. Also based in the UK.
Produces several fine models, and steam powerplants for model boats. I would
love one of their Westbury models.
Jensen. Based in the USA.
Second oldest steam company still in business. Jensen engines today are every
bit as solid and reliable as they were in the 1930’s.
Marklin. Based in Germany.
Marklin has recently put a few live steam models into limited production.
Whether or not this remains a regular offering remains to be seen. To date,
Marklin has produced two 1 gauge locomotive models in live steam, and one
stationary plant, the 16501, which is a recreation of the old 4158 compound
engine. While I have no firm sales figures, the fact that Marklin continues to
produce these indicates a strong interest in live steam models.
Steamco. Based in Australia. Produces a line of modest, but very handsome,
stationary steam engines. Distribution outside of Australia
is a bit haphazard. I have seen a few for sale in the USA,
but these appear to be individual imports and not as part of a planned
Vision Engineering. Turns out a stationary plant, the York-Bolton,
of some size and elegance with a dynamo. Quite similar to the Cheddar Westbury.
Also turns out a display only traction engine. A bit high priced, but very good
quality on both of these engines. The York-Bolton in particular has that
decidedly formidable appearance found in larger British steam models.
Producers of unassembled kits, and larger locomotives:
PM Engineering turns out several very nice kits for those
with moderate machining skills (and equipment)
Stuart Turner still produces their kits, semi finished, and
Aster of Japan
has an impressive line of G gauge live steam locomotives, with equally
O.S., also of Japan,
turns out a few live steam locomotives, in 5” gauge. Huge.
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