Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Making a Miniature Village by Guy R Williams

It's funny when you find an unexpected author. Guy R Williams was Pendon's CME for many years and responsible for some of the finest model railway engines ever built. I'd like to own a Guy Williams loco in the same way I'd like to own a Canaletto painting.

Which means this little book will come as a surprise to many modellers. It's not telling you how to build something for Pendon, or even to anything approaching Pendon standards.

Follow the instructions and you'll create a crude model of a small village. The thing is, that if you do, you will have received a good grounding in basic model making and maybe, just maybe, one day you will aspire to those exalted levels.

The text is simple but doesn't talk down to the reader. Plans include dimensions in mm so you'll have to learn to measure and mark out your cardboard or strawboard (remember that?). A baseboard (60 by 90cm) has to be made and ground contours built up. Add a railway track and you'd actually got the basis for a nice little layout.

Despite being aimed at children, I reckon quite a few grown-up modellers would get a lot from reading this. While the models might be a bit crude, with more effort on the details, they could be turned into realistic representations of real buildings.
The layout of the village is a bit Pendon-like and not unrealistic. The church, duck pond and green are the centrepieces. Oddly, there are no shops or a pub but I suppose you could convert some of the houses into these if required.
I think the scale is just over 3mm:1foot. I wonder why they didn't go the full 4mm - the plans aren't full sized so it's not a problem fitting them onto the page. Then kids could have used some model railway figures and even a few toy cars. Maybe Williams wished to stick with the bucolic past and ban the motorised menace from his village.


Andy from Workshopshed said...

I believe I've read that as a child. I found one of my old notebooks and there is transcribed diagrams from it.

Andy York said...

A chilling moment from my childhood there Phil as I realise I must have had the book as I did make the half-timbered cottage. My standards have gone downhill since. ;)

Vaughan45 said...

Not sure this was written by the Pendon Guy Williams unless the biography says it was. Pendon's Guy Williams was R. Guy Williams (Roger Guy Williams) who did write books on loco construction and also model aircraft I believe. I have two other books by Guy R Williams published in the 1970's (The World of Model Trains & The World of Model Ships & Boats) and seem to remember Pendon may have stressed at the time it was not their Guy Williams.