Two Model Steam Engines To Make As Retirement Projects In Pakchong (Pak Chong), Thailand

When I retire to Thailand I want a nice big steam model to make.  In my model engieering workshop here in the UK I have only a small lathe/milling machine  and so can only make fairly small models.

I find that as I get nearer to retiring age that my eysight is gradually worsening and I find it difficult to see the small model parts with some form of eyewear. Also I find the small parts fiddly to make and to hold. These are some of the reasons why when I retire to Thailand where I have a large lathe in the model engineering workshop I want to make bigger models.

One more reason to make bigger rather than smaller models. It’s easier!

As models get smaller the dimensions become more important and so much more accurate work is required. For example on a full sized steam engine 1 mm tolerance on non-running surface components may well be acceptable. Scale that down to, say 1/4″ scale (1:48) and that 1 mm becomes 0.02 mm. That’s just about as accurate as you can make things even using precision machine tools.

Also I want to make a big model steam traction engine – one big enough to pull a few people and to go to the nearby shops on. Before I start on the steam model traction engine, though I have to get my workshop properly set up with all the tools i will need and also I have to put the new lathe and milling machine through it’s paces, prove it’s accuracy, and just to get used to it.

So I’m going to make a different steam engine model before I start on the steam traction engine.

Making The Stuart Turner Steam Model “Victoria Mill Engine”.

I have decided which steam model engine I am going to build and below is a photo of a finished one built not be me but by someone else.

Above a photo of the type of model steam engine I will build in Pakchong (Pak Chong) before I start on the model traction engine. This model is available as a kit of castings and materials from a company called Stuart Turner. This particular Stuart Turner model is known as the “Victoria Mill Engine”.

A great advantage of building a model steam engine from one of Stuart Turner’s kits is that in addition to all the castings and raw material the kit comes complete with all fixings i.e. all the nuts, bolts and washers needed to finish the model. This is particularly useful when building a stem model in Thailand (and in Pakchong in particular) because I envisage that it will be very difficult to impossible to find these small nuts and bolts in Thailand. Even when in the UK it is very convenient having all the fixings in the kit rather than to have to source and buy them individually.

I should add that I have already bought the Stuart Turner Victoria Steam Mill Engine Model kit – in fact it was delivered to my home in the U.K. last Staurday. I haven’t had chance yet to take any photos to put up here on the website.

Making The MJ Engineeering Scale Model Fowler Class A7 Single Cylinder Traction Engine

Above are some photos of a model steam traction engine I want to build when I retire to Thailand.
All the drawings, castings and most of the other materials are available from MJ Engineeering. It’s not a kit as such but all the parts can be bought individually ready for machining.

How big will the model Fowler Class A7 single cylinder traction engine be?

MJ Engineeering off the castings in two scales 2″ to the foot (1/6th full size) and 3″ to the foot (1/4th full size)

Here are the overall dimensions of the traction engine when built at the two different scales:-

Dimensions 2″ Scale 3″ Scale
Overall Length 34″ 51 1/8″
Overall Height 23 1/8″” 34 5/8″”
Overall Width 14″ 20 1/2″
Diameter of Flywheel 9″ 13 1/2″
Diameter of Front Wheels 7 3/4″ 11 5/8″
Diameter of Rear Wheels 12″ 18″
Boiler Diameter 4 3/4″ 7″
Cylinder, Bore and Stroke 1 3/8″ x 2″ 2″ x 3″
Working Pressure 100 p.s.i 100 p.s.i
Approx Weight 140 lbs 3 cwt

I must say that I’m tempted by the bigger scale model, but I have not decided the scale yet.

Both sizes of engine are powerfull enough to pull the driver and other people.

The 2″ scale traction engine is easily able to pull its driver and an adult passenger, or two children.

The 3″ scale model traction engine will pull the driver and six or seven children.

So you can see what big models they are.

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2 Responses to “Model Steam Engine Thailand Retirement Projects”

  • Geohill54:

    Hi Alan I am not sure if this photo will open for you.

    But it is a shot of the small mill engine I am busy on when I get time at home. 
    I expect you are almost ready to fly back to the land of smiles. 
    As yet I have found one shop where I can buy brass bar. They sell by weight. But adds on extra if he has to cut the bar down to sell shorter lengths. I have also dealt with all arms in Bangkok. Got a good deal on a tool grinder and a bench grinder a few years ago. 
    One item you might bring with you would be welsh steam coal as you will need it to run any boiler, unless you intend to use gas.
    Also steam oil. So far I have not found any in Thailand. If they find it in your luggage they will take it from you as it is prohibited on planes. Good vodka is more flammable so do not realy see a problem.Regards George


    retiringinthailand Reply:

    Hi George,

    Thanks for the email and the photo of your model steam engine under construction.

    It’s a nice looking model and very well made. Not like the ‘rough and ready’ Stuart S 50 model steam engine I’m building!

    I’m writing this sitting in the airport lounge at Heathrow waiting for my flight to Thailand. I have checked in my bag stuffed with 30 kg of model engineering castings, materials and tools, including the Stuart Turner horizontal steam engine kit named “Victoria”.

    Since I don’t have a steam boiler yet, I can hold back on the steam oil for a visit or two, but thanks for the tip-off. If I bring some I’ll put it in a shoe polish container!

    Love to pop down to Pattayah to meet you and see your workshop. Will you be there on Sat 14th April?

    Looking forward to learning more about your model engineering pastime in Thailand.

    Chok Dii Khrap,

    and Best Regards

    Alan and Kanyah Brown

    About The blog

    This Is A Real-Life Novel – A True Story Of Our Exciting Retirement Project In Thailand

    Follow our exciting journey to retiring in Thailand right from beginning to the present day and see what decisions we made, what we did right, what we did wrong, what happened good, what happened bad and everything else in between?

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