Forsythe, Robert: A History of Locomotive Kits : Volume 1
Book Number: 013279
Amlor Publishing London, England 1999 137 pages b/w photos - The old adage "What goes around comes around" has probably never been more aptly applied than to the History of Locomotive Kits. During the last 40 years or so - since the Keyser family marketed their first whitemetal kit for the GWR 14XX 0-4-2T - manufacturers have come and gone but the kits themselves, it seems in many cases, go on forever. Whilst once-familiar names such as K's, Wills, Cotswold and many others are no longer with us, many of their products still are, albeit often developed and upgraded almost to the point of being unrecognisable. In this first volume of the series, Robert Forsythe looks at the ranges of K's and Wills - the two pioneers in the field - and Nu-Cast and South Eastern Finecast - probably today's largest producers. With the help of archive advertising, knowledgeable individuals and, where possible, the manufacturers themselves, the often-intricate "family trees" of these companies and those other former manufacturers now incorporated in their catalogues are clearly unravelled. A truly fascinating story. This, though, is not the only information to be gleaned from the book. Every kit is individually detailed through text and tables, frequently with comments regarding its fidelity to prototype. Many assembled models are pictured, either built "as intended" (warts and all) or modified to produce variants or more-accurate representations of the prototypes. Despite the occasional minor typographical error the book is a mine of information for locomotive modellers. Profusely illustrated, and including many superb examples of the kit-builder's art, this book can be heartily recommended to anyone interested in the history and development of the 4mm cast locomotive kit.