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Steam Engine

Airfix 1/32 1804 Steam Engine


Date of Review February 2009 Manufacturer Airfix
Subject 1804 Steam Engine Scale 1/32
Kit Number 5871 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Interesting subject Cons Nothing noted
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $22.99


Richard Trevithick was a young engineer but was responsible for one of the most important of all inventions - the first steam locomotive. In 1795, when he was only 25 years old, Trevithick was building working models of high-pressure steam engines. Cornish tin and Welsh coal miners used his early engines to power carts from 1800, and, in 1804 his first steam locomotive, the Penydarren, was unveiled and ran at the heart-stopping speed of 5 m.p.h. The most revolutionary feature of Trevithick's 1804 locomotive was the fact that it had smooth wheels operating on smooth metal rails. Until Trevithick's achievement, engineers has said it was impossible to run an engine on non-geared track, but he had proved them wrong and the golden era of the steam locomotive had begun.


The kit comes in green plastic parts. The instruction sheet includes 10 steps.

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There is a mistake in step two: parts 4 and 6 are switched.

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Sanding! This is the most important job for this nice kit. Getting clean parts took some hours.

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Three colors were airbrushed: grey (Humbrol matt 27) on main parts and matt black to get contrast. Brass color was obtained with brass liquid leaf (connoisseur studio).

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Metallic effect consisted in brushing graphite powder on painted parts.

Every axle was replaced by real metal parts (three diameters). Handles were made with copper wire.

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Superglue was used to glue most of the parts.