by: Jim Rae [ ]
The first thing that struck me with No.2 of XM, was the cover. A beautifully executed LVT-(A) 2 by Jorge López. The magazine follows its useful format, seven very different articles which are:
Super-detailing the Dragon Hetzer; A Step by step guide to supertailing and improving Italeri's LVT
A photographic essay covering the Alligator and Buffalo LVT-(A)1 and LVT-4 respectively. A list of improvements is listed for each vehicle.
Part 2 of a big diorama featuring a Pzkpfw V (ausf G) . Two separate articles, one of superdetailing the Panther and the other on its crew.
A feature on building a diorama called 'The Lighthouse' now this is something else again. If you have ever felt the need to build a 1/35 lighthouse, then this is what you have been waiting for. In a word spectacular.
Another diorama feature this time concentrating on a dug-in Iraqui T-72 with some invaluable advice on terrain building, base construction using Kirin's T-72 as the featured vehicle. The weathering advice on this is truly awesome.
Part 2 of a diorama entitled Red Death,White fields using MIG productions destroyed T·34 and a Stug III (ausf G) . This article concentrates on something most of us have wanted to do, convincingly recreate a wrecked vehicle. The end result is surprising to put it mildly.
The final two articles include two photo reports, one on the annual AMT show in Torrent (Spain) and the much smaller MAPA show which is held in Palencia, Spain. The final page covers up-coming releases of various manufacturer's products including Mig productions, Legend and a new one (for me at least) called PLUS ULTRA TECH, who have produced a resin kit of the Steyr Panzerdraisine.
When issue one of XM was issued, I bought it. I didn't like it very much. I was also perhaps a bit harsh in my criticism of it. Now I have to swallow my words a bit, if you can just put a bit of sauce on the crow, even better.
The difference between issue 1 and 2 is (in my opinion at least) immense. There are still a predominance of articles on german armor, however, the fact that german armor is the dominant force in model sales, that has to be accepted.
The production quality of XM is second to none. Printed on thick, high-quality paper with photos of an extraordinary definition, XM still leaves doubts as to its definition... Is it a magazine or is it a monograph? I tend to go for the latter, it's not in the same format as FSM or Military Modelling. In fact it really is unique and closer to the Verlinden diorama series than anything else. It's certainly more expensive as there is very little advertising within it's pages although as I mentioned before, the photos are designed to be used as reference not as simple representation.
On the negative side, I still don't like the narrative style very much. It tends to become a little 'flowery' although that almost certainly stems from the translation. The curious fact in this magazine is that it is entirely produced in english, something I consider very innovative in a spanish-produced magazine. The producers have obviously got their heads screwed on thinking in global marketing terms rather than local. Included within the magazine is an 8 page supplement which translates all the articles into spanish, even this is well-produced, not the usual cheap n' nasty typewritten format.
In conclusion, I have no hesitation in thoroughly reccomending this to all armor modellers. It is certainly expensive but as it is produced on a quartely basis, it won't hurt the bank-balance too much.It is also useful if you decide that your dioramas really need a 1/35 lighthouse as a set-piece, this for me (apart from the Alligator and Buffalo features) an incredibly interesting project.
When Xtreme modelling No. 1 came out, I was extreme doubtful as to its viability, now with the 2nd issue in my hands (just before issue no.3 hits the shops), I have to say that it is getting better and better.
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Copyright ©2020 text by Jim Rae [ ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of Historicus Forma or Silver Star Enterprises. All rights reserved.
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