Hit - and - Miss

Hit-and-Miss Engine

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rbackus@ogdenpubs.com

Scale engines are building big interest these days. One look at this issue goes a long way toward confirming that thought, with no fewer than seven pages devoted to the pastime of building scale (or 'model') engines.

Writing in his monthly column on page 6, Rusty Hopper gives readers' impressions of the 2004 North American Model Engineering Society Exposition held in Southgate, Mich., this past April. While stationary engines - both gas and steam - are a big part of the movement in scale engines, devotees craft remarkable miniatures of just about everything under the sun, from twin-cam, eight-valve, four-cylinder Offenhausers to 18-cylinder radial airplane engines. Amazing stuff, and it just keeps coming.

We're privileged to have well-known scale engine builder Dick Upshur write in this issue, sharing his experience in the scale engine hobby (page 16), and Jim Limacher likewise takes readers through a listing of engines he's had the pleasure to build (page 29).

The drive to craft scales and offer castings to hobbyists is strong, and continues to grow. Red Wing Motor Co. (660-428-2288), well known for its 1/4-scale Red Wing Thorobred hopper-cooled engine, has introduced a 1/3-scale version of the Red Wing 2-1/2 HP air-cooled engine. Bob Bank (503-472-0282) recently introduced a new 1/3-scale of the 1903 Red Devil 2-1/2 HP vertical, and Rocky's Model Engines (503-399-8039; has a new 1/2-scale 1 HP Root & VanDervoort available. And the folks at Morrison & Martin (www.morrisonandmartin.com), who wowed many of us with their scale Mery Explosive, are currently gearing up a scale Gade. Clearly, interest in small engines is big. Some do it for love, others for money, but either way the scale-engine enthusiast is the winner.

Regular readers will note the absence in this issue of Glenn Karch's regular column on Hercules gas engines. Not to worry, Glenn hasn't left us, he's just taking a breather from his normal beat to write about the rare 3 HP side shaft Perkins Windmill Co. engine he recently restored. Glenn had his eye on this engine for years - over 25, in fact - and he finally got his chance to secure and restore it (page 24). Glenn returns next issue with more on the voluminous offerings of the Hercules Gas Engine Co.