December 30, 2016

Fridays with Farley...Another Dose of Useless Tidbits for New Years 2017

• On to 2017...

• Digital Delights...

Figure Painter Magazine # 42

Now Available for Download

From the publisher-
The 2016 Christmas issue of FPM!
We have a cracker of an issue for you this month with a truly inspiring tutorial from Roman Lappat who tells us all about OSL. Marko Paunovic brings us the latest instalment of his post-apoc diorama and we have a HUGE step by step article from Roman Gruba…did I mention it was massive!
Also in this issue we have lots of unboxing reviews for you, so if you have yet to decide on that little something to buy yourself, then look no further: Nuts Planet, Altores Studio, FeR Miniatures, Miniature Tale, Neko Galaxy Minis, Black Sun Miniatures and Kellerkind Miniaturen are all featured, as well as Kimera Models, where we drop the mic on exclusive revelations! We also have a show report from the recent Monte San Savino competition and a close look at the new painting book by Arsies and the Iwata Neo Airbrush Kit. Kicking it all off is a superb Insight interview with none other than the fantasy artist supremo, Gerald Brom, one of our all-time favorites!

...and don't forget

Initiative Magazine Issue 004
So, Issue 4!  As a team, we have been working hard to bring another issue filled to the brim with content for you. We have an incredibly in-depth look at Bushido by Robert Nolan. I hear he's even planning a battle report in a future issue. Andy brings us another excellent tutorial, this time on painting white, which is a colour I know I struggle with. Marko expands your table top terrain with another excellent article and Sean helps us with our basing woes by showing us some slate bases. We also have a tutorial from guest writer, Jeff ‘RogueShader’ Jenkins, who teaches us how to paint Pre-Heresy Alpha legion armor. Additionally, we have a look at some products just out, including a review of the new Infinity starter, which looks very tempting. We have much more besides!

STILL THE BEST DEALS ON THE WEB! FPM and Initiative are available as a downloaded PDFs for less then $2.00 a copy.  FPM is a independent magazine dedicated to sculpting, painting, displaying, collecting and gaming with miniature figures from all genre's. The magazine has details on new releases, reviews, interviews with the industries top painters and sculptors, show reports, tutorials! Initiative magazine is a new digital publication focusing on boardgames, RPG's and Skirmish and War-games and the miniature figures that accompany them.

• Sited...
...on Atlas Obscura
Before 3D movies or the Oculus Rift, the only way to really immerse someone in a virtual scene was to just surround them with imagery. To create this proto-VR, circular panoramic paintings ringed by miniature dioramas (also called cycloramas) became hugely popular during the 19th century. Of course many of these artworks depict famous battles ranging from the conflicts of the October War to the Battle of Gettysburg. Because reenacting a war is a pastime that long pre-dates Call of Duty. Gear up for six battles you can relive via analog VR technology....

1453 MUSEUM Istanbul, Turkey
Istanbul, Turkey
Wroclaw, Poland
Damascus, Syria
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
Moscow, Russia
Atlanta, Georgia
Complete article HERE
• Blogged
...On tib*
Incredible Photographic Evidence That Toy Soldiers Are Alive!  By Callum Chapman 
Toy soldiers as Art? You bet! ...and Callum Chapman has the proof right here on this tib post featuring 20+ images of artful toy soldiers 
*tib is... The Inspiration Blog is an inspirational design, fashion, photography website. We provide you with the latest breaking news and product design reviews.

• Socialized
found on Facebook...
From filmmaker Christopher Nolan (“Interstellar,” “Inception,” “The Dark Knight” Trilogy) comes the epic action thriller DUNKIRK, In Theaters July 21, 2017. Starring: Tom Hardy, Mark Rylance, Kenneth Branagh, Cillian Murphy, Fionn Whitehead, Aneurin Barnard, Harry Styles, James D'Arcy, Jack Lowden, Barry Keoghan, and Tom Glynn-Carney
Dunkirk FaceBook page.

