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Book Review
21 Scratchbuilding Structures
21 Projects Scratchbuilding Structures Using Simple Tools and Techniques
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by: Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]


Originally published on:
RailRoad Modeling

Introduction
21 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.

Content
21 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
    17. Tavern
    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, Graphics
White 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:
    Black-and-white
      Maintenance-of-Way Shed
      Stone and Wood Factory
      Corset Factory
      Small Textile Mill

    Full color
      Gas Station
      Signs
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.

Conclusion
White 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.
SUMMARY
Highs: 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.
Lows: Nothing for me.
Verdict: Whether one is a shake-the-box modelers or a craftsman, this book has great information for all genres of modeling.
  Scale: N/A
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Feb 09, 2019
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 87.03%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 0.00%

Our Thanks to White River Productions!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Frederick Boucher (JPTRR)
FROM: TENNESSEE, UNITED STATES

I'm a professional pilot with a degree in art. My first model was an AMT semi dump truck. Then Monogram's Lunar Lander right after the lunar landing. Next, Revell's 1/32 Bf-109G...cried havoc and released the dogs of modeling! My interests--if built before 1900, or after 1955, then I proba...

Copyright ©2019 text by Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of AeroScale. All rights reserved.



Comments

Good advice for anyone building structures regardless of the scale you are working in!
FEB 08, 2019 - 05:20 PM
   

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