Model Workshops
An engine on its own is just that......and even the most avid fan grows tired of watching the wheels go round. That is why a lot of collectors branch out into these driving models, which are available in a truly staggering variety.....for a taste of what's out there, visit Les Marsh's website!
Personally I think engines are at their very best when they're working hard......they run at a more realistic speed and start to make the "chuffing" sound we assocuate with steam engines.


Bowman / Wormar workshop
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Consists of four Bowman driving models. a Doll lineshaft and a Wormar Super C engine. This is all bona fide Bowman style, as Geoffrey Jenkins imported his driving models from Germany, where they were made by....you guessed it.....Doll & Cie. The drill and press I've had for a while, but the bandsaw and tablesaw where sourced for my by my steam mates IndianaRog and Peter "RocDoc" B. respectively - so a big thankyou to both these fine gentlemen!
The simulated tile base I thought was in keeping with the designs of the 1920s and '30s. It's paper, sourced from a dolls house supply shop, and varnished with antique pine finish varnish to age it a bit. Finally, the Wormar engine drives the whole setup with a Binns Rd. era Meccano drive chain......lots of very satisfying whirring and clanking going on, and the Wormar has NO problem pulling this setup at all.



Wilesco workshop


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I was a lucky boy and was given quite a few Wilesco driving models on my tenth birthday, and I've bought a few more since! This lot is a firm favourite with my children - bright colours, lots of movement and a saw to cut matchsticks in half! Some of the models like the planer (lower left hand corner) are now quite rare.

It can be seen in this video.





Unidentified workshop
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Very lightweight, but great fun to see in action, especially that big log saw.





Oesterwitz workshop
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Oesterwitz models were made in the former DDR (East Germany) - I believe these models are from the late fifties or early sixties. The lovely reciprocating saw I got from Dampfzauberer, the other two are eBay finds, along with the lineshaft. Like all these DDR models they are very solidly made - more working models than toys, and that was in fact how they were sold. They were very much "Bonzenspielzeug" - rich kids toys. A toy steam engine in the former DDR would cost about a month's wages for the average labourer. Oesterwitz also made fantastically refined bakelite driving models.


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Possibly my favourite workshop! EKT (Elektro- und Kleintechnik) made these models in Dresden, in the same timeframe as the Oesterwitz models, and they are even more refined......they have working oil cups, tool cabinets, the chuck and transport on the drill press are fully functional....again, more miniatures than toys. I drive these models with 2mm nitrile rubber o ring material - I think it looks better than spring bands, and it is certainly more effective.

Prefo Workshop

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Another East German beauty....made in the 1980s, these models are plastic! The lineshaft is EKT.