• Built
1066...a 28mm Norman & Saxons Diorama
click images to enlarge 
• Benched
• Strange but true...
Civil War Veteran Jacob Miller (Company K 9th Indiana Vol. Inf) was shot in the forehead on Sept.19th, 1863 at Brock Field at Chickamauga and left for dead. He lived with an open bullet wound for many years, with the last pieces of lead dropping out 31 years after he was first shot.

These two minie balls from opposing sides met head-on during fierce fighting at the Battle of Fredericksburg, Virginia, in December 1862.

• The Parting Shot...
..let's get the New Years party started!


December 28, 2016

Trench Runner Paul Buchholz Looks at Warlord Game's Bolt Action 2nd Edition Ruleset

Now that Warlord Game's Bolt Action 2nd Edition rule system is widely available at retail our Trench Runner Paul Buchholz take a look at the plus and minuses of this revamp rule set for this popular WWII game.

...Having played countless original Bolt Action games a lot I feel as if I am in a good position to give a review on the differences and how I feel they work in game.

One off the large changes was increasing the rate of fire and range for light machine guns. This now makes the lmg a decent value for the points and the make sense in a squad. Another change was a revamp to the recce rules. Gone are the days of a recce vehicle popping out of cover, killing your tank, and then hiding after it is shot at. Another large change is the amount of dice units get during hand to hand combat. Units that before got two dice now only get a re-roll on their successes. Leaa dice overall keeps combat fast and brutal, but less predictable than before. The final major change is the addition of templates for HE effects. I was not initially happy with this, but having played it I feel it really does improve the game. You can no longer hit three mortar crew for 16 wounds, assuring they will die, and you will no longer hit a clumped up squad of infantry for only 2 hits. These are the main changes. There are many more small changes but all of them seem to make sense in the context of the game. Changes were made to air strikes making them easier to drive off and making AA guns a viable choice. Snipers hit much easier now taking only penalties for pins and missing the spotter. Medics can no longer fight, hold objectives or fire guns. Transports can fire one weapon even when empty. Many other small changes were made and they are good as well.

There was one major addition that was added as well. Snap to action is the name of the rule. This allows lieutenants, captains and majors to not only give a morale bonus but they can pull extra dice from the bag to activate units when they activate. The number of dice and range of this effect varies by officer, but the effect is very dynamic on the table. Officers are now much more useful and captains and majors have a place in lists. To me it is very feasible to envision a captain gathering together three squads and charging forward into battle. 

There was one change that in my opinion was negative. It has to do with the vehicle damage chart. Anytime a vehicle is not destroyed after being damaged it must roll for a turret jam. There is a 50/50 chance of a jam but it jams in the direction the fire came from with no regard to the direction the turret was facing. This rule is clunky and unnecessary in my opinion and makes little sense. Luckily this game is easily modified with house rules and I plan to house rule a smaller chance of jam and jamming in the direction the turret is facing. That is the only change I dislike and having one small negative change in all of this really speaks to how good I feel this update was overall.

To summarize 2nd edition made many positive changes, got rid of a few of the rules and mechanics that people would question before, and added one rule that is questionable. Bolt Action  is essentially the same game. If you loved bolt action before you will probably still love it. If you didn't like it before, it has improved in a few places and might be worth another look.
Paul Buchholz

