Introduction21 Projects - Scratchbuilding Structures Using Simple Tools and Techniques
from White River Productions
is a new book extolling the excellence of scratchbuilding. This book is illustrated with award-winning structures from the National Narrow Gauge Convention.
Authored by master modeler Bob Walker of Railroad Model Craftsman's 'Scratchbuilders Corner,' this softcover book features 120 glossy pages. They are full of color photos and scale drawings, in an 8Ĺ x 11 format.
Content21 Projects - Scratchbuilding Structures Using Simple Tools and Techniques
contains just as titled. Taken from the Narrow Gauge Convention, those 21 models are:
1. Water Tank
2. Coaling Trestle
3. Sand House
4. Minerís Shack
5. Planing Mill
6. Grain Elevator
7. Maintenance-of-Way Shed
8. A Stone and Wood Factory
9. Two-Story Depot
10. Two-Stall Enginehouse
11. Hardware Store
12. Board-By-Board Shed
13. Gas Station
14. Coal Distributor
15. Freight House
16. Farmerís Co-Op
18. Corset Factory
19. Small Textile Mill
20. Truck Repair Shed
21. F Scale, Super-Detailed Gasoline Alley Building
Comprehensive as this book is, Mr. Walker writes in a factual yet amusing style of a modeler who has been around a workbench for a while. Expect a few belly laughs! It is fun to read as well as inspirational and instructional. Where he uses commercial products, he lists them, even with contact information. I greatly appreciate that.
Discussed is working the three main materials for scratchbuilding, and also how to cast plaster. He also covers safety aspects of our hobby, reminding us that, yes, we can loose a thumb or eye to certain tools.
In his chapters he not only shows how to cut and form pieces, he also includes commercial parts, and demonstrates painting and staining. I am impressed with his method to distress model tar paper on a roof.
His introduction is a pep-talking push in the modeling direction. Next he reviews Scratchbuilding Tools
before moving into the first chapter, Water Tank
. He presents a creative solution to the round tank that will be sturdy enough to be handled, and demonstrates how to create a octal roof.
Another brilliant demonstration is creating a cut stone wall (with rounded windows!) from stripwood, and then casting it in Hydrocal. Later we see how to duplicate numerous angled and curved eves supports.
Yet another series of photos with text explains how to create runs of stairs.
Weathering is not forsaken and several methods are shown.
Mr. Walker ends the book with two pages of photos of buildings that were not given their own chapter, yet deemed worth including.
What can I say? I want to start cutting and staining stripwood! Mr. Walker's self-deprecating style reveals to us that even masters like him make mistakes, so we don't fear messing up a model. That lesson in and of itself is worth this book!
Photographs, Artwork, GraphicsWhite River Productions
was not stingy with Mr. Walker's photographs. They compliment the wonderful text and multiply the value of this book.
Each build story is supported with a generous gallery of full-color photographs. They are well composed and lighted, and are excellent. They archive various steps and methods to achieve the building goal narrated in the text. The galleries are supplemented with focused Additional Construction Detail
images of particularly significant characteristics.
Dimensional architectural line art scaled to HO and half HO, or HO and O is provided for several projects:
Stone and Wood Factory
Small Textile Mill
Finally, one page of graphics includes three conversion tables:
Current scale to desired scale, percentage
Fractions to Inches/Inches to Fractional
Prototype Measurement in Inches
Those are extremely helpful for scratchbuilding in particular, and all modeling in general.
ConclusionWhite River Production's 21 Projects - Scratchbuilding Structures Using Simple Tools and Techniques
is an excellent book on many grounds. It is inspirational. It is educational. It is instructional. It is a great time. The procedures and techniques Mr. Walker presents are great. Some are common knowledge and yet there are a few that had me asking 'Why didn't I try that?'
I think this book features engaging and detailed text. Each build story is supported with a generous gallery of full-color photographs. They are well composed and lighted, and are excellent. I have no meaningful criticism of this book and happily recommend it. Whether one is a shake-the-box modelers or a craftsman, this book has great information for all genres of modeling.