Model Building with Brass book review

Review of book by Kenneth C. Foran
Model Building with Brass
by Kenneth C. Foran
Schiffer Publishing Ltd.
4880 Lower Valley Road, Rte. 372
Atglen PA 19310
8¾" x 11¼", 160 pp; 320+ color photos; hardbound
Price: $34.99
Learning to build models from durable materials (i.e., metals) is one of the most satisfying avenues of model construction. This book can be an important asset in that pursuit.

Model Building with Brass is written by Ken Foran, a man with a vast amount of experience building museum-quality models—mostly automobiles and aircraft—out of metal, primarily brass. He has developed a multitude of techniques and is able to describe his methods in a readable, easy-to-understand manner that should be readily comprehensible by people of any experience level. Although the book is not railroad oriented, virtually all of the techniques described therein can be easily transferred to railroad modeling.

The book begins with an explanation of why brass is an ideal modeling medium. This is followed by a survey of the most commonly used tools when working with brass, including hand tools and small machine tools.

Working with tubing, bar, and special shapes is described in detail, as is the use of solder.
Fabrication of parts from sheet and bar  comprise fascinating chapters. Techniques described are illustrated photographically, showing the fabrication of actual parts for models the author is building. Miniature taps, dies, and screws are addressed in the “Micro Hardware” chapter.

Although the author uses machine tools, the bulk of his work is done with hand tools. Machine tools (lathe and mill) are touched upon, as are other techniques, including plating and acid etching. However, these are not explored in depth in this volume. The book winds up with a gallery of photos of two of the author’s superb models: a 1911 Model T racer and a WWI biplane in skeletal form.

Model Building with Brass is beautifully illustrated with high-quality color photographs and the printing is excellent. The writing is clear, concise, and readable. If you are interested in learning to use brass in your models or increasing your skill, this book is a must-have.


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