Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Model Railroader 102 Realistic Trackplans

"Back by popular demand!" it says on the front cover. I must have missed it the first time and been following a different line of model railways.
Still fired up after last weeks show I saw the magazine on the shelves and decided to buy it.
So what follows is a review of sorts.
This book reprints some of the more popular plans from previous issues of the stable of Model Railroader magazines.
In the past I've had mixed feelings about Model Railroader and their track planning books. Sure, they've been nice enough to feature one of my layouts in their pages, for which I am very grateful. But for the longest time their idea of a small starter layout was something on an 8' x 4' board. Judging by this book that fact seems to be changing. Plans start as small as 5' x 3'4" in HO scale that a true beginner could hone his skills on before moving onto something bigger. As to wether or not a loop of track and two sidings on such a small board could be deemed "realistic" per the books title is for your personal opinion. This small layouts section of the book also inclues a couple of very nice 2' wide switching layouts which are very definitely food for thought for me. However the main let down for me in this section is the cliched Z scale in three suitcases.
The book then moves on to cover their ubiquitous 8' x 4' starter layouts which, apart from an On30 layout do nothing for me but that's just my personal opinion.
Then there are three more sections covering progressively larger layouts. Even these larger trackplans contain sections that would work as smaller layouts by themselves.
The sections are broken up by some informative track planning articles to give you ideas on how to develop your own schemes.
All the way though the book I found some interesting planning ideas that I could well try to incorporate on my next model. All in all this book comes recommended.

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