I'm not sure who coined the term “Spanish Way,” but suffice to say it has, in the last few years, become a watchword for a very different approach to finishing vehicles and dioramas. The success of this “School” has been recognized internationally also, with a considerable number of medal winners in the most prestigious competitions. The Spanish publishing house Xtreme Modelling has become an important showcase for this group of modelers. And in The Spanish Way #2 - Painting and Displaying Military Models (Volume 2), the second volume in this series, nine different modelers describe their approach to some very diverse subjects- from the Centauro to the Sherman and many more in-between
The book is soft-cover in an A4 format, and has 128 pages. Like other “project” books, a variety of authors contribute a chapter presenting one of their own personal projects. With the exception of one, all the projects profiled are dioramas.
The commissioning editor has structured the book in a slightly different manner, dividing it into four sections:
Elements (water, snow, ice etc.) Seasons (self-explanatory!) Spaces (rural, industrial etc.) and Historical (reference)
Within each section are individual projects:
Elements Water: “Rodina Mat Zovets” by Joaquín García Gázquez (T-34) Earth: “Super Fritz” by José A. Azorín (KV1)
Seasons Summer: “Red Summer” by Michel Pérez (Elefant) Fall: “Fungui per tutti” by Ignacio del Corral (Flakpanzer 38t)
Spaces Urban: “Love is in the air” by Antonio Martín Tello (M32) Factory: “TTT” by Mig Jiménez (Tiger I) Rural: “Shot em’ up” by Rubén González (Sherman Firefly)
Historical Walkround: "VRCC-105 Centauro" by Detlef J. Sánchez-Redondo (from VRCC-105 Centauro In Detail by Claudio Fernández)
Although in a book of this type it's difficult to find a “typical” project, it's a good idea to look in a little more depth at one in particular. For this I've chosen “Love is in the air” by Antonio Martín Tello. I've seen Tello's work several times before, and he's always managed to surprise me, In this, the center point of his dio is an M32.
I can honestly say that I'd never considered seeing an M32 used as a vehicle for a romantic assignation. In this, Tello, has the jib pointed at an upstairs window with a U.S. soldier presenting a bouquet of flowers to a girl while the rest of the crew looks on. The structure of the dio is simple: a section of cobblestoned street and a building frontage. What makes it stand out (amongst many other excellent projects), though, are the small elements, which together make for an excellent composition. The animation of the figures is simple yet convincing. The addition of a small boy and his dog (both looking in amazement) and bits such as the hopscotch grid chalked on the sidewalk, or the old newspapers covering the inside of the cafe's windows, all help to bring together a complete setting.
Martin Tello explains the construction of the individual elements, concentrating on the base work in some detail. One aspect which is useful (and now becoming more and more common) is his use of CM (Color Modulation) in building up the finish of the M32. More and more non-Axis vehicles are getting this treatment, and it’s a good confirmation that it can be used on OD as easily as Dunkelgelb.
The rest of the book
Although not designed like the publisher's Black Star series as a “specific” manual of techniques, each of the other projects covers an enormous amount of terrain. Water effects, rust, vegetation, are all touched on with each individual author's applications. The variety of styles and approaches make this book doubly valuable, and it's good seeing vehicle finishing AND groundwork get equal billing.
I've got an enormous admiration for Xtreme Modelling's publications, previously I felt that there was a lack of “balance,” with considerably more German subjects showcased than any other. The balance in THIS book is much better. Saying that, some of these techniques can be applied to any model of ANY nationality.
One way of viewing this book is as a “Master Class” taught by some extremely talented modelers. It's not an interpretation I'd personally want to place on the book, as the Master Class concept does tend to put many (particularly younger) modelers off. That shouldn’t happen, since the style of the book is very accessible, and the many techniques are clearly presented with no element of preaching.
Graphically the book is excellent, with the photos clear and reproduced to a good size. It's a VERY sharp-looking book with layout logical and clear. The text is very well-translated, and although there are a few (very) minor errors in the translation, there is nothing which takes away from the fluidity of the text. Overall it’s a good mixture of the “showcase” book and the modeling manual- a balance which is rarely well done. In this case, excellently.
Highs: The sensible format of the book. The quality of the presented projects, and the excellent presentation. Very good value for money as well.Lows: None that really make for comment.Verdict: An excellent and useful book for all levels of modelers.
Our Thanks to Xtreme Modelling! This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.
About Jim Rae (jimbrae) FROM: PROVINCIA DE LUGO, SPAIN / ESPAñA
Self-employed English teacher living in NW Spain. Been modelling off and on since the sixties. Came back into the hobby around ten years ago. First love is Soviet Armor with German subjects running a close second. Currently exploring ways of getting cloned to allow time for modelling, working and wr...