Internal Combustion engines (IC Engines),
These types of engines are not so popular amongst
model engineers as are stationary steam engines and locomotives
So why do we make them?
Maybe to power a model - boats, aircraft, land vehicles,
Maybe as a challenge, to prove that we can actually make
something that works.
Maybe just as a change from other projects.
Possibly a combination of all.
In general, IC engines require rather more
accurate work in order to get them working well than do
steam engines. The sense of achievement when one bursts
into life for the first time is wonderful. Of course once
that initial euphoria is over, the detail adjustments and
modifications needed to get it running really well can be
quite time consuming and even disheartening. But the next
one will be better, won't it!
All sorts are made - from simple single
cylinder aero engines to complex scale models.
Some folk like to design their own engines
but rather more go for established designs - these have been
available from the 1930's. Some are intended to be built using
castings whilst others are designed to be machined from the
One of the most prolific designers was Edgar
Westbury who wrote for the Model Engineer magazine from
the 1930's until the 60's during which time he produced
over 30 IC engine designs all of them requiring castings
which at that time were readily available. These days, the
drawings are still available, but castings are commercially
available for only 7 or 8 of the more popular designs.