View order HERE

The Warlord Games Company Line...
Bolt Action 2nd Edition Rulebook
This Second Edition of the best-selling Bolt Action World War II Wargaming Ruleset from Osprey and Warlord Games presents streamlined and refined rules, incorporating all the FAQs and errata compiled over four years of intensive gameplay. It is fully compatible with the existing range of supplements and also introduces new material. Written by veteran game designers Alessio Cavatore and Rick Priestley, Bolt Action provides all the rules needed to bring the great battles of World War II to your tabletop. Using miniature soldiers, tanks, and terrain, you can fight battles in the shattered towns of occupied France, the barren deserts of North Africa, and even the sweltering jungles of the Pacific.
Key New Features:
- Officers activate other units! Used cleverly, this creates a huge tactical shift as you can order multiple units to fire or advance in concert.
- Big Explosions! HE fire now uses templates to determine damage - your opponent had better spread out his troops to avoid carnage!
- Armed Transports! Once your squad has piled out of its half-track, the driver can speed around and unleash a hail of lead at the enemy!
- Player Feedback! We've listened carefully to the community and taken advantage of the thousands of battles you've played to improve the game in dozens of other ways.
- New Army List
- The main rulebook now includes a fifth army list - adding Imperial Japan to Germany, Great Britain, USA and the Soviet Union - giving you even more choice for your army.


December 27, 2016

FARLEY'S FIGURE(S) OF THE WEEK no.137: ...O Be Joyful it's (almost) 2017

Cheers to a new year and yet another chance for us to get it right! This week we feature a couple of the boys from the Old Northwest Trading camp life series lifting a glass of 'O Be Joyful' it a toast to the coming New Year! 

The American Civil War was a drawn-out conflict that involved many days, even weeks and months of inactivity and soldiers turned to drink to help ease the boredom of non-combat. Brewing and distilling was a common activity among both Union and Confederate troops. They produced strong alcoholic beverages and gave them names like 'O Be Joyful,' 'Pop Skull', 'Oil of Gladness', 'Bust Head', or 'Nokum Stiff.'

The annals of military history are filled with reference to beer drinking and reverence among professional soldiers. Indeed it was held in such esteem in military Prussia that Frederick the Great issued orders to encourage his troops to take beer. "Many battles have been fought and won by soldiers nourished on beer." and his highness was convinced it was more prudent than the debilitating effects of coffee.

In America the Continental Congress approved ale as part of each soldiers daily ration. Although the official portions were discontinued in the mid eighteen hundreds, it continued to be held in high regard throughout the ranks. During World War One, despite the spreading prohibition at home, the doughboys' exploits in the Brasseries of France were legendary. And, in World War Two the U.S. armed forces virtually took over breweries, such as Brand, to provide for the needs of thirsty GI's. More recently the Gulf War caused special maneuvers, in locations where drinking is illegal, so troops could be cycled out of country for a little R&R and cold beer.

With abundant passages like these in other major conflicts why is there such little reference to beer during the Civil War? Did each side, and their proponents thinly disguised as historians, consider the events such a "noble cause" that they were compelled to clean up history? As with any cleaning job there is always some corners that get missed, and poking into these provides some insight. Despite some commonly held beliefs, the war was not a series of calvary dashes, brilliant maneuvers and continuous fighting. In fact, this first war of modern weapons was encumbered with old tactics of laying siege; thus, a majority of time was spent in encampments. The daily life of a soldier in camp was less than exciting, causing Lt.Oliver Wendell Holmes to write..."War is an organized bore." and a private to complain that camp was just`Drill, Drill, Drill'. It's no wonder that in the hours not filled with the military's "make work" these men looked for other diversions. Distractions from camp routine were often found in playing cards, baseball, clubs and, of course, drinking beer. Not surprisingly drinking was readily seen in units made up of ethnic groups strongly tied to the beverage. The journal of one Union soldier revealed "...among the German troops, especially consumed in great quantities". However, beer was so prevalent overall that one soldier wrote home..."Almost everyone (I do not know of an exception) drink their beer".

