View single post by jtrain
 Posted: Thu Dec 4th, 2014 12:46 am
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Joined: Sun May 27th, 2012
Location: Missoula, Montana USA
Posts: 1003
I saw this in the magazine rack at Walmart the other day and decided to purchase this 80 page book on small model railways. Model Railroader has done several of these "Special Issues" in the past focusing on a particular set of techniques or area of the hobby. It's been my experience that these books are geared for beginners and those looking for inspiration, and this special issue is no different.

My overall opinion of "How to Build Small Model Railroads" was that it offered good ideas from notable modelers including Iain Rice and Lance Mindheim. The issue also took a look at the first Gorre and Daphetid railroad which has become an iconic railroad that was revolutionary at the time it was built. The four sections included in the issue look at planning, construction, inspiration, and techniques with a total of 22 stories. For anyone subscribed to Model Railroader Magazine and own several Kalmbach books, you'll perhaps note that many of these articles are repeats from earlier prints.

That being said, I think the strong point of this special issue is that the articles are all in one spot and presented in an easy to understand format. In other words, I think "How to Build Small Model Railroads" eliminates a lot of research and can serve as a basic guide to concepts unique to small/micro model railroads. This issue is a great starting point for beginners in my opinion.

One downside I see is that the issue should have been expanded slightly, even if made a dollar higher in cost, to include extra photos. Unlike most MRR articles, this issue is lacking in pictures. Another shortcoming that I think should have been addressed was the lack of recommended links, books, or reads in the article. was put in twice, and one blog that I'm aware of. But, seeing that this issue was meant for beginners, begs the question "where do I go from here?" Never the less, How to Build Small Model Railroads is something to consider for the modeler's library.

Here's the online link:

This issue can be found in a LHS or ordered online.

I am in no way affiliated with Model Railroader Magazine or Kalmbach Publishing. However, I feel this special issue deserves some recognition and discussion, hence why I started this thread.

So then, with my thought out of the way, who else has picked up a copy? Any thoughts?

I hope to do some more of these discussions in the future about different articles that come out. So far, I've only discussed this, an article from Westlake Publishing that flamed modelers about 2 years back, and a small list of resources for Colorado narrow gauge.


James W.

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