First published in the latter part of 1946, this groundbreaking little book was the first comprehensive review of model diesel engines and their associated technology to appear in the English language. The book was compiled by D. J. Laidlaw-Dickson and edited by D. A. Russell. It was published by the Harborough Publishing Co. Ltd., then publishers of "Aeromodeller" magazine.
In terms of its advice on the design and operation of model diesels, the book is of course so far out of date as to have little value beyond that of a record of the starting point of model diesel development - we've learned a lot since then! However, the comprehensive survey of model diesels which were then commercially available remains as relevant as ever to anyone interested in the history of these little mechanical marvels - for me, it's a required reference when writing about that era. Moreover, among the many topics covered is a complete set of instructions for building the Sparey 5 cc diesel. These remain as relevant today as they were back then.
Despite the fact that many of its conclusions and recommendations have been decisively set aside as a result of later experience, this book remains a charming and always engaging look back to a more innocent and in some ways more wondrous time when aeromodelling was developing in new and exciting ways; when model diesels were the new emerging technology; and when people designed and built their own models and expected to have to put out some effort to achieve success. As a snapshot of the very exciting era during which the potential of model diesels was just beginning to be appreciated in Britain, it remains a highly enjoyable and informative read for anyone interested in the history of model diesel development during the pioneering era. In order to fully appreciate where a technology has got to, it's wise never to forget where it started from. For model diesel enthusiasts, this book is a wonderful look back to a time when the world and the model diesel were both new and bursting with possibilities.
Copies still turn up from time to time on eBay and elsewhere. Any model diesel enthusiast who manages to acquire a copy will not be disappointed - this is a fascinating look back over the shoulder!