What were the sources of this beer? Most common was the Sutlers, a name for entrepreneurs who reaped profits following the armies and providing services to the troops. Edward K. Wrightman, of the Ninth New York, (the Hawkin's Zouaves unit) wrote home, "You see I am well clad and lodged...and the Regimental sutler gives us credit for such little extras as we may desire...and have every reason to be satisfied with our condition. Bye the bye, I have just been, by pressing invitation, eating Clams and drinking lager...smooth the anxious minds of the good ladies who trouble themselves so much about my welfare. My health is very good indeed." Another testimony to the supply provided by sutlers was given by Samuel Clear of the 16th Pennsylvania who wrote "Still nice weather but very hot. McCafferty (our Sutler) treated the Regt. to Ale...the boys very noisy to night [SIC]". This was a similar experience for John W.Jacques of the Ninth New York State Militia who described how "On the road outside of camp was a wagon with lager long as the money lasted, comfort was taken...". Another source noted that, "Cider stocked by Sutlers sometimes had sufficient potency to make imbibers of a few glasses limber and joyful". No doubt the wagon or tent of a Sutler was always a welcome sight.

Finally, if the encampment was long enough, the soldiers would take to the production of home brew and other liquors. The slang for these included `O be Joyful', `How come you so', `Bust Head', and `Oil of Gladness'. Most of the references to these come from Northern troops, not necessarily because Southern chivalry eliminated partaking, but from the Northern army's greater access to raw materials, transportation, and the number of brewers that naturally settled in the cooler regions of the north. Still, the south did have their own recipe for home-brew. They were inclined to add "...raw meat and let the mixture ferment for a month or so to add what one veteran remembered as an old and mellow taste".

The efforts of the people involved should be neither diminished, nor forgotten, their struggle made an imprint that still affect us. However, it's good to remind ourselves that all these noble causes were carried out by average american beer drinkers.
Gregg Smith

MTSC PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT: Auriga Static Modeling Manuals

Auriga Static Modeling Manuals Step by Step
Imported from Italy
Getting into the modeling hobby can be an intimidating process for the beginner. The Static Modeling Manual series of books by Auriga Publishing of Italy can help take away that intimidation factor and is an excellent starting point for anyone interested in modeling.Arguably the best starting reference available and one we always recommend to our customers. More advanced modelers will find enough useful tips to justify the price of admission! 

Coming early 2017
Static Model Manual 13: Diorama - Elements in Combat
84 pages in full color, softcover book
Scale modellng is, probably the most complete way to represent the real world. This fantastic form of art involves construction, detailing, composition, painting, sculpting, weathering and many, many other. Scale modeling is a small piece of the world. A world in scale, showing a specific situation. In scale modeling we have a geographical location and a time frame. In every work we see a story and a moment crystalized in scale. We can represent natural landscapes, urban scenarios, rivers, seas, waterfalls, all kind of soils, all kind of vegetation, sci-fi ships, planes, boats, tanks, trucks and even an entire army! Scale modellng is a magic world. A mini world of countless hours of fun and pleasure.

Only a modeler knows the feeling of holding a finished model, after several months of hard work. That moment is pure magic and can transport us to a different world or dimension. In this book, my goal is to transmit all my scale modellng knowledge. Also, I want to transmit the passion and joy that I feel in a daily basis while working in a model. Hope you like it!

Static Model Manual 12: Dioramas Inspiration
84 pages in full color, softcover book
published: 2016
This book follows the outline of the Static Model Manual series, guiding you through basic techniques, followed by those of medium difficulty, then ending with those that are more complex. As always the aim is to present the greatest range of choices possible that allows you to find your own personal style, using your own creative abilities as well as the best products that the market has to offer.

Photographs of real subjects in unique situations are always a great creative stimulus for modelers. The challenge consists in achieving a faithful reproduction of the scene that has been photographed, but it does not always have to be such: the photo can serve as a point of departure to develop something in a parallel context which is different but nevertheless plausible. When we create a diorama, a message is sent to the observer of a well-defined moment when the artistic side blends with the technical side. Modeling experience will enable you to achieve an acceptable result, resolving problems and unforseen challenges along the way. It is only by paying attention to the balance of elements in play relating to the message and to realism that we can achieve a credible and an interesting reproduction of the scene.

