The Appeal of the Model Steam Engine
It’s no big secret that the steam engine has somewhat fallen out of favor. You’re far more likely to find a nearly silent electrical train barreling through the countryside than you are a beautiful steam powered engine throwing steam into the air while it chugs cross-country. There’s good reason for it, too.
A steam engine isn’t very efficient. It requires a great deal of fuel to function, and even at its most efficient it cannot compete with the combustion engine, let alone the modern marvels that run on matter power.
The question quickly becomes why are steam engines still such a huge part of the public consciousness. Why, if they’ve fallen out of favor long ago, do we still look back at them with a great deal of fondness?
The answer happens to relate to some of the criticisms levelled against battery technology, and more specifically the newest generation of electric cars. It’s a matter of fact that the means of powering our society begins to take on special meaning for each passing generation.
Many older individuals that remember growing up with combustion engines in cars are hesitant to adopt the electric car with open arms. Yes, the electric car may be far cleaner, it might save money on fuel, and it might be the way of the future, but it still somehow lacks the appeal of combustion engines. Individuals want to feel the power of the engine rumbling in their set. They want to hear the familiar roar when they put their foot down on the engine.
It’s not a logical thing by any means, but that doesn’t make it any less real. Humanity has a centuries old love affair with fossil fuels, and it’s no real surprise the hallmarks of fossil fuels hold a special place in our hearts and minds.
So what’s the solution, then? Do we resist the wave of the future? Do we continue to neglect electric cars because they don’t tug at our heart strings in the same way the Hemi once did not so long ago? Do we neglect progress, and do so at our own peril in all likelihood?
The answer is a resounding no, but that doesn’t mean that there’s no place in our lives for the technological advancement of the past that paved the way for modern living. On the contrary, model steam engines prove that there will always be a place for the steam engine in society, long after they’ve been decommissioned for all practical purposes.
To help better understand why exactly the model steam engine is still so popular today, we’ve compiled a few of the hallmark features as well as discussed the ways in which the model steam engine contributes to our society in a very real way.
The Place for Model Steam Engines in the Modern World
If you’re considering diving head first into the world of model steam engines then you should know that you’re not alone. Far from it, more and more people are looking to the technologies and the pleasures of the past to get an idea of where we’ve been as a society. Some hope to see an indication of where we may be headed in the future, while others still just enjoy capturing a small moment of history that they can personally enjoy day after day, and week after week.
For most, however, it is an indiscernible mix of the two, and the appeal of the model steam engine cannot quite be pinned down. To better understand the appeal , let’s take a closer look at each type of model steam engine hobbyist, so we may better understand how the model steam engine improves the life of each and every one of these individuals.
First, there’s the collector. The collector has perhaps the hardest job of any model steam engine enthusiast, though of course the level of difficulty associated with the model steam engine hobby has most to do with exactly how much you’re dedicating yourself, and how seriously you want to take your new hobby.
If you’re a serious hobbyist, however, and you decide you’re interested in collection then you truly have your work cut out for you. Before anything you must determine which sort of model steam engines hold the greatest appeal to you and why. Maybe you’re interested in one specific company, or else one specific design of the model steam engine capture your imagination, but it’s essential you do this before setting out to find you model steam engine.
Whatever it is, be sure that you are working towards your goals and don’t feel any need to adhere to what other’s may believe your collections should look like. After all, for most collectors the appeal for the model steam engine is that it captures some feeling or moment of the past that you can now hold onto in a very real way. It’s a supremely personal thing for many, and should be treated as such.
The other main type of enthusiast for model steam engines is the individual that’s interested in the actual function of the model steam engine. It has less to do with history in the strictest sense, and more to do with the fact that there’s an incredibly compelling side of watching the technology that fueled much of the industrial revolution in action.
There is still a great deal of choice when considering what kind of model steam engine you want to construct. A great deal of this is going to be determined by the level of your expertise. If you or the individual that’s looking to purchase the model steam engine is quite young, then it would be beneficial to pick a design that’s a little simpler. If, however, you’re something of an expert then a simple design is likely to bore you.
No matter what kind of enthusiast you are, the bottom line is that the model steam engine holds something that is very important to you. Whether it’s better understanding the lessons of the past, or else simply holding a piece of history, it’s clear that this type of interaction with models allows us to vent our love for these objects without necessarily keeping them as a major part of our daily lives. To become a part of this intersection between past and future, pick up your favorite model steam engine by checking out our model steam engine kit review page.