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Designing & Building Layouts

Rolling Stock
Layout Design


BR Journal
GWR Journal
LMS Journal
Midland Record

Rolling Stock
Loco Profiles

Branch Lines
Light Lines
Other Titles

The Art of Railway Modelling

James Hilton    104 pages    Softback    2023

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    106 pages    Softback    1997

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.

Geoff Williams' Aylesbury LNWR Researching and Modelling the Prototype

Bob Williams    120 pages    Softback    2021

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.

Landscape Modelling

Barry Norman    66 pages    Softback    1986

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.

Modelling Grassland & Landscape Detailing

Gordon Gravett    112 pages    Softback    2013

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    92 pages    Softback    2011

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    92 pages    Softback    2012

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.

Small Layout Design Handbook

James Hilton    80 pages    Softback    2023

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.