IntroductionHOn3 Annual 2018
by White River Productions
is "The How-To Guide For HO Narrow Gauge Railroading" for 2019. This 114 glossy page softcover is packed with excellent photography and detailed text, presenting some of the hobby's most exceptional model railroads. It is ISBN 9781932804478
I don't know what it is about narrow gauge that draws such inspiration and excellence. I know of standard gauge and modern layouts that are phenomenal in detail, accuracy and authenticity. Jack Burgess' recreation of the Yosemite Valley Railroad in HO and the Columbia Gorge Model Railroad Club both come to mind. However, it seems the majority of complete scale railroads or intricately detailed layouts are narrow gauge.
The methods and techniques and skills presented within this book are appropriate for every class of modeling.
Let's enjoy a selection of the genre here.
Many of the authors presented in this book are acclaimed model railroaders. Many or recognized experts and researcher in their subject. Some are even model designers and developers. Through 114 pages they bring us 17 layout tours or exceptional "how-to" demonstrations. The editor's commentary concerning legacy and mortality is, by his own admission, somewhat morbid and yet it is something all hobbyists should consider. The passing of Jim Vail last year has a lot of modelers contemplating the inevitable.
Beyond that, this annual is full of examples of the zenith of model railroading. This annual contents are:
When We Die by Chris Lane Narrow-minded notes: thoughts on our legacy.
1. Into the San Juans by Kevin Kussow Recreating 1890s Colorado.
2. East Tennessee & Western North Carolina Railroad Hoppers Nos. 47 and 48 by Brad Slone Brief hopper history and rolling stock drawings.
3. Bash Prefab HOn3 Point Turnouts into a 3-Way Stub Turnout by Bob Brendle
4. Building Better Gons by Stan Rhine The venerable Rio Grande gon examined.
5. Youve Got (Model) Mail! by Sam Swanson Special delivery of an obvious and overlooked detail.
6. Its The Little Things by Duane Richardson Contest judge shares tricks for better models.
7. Creede Diorama
Made In Austria by Peter Metzker Modeling the Rockies in the Alps.
8. Building the East Broad Tops Orbisonia Station by Russ Norris Who needs a kit?
9. Modern Operating Practices by Mike May Integrating operations on the HOn3 White Pass.
10. Narrow Gauge Modeling in 3D by Johnny Graybeal and William T. Miller A 2018 update.
11. Ferrocarril de Isla by John Ehresmann Modeling an island railway.
12. Red Mountain Livery Stable by L. Todd Leftwich Research and scratchbuilding recreate the past.
13. Near Sighted Narrow Gaugers by Duncan Harvey Developments on the portable layout.
14. From Mine to Market by Johnny Graybeal Mining and hopper cars on the ET&WNC.
15. The Caboose Project Layout by Chris Lane Building the HOn3 Bear Creek Railway, part 1.
16. The Circle Tour, Part 4 by George Riley, Esq. Taking the siding.
17. Destination: Roan Mountain by Geoff Stunkard Modeling the ET&WNC at the Carter Museum.
HOn3 Product Spotlight by HOn3 staff New releases for 2018-2019.
Those chapters present a feast of inspiration and technical guidance. Whether one prefers to build kits, scratchbuild or kitbash, you can learn useful skills through these articles. It is easy to visualize the art of scenery, color play, weathering, and overall creativity. It is hard to pick a favorite although Destination: Roan Mountain
is very close to me; I crewed tourist trains on the three restored miles of the legendary Tweetsie, have touched the layout, and acquainted with several of the modelers mentioned in the article. (I even have an N scale switching layout built by one of them.)
Another chapter presents the burgeoning selection of kits available for specific narrow gauge railroads.
The authors have their own styles and yet all of the articles are engaging, easy to read, and enjoyable. Their passion for their chapter subjects and the narrow gauge genre is obvious.
Photographs, Artwork, Graphics
The only black-and-white photos in this book are source material of prototypes. Every image of a model is full color. The photography is exceptional from detail shots to vistas of layouts.
Artwork includes color or black-and-white line art of rolling stock and structures, i.e., a 1903 car builder's schematic of a gondola end sill. Scaled to HO, an ET&WNC hopper is presented through eight engineering views. Mike May's chapter about modeling operations on his White Pass layout clearance forms, a track schematic, and his dispatcher office. Those are but a sampling of what else you will find int his book.
1. Signal Aspects and Indications
2. Bear Creek Ry.
Even without text this book is well worth having on your shelf.
ConclusionWhite River Productions HOn3 Annual 2018
is an exceptional annual for model railroaders. It features and excellent range of modeling subjects. Even modelers who have no interest in trains can learn valuable ideas about scenery, weathering, and structural modeling. With a gallery of high-quality photographs and art supporting the excellent text, I think any modeler will benefit from this book.
This annual is an exceptional value for the price and I heartily recommend it.