Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Just Like The Real Thing by Pete Waterman

Since we looked at Pete Waterman's model of Leamington Spa station on Monday, it seems appropriate to devote the Wednesday book review to his latest volume on the building of this layout.

First up, this isn't a book to buy if you want specific instructions to guide you through making models - you need Parker's Guide for that. Apart from the chapter covering creating grass using teddy bear fabric, you will be disappointed.

What we have is the story, so far, of building an absolutely massive model railway based on a prototype. There are lots of photos showing how the layout progressed from a largely empty room to some degree of completion. Quality is a bit mixed except for the excellent Chris Nevard shots at the end but there's nothing you can't see, just a bit of under-exposure which tends to happen when you snap in-progress shots.

You'll also be disappointed by the lack of a track plan, but as I say, it isn't an instruction manual. This is a book to be read and enjoyed from the comfort of an armchair. The text is very Pete - as I read it, I could hear his voice telling the story. If there was much editing involved, it certainly hasn't dampened the character of the text.

There is a lot about the different approach that you take when building a model as large and complex as Leamington. It's something that many club layouts might want to think about as you can encounter the same issues on these sort of big projects. As far as advice goes for the sort of 6ft wonders I'm responsible for, then it's less helpful.

Bought as a pleasant diversion or present for someone who loves trains then it's good stuff. If you know the area modelled, it's good fun recognising the prototype buildings (not hard as the models are superb) from the layout pictures. If you just want a book of photos showing model engines then the mix here is more interesting than most.

As I understand it, you have to purchase from the man himself at shows but with a bit of luck, he'll scribble in the front for you.


Mark said...

It sounds like an interesting book, and although they are currently out of stock it does appear to be available through Amazon as well.

Phil Parker said...

My understanding is that Amazon will not be getting any more stock in and the book will exclusivly be available from the author. Of course this may change in the future but don't hold your breath.