WILD SWAN BOOKS
Modelling Reference Books
Gordon Gravett 122 pages Softback 2000
Written and conceived by ace modeller and all round "good egg" Gordon Gravett, this is a really wonderful book. It is full of well thought out and original ideas and unlike some other modelling "ideas" books, the schemes are all born out of practical experience. The book is aimed at the larger scale, but I defy any modeller in smaller scales not to find something of interest within its pages. In addition to very good photography, the book benefits from Gordon's drawings and sketches - wonderful to look at just as pictures. Ditchling Green is well featured, but as Gordon says, he has "poked his camera lens" at lots of other peoples work - how about a layout that masquerades as a grandfather clock when not in use! People who aren't interested in model railways just have no idea what they are missing out on.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Peter Kazer 124 pages Softback 2001
Another superlative production from Wild Swan, illustrating and explaining the thinking and methods behind the exquisite models produced by one man. Peter has covered aspects of the subject which have not appeared in other related books, and uses his model of Corris as an example throughout. The book contains a wealth of prototype detail, and covers two other prototypes and models in some depth, the Welsh Highland (model of Dinas Junction) and the Southwold Railway. Reprinted in 2005.
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.