Thursday, 12 September 2013

Great British Model Railways Volume 1

Kind folk do send me books for review (any reader able to do so is most welcome to).
Edited by Ben Jones and the Modelrail Team
Bauer Media

Volume 1 first published August 2013, 128 pages paperback.

Through your reviewer's door in early September there dropped two worthwhile new model railway publications. The larger is a cross between a magazine and that now popular bookazine format. Volume 1 implies there may be more. Detail aside, the simple and very worthwhile objective is to showcase a lot more of Chris Nevard's outstanding model photography. More about Chris can be learnt here . 

Largely unencumbered single page or double spreads energise this work, One of my favourites is Bulleid Q1 33030 on shed at sunset at Hectorage Road. Layout names covered include St Merryn in P4, Pete Waterman's Lemington Spa in O and Pendon for EM. The narrow gauge scene showcases Ddault in 009 whilst Irish broad gauge has Ballyconnel Road in 3mm (yes 3mm and by three Kentish gents). A trip to France takes in the metre gauge Reseau Breton at Pampoul. This is not intellectually demanding material (unless you intend to emulate these in which case your brain and your fingers will certainly have to work); it is however a very delightful flick through and a snip at the price for what you get.

At roughly the same time the September dated Model Rail dropped in. This carries a loose A5 28 page supplement, densely tabulated, called "Who does what? The definitive model and kit directory 2013". It costs £2.50 bought solo. It will carry a lot of appeal to Train Collector readers. There are horses for courses and the point of this production is to tabulate every current model commercially available, be it a kit or ready to run, covering locomotives and traction inherited or built by British Railways and successors. The design is such that classes with no coverage also stand out.

 Inevitably in such a production there will be a few wobbly edges. Metropolitan locomotives are included, quite some number including the ACE Bo-Bo, but there are no EFE LT EMU sets. Certain narrow gauge  engines manage to qualify and are included like Beeston sleeper work's 3' gauge Bagnall 0-4-0ST and Lynton & Barnstable Manning Wardles. Within a budget production, some passing by the way is inevitable. Many smaller but high class ranges are in like Golden Age and Masterpiece Models. What cannot be gainsaid is that no-one has attempted to combine in one listing on a prototype driven basis RTR and kits before. Right at the end is a helpful manufacturer address and website listing. Applause is due although I will close with a paradox, sticking to their guidelines as they do, there is no Stephenson's Rocket (Dapol kit C046)! The editors must also be rather glad MTK is not in business any longer.

No comments: