Model Techniques, Construction

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Building Bridges and Viaducts For Model Railways

Bob Alderman    [Publisher:  Crowood Press  2014]    Softback    192 pages

Written with a deal of care and thought by well known railway modeller Bob Alderman, this book does a very good job of covering its subject. Starting with a useful and properly anotated introduction to prototype bridges (I now know that the bridge across my path is a Pratt Truss) Bob goes on to illustrate design details and different types of bridge before tackling the actual construction of model structures. Bob has built several bridge structures over the years that he shows us, together with some work of other modellers, but in writing this book he built several bridges and the result is an excellent and well illustrated stage by stage account of "how to do it". The results achieved are very convincing, including the painting and weathering of the finished structures and I also thought the techniques were innovative and original. In summary I have no hesitation in recommending this well put together book to anyone interested in the subject.

Creating Realistic Landscapes for Model Railways

Tony Hill    [Publisher:  Crowood Press  2010]    Softback    156 pages

Written by an accomplished and practising railway modeller (his previous book on tree modelling from Irwell was a sell out) this is an easy to read and accessible guide to capturing the natural world in miniature for model railways. Illustrated in full colour throughout with both actual and model pictures, and showing and discussing tools materials and techniques in some detail, this is an encouraging "hands on" guide to its subject. I was especially impressed with the section on trees and also walling, with some of the best results I've seen being achieved in these areas.

Landscape Modelling

Barry Norman    [Publisher:  Wild Swan  1986]    Softback    66 pages

An inspiring book, visually pleasing but also very practical in its advice on techniques for model railway scenery. Although the author is very skilled, and the book illustrates some of the most convincing model scenes ever created, the author does not "talk down" to the beginner and the methods and ideas he describes are easy to understand and adopt.

Locomotive Kit Chassis Construction In 4mm

Iain Rice    [Publisher:  Wild Swan  1993]    Softback    158 pages

A very comprehensive work covering the construction of kit chasses for both OO and scale gauge 4mm railways. All sorts of components from Romfords to state of the art Ultrascale wheels are considered.

Locomotive Modelling From Scratch and Etched Kits Part One

Geoff Holt    [Publisher:  Wild Swan  2012]    Softback    108 pages

This book, it seems to me, is both a practical guide to the business of model locomotive construction and also an interesting account of how the hobby has changed and developed since The Second World War. Geoff's own model building "career" started with a chance friendship with a like minded German prisoner of war and has since involved him since with many of the leading names in the hobby. Very well illustrated throughout with colour photography and numerous sketches and line drawings, the book starts with a more or less general introduction to tools, materials and techniques before embarking upon a "signature model", the Great Central's "Immingham" class 4-6-0. Two of these are to be built in 7mm scale, one from scratch and the other from a kit, and this first volume will take us as far as the rolling chassis, with part two due next year taking us to the completion of the job. Well written, informative and a novel approach to its subject, all as well produced as you would expect from Paul Karau and Wild Swan.

Locomotive Modelling From Scratch And Etched Kits Part Two

Geoff Holt    [Publisher:  Wild Swan  2013]    Softback    144 pages

The second part of Geoff Holt's personal approach to locomotive building, getting down to the "nitty gritty" of actual building from the running plate and upwards, through to traction testing and painting, with a final chapter covering the basic use of a lathe. Geoff sadly passed away just after having completed the proofs for this second volume, but this and the earlier volume on his art and craft form a very fine and fitting tribute to the man and the beautiful railway models that he created. As well produced as you would expect from Wild Swan, with more colour than has been usual and all very clearly and informatively laid out.

Modelling Grassland & Landscape Detailing

Gordon Gravett    [Publisher:  Wild Swan  2013]    Softback    112 pages

Gordon moves on to ground cover in his third book on scenic techniques for Wild Swan, setting out to demonstrating how a scene can be brought to life through the use of scatters, fibres, grits and powders. He gives some thought to the issue of colouring and also covers wild flowers, hedges, puddles, wet areas and rivers. Superb all colour photography throughout and illustrated with examples of Gordon's very believable work.

Modelling Trees Part One - Broadleaf Trees

Gordon Gravett    [Publisher:  Wild Swan  2011]    Softback    92 pages

An all colour guide to how Gordon Gravett creates his exquisite model trees, covering observation of the prototype, placing trees into a model scene and of course actually creating the models. Well written, beautifully observed, and a genuinely practical guide to modelling, detailing methods and materials in both words and clearly presented pictures. There are some really innovative ideas in here too, for example a nifty way of making birds nests and mistletoe. A really attractive book, even when judged by the high standards of this publisher.

Modelling Trees Part Two - Conifers

Gordon Gravett    [Publisher:  Wild Swan  2012]    Softback    92 pages

In this book Gordon makes a good case for conifers in the English landscape and then explains how to replicate them in miniature. Whilst some of the techniques are the same as for broadleaf varieties, Gordon highlights a number of novel methods that can produce stunningly good results. The whole is well illustrated in colour with both model and actual tree shots and the actual modelling methods and materials used, Well written and readable, this is another delight from one of our most talented modellers and foremost publishers.

Modelling With Plastic Structure Kits

Iain Rice    [Publisher:  Wild Swan  2014]    Softback    116 pages

A completely new edition of Iain Rice's deservedly popular book on getting the most from the "Wills" moulded plastic sheets, kits and scenic details. In addition to showing you how to build bridges stations and all sorts of other structures, now using colour photography throughout, there are informative and inspiring photographs of the "real thing" and Iain's excellent sketches show in detail the methods of construction adopted by the prototype. A final chapter covers painting and finishing techniques and it should also be said that throughout the book there is plenty of useful information for modelling fron scratch in styrene sheet. A great new edition from one of our best railway modelling authors, long may he continue.

Scratch-Building Model Railway Locomotives

Simon Bolton    [Publisher:  Crowood Press  2014]    Softback    192 pages

An approachable and nicely written book describing the author's approach to scratch building a J15 in 4mm scale. The book is well illustrated at all points of construction and also includes a good number of clear and attractively drawn sketches to illustrate various points. Techniques, tools and sources of information are also covered and I think Simon gives a good "feeling" for the pleasure to be gained from making things oneself.

A Scratchbuilders Guide to Semaphore Signal Construction

Peter Squibb    [Publisher:  Wild Swan  2010]    Softback    108 pages

A very well illustrated and informed guide to making signals, although I have a feeling that the words GWR ought to have been included somewhere in the title. Peter makes the most magnificent and authentic model signals, the results of meticulous and well observed modelling coupled with a knowledge of the subject gained from a lifetime spent working with the real thing. Subjects are mostly GWR as are a large majority of the photographs in the book, although the modelling techniques shown can obviously apply to any company's signals. There are some very good and original techniques shown, including the construction of lattice posts, and the whole book is beautifully produced and extremely well illustrated, with good use of colour photography for the models.

Whitemetal Locos

Iain Rice    [Publisher:  Wild Swan  1989]    Softback    64 pages

In his inimitable and readable style, Mr Rice explains how to extract the best from the various qualities (!) of whitemetal kits, including the remedying of faults and detailing.