Painting, Finishing, Layout Planning

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The Art of Weathering

Martyn Welch    [Publisher:  Wild Swan  1994]    Softback    112 pages

A superb book, a practical manual of how to weather model railways of both historic and modern eras, but a book which is also a delight to look through for the sheer artistry of the results achieved by the author. One slight word of caution, the techniques assume the use of an airbrush, although the principles guiding the application of paint apply equally well to all methods.

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.

Building Micro Layouts Design Tips, Techniques and Project Plans

Paul A Lunn    [Publisher:  Santona  2009]    Softback    64 pages

I find layout planning books, with few exceptions, to be fatally fascinating. A diverting sequence of someone else's schemes, all with the potential to deliver endless hours of vicarious pleasure whilst achieving nothing. Of course some might just inspire a reader into building something, and this book may well come into that category. Building upon and referencing the author's various articles in "Railway Modeller" the book consists of a number of dimensioned and well reasoned layout ideas together with helpful observations and thoughts around the subject. Does it really hit the mark though? Carl Arendt, master of the Micro Layout genre, gave me this quote: "A well crafted, thoroughly thought-out and copiously illustrated book. Paul Lunn succeeds in connecting the design of micro layouts with the mainstream of British model railway practice... no small feat!". I think the implied criticism is fair, this book is mainstream. If you are looking for startling originality and a move away from RTR stock, 4mm scale and "Setrack" then this may not be for you. It's still good though and very nicely produced and printed to boot.

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.

Layout Designs for Operation

Stephen Rabone and Trevor Ridley    [Publisher:  Atlantic  2006]    Softback    96 pages

The first named author of this book has been responsible for two of the more interesting layouts to have appeared in the model press recently, in the form of "Hellifield" in 4mm scale and "Halifax Midland" ingeniously scratchbuilt in S scale. Both feature in this catholic collection of model railway ideas, half of which cover prototypes outside of the UK. Each idea is attractively presented with photographs and descriptions of the prototypeto be depicted and the layout sketches are particularly well done. Whilst the coverage of non UK prototypes may not be to everyone's taste, I thought that the choice of prototype was interesting and well done. In a final chapter Stephen describes his own layout building "history" from the point of view of the evolution and exploration of various themes and ideas.

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.

Model Railway Planning and Design Handbook

Steve Flint    [Publisher:  Santona  2004]    Softback    96 pages

This is a highly original and very inspirational colour compendium of model railway thoughts, designs and models. It is ingeniously laid out as five themed chapters which each reflect the styles and thoughts of five different modellers; Steve Flint, Paul Lunn, Neil Ripley, Ken Gibbons and Jack Burnard. The uniformly excellent quality of the photography graphics and print reproduction together with the quality of thought and modelling of the contributors has created one of the most pleasing books on the subject ever produced - it is certainly the best colour book on model railways that I have yet seen. As the compiler Steve Flint observes we are living in a new age of model railways where the quality of British outline ready to run models far exceeds anything previously available. The book sets out to show schemes which are fundamentally "railwaylike" rather than "finescale", and in doing so provides a fascinating counterpoint to the superb but very different books and modelling approaches espoused by Wild Swan - every bit as intelligent but completely different. This book, I suspect, may be the harbinger of a quiet revolution in British railway modelling.

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!

Modulation & Light Techniques

Javier Soler    [Publisher:  Mig Jimenez  2014]    Softback    104 pages

Fabulous all colour exposition of four techniques used by military modellers to create differing light effects on military vehicles and dioramas. Including a section on colour theory this book is a great foil to the endless arguments we railway modellers have about the exact colours used for one thing and another. Great modelling either way and I think containing much of interest and use to the railway modelling fraternity.

Scottish Layout Projects

Ian Futers    [Publisher:  Santona  2009]    Softback    64 pages

Ian Futers, for a while synonymous with circular North British branch line layouts, in this book takes us on a colourful, inspiring and "whistlestop" tour of Scottish layout possibilities. Combining model photography with prototype details and pictures and also featuring full colour and scenically developed track plans, the themes are all pleasing adaptations or combinations of fact and fantasy. I especially liked the sketches of the schemes by Neil Ripley, in some ways a sort of updated and coloured version of Alex Bowie's visualisations in the old "Model Railway News".

The Weathering Magazine Issue 24 Under New Management

Sergiusz Peczek    [Publisher:  Mig Jimenez  2019]    Magazine    86 pages

This reliably well produced and colourful series happily goes from strength to strength, tackling all sorts of subjects and ideas with wit and intelligence. Aimed at military modellers, the subjects can be a bit "esoteric" for us railway types, although the techniques used are always interesting. This issue is a bit on the military side, but has one feature that makes it worth buying alone, Mig Jiminez himself no less, Germanifying a 1968 built GE Spanish diesel locomotive as used by Volkswagen at their Pamplone plant - just brilliant and and a wonderfully eye catching result too.

The Weathering Special Trains

Mig Jiminez    [Publisher:  Mig Jimenez  2019]    Softback    92 pages

Large format and brilliantly presented and printed in full colour, 14 weathering projects on locomotives and items of rolling stock from experienced modellers across Europe. Includes an English wagon, although techniques are applicable across alll boundaries, Brexit or not(!) I think my favourite project is Mig's own weathering of an Electrotren Class 303 shunter from Spain he used to see while playing as a child, a very convincing piece of work indeed. Many techniques here, including airbrushing, using washes, brushes, etc.