Diesel Locomotive Modeling Techniques, Vol. One: SW1500

“I always feel that every model I build has a piece of my heart in it somewhere. This is not a how-to book but more of how I go about it book; full of the ideas and techniques I apply to my modern diesel models.”

Tony Sissons

Want a peek inside? Keep scrolling.

People are busier than ever today and with the emphasis on operations oriented layouts, we want easy solutions for our modeling. So what should one make of this book?

One might think it’s only for Conrail fans but it isn’t.

One might also think it’s too intimidating, which for some it probably is. This isn’t a beginner’s book by any means.

It’s my hope you’ll see this book as the foundation for a deeper, more engaging experience of the craft. As stated above, it is not aimed at beginners. It’s for experienced modelers who want to take their skills to a higher level.

Diesel Surgery 101

Cutting into a model can be nerve wracking, especially if it’s your first time. The solution is to plan your cuts thoroughly and practice your technique on scrap, before committing to the actual model. In the end, it’s just plastic and mistakes can be fixed.

There are plenty of books that teach generic modeling and/or weathering techniques. Techniques that are good enough for everyone, regardless of their skill level. As modelers, we all need those initial skills to start with. But when you want to grow beyond the basics, it gets harder to find good resources that show you how to take your modeling farther. That’s what this book is about: teaching you how to advance your skills.

The Fan

A scratchbuilt fan and louvers along with an etched safety grille add to the “wow” factor of the loco.

Pilot Details

I think a scale coupler pocket makes a huge difference to any locomotive. There was a time when I didn’t do anything with the coupler pocket, but now replacing the original pockets is on my list of mandatory jobs.

Throughout this volume you get to look over Tony’s shoulder and learn how he approaches a project like this. You get to see the triumphs and the mistakes. You get to see what’s really involved in crafting a bespoke model to his standards.

In the process you’ll learn how he plans out the project, gathers his reference material and outlines the choices for work ahead of him. Step-by-step you see the why and how of his approach. And along the way, you’ll feel encouraged to face your intimidation and overcome your fear.

A Few Details

Fishing line is perfect for the overflow tube as it flexes back to its original shape and place if bumped. My initial choice of 11lb breaking strain looked a bit heavy to my eyes, so I went with 6lbs breaking strain, with a diameter of 0.009” (0.23mm) that is more satisfying visually.

Painting and Weathering

From a model to a miniature locomotive.


Do you have to treat every model like this? No, of course not. We all have very different goals we want to pursue. That said, it’s rewarding to see what you can accomplish when you really test your limits. That feeling of knowing you stuck with a project and overcame obstacles that stopped you before is one of the greatest rewards this craft offers.

So, how should you approach this book? As a reference that deserves a place in your modeling library. One that will serve you well for many years.

Check out the link below to order your copy.

Available now at the OST Store.

Print: Softcover, 96 pages, 24.95+shipping

Ebook: 7.2MB PDF, 9.99