During the week and a half that I've had this book in my possession I've sat down numerous times to write up a quick review of it, and failed each time. The problem is every time I pick up volume 1 of TANKART, I end up engrossed in the contents and the time set aside for the review vanishes. Hopefully I'll be able to get an overview of this new book by Michael Rinaldi done at this sitting.
Rinaldi Studio Press is a brand new publisher that plans on releasing a whole series of TankArt volumes that will include WWII German Armor, WWII Allied Armor, Modern Armor and who knows what else. This first volume concentrates on WWII German Armor, a very popular subject and a great choice for a debut.
208 pages, softcover, gluebound using quality paper and printing.
Foreward & Introduction:
A short foreword by Mario Eens and Introduction by Michael Rinaldi sets the tone of what this book is all about.
Products and Materials:
In this six page section Mike not only relates what finishing products he uses, but also some pro's and con's, descriptions of what these products are and what purpose they serve. Covered here are primer, paint, airbrush & compressor, filters & washes, and finally pigments. This is also a teaser of what to expect further on...Mike's easy going writing style & photographic prowess, page layout, the orange tip/thought boxes, etc..
The mindset of weathering. Tanks are dirty, modeling dirty tanks is knowledge & art. Knowing the direction you want the finished model to end up in, using the layering concept, keeping things in scale all play a part. A general outline of steps is included here for a starting point.
Countless questions have been asked on this subject and this eight page chapter is the definitive guide on using hairspray not only as a chipping/worn paint medium but also for something that I never thought about. Excellent tutorial, 'nuff said.
Oil Paint Rendering:
Rendering, a word that I just started hearing more about in the modeling world. Mike's technique of OPR is visually stunning and leaves the modeler in complete control of the finished product. This ten page chapter delves into this very deep subject and walks the reader from start to finish. To quote the book: "I believe OPR to be a 0-100% type of technique, and it has true untapped potential."
Exciting, plain and simple.
Befehls Panther Ausf G:
A worn, whitewashed Panther that uses the HS technique multiple times. Mapping, one of those mystery subjects for me, is covered very well here. The Panther gets very good use of OPR and was the subject used in the previous chapter.
A two-tone grey camo that really brings this Tiger to life. Techniques that are covered in detail in this chapter include finishing Friuls, pigments, chipping with thinner and micro-chipping.
The painting of the disc camo is well discussed, including color choices to represent scale after weathering. Pin washes, painting exhausts and hand chipping by brush is detailed in the Hetzer chapter.
Mr. Rinaldi changes scale here and downsizes to 1:48 to show a heavily weathered/abandoned Dunkelgelb halftrack. Fading and OPR are both covered here to enhance the monotone paintjob.
This battle worn Afrika Korps Pz.IV showcases quite a few techniques and concentrates on rusting exhausts, worn paint effects and finishing styrene indy links (aka Magic Tracks).
General notes on the five AFV's:
Each one of the previous chapters covers about 30 pages, allowing Mike to go into a lot of detail on each subject. Some of the chapters concentrate more on certain aspects, (such as the Tiger I with pigment application, Friuls and chipping), so it's well worth it to digest each and every page.
Mike also shows each project in its "naked" stage, and outlines the important parts of the build that are relevant to the weathering that follows. Many of these are built out-of- the- box which shows that proper paint and finishing can really enhance the basic kit details.
The orange boxes scattered throughout the book include Mike's thoughts at certain stages, and tips that go into further detail than the main text. These make it much easier to go back to a certain area and use as a refresher course. They also list the paints used for each project.
At the end of each chapter is a 24 photo quick reference SBS which provides the paint and technique stages for each project.
The final chapter is a ten page spread by Marijn van Gils which concentrates on highlights and shadows for figure painting. Step-by-steps are included for general face and clothing which lists Humbrol paint numbers and approximate time for each session. The SBS photos show exactly what is going on at any given stage.
TANKART Volume 1 is an impressive book that goes way beyond the standard step-by-step in other publications. With large, high quality photos, clear & easy to understand sequences, and thoughts on the "why" behind the "how". From a winter whitewashed Panther to a desert duty Pz.IV, and everything in-between, this book covers a lot of ground. At about $30 this is a steal (although, don't let RSP know that!).
Cliff Notes Review:
If you have it...you'll enjoy it. If you don't...buy it!
Highs: Easy to read and understand, high quality photos, very involved explanation of each technique used. Lows: None...well, ok, a few spelling errors that do not detract from the book at all.Verdict: The definitive book on the subject to date, this is a must have. Very informative and highly recommended.
About James Bella (c5flies) FROM: CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES
My main interest is 1/35 scale WWII armor, Axis and Allied, and will occasionally branch out into other areas. The builds I have done so far have been pretty much OOB, and considering what most newer kits include, that is usually more than enough for me. Even though my projects do not always end up ...