Looking to start in steam, never had steam been lurking for years like the idea of a steam r/c

Nordmij

Nordmij

Registered
12 Apr 2016
28
0
55
SS07PW
Looking for a first steam loco but would preferably r/c maybe all the bells and whistles etc. What is out on offering currently. Live in south Essex but working in south London if this helps.
 
casey jones snr

casey jones snr

Registered
The world as they sat is your oyster. Roundhouse Engineering of Doncaster do a very fine range of radio controlled steam locomotives. There are plenty of stockists in the south east and Home Counties.
 
G-force1

G-force1

Prevarication Rules!
4 Aug 2015
3,146
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North Middle Earth
Hi, unfortunately that question is as broad as it's long. There is a lot of stuff out there, not all of it good, but most of it, a lot better than reasonable. Perhaps you need to try and tie it down a little more with what you fancy and a budget, then that will guide you a bit closer. Do you want UK or Continental, or even USA? Narrow gauge?

Paul is correct, Roundhouse locos are good, but there are also other makes that have good reputations as well. I would look at S/H as well on sites like Anything Narrow Gauge and the other dealers. When you have an idea what you style etc. you are looking for then we can guide you further.
 
stockers

stockers

Trains, aircraft, models, walking, beer, travel
Staff member
GSC Moderator
24 Oct 2009
25,432
79
61
Nr. Ashford, Kent. England.
Have a look at this website - they are by no means the only supplier but have a good reputation. Perhaps more importantly for you at this time, is that they show a wide variety of what is available.
Secondhand in the private market can be a problem for the inexperienced - there are a few absolute dogs out there but reputable dealers should offer suitable locos at a slightly reduced price. The old adage - if it sounds too cheap - it probably is.

http://www.track-shack.com/acatalog/Garden-Railways.html
 
funandtrains

funandtrains

Registered
20 Sep 2011
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50
Croydon, Surrey
What budget do you have, gauge - 32 or 45mm and do you want a British, German or US looking loco?
 
Zerogee

Zerogee

Clencher's Bogleman
25 Oct 2009
16,710
147
North Essex
Check out the secondhand stock at Anything Narrow Gauge, too - Simon is a very decent chap, any used loco that you buy from him will have been tested before resale; also Tag Gorton (ex-editor of Garden Rail mag and still active here on GSC) helps Simon out a lot and is always happy to give plenty of advice, especially to the Live Steam newbie.
http://www.anythingnarrowgauge.co.uk/listProducts.php?ID=7
Like you, I'm very much a newcomer to Live Steam, having been exclusively track-powered DCC up till recently.... as my particular interest is European G, when I finally decided to take the plunge into Live Steam it had to be a loco that matched my LGB/Piko collection so I got a very nice (slightly modified) LGB/Aster Frank S, the only time that LGB ventured into Live Steam - bought it from ANG and am very happy with it, runs really nicely despite being around 25 years old and manual-control at the moment. I may consider adding R/C at some point but it is great fun to run on manual! The Frank S looks a perfect match to all my LGB electrics and rolling stock, which is great because I didn't really want a British-looking loco when all my stock is German/Austrian outline.
I was so pleased with the Frank S that I've since bought an MBV Schug (Accucraft Germany) Saxon Ik 0-6-0, also second-hand from ANG - a lovely little model, runs well but a bit more skittish and in need of R/C than the Frank is.....

My advice, similar to Alan's above, is that if you're buying second-hand then buy from a reputable dealer if you can, so that you get some back-up or comeback if you get any problems; if you DO buy from a private seller, then insist on collecting the loco personally and seeing it in steam and running when you go to pick it up..... don't buy something that is listed as "untested", you're risking a large chunk of money that way, unless you are sure you have access to some friends who will help you sort out any problems......

Whichever way you go, good luck with it, and there is plenty of expertise and experience available on here if you want to ask the questions!

Jon.
 
railwayman198

railwayman198

Registered
24 Oct 2009
1,807
2
East London
The main thing I would want from a first live steamer is one that works well with a minimum of problems. So if you have the budget I would buy new. That way if you do have issues at least you know it's most likely down to operator rather than mechanical problems. Go for something like anything from the Roundhouse Classic range or a current model Accucraft. I would avoid anything overly complex; although R/C, water gauge and water top up are nice to have. I have locos from Roundhouse, Pearse, Accucraft and Regner which have all run nicely (although the Regner needed a lot of tweaking). Last year I went upmarket and bought an Aster with twin gas tanks, bypass, axle pump etc. and have yet to get a successful run from it. If it had been my first live steamer it would have put me off completely. In the same way my friend who has many gas fired locos has yet to get to grips with his one coal fired loco that he has had for a couple of years now.

The problem with buying new is that you may have to order what you want and wait some time. Roundhouse delivery dates are generally reliable, Accucraft are not. If you trawl through the various retailers websites you will find a few new ones in stock for immediate delivery if you are not too fussy about a particular model.
 
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Nordmij

Nordmij

Registered
12 Apr 2016
28
0
55
SS07PW
Thanks for the advice. Time to think now.
 
