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Book Review
Building Model Vehicles
Building Vehicles for Model Railroads
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by: Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]


Originally published on:
RailRoad Modeling

Introduction
Building Vehicles for Model Railroads from Kalmbach Publishing Co. is a new "how-to" title by author Jeff Wilson. This 96-page full format softcover book is Kalmbach item #12810, with the ISBN 9781627004633. The text is supported with over 250 photographs. As Kalmbach tells us;
    On any model railroad, vehicles are important in establishing the era and location of the layout. In Building Vehicles for Model Railroads, expert modeler Jeff Wilson covers the many facets of modeling vehicles in HO scale with accuracy and realism.

    A brief guide to the evolution of prototype autos and trucks.
    Assembling plastic, metal, and resin vehicle kits.
    Adding details to modify kits and assembled models, including painting, decaling, weathering, kitbashing, scratchbuilding, and converting toys to scale models.

Today there is a selection of quality model railroad-scale vehicles that amazes those of us who remember the state of the hobby a generation ago. And yet not everything we want is available. This book will guide modelers how to make that model car or truck that we must have!

Content
Author Jeff Wilson has penned many books and articles. This book is part of the Model Railroader series Modeling and Painting. The book is presented through 11 chapters and sections in 96 pages;
    Chapter 1
    Vehicle history and basics

    Chapter 2
    Plastic kits

    Chapter 3
    Resin and metal kits

    Chapter 4
    Detailing and weathering cars and trucks

    Chapter 5
    Converting toys to scale models

    Chapter 6
    Modifying and scratchbuilding truck bodies

    Chapter 7
    Truck loads

    Chapter 8
    Paint and decals

    Chapter 9
    Lighting vehicles

    List of manufacturers

    About the author

Model Railroader generates a steady supply of excellent articles and the author created many of them. This book capitalizes on that experience and is well organized and easy to read. The first three chapters Vehicle history and basics, Plastic kits and Resin and metal kits introduces the modeler to vehicle models past and present, including the material they are made of, and how to work metals, installing aftermarket lenses, and other techniques. You will receive an overview of older models verses newer creations, basic subjects compared to specific models, and modeling guidelines. We are introduced to colored plastic models and clear styrene kits. One tip is the use of foil for chrome. These chapters present the basic and semi-advanced assembly of kits.

Detailing and weathering cars and trucks expands upon the previous chapters with how to break open assembled models to add drivers and passengers, adding conduits to semis, and techniques for weathering.

Converting toys to scale models and Modifying and scratchbuilding truck bodies are very interesting and, for me, perhaps the main chapters of the book. Old toy vehicles are plentiful and some may be left over from our childhood, with sentimental value. Through 11 page this chapter demonstrates not only how to revive these old artifacts but also how to turn them into realistic models. Drills, hacksaws, files and paint removers figure prominently. Old names such as Lindberg and Boley are introduced to parts from manufacturers like Herpa, and even non-vehicle parts like railway signal parts.

Cars and trucks only exist to haul things. Truck loads is an extension of the previous two topics as the skills we learned in those are used to load our machines with authentic cargoes. Photos and photoshopping and printing come into play in this chapter. Next, Paint and decals is a chapter appropriate for any model maker.

Equally valid for many modeling subjects is Lighting vehicles. Model railroading affords more opportunities for night scenes and yet plenty of other subject have dark interiors with illuminated instrumentation; model railroads enjoy the headlights of locomotives and glowing marker lamps, so why not the headlights, taillights and markers of trucks and cars? Or the flashing lights of emergency vehicles or school buses? This is a great chapter for animating your vehicles.

Rounding out the book is a List of manufacturers with over 30 model companies.

Photographs, Graphics and Artwork
The text is supported with some call-out boxes. Almost every page has at least one photograph. Most are color although there are some b/w images of older automobiles. Kalmbach also includes line art showing the design of an old time milk can truck and beverage truck. One large set-out box presents Vehicles timeline recounting motor vehicles from 1900 to 2015; it catalogues the number of cars and trucks at various intervals, as well as developments, i.e., dual rear tires, semi trailer lengths, etc.

Conclusion
Building Vehicles for Model Railroads from Kalmbach Publishing Co. is a very useful book for modeling vehicles. It also includes tips and techniques suitable for almost every other modeling genre. It features an excellent gallery of photographs and detailed text.

If you value vehicles on your layout, this book can guide you to make them more realistic. If you have old models you want to revive for nostalgia or economics, you will appreciate this book.

I have no meaningful complaints about this book and recommend it.

Please remember to mention to Kalmbach and retailers that you saw this book here - on RailRoad Modeling.
SUMMARY
Highs: Excellent gallery of photographs and detailed text. The text includes tips and techniques suitable for almost every other modeling genre.
Lows: No meaningful complaints.
Verdict: If you value vehicles on your layout, this book can guide you to make them more realistic. If you have old models you want to revive for nostalgia or economics, you will appreciate this book.
  Scale: N/A
  Mfg. ID: 12810
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Mar 27, 2018
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 87.03%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 93.31%

Our Thanks to Kalmbach Publishing Co.!
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 2018 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 ModelGeek. All rights reserved.



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