It’s no secret that for many enthusiasts that locomotives are at the heart of our interests – what we discover beyond these often develops from going out and watching trains going by. There haven’t been many books dedicated to modelling diesel and electric locomotives though.
I can remember buying Thoroughly Modern Models – Diesels in 4mm by Nigel Burkin with the money I had from my very first article in Railway Modeller. It was very well suited to the stage I was at then. It was a good introduction into the wider subject of detailing modern traction, with the appeal at the time that the projects in the book were very up to date in 1997! They are now a source of nostalgia!
It’s still worth a read but I feel that Modelling Diesels in 4mm Scale by Tim Shackleton has stood the test of time far better than the Burkin book.
I didn’t get Tim’s book until about 1999, after reading his wonderful two part article on modelling class 60s in Model Railway Journal. His approach struck a chord with me and I felt his approach was more about building models of locomotives than building model locomotives – a subtle but key difference. Not just accepting parts as they are but looking at the options and picking and choosing the best parts and components to achieve the desired result.
This is the book which I would recommend modellers buy, even twenty two years after it was first published! I bought James S a copy on this basis! Yes, it doesn’t benefit from the next generation of ready to run models but every technique in there is still relevant and useful to us now.