Birthday Books

I enjoy reading and for my birthday I was lucky to receive these two publications.

Weathering for Railway Modellers is a good book. Clear, easy to follow text, crisp pictures and informative captions. It covers weathering just about everything (except rolling stock) and has chapters on wooden buildings, brickwork, stone, roads and several types of vehicle.

George Dent starts with easy weathering and builds up to the more complicated techniques. The results can be stunning. The simple stuff looks very doable, the more complex approaches are well explained but a little daunting. It will take me some experimentation and practise to get to this level!

A very good book. It will inspire me to be more ambitious with my weathering techniques.

The Model Railroader from November 1972 (price 60 cents) is a charming publication from another time.

There are sections called ‘Railroaders Bookshelf’, ‘Hobbyshop Window’, ‘At the Throttle’ and ‘Bull Session’. Adverts for traders with postal addresses and phone numbers. Write them a letter if you want a price list!

The articles are super: ‘Five Layouts in Ten Pages’, ‘ACC for Bonding Model Parts’ and ‘Choosing and Using Diode Rectifiers’.

It contains the original article on the ‘Timesaver’ shunting puzzle by John Allen. That’s why I wanted it. I wasn’t disappointed, it’s a great read.

The object of the game, the rules and how to operate are explained. The Timesaver can be a challenge for one operator or two people working collaboratively. Basically several wagons have to be shunted into specific positions, the operations are timed and the winner is the person, or team, who complete the puzzle in the shortest time.

John and his friends would do an operating session on his large home layout then run the Timesaver while drinking coffee and having a ‘bull session’.

Also, the Timesaver was used at a number of model railroad conventions in the USA. That must have been a lot of fun for the visitors, and pretty competitive too I’d imagine!

I haven’t seen anything similar at exhibitions in the UK. Perhaps someone will tell me if it’s been tried here.

In case you hadn’t guessed, yes, I am tempted by a Timesaver.

I would like to make one… but it will have to ‘join the queue’ 🙂.


  1. Happy birthday Steve! No doubt I am late but hope you had a good day. I have several of George’s books. Always well written with plenty of illustrative photos which make you want to both read the book and try what is being described. I have a bit of a fascination with old model making magazines. I guess we all reminisce but sometimes you look back and think we did seem to have more time for hobbies then although probably not the cash to buy the £5 Hornby Flying Scotsman with realistic ‘chuffing” sound! Gosh I sound old!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Woody, Yes, the past is a different place … and it’s often a very attractive one 🙂
      This magazine has N gauge Kadee 40 foot box cars for $3, and an N scale EMD F9 diesel plus 3 coaches for $22.50.
      If these were today’s prices I’d have a model empire !!


  2. Two wonderful additions and happy birthday too.

    Those 1970’s Model Railroaders are the dawn of my experience in the hobby and remain ready connection points when I need a recharge.

    And the new weathering book looks interesting. I will check that out.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.