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Lutz Hielscher is truly a great model engineer. His company has many great products from simple toy steam engines to very complex steam toys and minature models His web site is worth viewing.

The Company History  
Lutz Hielscher’s special technical toy store had its beginnings in 1972.

It was then that Mr. Hielscher, whilst visiting the medieval village of Hythe in southern England, saw a typically British gadget shop where an historic model steam engine was on display. After some tough negotiations with the shopkeeper and having promised never to sell it, he was able to purchase the handcrafted replica engine. After only a couple of months, he had extended his collection by adding further models to the small centre-piece he had bought in England. He bagan to build exact replicas of well-known steam locomotives, such as the ledgendary Adler. Before long, his hobby became a part of his business - he ran a company called Metafot which produced moulded metal parts - when he diversified into model steam engine production.

In 1985 Lutz Hielscher sold Metafot, although he retained the model steam engine manufacturing branch, and trading came to a halt for a few years.

The history of the steam engine has been brought to life in Hielscher's lovingly and accurately restored forge. All of the things that attract collectors and admirers of steam engine gadgets are to be found here, such as unique, antique models, handmade replicas of historic machines, construction kits and components, and much more. In addition, the development and construction of Hielscher’s own products, such as steam powered train sets and steam machines, is once again running at full speed ahead.


When I saw my first Hielscher engine it was about 5 years ago at Cabin Fever. I knew then that I wanted at least one of the simple mini series of steam toys he produced in either fully assembled or kit form. My dream came true this Christmas as there was not 1 but 2 of Lutz's steam kits under the Christmas tree. The first one that I opened was an HO scale Steam Drasine and the 2nd. one was the NEW Steam Gondola. Santa made a small mistake and must have ordered the fully assembled gondola instead of the kit but I was very happy to have it. I felt like I was 12 again!


Bright an early the very next day I broke open the box to "build" my new Steam Drasine. It comes fully machined and is easily assembled by most people. A knowledge of steam engines and mechanical ability comes in handy as the instructions are not very well detailed






Shown he picture on the right is the main engine assembly. The parts are very small so be sure and work over a place so if you should drop something it will not be "lost" forever. I waited until my wive went to work and built my new toy on the kitchen table. If you look close you can see the crank and rod journal. These parts screw into place. There is even a small slot in the end of the crank pin so it may be tightened with a jewelers screwdriver.


After about two hours of fun I had my Draisine complete and ready for the test run. When I installed the track wheels I made sure that they were close enough together so that it would go around an 8" radius turn without binding or derailing. I want to build a small display for this and my new Gondola and want as small as footprint as possible. It being such a short wheelbase it probably won't be a problem. The thing that has bugged me from the start of this project is what is a Draisine? Well I just had to look and see what that word meant in English. The translation I found was hand trolley.

Now for the FUN!






Notice the o-ring which holds the cylinder to the valve porting.

Watch for my Gondola next!

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