The online magazine on the history and operation of vintage scale model trains in American OO gauge

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Guy Williams on 4mm Scale Locomotive Construction

With the last post touching on British OO it is a good time to post on a British publication, Model Locomotive Construction in 4mm Scale by Guy Williams. My copy came to me via another American OO gauger and was originally given as a birthday present (by relatives, I believe) to the late Edward Morlok in probably the mid 1980s, inscribed inside “If you tell me you have this one too I’ll try again!”

As noted in an earlier post Williams was very active with the Pendon Museum and with EM (the 18mm gauge version of OO) from its beginnings, and I became familiar with him through another of his publications. This book, first published in 1979, is a compilation of a series of articles that first appeared in the Model Railway Constructor. In the introduction Williams notes
I started making model locos in 4mm in 1948 at the beginning of the nickel silver age, and since then I have been fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to make a great many locos of all sorts and sizes…. I suppose that I should not have been driven to make the kind of models I do now, had it not been for my association with the Pendon Museum. Quite early on I met Roye England, who was looking for a class of model rarely seen, that which had all visible detail and which would continue to work, day-in and day-out. Trying to achieve this goal has led me to numerous conclusions concerning do’s and don’ts in model construction which I am very pleased to pass on.
The book is full of information on building locomotives, and a visit to the Pendon Museum should be on the bucket list of any true 4mm enthusiast. The video below is part of a series of videos on the museum that are on YouTube. They are all excellent and this particular one mentions Williams (about one minute in) and the locomotives used at the Pendon Museum specifically. Enjoy!

I have considered putting up some American OO videos of my own; when I have something ready I will post more about it then.

1 comment:

Marcus B said...

If you have any desire to build your own locomotives from scratch, this book is essential reading from the master of such things. Certainly others have come after him, all masters in their own time and of their own methods, to refine the techniques, but this is the basics expressed in the best way possible - by example and anecdote.
It is also a good fireside read for those winter nights of planning models...
I know you will enjoy it!