George Dent will be well known to many as the professional model maker at Model Rail magazine. I’ve admired George’s skill for a number of years and its great that he has now published this foundation course in kit building for railway modellers. The series starts by covering rolling stock, and the humble plastic wagon kit is something that most of us will have tackled at one time or other. Its certainly a great way to get into kit building and having something a little different on your layout. George doesn’t stop there, and goes on to look at resin and metal kits and covers some quite advanced technique in the final chapters
Kit building for Railway modellers: Volume 1 Rolling stock has 18 chapters over 220 pages and these cover:
- Research and preparation: Georgs explains the importance of understanding the prototype you are modelling in order to capture it correctly in miniature
- Tools and equipment:: The Dent toolkit is extensive, I remember an article a few years ago in Model Rail on the subject. Once again George explains the tools needed for a good job. The use of saws, knives, files, pliers clamps and more are dealt with in great depth.
- Materials and adhesives: Again thorough coverage on sticking it together so it won’t come apart! The right glue for the material in use is vital, and George Dent looks at solvents, super glues, epoxy, impact adhesives and PVA showing what to use when and why.
- First steps in plastic employs the basic plastic wagon kit to illustrate the fundamentals
- Wheeling and dealing takes on the thorny subject of wheel standards and getting things to run properly.
- Making amends; yes, even George makes mistakes and here he shows us how to fix them and also how to use fillers.
- The finer points; adding ballast to improve running, and adding some detail
- Couplings; all the common types are covered from hook & bar to scale 3 link
- Further adventures in plastics; looking at some of the more complex builds
- Resin Kits; a useful guide to some of the kits made in smaller batches and on 3d printers that bring their own set of issues.
- An introduction to metal kits; George looks at the world of brass and white metal.
- The art of soldering; An absolute must for anyone contemplating a metal kit.
- More metal; covering the more complex items available
- Advanced techniques
- Painting; An area George excels in. He has previously written an entire volume on airbrushing, which is the definitive work on the subject. the basics of painting are well documented here.
- Decals a good guide to the different types available and getting good results with them
- Finishing touches; a great guide inturning a good model into a great model.
Hopefully Kit Building for Railway Modellers will develop into a great series of books providing first rate guidance for aspirational modellers.