Static Model Manual 11: Military Figures for Dioramas
84 pages in full color, softcover book
published: 2015
The ultimate diorama figures painting guide is a book with plenty of illustrations about how to paint figures in different scales. You do not need masterpieces on your diorama, you need good figures properly painted, in a few easy steps. These easily mastered techniques allow you to get good results using materials you have at home. You will learn how to paint the figures with an airbrush, refining the detail by brush! You will see how to paint eyes, skin, equipment and different types of uniforms. You will understand the different effect of scale on the colors of the uniforms. The goal is to achieve subjects that fit your diorama, that complete your tank, car or aircraft model without driving you crazy with complicated color theories. An easy full color and fully illustrated guide you should not miss!

Static Model Manual 10: Extreme Weathering-Building and Painting
published: 2015
100 pages in full color, softcover book
Damaged or abandoned subjects are always fasinating for modelers. An unexperienced observer could think that it's easy to reproduce a weathered model, and some rusty pigment and that's all. The more rust, the better. Things are quite different, in the real world, there are many factors to consider, there are many differences in the way materials fade away. This book deals with things we observe and how to reproduce them. Studiyng a picture we will try, using modern modellng techniques, to reproduce the item just how it was at the moment of the camera click. The last chapter deals with a diorama where we decide how each subject will appear, giving the observer suggestions.

Static Model Manual 9: FIGUREVOLUTION Building and Painting
84 pages in full color, softcover book
published: 2014
With a bit of practice, using well-known techniques and proven materials it is not difficult to create miniatures at a more than respectable level. There is in the human soul, however, a constant desire to progress. Mastery of a passable technique is nothing more than a departure point to be able to elevate the miniature from a simple object that is aesthetically pleasing to a means of communication. In order to achieve this goal another element is necessary: the idea. This is an undefinable element that has to be recognized and cultivated, stripped to its essentials and then developed so that it can geminate like a precious seed.

After having amply discussed technique in Volume 5 of the Static Model Manual series, the path presented by the author in this new volume is focused around the idea itself. An excess of technique results in virtuosity, the development of a vision that lacks the required skills often leads to mediocre results. The solution lies in a search for balance, but this is not always an easy path, as there are many variables in play and one's personal imprint becomes increasingly more relevant. In this volume Alex Michelotti attempts to provide you substantial assistance to enable you to reach the goal of creating our own personal style! Step by step photos, secrets, tricks, shortcuts, anything goes... everything is on these pages for best results!'' This is the follow up book to Static Model Manual 5. 
Painting Figures.
Static Model Manual 8: World War II Bombers-Building and Painting
84 pages in full color, softcover book
published: 2014
This volume of the Static Model Manual series is dedicated to aircraft modeling. Famous Polish modeler Kamil Feliks Sztarbała builds and weathers three protagonists of World War II in various scales and shows the tricks and techniques with which he makes his masterpieces. It doesn't take much to realize truly beautiful and lifelike replicas of aircraft with this clear and comprehensive S-B-S (step by step) guide to follow. Extra Bonus: exclusive unpublished historical pictures of a true rare bird: the Junkers Ju 188 A-2 U5+KH

Static Model Manual 7: Painting Models One Hundred and One Tips
80 pages in full color, softcover book
published: 2014
As in the previous volumes of this series, it's not the model to be the protagonist, but the techniques used to make it! When we talk about painting, there are several ways to get a satisfying result. On these pages the best modellers specialized in the different fields of our hobby reveal their secrets, their techniques and their tricks with which they create their masterpieces. Behind every finished model there is the mastery of techniques that we can learn and try on our models. The seventh volume of the series represents the logical continuation of Static Model Manual Volume 6, that many gratification gave to the authors being one of the most appreciated titles of this series.

Static Model Manual 6: Painting Models- Material and Methods
100 pages in full color, softcover book

published: 2013
This sixth volume of the Static Model Manual series provides answers to airbrushing techniques, decal application, washes, enamels, lacquers and acrylic applications, and a treasure trove of finishing information.

