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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently purchased this book published by Silver Link. Whilst most of the conversions are interesting I was rather disappointed to find that most were rather 'wide of the mark' when it came to accuracy.

The book lacked accurate scale drawings for comparison - something which I have produced a lot of, and I wonder what other forum members who may have bought the book think.

I am certain that even using existing chassis and bodies far more accurate models can be produced.
 

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I,too, recently purchased this book, used through Amazon for a quite cheap price......

bought on spec out of curiosity.

I found it disappointing from the viewpoint that, in spite of the ideas, the presentation was quite poor.

More like a series of how to articles one found in the press, than a serious disertation on cheapo locomotive construction.

The photographs and illustrations were very poor quality...not what one has come to expect from modern publishing.

yes, drawings or diagrams....even a series of prototype photographs..... would have been useful.......or would they have hilighted the discrepancies in the models?

Also, the base models were mostly old style Hornby and Bachmann.......something a bit more up-to-date than tender drive would have been a better bet?

Guy William's books are far better value.
 

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I haven't actuall got this book but have had a look at it. I forget the cover price but remember I thought it rather high. This seems to be a problem with a lot of books of this genre recently.

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Isn't this dissapointing.

Locomotive building is an art that we all maybe aspire to.

Having someone publish a book that degrades the time and effort required to build a quality item does the hobby no favors at all.

If, and its a big if the book was about improving existing models by adding detail, or (puts fire proof suit on) building Thomas outline models I could understand it. But from what I have read above it is a book that is not even worth the cover price.

John
 

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sadly, John, this is always going to be a hazard when choosing which books to spend one's pennies on.

regarding this book, the basic idea is sound.......simply the execution is not what I was expecting.

In other words, the content lacks comprehensive information...........one simply cannot tell whether the work mentioned is either accurate, or indeed necessary. Simply by stating that the chassis or wheelbase is identical, doesn't really hack it as far as evidential presentation is concerned.....plans, prototype photos...especially comparisons...etc would have allowed the reader to make value judgements...not of the author's workmanship....but of whether the conversions are worthwhile, or even passable.

QUOTE Having someone publish a book that degrades the time and effort required to build a quality item does the hobby no favors at all.

I don't think this statement is being quite fair......either to the author, or to those who have posted comments in this matter.

The issues centre on the quality of presentation, and [in m view] lack of essential content.

As I said above, the ideas are sound.....

Those ideas are based on the premis of utilising what is out there, what many actually throw away... to produce locomotive types not covered by the RTR brigade.
This, as a branch of locomotive building, is a very worthwhile pastime.....although I suspect it's one that has been in decline over recent years.

QUOTE If, and its a big if the book was about improving existing models by adding detail,

the book in no way implies being a treatise on super-detailing existing RTR models....but of converting those models into something else entirely.....[and on the cheap]

to re-iterate, idea good, execution could be better.

But generally one doesn't find this out until AFTER one has shelled out for the item?
 

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QUOTE (alastairq @ 9 Aug 2008, 10:40) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>..Those ideas are based on the premis of utilising what is out there, what many actually throw away... to produce locomotive types not covered by the RTR brigade.
This, as a branch of locomotive building, is a very worthwhile pastime...
I believe Alastair is bang on here in identifying the author's intent, but suspect that to make a really good job of a book with this intent would be pretty expensive. The minimum requirement is a decent scaled drawing and photographs of the intended prototype, plus photos and diagrams to show how the RTR parts may be used or modified, with any fabrication required to deliver the end result.

The formidable competitor to such a book is the internet. The collective 'knowledge bank' of on line contributors easily outdoes that of a single author. Over the past three years I have seen a fair number of such projects on line, usually with good results in evidence. Not all have been directly appropriate to my modelling interest, but are almost invariably worth looking at as a source of ideas and for suggestions of useful technique. For those that are of direct interest, the money which could have gone on the book, is instead spent on acquiring drawings and and any other necessary prototype information, specific to the chosen project(s).
QUOTE ..This, as a branch of locomotive building, is a very worthwhile pastime.....although I suspect it's one that has been in decline over recent years.
It certainly is a minority interest, something which I do find a little surprising given the incredible variety of prototype subjects in the UK; which if we confine this just to locos, even the whitemetal kit makers at their peak didn't cover 10% of the classes which ran in C20th. Sometimes there are surprised comments to the effect of 'you took two new models to pieces to produce your chosen subject?'. To which the answer is 'why not?'; it is not to be had any other way than by building it, and using RTR models as feedstock works out much cheaper than buying individual components. When in funds, I am in the habit of buying identified useful donor models whenever an example shows up at a low price.
 

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The projects in the book are a very mixed bag. The standard of execution is not always as high as one might like, and some of the projects really don't look right to me - perhaps the worst being the "F4" which looks a lot more like an LYR Radial 2-4-2T that has run hard into a wall and squashed the front of the boiler , and the "O2" 0-4-4T , which has the same wheel arrangement as the intended prototype and a very similar dome , but there the resemblance stops . Posing it for photography on a bit of Hornby Dublo 3 rail track seems only too apt.... The Barclay 204hp 0-6-0 is also embarrassing , and something I won't touch even though it would be appropriate on my home patch

On the other hand the D16/3 , K4, K1 ,and Stanier 2-6-0 look good , and the S&DJR 2-8-0s could be up there with them . The 0-6-4T tank version of Bullied's Q1 may attract some - it was actually proposed but Bullied came up with the Leader instead.

Then there are a group of projects which do not quite hit the mark, but where someone willing to make further adaptions or replace one or two areas with scratchbuilt items /commercial castings might get a decent result

Definitely a curate's egg and should be approached on that basis
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
All interesting comments. I feel that if you are going to hack good proprietory models around you need to start with accurate prototype information and good drawings. I suspect that most of the work for this book was done from photos and perhaps locomotive diagrams which can be misleading.

With modern graphics packages the instructional drawings in the book could have been far more detailed and accurate. I'm almost tempted to have a go myself and produce some models not available off the shelf.

I did produce some "Locomotives that never were" some years ago - these were all done using the old Hornby tender drives. I produced an S&D 7F from an 8F chassis, Honrby Compound body and tender, the proposed LMS 2-6-2 and 4-6-4 using Coronation parts, the proposed 4-4-0 using a Schools chassis and black five body, and the LNER 4-8-2- using an A3 plus spare driving wheels and a spare body. I also did the proposed BR standard 8P. These are quite nice but not up to current standards!
 
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