Monday, January 24, 2011

Book Review: St Merryn. What we did, why, and how we did it

Subtitled "Aspects of building a finescale model railway described by The South London Area Group", this is essentially a super-long layout description. It's what you would hope to get if the normal limit of around 2,500 words was lifted from magazines.

St Merryn is a P4 (4mm scale 18.83mm gauge) model railway. The book describes all aspects of building the layout and even if you don't fancy going all finescale, many of the techniques would be applicable to other scales. If nothing else, it is very interesting to see, in detail, what other railway modellers get up to.

The text is interesting and the photographs, mostly colour, OK although some would have befitted from the person with the camera getting a bit more light on the subject. Like many P4 modellers, it can all get a little bit po faced at times, something the author admits is happening occasionally, especially when the rules around exhibiting are discussed !

For a tenner, the price of a couple of magazines, you really can't go too far wrong.

Now, I didn't buy this book to read how to build finescale, I bought it because I fancy writing something similar for my layouts. Even my ego doesn't support the idea that anything called "The Chronicles of Melbridge" would be a best seller, but I think it would be an interesting exercise in self publishing, probably using Lulu. That way, even if only one copy was sold (to me) then all that is wasted is my time.

The question is, can I sell a second one ? After all there are plenty of web sites out there for layouts, but in the second decade of the 21st Century, could publishing on paper be the new web ?

Buy the St Merryn book here.

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