15 Mell Drive N. Babylon, New York 11703
Out East, about as far as you can go, the hobby is flourishing!
Some friends and I have been in this hobby for many years and we
enjoy the people as well as the hobby and the fun of making old
iron work again, as well as 'modeling', steam and
These close-up snapshots are of a 1/5
scale upright IHC Famous I have jus completed.
I became acquainted with Jim May from Sandwich, Illinois, about
two years ago when his 1/5 scale Sandwich
engine appeared on the back cover of the October 1992 issue of GEM.
I wrote Jim for castings and drawings. He also sent me a list of
other engine kits he had, and said that he was just finishing a
1/5 scale IHC Famous, vertical engine. I just
had to have that model kit! About a month later I received the
U.P.S. shipment of both kits (Sandwich and IHC). The drawings came
by regular mail.
As I workedon the engine I enjoyed the ease with which
everything went. By starting with the base (which houses the fuel
tank) and painting as I went along, the engine began to take shape
fast. Once the big work (base, crank-case, cylinder, crankshaft and
fly wheels) was done, the interesting work (for me anyway) was now
at hand. Having what basically looked like an engine sitting in
front of me I began to study the drawings to see where I would
start. A tough decision because there are a lot of parts to make.
Jim has all the parts broken down into groups and numbers, the
drawings by group and print number. If you obtain one of his kits,
and have a problem, refer to these numbers to aid in ease of
answering the problem. If you enjoy all the neat little brackets,
what nots and do-dads, this is it!
After many hours of enjoyable machining, filing and grinding, I
was down to the final pieces. The igniter! These parts are small
but not impossible. A little time and patience and you will have a
little jewel of an igniter with the springs, points and trip finger
all working smoothly.
After a little over 100 hours part time (an hour or so every
night and a few hours on the weekends), I had a very rewarding
piece of work. Jim suggests motoring (belt up to an electric motor)
for about a half hour or so to help set the rings and at the same
time you can check and retighten all those loose nuts and bolts
that you forgot to Loctite. It works and will save a lot of time
and aggravation in the long run. The engine will start easier the
first time and the more times it's run, the easier it is to
Jim May's address is 808 Elm Street, Sandwich, IL
60548. Write him a letterhe's always working up something