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After Market Engines
Part One - 1/32 Scale

by Ray Peterson


Teknics Instructions





After seeing a post in the HyperScale’s “Plane Talking” discussion forum asking about replacement engines, I realized I had several examples at hand. I thought that an article discussing the differences might be a good idea. 

All photos are taken with an Epson Photo PC 800 Digital Camera with a couple different close-up lenses. The ability to add different lenses was one of the reasons I chose this camera over others. Lighting was provided with a photographer’s spotlight. 

Both engines in this review are of radial R2800’s. The two engines I have are an Engine & Things R2800-8W (for a F4u-1D) and Teknics R2800 that is supposed to encompass all types.



Engine & Things R2800-8W


The Engines & Things offering consists of 3 parts: the front bank of cylinders with front cover attached; the rear bank of cylinders with transmission attached; and some yet to be identified small detail parts. These pieces are cast in a grey, somewhat soft resin. Some of the detail is a little on the fuzzy side.


The Cons 

Some casting errors are apparent. The electrical distribution collar has some warpage, and the second bank has some misshapen detail. There is also a small amount of flash at the seams on top of each cylinder. This will be tricky to clean up. On the positive side, there are very few air bubble holes and no plugs to cut off.  

The cylinders have wiring molded on their face, though wiring is not shown that would go to the back of the cylinders, nor is any form of additional wiring provided. This leaves me to believe the cylinders were cast from some kit, though I have not found a kit with cylinders that match (I have checked Revell’s P47 and Corsair, and Hasegawa’s F6f).  

Adding wiring to this engine will probably be difficult. No exhaust piping is included to attach to the rear of the engine. The instructions are simply photocopies of pictures of various R2800 engines, some drawings of engine mounts, intake and exhaust systems. Not too much help unless you have some good references yourself. The same instructions are used for all variants of the R2800.


The Pros

Even considering the faults of this offering, it is an improvement over most kit engines in this scale. The cylinders look right in shape and size. Most of the molding flaws are in areas that will not be seen once installed in an aircraft, unless panels are opened. Other than cleanup, there is very little to construction.  

It is also readily available. I usually source them from Aviation Usk, http://www.povn.com/avusk, though you need to get the catalog to see the entire line. Aviation Usk’s catalog is the size of Squadron’s, but entirely devoted to aircraft stuff. And 5 pages are devoted to Engine & Things offerings! The list isn’t as extensive for 1/32nd scale, but they do offer a large list of R2800 variants for US$16.45 each. 


Teknics R2800


The Teknics engine is literally a model in itself. Consisting of 50 resin parts, the detail is exquisite. The moldings are in a light tan resin and are beautifully cast with sharp detail. All cylinders are individually cast and exhaust piping is also included. Location holes are provided for all wiring and piping in the main components. Parts are included for both early and late models of R2800’s and practically any version can be constructed.


The Cons   

This engine is a kit unto itself. It will need some time to construct. Individual actuator rods and wiring will have to be cut and installed. These are not included in the set. This makes for a total of 72 pieces in addition to the 50 in the kit. 

Time will also be required removing parts from their molding plugs. Some parts should be removed very carefully, such as the electrical distribution harness and the exhaust piping. 

While molding is nearly flawless, there are a few bolts missing in the late front cover, as can be seen in the detail photo. These should be easily replaced with Grandt Line bolts however. That is about the only flaw I have found so far, appearing on both my samples.

The instructions are pretty basic, and do not give much of a guideline to assist with detail placement on different versions. The instructions are actually used for all scales of engine they offer, but etched brass parts shown are not included in the 1/32nd scale set.

Another problem may be availability. I bought two - one each from Great Models: http://www.greatmodels.com and Aviation Usk. It took forever to get them from each place, and now it is listed as out of production on the Great Models site. It is also available from Meteor Production’s site: http://www.meteorprod.com, which I discovered just recently (so many sites, so little time!). Price is US$14.95.

The Pros 

This will be a beautiful engine when done. It is going to make you want to open those access panels to show it off. You will also have extra parts for the spares box that will be usable for detailing other kit engines. The locator dimples should make installation, especially the wiring and actuator rods, easy.






The Teknics engine is definitely the best aftermarket offering in terms of detail. The flexibility of separate parts to create different versions is a huge plus. And the price is actually less than the Engine & Things offerings.

The Engine & Things castings are fine if you don’t want a superdetailed engine. They also offer many engines and variants of engines. My opinion on Engine & Things offerings is the smaller the scale the better. Their 1/72nd scale engines work great, the 1/48th scale stuff is good, and the 1/32nd scale engines are pretty rough for that scale. They would be better off with a few more pieces for the larger scales. They do give you a casting of the main works behind the engine, but you will need to add a lot of detailing for all the plumbing.

Taking this casting and adding it to a Teknics engine with additional detailing would give you an entire powerplant assembly. I’ll let someone else attempt it first! 


Model, Text and Images Copyright © 2000 by Ray Peterson
Page Created 14 April, 2000
Last Updated 26 July, 2007

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