IntroductionBeginner's Guide to Locomotives & Rolling Stock
by Kalmbach Publishing Co.
is a new title in their Essential Series
of Model Railroader
books. Penned by Cody Grivno, it introduces modelers to the basics of prototype railroad equipment, and how to make their model trains model those better.
Keeping locomotives in good condition is critical to smooth operation on a model railroad. In the newest Essentials Series book by Cody Grivno, Beginner’s Guide to Locomotives and Rolling Stock, modelers will learn:
Beginner's Guide to Locomotives & Rolling Stock
• How to choose, buy, and maintain locomotives, freight cars, and passenger cars with a focus on HO and N scales.
• How to perform basic maintenance and simple upgrades using detail parts, new couplers and new wheels.
• The basics about steam and diesel locomotives and freight cars. - Kalmbach
is comprised of 96 pages in a 8.25 x 10.75 softcover format. It boast 225 color photographs. It is catalogued as book 12800
by Kalmbach and ISBN 978-1-62700-299-8
ContentBeginner's Guide to Locomotives & Rolling Stock
consists of nine chapters. For some reason, the table of contents on the web page is different than in the book.
1. How real locomotives (steam/diesel) work
2. How model locomotives work
3. Maintaining and detailing model locomotives
4. Prototype freight car guide
5. Types of model freight cars (RTR, kits, plastic, resin, wood)
6. Upgrading and detailing model freight cars
7. Guide to prototype couplers
8. Guide to available model couplers
9. Replacing and upgrading couplers on models
10. Guide to prototype locomotive and freight car wheels
11. Upgrading, adjusting, and detailing wheels on models
1. Getting started
2. Prototype steam locomotives
3. Steam locomotive models
4. Prototype diesel locomotives
5. Diesel model basics and maintenance
6. Freight and passenger cars
7. Prototype and model couplers
8. Wheels and trucks
9. Tools and adhesives
The text is well written and highly informative. The text is supplemented with several informational sidebars, i.e., Locomotive Builders, which names the prominent companies of the steam era. The first chapter discusses the difference between model railroads and toy trains, and the joys of each. While a short section, Scale versus gauge
is presented as it is very important in determining whether models will run on your layout as well as look right.
Eighteen pages detail the original mighty iron horses in Prototype steam locomotives
and Steam locomotive models
. How the real locos were built and operated is explored. Further topics include weathering and super-detailing kit and stock model locos, as well as upgrading the engines to DCC. Maintenance to keep the models running is also discussed.
Covering 21 pages, those same general subjects are revisited for internal combustion locos in Prototype diesel locomotives
and Diesel model basics and maintenance
A great deal of data and information is crammed into the next 15 pages of Freight and passenger cars
. Kits and RTR models are examined, as is how to detail them and keep them running well.
Prototype and model couplers
and Wheels and trucks
highlight two essential components of all railway rolling stock. These are very useful chapters because there are so many brands of couplers and wheel sets nowadays. Mounting them or replacing factory mounted types can vary dramatically from manufacturer to manufacturer. Aesthetics of long cars is touched upon, too, including the pros and cons of "truck- vs. body-mounted couplers". The variety of trucks are presented, too. Authentic railcar modelers require this knowledge as truck types date the rolling stock to specific eras. Just like the steam and diesel locomotive sections, the care and maintenance of these components are explored in good detail.
Finally, eight pages present products and techniques useful for any genre of modeling: Tools and adhesives
. Tweezers, files, drills and screwdrivers, metal and sprue nippers, gauges, micro brushes, and a host of conventional and specialized liquid and tube glues and adhesives - to name a few - are examined in excellent detail.
What more can a modeler ask for?
Photos, graphics, art
Photographic and illustration support of the text is a highlight of all Kalmbach books. They possess an immense archive of images. Very high quality exposures are used. I did not count them and yet I have no doubt the book contains 225 color photos as well as many black-and-white images. Many are from Model Railroader
magazine and other Kalmbach books.
Art and tables include:
1. Whyte locomotive classifications
2. USRA locomotive types
3. Illustration: suggested typical steam loco weathering
4. Whistle signals
5. Tank car stenciling and lettering
6. Freight car lettering
7. AB vs KC air brake systems schematics
8. Z scale coupler on N scale Micro-Trains freight car
9. Components of a typical solid-bearing freight car truck
10. Wheel and truck manufacturers (models)
All of those supports the text.
ConclusionBeginner's Guide to Locomotives & Rolling Stock
is a super addition to their Essential Series
. I find the topics valid for advanced modelers, too. The chapter covering tools and glues is an excellent resource for modelers of any subject.
I do not have any meaningful criticism of this title. I believe it is valuable to all levels of model railroad experience, and even for modelers of any subject who are interested in weathering and advanced assembly methods.
Than ks to Kalmbach for providing this book for review. Please mention to retailers and vendors that you saw this book here - on