Painting, Finishing, Layout Planning

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The Art of Railway Modelling

James Hilton    [Publisher:  Wild Swan  2023]    Softback    104 pages

In this book, James Hilton develops the ideas and themes of his earlier "Small Layout Design Handbook" around the notion that we could, or perhaps even should, consider and talk about our model creations in terms of their being "art". He starts off by explaining what he means and then considers how we construct and approach our models from an "artistic" perspective. Over half the book consists of newly developed layout themes, considered here as "stage sets", covering a wide range of prototype themes, including North American ideas and prototypes.

Building a Model Railway - Designing a Layout

Barry Norman    [Publisher:  Wild Swan  1997]    Softback    106 pages

An original and inspiring book on how to design model railways. Drawing on experience gained with projects such as Inkerman Street and North Shields, the author gets right down to basic and useful features of design that can be applied to any model. A good idea are the photocopyable template sections to aid the planning process - an excellent book. On page 10 there is an excellent detailed view of a dairy siding, if anyone knows where the place was I would dearly like to know. The caption reveals no clues to its location although it looks like a Western Region installation to me.

Peco Compendium of Track Plans For Layouts To Suit All Locations

Steve Flint    [Publisher:  Peco  2015]    Softback    62 pages

Large format, well produced, with full colour plans and photographic accompaniments of both prototypes and models. I think this is really useful, a good selection and number of plans and schemes, acknowledging some of the notable modellers and themes from the last 40 years or so and covering predominantly N and OO scales.

Designs for Urban Layouts

Iain Rice    [Publisher:  Atlantic  2002]    Softback    80 pages

A very inspiring and readable book, proving that the author has lost none of his wit and artistry over the last decade or so, and returning to mainland Britain for inspiration. Using prototype photographs and the author's distinctive and attractive sketches, different ideas and themes are worked up into mini layouts, working dioramas and complete layout schemes. I personally like the intelligently discussed references to other people's layouts and ideas and think that there is a lot of truth and interest in what is said. By the way, the "unrecalled" location of the rather eye catching photograph on page 27 is where the S&DJR crossed the Lower Bristol Road on its ascent out of Bath, only the pub on the left still survives.

Geoff Williams' Aylesbury LNWR Researching and Modelling the Prototype

Bob Williams    [Publisher:  Wild Swan  2021]    Softback    120 pages

Written by Bob Williams, Geoff's son, this fully illustrated book describes Geoff Williams famous EM model of the LNWR station in Aylesbury, the World's first branch line. The first section describes the building and restoration of the model and the second all of the research that went into creating it, including site photographs, maps, historic documents and sketches made by Geoff himself. The book features full signalling details, comprehensive photographic coverage of all related structures, together with extensive information on the trains that used the branch and how Geoff modelled them. Apart from being a great book on how to set about modelling any prototype, and the techniques you might use to create it, this is also a wonderful personal account of one man's lifetime and his hobby. Beautifully laid out and designed by Steve Phillips and including a real wealth of information on modelling techniques, including Geoff's very effective use of perspective modelling. Although I may be biased as I had a hand in producing it, I think this book is as good as anything that has ever been produced before in terms of explaining and conveying the satisfaction and joy to be had from immersing oneself in the wonderful hobby of railway modelling.

Metallics Vol. 1

Fernando Vallejo    [Publisher:  AK Interactive  2015]    Softback    84 pages

This is the first of two very visual guides to applying metallic finishes to models, this covering a general introduction to the subject and application to planes and vehicles. Some truly stunning effects in this all colour production.

Metallics Vol. 2

Fernando Vallejo    [Publisher:  AK Interactive  2016]    Softback    88 pages

The second of two books on applying metallic finishes to models, this one covering figures.

A Modellers Handbook of Painting and Lining

Ian Rathbone    [Publisher:  Wild Swan  2008]    Softback    154 pages

A very complete account of how an experienced painter sets about finishing railway models. Right through from tools, materials, preparation, cleaning, priming, top coating and the multifarious complexities of lining, every single stage is explained and illustrated in great detail. Apart from a very few prototype reference shots, every single photograph in this book is in colour - a first for Wild Swan and beautifully and believably printed too. The only thing is that the quality of Ian's work is so good that it makes me wonder whether I could or would ever produce anything even approaching his standard. Patience and practice are the keys according to Ian. Oh well - I believe he accepts commissions!

Small Layout Design Handbook

James Hilton    [Publisher:  Wild Swan  2023]    Softback    80 pages

In this book James Hilton takes a fresh look at small layouts and how to design them. Profusely illustrated with photographs, sketches and plans, the book takes us through completed projects, design considerations and sources of inspiration before presenting 24 practical layout ideas to either follow or provide inspiration for your own ideas. Themes and prototypes considered are wide ranging, covering narrow gauge, industrial and some North American and International subjects too. A thought provoking read, thinking as widely as Iain Rice and with ideas as novel and inspiring as those of the late and much missed Carl Arend. This book really does demonstrate that small in size does not mean small in ambition or enjoyment! This is a very minorly revised reprint of the original book.