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Trainwrecks, Locomotives & Wagons



Publisher: AK Interactive


Available from AK Interactive for € 42,-




Whilst this is not a book on large scale models, armour or even planes, I will show you that this title can be very helpful in enhancing your paint and weathering skills. If you however are in the hobby for model trains, this will prove to be a must have for adding realism to your tracks. I have to be honest. When this book landed on my doorstep for review I put it aside, thinking the subject ‘trains’ was of no interest to me, LSM, thus you. But after fumbling through it’s pages I noticed the weathering techniques are quite alike the techniques we use on our Large Scale armour and planes. Maybe more armour than planes actually. Chipping, streaking, washes, etc… And with the ever growing offer of large scale (1:35) train subjects by brands like Trumpeter and Dragon, this seemed like a good title to review for you – the Large Scale Modeller ;)




So what do we get?

A sturdy A4, glue bounded book. 208 quality colour printed pages, filled with tips, techniques and reference material. The book has both the novice modeller and experienced modeller in mind. The first probably being the railroad modeller that wants to start experimenting with weathering techniques, and the latter looking to up his weathering game. The build up of the book in this sense is logical:


• Introduction to materials

• Model examples with step by step instructions

• Scenes, featuring railroad tracks, buildings and other hardware

• Reference material of the real deal


Another note to add is that the lay-out and art direction of these AK titles are getting better every title. Being one myself (art director that is) I can really appreciate the attention to detail in this area.


I won’t elaborate on every single subject or model (that would be a bit too much), but I will address the highlights as I walk you through the pages.




• Introduction

As said before, this book is for both novice as experience modeller. Therefor this book starts with discussing all the available jars of goodness we as a modeller can choose from: primers, varnishes, acrylics, lacquers, enamels, oils, etc...






This is followed by a chapter on techniques, where the basics of modelling are set apart. Filters, washes, oils… All basic stuff for most of us, but judging by the amount of questions I get through the forum and Facebook, there are still a lot of modellers out there that are new to the hobby, are just stuck in their ways, and will definitely benefit from these ‘seemingly’ basic pointers.







• Model examples

The first model that gets ’the treatment’ only gets a slight make over. Some washes, a light filter of dust and some subtle streaking, but just enough to bring it to life.



This is immediately followed by an Atlas 8-40BW (a what??) that gets weathered to match a real life photograph. Rust, graffiti, streaking, the works. Pretty impressive stuff:




The scale of most of these trains is HO, or rather 1:87. Looking at the photo’s of these models, it’s hard to believe these trains are smaller than 1:72. Since this book carries the official approval of the Märklin brand, I looked up some of the prices of your normal locomotive. These easily run for 150 euros a piece. And you thought your hobby was pricey!











Now that I got the taste for looking up the prices of some of these trains and wagons, I noticed a locomotive on page 122 (a Renfe-Mikado Steam Locomotive in HO scale) that runs for 425 euro’s online :D This 425 euro locomotive is basically…. Black. All black, right from the box. Seeing it come to life over the following pages with the help of pigments, pencil and streaking agents is doing justice to this expensive gem. Seeing it run the tracks in all it’s life-likeness should be a treat for the railroad enthusiast... Here you go:






• Scenes

One thing that makes all those euro’s and hard work a waste, is seeing a huge set-up with stations, villages, roads, mountains and trees, but somehow it all still feels like toys. That’s where the next chapter comes into it’s right. Scenes (or rather ‘scenery elements’). On the following pages we learn how to convincingly paint those plastic looking HO houses, amazing accessories (like a horse drawn cart and water pump), railroad tracks and other structures. If you look at all the aspects in this book, it becomes clear the skills of a hardened diorama and armour builder are useful assets in this hobby.


Some cool reference photo's on the scenery details:








 • Reference Photography

About 25 pages finish up the book and show us a good selection of the real stuff. Heavily rusted and weathered, to give you a good impression on where to sprinkle your magic pigments and place your pin washes. Ofcourse, if you are an avid railroad fan, you own and make your own photographs, BUT probably not all over the world, as these photographs were made. Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Zambia…. You know… the places where these trains take the biggest beating.







If you look at this book as a book that is intended for the railroad hobbyist pur sang, you’re doing it short. If you love trains, weathering, armour, diorama’s and more… this title might surprise you. I hope my review will let you take a look inside, where you otherwise might not have done so. Bare in mind that it is 208 pages thick and covers at least 18 trains and wagons through their weathering stages, about 8 scenery elements through their building and painting stages and is topped off by a pretty big reference photography section. I'm sure that if you manage to learn something from this book and apply some of the techniques to your railroad or even large scale models, it will stop the onlooker in their.... tracks :D


A special thanks to Maciej from AK Interactive for the review sample.


Available here.


Jeroen Peters




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