Modelling General, Scale Drawings

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British Toy Trains

Michael D Foster    [Publisher:  Author  2015]    Softback    132 pages

A nicely produced softback to the same format as the old "New Cavensish" series, this book is the first of four planned which covers the "also ran" model railway manufacturers, this first volume covering Whitanco, Burnett, Chad Valley, Palitoy and Astra. A lot of these trains now look completely barking, but I have learned that a somewhat battered signal in my possession was made by "Whitanco" and overall this a very nice book on a charming subject.

Drawn & Described

Tim Rayner & Ian Beattie    [Publisher:  Peco  2001]    Hardback    112 pages

Having read the pre publication information on this book, I was unsure that the finished article was going to be very good. Once I had got my hands on it however, I was very pleasantly surprised. Well printed onto quality art paper and attractively bound into a large format, the book features 54 of Ian's drawings complete with his readable descriptions and very clear photographs of each subject. The scale drawings are all to 4mm scale and the format makes photocopying from the book easy.

Modelling Railways In O Gauge

John Emerson    [Publisher:  Crowood Press  2016]    Softback    192 pages

A readable, practical and pragmatic guide to the delights of modelling in O gauge, written by a well regarded and widely experienced modeller. John's CV includes editing British Railway Modelling for a number of years and taking his large O gauge model "Gifford Street" on the exhibition circuit. Nicely produced and illustrated with good quality photographs, I would say that a strength of this book is its awareness of the current offerings from the model trade. Also featured are various sketches of layout ideas, pictures of completed layouts and stock and some charming glimpses from the past.

Planning, Designing And Making Railway Layouts In Small Spaces

Richard Bardsley    [Publisher:  Crowood Press  2013]    Softback    144 pages

The author has been editor of the N Gauge Society Journal for 12 years and has written extensively in the Model Press on various aspects of railway modelling, but in this book he discusses how to make interesting and practical model railways in small spaces. Well illustrated and practical, and covering both OO and N gauge, I think this book genuinely addresses its subject in a useful way It raises and discusses issues that might not occur to some of us already in the hobby but is equally well aimed at the newcomer to the hobby. My only reservation is that there is a bit of an odd colour cast to several pictures, but this is a very minor point.

Peco Guide Railway Modelling & Layout Construction

Steve Flint    [Publisher:  Peco  2014]    Softback    122 pages

I think this is a really good manual of railway modelling for anyone starting or contemplating a return to the hobby. It is published by Peco and features their products in it's "how to" guides but not at the expense of any other company's products and in any case if you are going into the hobby you can't do better than start with Peco track and accessories anyway. Having been in the shop for three years now, I have a feel for the sort of questions that people ask, and it seems to me that this publications answers most of them. The illustrations and explanations are first class and the whole thing is attractive and appealing, it is produced in full colour and features a good cross section of railway layouts and models across the three popular scales.

Let's Stick A Little Bit More

Steve Knight    [Publisher:  Irwell Press  2012]    Hardback    216 pages

A new edition of a 1998 book, much enlarged and with a lot more colour photography. This is a fascinating story of post war enterprise, the British toy industry, and the remarkably good range of plastic construction kits that were developed by Eric Smith's Rosebud Kitmaster company. After financial problems in the parent dolls business, receivers had to be appointed and Kitmaster was sold to Airfix, who developed the range further and sold thousands upon thousands of kits. Even today, directly descendant kits can still be purchased from the current day "Dapol" organisation. Superb box artwork, marketing material and the models themselves are all very well illustrated and the author picks a number of favourite kits throughout the book and gives them a very detailed analysis - this is a great read and a real blast of nostalgia for those of a certain age.

Unconsidered Trifles Images of the everyday for modellers and artists

Geoff Kent    [Publisher:  Wild Swan  2020]    Softback    64 pages

In this book, noted artist modeller Geoff Kent takes us on a fascinating pictorial tour around the lesser known reminders of past ages that have inspired him to make his beautifully observed and executed models. The theme is one of details, buildings and other structures that still exist, and with a few exceptions everything in this book can still be seen today. These all colour images reveal the extraordinary legacy of style, design and materials that made the British Isles such a fascinating subject to travel through and observe, certainly up until the modern era of bland conformity and unimaginative money driven dullness to which so much of our built environment has fallen prey. Certain parts of the British Isles feature more than others in these photographs in this book, largely based upon where the author has lived and worked, but these sorts of details are still to be found everywhere around us and as Geoff says are worthy of attention with camera or sketchbook before they disappear.