by: Russ Amott [ ]
Auriga Publishing International have published a series of step by step books in their Static Model Manual series which cover a variety of useful topics for modelers from basic to advanced skill levels. Their latest book, volume four in the series, covers building, presented in one hundred and one steps.
The soft cover book is printed in full color, with text in both Italian and English and is 114 pages. Author Alessandro Bruschi states his purpose in preparing this book was to highlight basic building techniques, something he feels has been overlooked in recent years as most of the focus has gone to finishing techniques. The material presented does not go in depth into any specific topic, but rather provides an informative overview of the potential techniques that can be employed.
The book starts out very simply, explaining what an injection molded kit is and how it is made, discussing sprue presentation, potential blemishes and how to remove parts from a sprue and clean them up. Work space and tool selection are also covered, explaining what the different tools and materials are and how to use them.
The book uses small icons in the photos, such as an exclamation point where attention is needed, red X as a warning not to do and green check marks to show correct techniques. The text and photos are clear and ordered but move very quickly. They are simple enough for a beginner to follow and make a good reminder for more experienced modelers.
Throughout the book the various techniques are demonstrated on actual model kits, mainly armor and aircraft, but many of the techniques are universal. The instruction goes from basic to intermediate to advanced techniques, with texturing, weld seams, panel line scribing, riveting, embossing, making handles, working with wire and etch parts, resin, plasticard, and doing your own vacuform and resin casting.
There is a good section on how to assemble vinyl tracks and create sag with them, as well as assembling Fruil and Modelkasten individual link tracks. Polishing cockpit canopies and making your own vacuform machine to create your own canopies is also covered in detail, as well as applying your own zimmerit and making your own anti-skid surfaces, working with putty to make tarps and cloth, and making seat belts. The book not only covers the basic how-to information but gives a modeler plenty of ideas on how to improve techniques and gain some new skills.
I like very much how this book presents the information, and my son, Andrew, spent a lot of time reading through as well, and asking me about different things he liked. It isn't presented as an in depth resource for a specific technique or style but is a broad overview, which it does very well. The book is soft cover, which reduces both the price and the long term durability if it is left out, but a simple sheet of clear vinyl can be applied as a protective cover.
The book has a list price of 22.50 euros, with prices in Europe fairly close in price. US prices ranged from $25.00 to $35.00, before shipping. My thanks to Armorama and Auriga Publishing for this copy.