What appears to "throw" most people who want to "get into" steam is the boiler. Our engines are shipped assembled, ready to run. All you have to do is apply pressure.
Filling a boiler, firing it up, and watching the pressure gauge, sight glass, furnace and the rest seem to intimidate a lot of people. You can take smaller steps.
First, you can simply plug compressed air into the opening for steam. Compressed air will make the engine rotate and illustrate the principle.
Second, you don't have to start with a full-fledged boiler. You can use a pressure cooker from K-Mart (about $80.00) as a boiler. You'll only get about 15 psi of steam pressure and the steam won't last very long but you will have made it work. Most "steam experts" (or people who consider themselves such) frown on such a "shortcut" but we're after results, not public approval.
Third, now that you're familiar with pressure from compressed air and a small boiler, all you have to do is "scale it up."
If you later decide to order one of our steam engines, deduct whatever you have paid for any of our steam books, prints, or videos from the price of the steam engine.