Static Model Manual Step By Step 5: Painting Figures
104 pages in full color, softcover book
published: 2012
There are a lot of books on the market about figure painting but most of the books don't show how figure painting is exactly done. The techniques are mentioned only in text or only by photograph. So most of the time you still have to figure out what the writers mean. This book does both through Step by Step photos, secrets, tricks, shortcuts and just about anything else to make things much more clear, especially for the novice painter. Heck even an experienced painter can learn a few tricks from this book. The best single guide to the art of figure modeling with very detailed explanations of techniques and tips to get you started or improve your figure painting skills.

Static Model Manual 4: 101 Tips for Building Models
114 pages in full color, softcover book
published: 2012
The art of model building is a blend of tools, accessories, knowledge, tricks and techniques gathered from many different sources. A wealth of information from these sources is compiled in this volume that covers all the aspects of modeling you will need to get started in this wonderful hobby.

Static Model Manual 3: Painting and Weathering Tanks
published: 2011

Static Model Manual 2: Building and Painting Modern Fighters
published: 2011

Static Model Manual 1: Military Dioramas
published: 2010

View & Order Auriga Books HERE

December 26, 2016

MTSC Trench Runner Review: Modeling World War I Tanks by Frédéric Astier

Modeling World War I Tanks - Steel Masters
by Frédéric Astier*, 128 pages, softcover

Publishers Product Description
Using numerous S-B-S processes and 500 images illustrating this book, Frederik Astier shares with you his knowledge to building; painting complex camouflage of the Great War, aging and weathering, making mud, painting miniatures, making scenery, etc. Includes photos of orginal militaria as well as a gallery of completed achievements of the author. Tank models of the First World War' accurately describes assembly methods, painting and realization of dioramas for each of these 6 model • British Mark IV "Male" • British Mark IV "Female" • German A7V • French Schneider CA • French Saint-Chamond • French Renault FT

Product Review
The 100th anniversary of the first use of the tank has had quite an effect in encouraging manufacturers to produce some very good new model kits. WWI AFV modeling is enjoying somewhat of a Golden Age at the moment, with new toolings of kits popping up from mainstream manufacturers in injection moulded styrene, the likes of which we have never before seen in 1:35. We have Meng, Takom, even Hobby Boss bringing out major and minor variants of vehicles such as the St Chamond, the diminutive FT-17 and almost all of the British Marks of tanks, even down to the Tadpole and Mark I.  Whilst you don't require hugely different techniques to build and finish a WWI kit, some of the methods you will use might be subtly altered to give the best finish, such as sharp demarcations and massive quantities of mud!

This book is perfect-bound and contains 128 pages in glossy A4 in portrait orientation, with plenty of text and photos throughout.  The author, Frédérik Astier, a professional photographer as well as a world class modeler, is a regular contributor to the French modeling magazine, 'Steel Masters'. His grasp of English is excellent, either through his own skills or those of the translator/editor. It aims to help WWI modelers to expand their skills, as well as assisting them with that often elusive art of creating dioramas. Using a series of set-pieces, the author guides you through the build and finish process of various models, with the added bonus of lots of useful hints and tips about diorama creation on the way.  He is clearly unaffiliated with any particular brand of paint, as we see AK Interactive, Tamiya, Vallejo, Lifecolor and even MIG productions products through the book.  

The vehicles builds are as follows:
Tamiya Mark IV Male
Takom Mark IV Female
Takom St Charmond Tardif
Hobby Boss Schenider CA1
Meng Sturmpanzerwagen A7V
Meng Renault FT (FT-17)

Following several pages of introduction, it follows a repeating pattern for each subject, detailing the build of each model, the painting and weathering of it and then creating a diorama for it as well, rounded off by a set of archive reference photos showing each type. The one slight variation to this is the first chapter, where the author builds and makes a detailed comparison between the Takom Mk IV Female and the Tamiya Mk IV Male.  There are pros and cons to each one it seems, excluding the motorization features of the Tamiya kit.  He also bravely builds the tracks in the earliest Takom releases, which have 5 parts to each track link, and have since been changed to single piece alternatives, very similar to the way Tamiya did it.  Each of the two models is then painted and weathered and explained in detail.  The Takom Female, has been finished in a multi-color German camouflage of a captured machine while the Tamiya Male kit is placed in an effective diorama.

