Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Book Review: Frijole Flats Sketchbook - Part 1

Book Review: Frijole Flats Sketchbook - Part 1 by Thomas A. Yorke 

I just got my copy of Frijole Flats and had to sit down and read it immediately.  I'm a big fan of Tom Yorke's and love his kits and other sketchbooks.  He's a very talented and creative individual.  Naturally this book had to be added to my collection.

It is very much like his other books but with a little more pizzaz.  It features fantastic drawings that only Tom can create.  This book also provides a lot of construction tips and techniques to go along with the drawings.  For me it is a great book for inspiration.  If you want to build an On30 layout centered around a Mexico/South Western theme you need this book.

The hotel drawing is my favorite.  It features detailed sketches of each side of the building with a bit of history as well.  The isometric drawing really brings the structure to life and I believe I can build a model of this interesting structure from these drawings. 

Many of the buildings are Adobe structures.  Each has its own character from formal Spanish to run down shacks.  Even a handy privy is included!

The book is printed so that it lays flat on your desktop.  This must have been Tom's idea because I know him to be an avid modeler.  He list products that he uses such as Dr. Ben's stains and pigments as well as how to use them.  There is even good instruction on what brushes you should use.  For a scratchbuilder this is a great book.

Some things that I didn't like about the book were the price and the typos.  The book is $29.95 with shipping included.  The book is only 51 pages long so it is quite expensive for what you get.  The worst part is the writing which really needs to be revisited.  It suffers from tons of typos and bad grammer which detract from the beauty of the book.  Even the star Pepito has his name is misspelled.

My call: I think it is a wonderful, whimsical adventure into the deep South West and a great inspiration to those that like to model the not-so-serious.  On30 modelers will love this book!  I give it three stars and I'm looking forward to Part 2.

You can order the book direct from Thomas Yorke through his associate Keith Glaab at and they take checks and Paypal.

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