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Book Review
Animation, Lighting & Sound
Realistic Animation, Lighting & Sounds, Second Edition
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by: Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]

Originally published on:
RailRoad Modeling

Realistic Animation, Lighting & Sounds, Second Edition
Item: 12471
ISBN: 9780890248638
Type: Softcover
Pages: 96
Authors: Several

This completely redesigned edition helps modelers use today’s technology to add interest and action to their model railroad layouts. Enthusiasts learn how to install streetlights and building lights, use fiber optics, and simulate neon sign lighting. A working coal tipple, a spinning windmill, and a wig-wag crossing signal are just a few of the projects included. - Kalmbach

Kalmbach Publishing and Model Railroader published this title before. This is the updated second edition. This book has reminded me that our hobby is in the digital and miniaturized age. When I first saw this title I thought Animation, huh? Chunky humanoid figures jerkily knocking milk cans and boxes around, with a loud electrical snapping sound, a ’la Lionel and Tyco toys? Well, that shows my age!

After all, model railroaders animate our trains and turnouts, so why stop there? We still animate dumping of coal and rolling of logs, lowering and raising of crossing gates, sound and illumination. With today’s technology these features can be far more realistic. And with technology we can even animate the movement of street vehicles over the highways and byways of our layouts. No longer do we rely on hot incandescent bulbs that burn out every few days after melting our plastic structures with theory heat! With today’s materials we can even forgo wires and actually paint conductive surfaces from power source to appliance! In fact, with LED and even tinier grain-of-wheat bulbs, now you can even illuminate the lantern in the hand of your trackside railroad crewmember!

Those are but a few ideas demonstrated in this book of almost two dozen ingenious ideas. While some have been around since the days of tin plate, today you can create the animation, lighting and sound with much greater realism. And honestly, when you see these effects in person, they are very impressive!

Realistic Animation, Lighting & Sounds, Second Edition is a soft cover book of smooth quality pages. You are introduced to the subjects through 96 pages and 22 chapters. The topics are

    1. Animation on the Lone Pine & Tonopah (kicking logs at a mill)
    2. Build a working wig-wag signal
    3. How to animate overhead doors
    4. Simple rotating signs
    5. Build an operating tunnel curtain
    6. Moving vehicles for your HO or N layout
    7. Build an operating windmill
    8. Build a working track scale
    9. Operating gates for industrial spurs
    10. Working 3-position semaphores
    11. Add video animation to structures
    12. Loading and unloading coal
    13. Modeling platform and building lights
    14. Add lights to your structures
    15. Lighting scenes on your model railroad
    16. Painted power
    17. Pickup lights and a campfire
    18. Light passenger car interiors with DC
    19. Train-order signals with DCC
    20. Light up the night with neon
    21. Fiber optics in model railroading
    22. Layouts should be seen... and heard!

Each effect and technique is described in detail. Most narratives are easy to follow, even the procedures that use electronics. The authors do a good job of guiding you through their procedure. Several chapters have descriptive sidebars and some feature lists of materials and parts.

The book is well illustrated with color and black-and-white photographs, color artwork, line art, and charts and tables. Each chapter starts with a subject header photo of the complete scene, followed by in-progress pictures. This greatly inspires me to try the effect as well as supports the text.

Realistic Animation, Lighting & Sounds, Second Edition shattered many of my conceptions from the dinosaur age of model railroading. Plenty of great ideas of varying challenge are presented within these pages. It is well written. I appreciate the lists of materials and parts. The illustrations and photographic support is very good.

This is a good resource for inspiring and instructing modelers of all genres in animating layouts and dioramas. I happily recommend this book.

We thank Kalmbach Publishing Co. for kindly providing this book for review. Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here – on RailRoadModeling.

Scanned photos copyright © 2012 Kalmbach Publishing Co., used with permission.
Highs: It is well written and I appreciate the lists of materials and parts. The illustrations and photographic support is very good.
Verdict: This is a good resource for inspiring and instructing modelers of all genres in animating layouts and dioramas.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: Multiple S
  Mfg. ID: 12471 / ISBN: 9780890248638
  Suggested Retail: $19.95
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: May 25, 2012

Our Thanks to Kalmbach Publishing Co.!
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)

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 ©2020 text by Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]. All rights reserved.


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