M

mikanmart

Registered
17 Mar 2012
194
1
London
Since wandering blindly (drunk) into steam , I have had a change of profession .
Having burned off my finger prints , I am now he who cannot be identified , so burglary is my preferred manner of income .
Hah!!! , and you all thought I was stinkin' rich . Nah , just stinkin' .
Steam is fun , I have successfully built kits which , remarkably , worked . This is down to having had a Dad who was an Engineer who was patient enough to answer all the "dad dad dad dad how dis werk?" honestly , competently , and as he was also a superb artist he was able to draw stuff to explain . I could explain Walschaerts and why you use cut off at the age of nin(ish) . I was stripping down and rebuilding car engines at twelve . Flying gliders at 14 , bending aircraft at 18 . I count myself very lucky to have had an education which is now largely denied to kids . I knew things were bad when a grandson aged 15 was watching me tickling a car engine , and when I tried to tell him how he would benefit from learning the same , he said that he wouldn't get mucky , he would pay someone else . He is now the manager of a large (very) shopping mall .
He is fascinated by my steam stock , and even a bit envious . So I said he'd get dirty so pay someone to build you one . He has yet to ask me to do so . Little swine .
Dive into steam , it is not a black art , and can be serious fun . Do not attempt to go for a massive steam garrett , start with a small 4x4 . Have fun is wot it's all abaht .
 
daveyb

daveyb

badger tickling, sheep worrying
25 Oct 2009
2,879
1
nr st andews scotch land
try and get to an open day at a garden or club,,, it really helps as every one gives tips and
you get to see plenty of locos and there differing scales and what they pull,,,,

radio control is so good,,, and i love coal burners,,,,

u tube good for info too,,,
 
maxi-model

maxi-model

UK/US/ROW steam narrow gauge railways 1:1
27 Oct 2009
4,529
146
Bucks/Oxon/Northants area
If you are going the live steam route - 7/8ths, 16/15 mm and 1:22.5/1:24 scales - then look to joining the Association of 16 mm Narrow Gauge Modelers (16 mm NGM). You don't need to be a modeler or into 16 mm scale (see above) but it does help to be (as)sociable. Take a look here https://www.16mm.org.uk/
Get hooked up with one of their very active local groups and look and learn. Max
 
dunnyrail

dunnyrail

DOGS, Garden Railways, Steam Trains, Jive Dancing,
25 Oct 2009
14,812
344
71
St.Neots Cambridgeshire UK
If you are going the live steam route - 7/8ths, 16/15 mm and 1:22.5/1:24 scales - then look to joining the Association of 16 mm Narrow Gauge Modelers (16 mm NGM). You don't need to be a modeler or into 16 mm scale (see above) but it does help to be (as)sociable. Take a look here https://www.16mm.org.uk/
Get hooked up with one of their very active local groups and look and learn. Max
Good advice, you may even luck out with someone in a group who has something good for sale at a good price. Plus of course they will have demonstrated it for you even let you have a go.
 
Zerogee

Zerogee

Clencher's Bogleman
25 Oct 2009
16,710
147
North Essex
So, Nordmij, did you make any decisions and take the plunge into the Dark Arts.....?

Jon.
 
GAP

GAP

G Scale trains, Lawn Bowls.
14 Jun 2011
2,453
14
65
Bundaberg Queensland, Australia
I bought an Accucraft "Ruby" to cut my teeth on and added an after market R/C kit. I built a tender to house the R/C gear.
It was simple to get running and from what I know it a good starter engine that has heaps of kitbash potential, google Vance Bass ruby modifications to see what can be done.
Mine has not run anywhere near as much as I would like but with impending retirement I'm sure it will clock up a few hours.
 
stevedenver

stevedenver

Registered
24 Oct 2009
5,351
29
I got into live steam a fewyears back.
I have an lgb frank s, and a roundhouse sandy river.

Get something new, and, of quality.
I love both, but the roundhouse is a joy.
It runs like a bmw or mercedes, smoothly,, strongly and reliably.

I was manual, but prefer RC.

Live steam is different than electric, for me, in that it takes prep, and isnt as spontaneous.
This is the joy, and, burden.

Its easy , provided....everything is in working order. I know nothing, other than how to light, lube, tighten screws, and, tweak a jet.

I am not a devotee, but do enjoy it a lot.

Its a very wonderful aspect of the hobby.
Like many things, price often reflects quality. Live steam is a lot more costly than electrics.
Dont go cheap.

I too would strongly recommend roundhouse. Quality and service. Ergonomic engineering, too, ie easy to fuel, water and control with hands.


Like not having an electric engine that balks, jumps, stalls, etc., smooth operation makes all the difference.

Speed control, especially with grades, is critical.
 
P

Paul M

Registered
25 Oct 2016
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Royston
I really can't recommend going to a garden meet strongly enough. You'lloyds get a much better idea of what's best for you, and lots of good advice. And tea, if you're good!
 
P

Paradise

Registered
28 Jan 2010
654
58
The first live steamer I bought was a second hand Roundhouse Lady Anne that was only about a year old.
Runs flawlessly with no problems. Now I have several more live steamers.
They now cost more than twice I paid for it new so I have no regrets.
 
Nordmij

Nordmij

Registered
12 Apr 2016
28
0
55
SS07PW
Well a long road later have had simple garden analogue out and up again as house move on the cards. Still only 3 things excite me like this, one is garden railway but now leaning towards the coal or gas areas, guitars and my other half. Lets see what wins out my fingers are crossed with steam i can say!
 
P

Paul M

Registered
25 Oct 2016
3,041
201
56
Royston
Well a long road later have had simple garden analogue out and up again as house move on the cards. Still only 3 things excite me like this, one is garden railway but now leaning towards the coal or gas areas, guitars and my other half. Lets see what wins out my fingers are crossed with steam i can say!
Nordmij. Without a doubt you're in for exciting times! A small word of caution though. If you are thinking about live steam in G or 16mm Scale, you'd be better trying a gas fired loco to start with. Coal fired engines are obviously brilliant, but they can be difficult to get the hang off and aren't the easiest of things to "test"! Try going to a local club and have a look see whats around
 
Rhinochugger

Rhinochugger

Retired Oik
27 Oct 2009
24,973
479
North West Norfolk
The only live steamer I have is an Accucraft Shay - absolutely no problem with controlling the speed as, being a geared loco, it only has one speed (like the real thing) which is dead slow >:)>:)>:)>:)>:)>:)