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Modelling Reference Books

Rolling Stock
Layout Design


BR Journal
GWR Journal
LMS Journal
Midland Record

Rolling Stock
Loco Profiles

Branch Lines
Light Lines
Other Titles

Authentic Model Railway Operation

Martin Nield    60 pages    Softback    2016

Considering the potential "dryness" of the subject, this is a highly readable book which demonstrates and discusses the various ways in which we can make our model railways more realistic from an operational point of view. Although Martin himself is a confirmed Lancashire and Yorkshire modeller, the whole book applies to any British railway operation right up until the end of the "traditional" railway in the Nineteen Eighties. The illustrations are really good, crisp and clear shots of various relevant model railways, nice relevant paperwork and ephemera and proper inspiring "Northern Grit" prototype photographs. I think thet text is perfectly balanced between not baffling a "beginner" whilst still providing much of interest to a more experienced modeller. I hope this book does well, because traditional railway operation is rapidly becoming ancient history, and there has been relatively little published on the subject in recent years.

Great Western Branch Line Modelling Part 2

Stephen Williams    110 pages    Softback    1991

A deservedly popular work of reference for modellers covering prototype buildings, fittings and traffic operation. Fully indexed by location, it is also a very attractive book about branch lines in its own right, with images tending to be historic pre - BR and detailing and illuminating the detail of the subject very well.

In Search of a Dream The life and work of Roye England Second Edition

Stephen Williams    272 pages    Softback    2022

A much enlarged and beautifully illustrated new edition of the story of Roye England and how he came to imagine and then create what became the Pendon museum of miniature landscape and transport. With two new chapters and much additional information, including information on the other founding characters, (not least the wonderful Guy Williams - we even see his workbench in colour) There is much colour photography in this edition, Roye's beautiful shots from the 1950s and the remarkable contemporary views of the models themselves taken by Paul Ellis. There are astonishing and their presence alone makes the new edition worth having without even considering the words, which are also very good indeed. A moving story in many ways, and a fantastic record and souvenir of one of the very best things that has ever existed in England, itself a breathtaking record and evocation of a still beautiful but much changed English landscape and way of life.

LMS Review

Bob Essery    80 pages    Softback    2013

The first issue of a new periodical, designed to provide prototype information for railway modellers and to some extent replacing the now defunct LMS journals. It looks very good to my eyes, the first "modelling" articles cover the Bachmann 4F, enhancing a Hornby Stanier full brake, Parkside LMS brake vans and a very fine 7mm model of ex LMS No 1000. Prototype articles cover standard 3500 gallon standard tenders, the Newport Pagnall branch Shoscombe and Single Hill halt on the S&D(!), Cummings 4-6-0s and several other interesting features.

LMS Review No. 2

Bob Essery    80 pages    Softback    2014

I am so very pleased to see this second volume of Paul Karau's new journal, high fidelity high quality and yes high(ish) price, but fully justified in my opinion. Enough folk must have agreed sufficiently to buy part one, and so hence we have this wonderful production - you've all done very well! Prototype features inlude a detailed photgraphic survey of Banbury Merton Street made by the late Jim Russell in 1960/61, including scale drawings of the building and unusual and useful views of the built "hinterland" around the station, Stanier standard tenders by John Jennison, an atmospheric look at the unusual station at Middleton by Martin Nield plus a good deal more. Model features are an in depth review of Bachmann's lovely 1F by David Hunt, Gerry Beale takes one of Bachmann's Porthole coach to pieces (and has also built some breathtaking container wagons) and there are several views and a cover shot of Tony Reynalds' jaw dropping 5532 "Illustrious" Patriot class in 7mm scale.

Narrow Gauge Adventure A Modelmaking Journey

Peter Kazer    162 pages    Softback    2012

Another tour de force from Paul Karau, a sort of "personal modelling odyssey" from one of the country's leading narrow gauge modellers. I liked it for its title first, a nice literary "nod" to the late Philip Hancock (or at least that's how I like to see it) and secondly because it is a personal view and account (of the hobby that I love) from an interesting and informed viewpoint. Having now got the book in my hands, my expectations are exceeded by the actuality. After a thoughtful introduction which includes a little of the author's other interests and life the first half of the book describes all the model railway projects that Peter has completed, covering a modelling "life" from 1972 to the present. This is illustrated by superb photography, in both colour and black and white, illustrating the models but just as importantly the prototypes that inspired them. Also included are a couple of brief diversions into Classic cars and Canals that Peter took. There then follows what is arguably the book's master stroke, fifty odd pages of "The Unfulfilled Projects", which are an inspiring collection of track plans sketches and prototype photographs for a number of narrow gauge models based on twelve different subjects. The final two chapters cover tools and then techniques and materials. The production is to Wild Swan's usual very high standards and interestingly (and I think for the first time) Paul has bled some full page photographs to the edge of the page. This will appeal to both modellers and enthusiasts of the narrow gauge and without wishing to sound elitist or dismissive it owes nothing to the (incredibly good) ready to run part of the hobby but rather to the more creative craft aspects of this wonderful hobby.

A Scratchbuilders Guide to Semaphore Signal Construction

Peter Squibb    108 pages    Softback    2010

A very well illustrated and informed guide to making signals, although I have a feeling that the words GWR ought to have been included somewhere in the title. Peter makes the most magnificent and authentic model signals, the results of meticulous and well observed modelling coupled with a knowledge of the subject gained from a lifetime spent working with the real thing. Subjects are mostly GWR as are a large majority of the photographs in the book, although the modelling techniques shown can obviously apply to any company's signals. There are some very good and original techniques shown, including the construction of lattice posts, and the whole book is beautifully produced and extremely well illustrated, with good use of colour photography for the models.

Unconsidered Trifles Images of the everyday for modellers and artists

Geoff Kent    64 pages    Softback    2020

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.