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.

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.

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.

Voie Libre 117

Francois Fontana    [Publisher:  LR Presse  2024]    Magazine    80 pages

The second edition of this magazine that I have so far taken into stock, and as idiosyncratic and delightful as ever. The cover really draws you in, featuring a narrow gauge layout that goes under the byline of "1/32 Sinister Gherkins", the splendid creation of Michael K.B., a 1/32 scale narrow gauge line (running on 16.5mm) that runs from a gherkin canning factory to a gherkin distillery in a delightful flight of fantasy, all staged in individual boxed scenes with lots of figures(!) This edition's central "folder" with excellent 1/43 plans and lots of prototype information covers the railcars of the Economiques des Charentes, great modelling subjects, while the "building" feature covers O gauge Heywood-esque narrow gauge wagons built in wood on N scale wagon chassis. The "scenery" feature rather undersells its subject, a terrific working model of a French version of Volks' "Daddy Long Legs" at Brighton, the prototype being at St Malo. This edition's "technique" feature has Eric Fresne creating unique transfers for his wagons, while the layout plan is "My father's mine", a neat wordplay and a fascinating and humbling bit of modelling history that leads into an interesting two level layout idea. At the other end of the technological scale, but with considerable craft, seven participants create some really lovely Billard "DK Sets" in H0-9. These are for a great layout "A night in the Peloponese", also fully featured in this issue, and accompanying this is an article on the prototype, the Diakopto- Kalavyryta rack railway - of which I knew nothing until now. Alain Miglierina combines an old Jouef motor trolley mechanism with plastikard and paper to produce a Gn15 motor trailer and finally Eric Fresne demystifies DCC, using (joy of joys as I use them) the Z21 Multimaus. I'm still confused, but there is a lot of useful looking stuff here to explore(!) In addition to reviews of models and items of interest, including James Hilton's Small Layout Design Handbook, a feature records the sad passing of Andreas Schonfield, the man responsible for the joyful rejuvenation pf MinitrainS. All in all, this is another great and inspiring read from LR Presse.