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Book Review
USS Alaska, Built & Detailed
Building & Detailing the 1/350 Scale Hobby Boss USS Alaska, CB-1
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by: Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]


_ORGINPUB:
Model Shipwrights

Introduction
Building & Detailing the 1/350 Scale Hobby Boss USS Alaska, CB-1 is the third manual of the new Mike Ashey Publishing Comprehensive Series Scale Model Ship Manual. This manual has 80 pages and 391 color photos in an A4 format. This publication series is unique in format, too, the pages are pre-punched to fit into a binder; a cover and title page are includes, as is a page of spine banners to identify the book.

Mike Ashey has been writing acclaimed modeling books since the late 1980s. Now he has entered the desktop publishing arena with his books and new titles. Let's examine why his books are so highly regarded.

COMPREHENSIVE SERIES SCALE MODEL SHIP MANUALS
This is a different approach to publishing, which allows incorporation of a lot of sequenced color pictures into each manual, at a nominal price. Each manual is printed on heavy stock glossy paper and designed to be stored in a customer supplied 3-ring "D" binder. Each manual is 3-ring punched and also comes with a front and back heavy cardstock cover to protect the manual and front, back and side cardstock inserts for your binder. The side insert has 3 different cutout sizes for 1.5, 2 and 3 inch "D" ring binders.

United States and Puerto Rico Purchases can be made using PAYPAL, personal checks or money orders.

For International Purchases see the website instructions before placing an order. Mike Ashey Publishing Comprehensive Series Scale Model Ship Manuals are also now available on eBay. EBay also has manuals which are in "bundle" packages.

The Manual
This manual details the building of Hobby Boss' USS Alaska (1,300 parts!) virtually step by step. Mr. Ashey demonstrates the use of various modeling tools and techniques for cleaning, testing, and fitting parts. Those tools are reinforced with tools and supplies that are not specifically model-related; some are very clever. With so many parts, it would be wise to have a method to arrange and segregate the parts, and Mr. Ashey mentions his method to do so.

Mr. Ashey describes the model fit and detail with superlatives and yet does not shy away from showing some flaws. Those flaws he shows as well as how to correct them. He also remarks upon where some of Hobby Boss' detail is not up to standard, and what other company's products he used to replace or modify the kit parts. Scratchbuilding is even demonstrated.

Working the styrene and metal parts are covered in detail. Forming of the photo-etch is demonstrated with jigs and formers.

Painting the U.S. Navy's camouflage measure 32 dazzle pattern can be a laborious project. Twenty-seven pages are devoted to masking and painting the model, from small pieces, to entire sub-assemblies. Cutting of masking tape is presented, detailing the use of small strips to larger area masking pieces. This manual could be a stand-alone painting guide.

The almost completely painted model is shown with two large photos on one page.

Finally, 11 pages present the adding of tiny parts and the process of rigging the ship. The last two pages feature close-ups of the superstructure, and the fully complete model.

Short of building the model myself, I don't know if there could be a more in-depth journey through the process.

This manual ends with a page presenting everything used to create this model:
    Paints
    Alternative Parts
    Tools and Supplies (26 items!)
    Reference Material
    Modeler's Notes

Photographs
Mr. Ashey is generous with his full color images. Almost every page has six photographs. Some photos are larger, with two photos on the page. Several images have arrows to leave no doubt where to look for important subjects.

The photographs are excellent, shot with high illumination and a crisp medium blue backdrop. Photographs are focused intimately close for many details, and also to show sub-assemblies.

Masking of so many nooks and crannies is illustrated. I find the detail and quality of the photographs to be uniformly excellent.

Conclusion
Building & Detailing the 1/350 Scale Hobby Boss USS Alaska, CB-1 is an excellent modeling manual. Especially for ship modelers. Even if one does not have any intention of building this specific model, the methods and techniques, after-market supplies and processes are appropriate and useful for any modeling genre.

The process is painstakingly documented. Each of the 370 crisp color photographs are excellent, expertly illuminated in front of a pleasing backdrop.

I think this is an excellent manual for modelers of any genre, and an exceptional how-to for ship modelers, and an outstanding presentation of the Hobby Boss USS Alaska. Highly recommended.
SUMMARY
Highs: The assembly process is painstakingly documented. Each of the 370+ crisp color photographs are excellent, expertly illuminated in front of a pleasing backdrop.
Lows: De minimis.
Verdict: I think this is an excellent manual for modelers of any genre, and an exceptional how-to for ship modelers, and an outstanding presentation of the Hobby Boss USS Alaska.
  Scale: N/A
  Mfg. ID: 3
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Sep 14, 2018
  NATIONALITY: United States
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 87.03%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 97.00%

Our Thanks to Mike Ashey Publishing!
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.

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About Frederick Boucher (JPTRR)
FROM: TENNESSEE, UNITED STATES

I'm a professional pilot with a degree in art. My first model was an AMT semi dump truck. Then Monogram's Lunar Lander right after the lunar landing. Next, Revell's 1/32 Bf-109G...cried havoc and released the dogs of modeling! My interests--if built before 1900, or after 1955, then I proba...

Copyright 2018 text by Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]. 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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