HOME Collection SEL/Merit

SEL 1560 Steam Launch Unit


The 1560 was the odd one out of the SEL range for several reasons. In fact it was not made by J&L Randal, but by Midland Models. It was a completely different design of cylinder, much larger in size than the other SEL engines. It was an engine unit on it's own with no boiler etc. and was designed to be fitted into a model boat, along with a boiler from elsewhere. SEL never supplied a suitable boat hull or any model containing this engine under their own name (to my knowledge). Surplus stock of these engines were sold to Mamod to be fitted into their ME3, complete with Mamod boiler. (see here)

It has a 7/16"diameter cylinder with a 1/2" stroke. The flywheel is only 15/16" diameter but is still quite heavy being 5/8" thick solid brass. The whole is mounted in a substantial solid brass frame and is not inclined. In this form, the output shaft is plain with no fittings.

This example, as purchased, was mounted on a wooden base, which didn't do it justice. I have removed it and fitted a pair of aluminium bars to support it.

Since writing the above, the paint started flaking badly. I'm not sure if this was the original paint, but it began to look quite bad. I, therefore, decided to repaint it and, give the brass a good polish. This condition is shown in the photos.

The bottom picture on the left is taken from SEL's catalogue. The following is also quoted from there:

'STEAM LAUNCH UNIT No. I S60 Export Code No. 306
A lightweight precision made power unit for fitting into model boats. Very powerful, built to highest standards of materials and specifications. Packed in coloured carton. Size of base : 1 3/8" x 1 1/4". Height 2 1/8". Nett weight : 6 1/2 ozs.'

Make Model Made Description Cylinders Cylinder Type
SEL 1560 marine c1950s? Steam Launch Unit 1 Single acting
Piston Diam mm Stroke mm Valve Type Boiler Type Fuel Mechanical Condition
11 13 Oscillating Cylinder

Cosmetic Condition Paintwork Packaging Purchased Purchase cost Additional cost
Good Original
Nov 2006 18.55