Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Book Review: Model Making in Cardboard by Thomas Bayley

The purpose of this book is make a clear and constructive approach to cardboard model making, which is a craft of considerable importance and extensively used by professional model makers, architects and display artists.

Many of those engaged on undertakings such as housing scehemes, single buildings, layouts, film and theatrical sets make full use of the cardboard model.

Educationally, the value of this craft cannot be over-emphasised and it should be encouraged wherever possible...

So begins the preface of Model Making in Cardboard, published in 1958. As you can see, Thomas Bayley isn't aiming his book at railway modellers, but at the educational and professional establishment.

Starting with a list of tools and materials, the author then describes some interesting clamps for holding materials including the obvious, but incredibly handy, "bit of wood sticking out from the bench that will fit inside a model when you remember there is a hole to be cut out after you assembled the walls.". A roller based tool for making pantiles which involves a pair of wide cogs that the card passes through looks handy but the caption "Little need be said about how to make this device...The diagram makes it quite clear to those with sufficient experience to be able to make it." will frustrate those without such experience, which bearing in mind how difficult making a pair of wide cogs is, will be most of us. Never mind.

The book then continues with plans showing different buildings and construction details. Starting with a flat-roofed building, we move on to pitched roof cottages, a barn, village church, castle, guildhall, Tudor bridge, landscape contours, trees (yes, really), modern house, modern church and ending with a modern concrete bridge.

All the designs are simple but look the part. Unlike last weeks book, this one is aimed at serious modellers. Despite this and the age of the instructions, the information is still pretty relevant. If you are into model buildings, tracking down a reasonably priced copy of this is probably worth the effort just for the plans.

Model Making in Cardboard at Amazon


Iain Robinson said...

"when you remember there is a hole to be cut out after you assembled the walls" ...There you go: that's me right there:-)
This looks like a fascinating book.

Phil Parker said...

Been there, done that. Once it wasn't even my fault, I had to cut windows in the sides of a vac-formed box.

The book is fab. Found it on Dads bookshelves and had a "B****y hell, why haven't I looked through this before" moment.

David Smith said...

That perspective line drawing of the house jogged a memory because the drawing style is similar to those in my copy of Model Railway News June 1959 for its article on how to make tress and shrubs. The illustration style is very evocative of the period. I like.

J D Lowe said...

Thanks for posting about this book. I ordered a copy from an online used bookseller. Although it’s very much a period piece, it’s still very useful in introducing the basics of card scratchbuilding. I especially like the drawings, as well as its calm and confident approach to building.

Phil Parker said...

JD - Glad you liked it. I think this is a reasonably rare book but despite being a period piece, there's stuff in there that doesn't appear in the manistream press. Alsom I like the idea of reading something other people aren't reading!