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Book Review
187
Union Crane & Shovel
Building & Weathering the HO Scale Cornerstone Union Crane & Shovel
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by: Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]


Originally published on:
RailRoad Modeling

Introduction
Building & Weathering the HO Scale Cornerstone Union Crane & Shovel from Mike Ashey Publications is his 2nd Comprehensive Series Scale Model Railroad Manual. This manual has 16 pages and 87 color photos.

Mike Ashey has been authoring highly popular modeling books since the 1980s. His subjects include model railroading, aircraft, armor & military, automotive, and maritime; now he has moved into desktop publishing. The book is a full size A4 format on quality paper displaying full color photography and and narrative captions. Included is a cover and title page plus a page for notes, and binder banners to identify which book is held in the binder. The pages are even pre-punched for a 3-hole binder. Pretty classy.

This review looks at one of his manuals.

Content
Each page has at least one photograph. The captions are clear and concise. One characteristic about Mr. Ashey I appreciate is his humble way of acknowledging that he either made a mistake or might do something different next time.

This manual is not so much a general modeling How-To as it is a dedicated highly detailed step-by-step assemble process of a specific kit. It is a custom and professionally expansion of the kit instructions including tips and techniques.

Those tips and techniques are very useful for newer modelers and yet there are examples of things even seasoned experienced modelers can appreciate. Where the kit "needs help" he visually and textually guides the modeler with improvements or repairs.

I am impressed with his prompts to assemble the kit and tape it to check fit, and then how to make the assembly permanent. In between he shows how to check for flaws prior to final assembly.

He does not stop with simply assembling the model. He also provides a very detailed demonstration of painting and weathering. Some of the paints he even calls out by brand and color, even mentioning that he used his last bottle of the late-great Floquil in creating the masonry colors.

This kit has decals. Mr. Ashey did not discuss how to makes and paint signage but he again demonstrates a detailed method for decaling across a rough and irregular surface. Trains, planes, armored-mobiles - an excellent technique to know.

Finally, the manual presents the completed kit in all its glory. From several angles.

Photography
At least one photograph fills each page, and most of the narrative features multiple images. The photographs are clear, colorful, and focuses on the topic at hand. They support the text to perfection.

Conclusion
Building & Weathering the HO Scale Cornerstone Union Crane & Shovel is an impressive manual which guides modelers along the process of building, decaling, weathering and finishing a model. With excellent text and photography we are provided a detailed narrative of assembly. The processes are valid whether one is a master modeler or new to the hobby.

If there is any thing I could nitpick, it is minor - no demonstration nor mention of masking and painting lettering on irregular surfaces in lieu of using decals.

Mike Ashey's Building & Weathering the HO Scale Cornerstone Union Crane & Shovel is a valuable manual for modelers of structures, whether they are for a model railroad or another genre. Highly recommended.
SUMMARY
Highs: Excellent text and photography. Detailed narrative of assembly.
Lows: No demonstration nor mention of masking and painting lettering on irregular surfaces in lieu of using decals.
Verdict: An impressive manual which guides modelers along the process of building, decaling, weathering and finishing a model. The processes are valid whether one is a master modeler or new to the hobby.
Percentage Rating
98%
  Scale: 1:87
  Mfg. ID: Manual 2
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Sep 17, 2017
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 87.00%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 97.00%

Our Thanks to Mike Ashey Publishing!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Frederick Boucher (JPTRR)
FROM: TENNESSEE, UNITED STATES

I'm a professional pilot with a degree in art. My first model was an AMT semi dump truck. Then Monogram's Lunar Lander right after the lunar landing. Next, Revell's 1/32 Bf-109G...cried havoc and released the dogs of modeling! My interests--if built before 1900, or after 1955, then I proba...

Copyright 2017 text by Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of ModelGeek. All rights reserved.


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