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Book Review - The Complete Car Modeller 2 by Gerald Wingrove

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Photo of the front cover of The Complete Car Modeller by Gerald Wingrove, The Crowood Press UK.

Photo of the front cover of The Complete Car Modeller by Gerald Wingrove, published by The Crowood Press UK.

Photo Courtesy Pricegrabber Copyright 2005 Used With Permission

The Bottom Line

Gerald Wingrove is an exceptional model maker of scale boats and classic cars. His purpose in writing this second book on making model cars is to demonstrate the practical realities of building an exacting metal model from scratch. Anyone interested in high end collectible scale cars, or a modeller who wants to understand the techniques of a master will appreciate this book. The book is published by The Crowood Press (www.crowoodpress.com). First published in 1991, the most recent paperback edition was published in 2005.
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  • One quarter of the book is devoted to materials, tools and workspace
  • Lots of insights into the sorts of problem solving involved in high end models
  • Good descriptions of many useful techniques for scratchbuilding
  • Detailed scale drawings included for reference


  • None, except that you may be encouraged to devote a lot of time to scratch modelling.


  • Shows the complete creation of an exactingly detailed scratch built metal car.
  • Lots of information on modelling processes and alternatives for various situations.
  • Great explanations of fine metal work in scale throughout, concentrating at least as much on artistry as on engineering.
  • Excellent detail photographs of all stages including planning and research as well as construction.

Guide Review - Book Review - The Complete Car Modeller 2 by Gerald Wingrove

All builders appreciate insights on the tools and workspace of a master. Gerald Wingrove devotes a quarter of this book to discussing tools, equipment, shop and bench layouts. He carefully explains how he came to be at the point he was when this book was first written, and includes information on the process that results in the drawings used to work up the models. His information isn't a description of what the ordinary modeller needs, but rather a sharing of how an expert reached his current stage, encouraging other scale modellers to think about how they can improve their work space as needed.

After the discussion of useful tools and materials for scratch building, Wingrove discusses the car chassis, linking how working drawings, material decisions, and the chassis parts come together. He uses the process of making the Weinberger Bugatti Royale to show how various design and special parts needs were worked out from start to finish for this model. There is a lot of information on soldering, moulding, casting and turning parts for this project.

In the engine section he covers special problems of creating the detailed engine features, including methods of finishing metal to create the scale equivalent of an engine turned finish. Details on how to recreate specific engine elements are given as well. The links used to problem solve issues are well described.

Two final sections of the book are devoted to creating the forms and the metal parts for the body, as well as the various methods of finishing the special details of this particular car.

Wingrove explains throughout that he wrote this book to help others build their own scratch projects, not to recreate the one he shows as an example. The book is heavily illustrated and very clearly and informatively written.

Price $25 in paperback. ISBN 1 86126 750 9 current edition 2005, Crowood Press UK.

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