Gas Engine Magazine


By Staff

Scale engines

It’s been a little quiet on the scale engine front, a fact that
struck me as I looked through photos of reader Mel Hofer’s
excellent scale engine projects.

Longtime readers will remember that many years ago, C.H. Wendel
started the first department in the magazine devoted to scale
engines. A few years ago, we picked up the subject again, with
scale engine enthusiast Rusty Hopper leading the charge.

Rusty, a hardcore scale engine enthusiast, has a great
appreciation for the skill and craftsmanship that goes into
building these pintsized engines. But time brings change, and with
new challenges at work and home Rusty found he wasn’t able to give
the department the effort he felt it deserved.

For the past few years, the department has existed on a sort of
hit-and-miss basis, appearing only as readers sent in photos of
their latest projects.

But if this issue is any indicator, the interest in scales is in
an upswing. For proof, just look at the three pages of readers’
scale engine projects we’re featuring in this issue starting on
page 40.

First is reader David Cox, who shares his latest Nick Rowland
project, an IC atmospheric engine. Next is William Gorman, showing
off his fabulous, scratch-built Waterloo Boy Model T. And last but
not least, Mel shares with us a box full of different projects he’s
been working on over the years, ranging from scratch-built hot air
engines to hit-and-miss engines built from plans.

I’ve never built a scale engine, but it’s high on my list of
gotta-dos. All it took was one visit to the Cabin Fever model
engine show in York, Pa., a few years ago, and I was hooked.

From simple scratch-built hot air engines to complex
double-acting compound gas engines, the range of scale engines
enthusiasts build is nothing short of amazing.

The great thing about scales is you can pick your own skill
level and move into the hobby slowly. And from what I’ve seen, your
skill and your level of involvement tend to grow rapidly once
you’ve made that first engine. And it helps some of us that
building scale engines doesn’t require a garage; you can set up a
shop in the basement.

It’s an engaging, rewarding part of our passion for old iron,
and I’d like to see a lot more of your scale engine in these

So don’t be bashful. If you’ve built a scale engine, share it
with the rest of us. Scratch-built or made from patterns, get out
the camera, take some photos and tell us what you’ve made and what
it involved.

Richard Backus


U.S.P.S. #214560

Founded in 1966 by Rev. Elmer Ritzman

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Bill Uhler


Richard Backus, Editor-in-Chief

Erin Shipps, Associate Editor

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  • Published on Apr 1, 2007
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