Iain Rice

It was with a heavy heart that I read of Iain’s passing over the weekend. It is no understatement to say that Iain has been an inspiration for me since childhood…

From his writing in Model Railway Journal, my first introduction through the pages of my Grandpa’s magazines, to his Wild Swan and Kalmbach publications I enjoy his conversational informal style and wonderful illustrations. I would read one of Iain’s book just for the pure enjoyment of it, and Cameo layouts for me was the ultimate collection of thinking, ideas and illustration all in one title. Lovely to pick up and read, my copy is well thumbed. It is thanks to Iain that I decided to write my own book, I drew deep inspiration from his approach to both theory and presenting ideas, a way of making both accessible to both the beginner and experienced modeller. 

Of course many will write about Iain and his influence on their lives, and I’m sure the magazines may well touch on his overall contribution to finescale modelling. I’m feeling sad today, the hobby has lost a gentle kind inspiring man. Long may his material live on to inspire modellers of the future. 


  1. Hi James

    Sorry to hear about the death of Iain Rice. I did not realise he was ill and did not seem old enough - but then I never knew how old he was

    I have a number of his books or those with articles by him and although I did not always agree with the designs he seemed one of those who could span the gap between UK and US style layouts.
    He will be missed
    Best wishes

    1. I think I preferred his writing to his layout plans - he definitely had interests that spanned the Atlantic, to great effect I think.

  2. I always enjoyed his writing in Model Railways back in the day, through to his work with Wild Swan and of course Morill and Railmodel Digest. Morill in particular was a fine venture, its a real shame that it didn't succeed as it should have done. It has to be said that I didn't agree with all that he wrote, but I always enjoyed the way he did write whatever the subject. I believe that he had a hand in the Wills range of plastic kits, he certainly did write a modest book on utilising them to good effect, one of my favourite modelling books in fact.

    1. I think I love that observation Paul, that even if you didn’t like what Iain was saying you liked how he said it. That is indeed what kept me going back to his material, and I love the fact we all have our own favourites that tell us a little about ourselves.


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