Model Steam Engines Tips and Tricks

Model Steam Engines Tips and Tricks

There is a certain amount of responsibility that comes with being an owner of a model steam engine. Though it’s true that some models can be constructed and operated by individuals as young as 10 years old that does not mean they are toys in the strictest sense of the word. Far from it, model steam engines require a good amount of responsibility if they are going to be operated in a responsible way.

There’s not only the responsibility of operating the machines in a safe way, but for many there’s also the responsibility that comes with owning a small part of history. Any undue damage to the model machine, or general neglect may result in a tragic loss of a shared part of history that many people have come to cherish.

With all this responsibility it can easy to lose sight of the fact that model steam engines are supposed to be just one thing at their core: fun. All of the other confounding factors may stand true, but they are hardly the primary reason for owning one of the astounding machines, and being a responsible model steam engine owner doesn’t mean you have to be a boring model steam engine owner.

To help you save time on the more boring stuff, so you can spend time doing what you love, we’ve collected a couple quick tips and tricks that will help you take care of maintenance, safety, and more in the most efficient way possible.

The idea is to have you spending the smallest amount of time possible doing the hard work, so you can spend the most amount of time possible actually operating your machine, and sharing your infectious enthusiasm for all things steam engine.

Quick Tips


The first tip that you should take stock of is cleaning tips, which are fairly straightforward, but will save you a whole bunch of time and elbow grease in the long run. Best of all, they’ll have you steam engine shining bright just like the first time you bought it.

A big problem, or really an inevitable result of many models being made with brass is the fact that there’s going to be oxidation on your model eventually. Luckily, there is a quick solution to this problem, and it can even be done with household items that in all likelihood you already have on hand.

All you need to do is mix vinegar and salt, and remove the oxidation with a wet cloth. After removal all you’ll have to do is use a little jeweller’s rouge to give that brass a nice finish that you can be proud of, and will want to show off to the whole neighborhood.


If you’re on the hunt for a specific model steam engine, or even if you have a general idea about what you want, but can’t seem to find it then you know how truly frustrating it can be to track down the perfect model steam engine. For many, the search itself is one of the most fun aspects of having and building a model steam engine. That does not mean, however, that it has to feel like a Herculean task to track down a piece.

A great tip is to get active in the community to find the model steam engine you’re looking for. Simply getting involved and asking for help can do a great deal in helping you hunt down the right model steam engine. Better yet, it can help you meet people that share your love and passion for model steam engines, and for many that’s more important than any steam engine they could possibly find out on the market.

If you’re wondering how you can get involved, the easiest easy is to check online. Look for boards, fan run websites, and auctions. The idea is to find any active community that can get you out into the real world where you can wheel and deal to get the perfect model steam engine out there for you.


A large part of owning a model steam engine is the fact that you have to construct many of them yourself. Before doing anything else, determine why it is exactly that you’re interested in owning a model steam engine in the first place.

Are you simply interested in having a piece of history? Do you just like to admire the craftsmanship, and the functionality of the little machine? If that’s the case, then buying a complete model engine that is already functioning may be the route for you.

If, however, you find that you enjoy the actual mechanics, and you have a real passion for understanding how exactly the machine works, then manufacturing a kit is going to be the right idea for you. A kit allows you to construct the model from the ground up, and for those interested in the actual function of the machine there are few greater thrills in the world.

The last consideration is age. If you’re trying to get an exceptionally young individual interested in the world of model steam engines, don’t get them a kit that is too difficult, and that they won’t be able to construct alone. After all, the idea is to get them involved in the modern world of steam engines, not turn them off the idea from the outset.

Final Thoughts

We hope these quick tips and tricks have helped you significantly on your quest to become a better and more efficient owner of the best model steam engines. If you’re just getting your start be sure to swing by our review page where you can see some of the top models available on the market, and find the exact right model for your needs.

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