The two British tanks are followed by the first French subject, the late version of the St Chamond  from Takom. The later version of this French tank had a sloped roof, rather than the flat plate of the earliest versions. Again expertly built and then painted in a multi-colour scheme, then put into another fine diorama, along with some neatly done figures.  Another German tank follows.  Not a captured on this time, but the Meng kit of the A7V, which also includes finishing all the interior detail which is included in the kit and the author has added even more finer detailing parts which are shown in the build sequence. There are some excellent tips to be picked up here.

Next we return to the subject of French tanks, and a build of the Hobby Boss kit of the Schenider CA1. Another neatly built model equally well painted and weathered, and this time put into a diorama which also includes building a German Trench as the tank approaches the defenders within it.  Then the final build in the book, and another Meng kit in 1/35.  This time the smallest of the tanks, and the first true tank, with a fully rotating turret, the Renault FT17. This is another with interior detailing and this is shown off to real advantage. On a war torn battlefield, an exhausted French soldier is seen leaning up against the tank as some peace has crept back to the battlefield.

Between each build section are a couple of pages of period photographs of the subject just modeled, which are informative and crisp for their vintage. The diorama content is interspersed through the builds, and is incredibly informative. Frédérik is clearly a master of this particular genre to say the least.  Of course some of his techniques would be a little daunting to the novice, but a great many of them are surprisingly simple, and use every day household (or DIY) items.

Illustrated with about 500 superb quality photographs there are lots of ideas and inspiration to be picked up from this book and it is well worth checking out if you are modeling Great War tanks.
Farley M. 12-2016

*Frédérik Astier, a professional photographer, is one of the most talented and prolific French modelers. For more than 10 years, he has been regularly collaborating in the magazine specialized in this area, Steelmasters. Renowned for his mastering techniques in assembly and painting as much as in setting dioramas, he always attaches a particular care to finding documents for each of his projects in order to find the greatest historical accuracy. 

Sample Pages...


MTSC PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT: Volume 18 in the Scale Model Handbook Series by Mr. Black Publications

Figure Modelling no.18 is the latest release in the best
selling Scale Model Handbook series by Mr. Black Publications. These books present information, techniques and tips about modelling miniature figures  by the worlds top modelers. I'll let Stelios Demiras aka Mr. Black himself tell you about it...

Welcome to the latest and 18th issue of “Figure Modelling” in Mr Black Publications Scale Model Handbook series. This is the 21st book we’ve published. This time offer eight articles from six well-known miniaturists with tips and techniques, information about modelling miniature figures, vignettes and small dioramas, from ancient times up to the Second World War. Most of the articles herein are covered in great detail with lots of step-by-step photos and explanatory texts.

We are pleased to welcome two new contributors to this edition; Qianwei Shi from China who painted the Life Miniatures 200mm bust of Sir Winston Churchill, and Roberto Ramirez Gutierrez who painted the 75mm mounted figure sculpted by Antonio Zapatero Guardini, which covers 10 pages in this book.
  There follows a very detailed, eight-page article from Sergey Popovichenko on Pegaso Models 90mm Thraex gladiator, and another from one of our regular contributors, Mike “The Kiwi” Butler who presents another eight-page feature about painting the Wings Cockpit 54mm figure of German First World War air ace Oswald Boelcke.
  Stelios Neofytidis returns with two articles from the Model Cellar range. Both are First World War themes - a 75mm British “Trench Raider” and a 54mm two-figure vignette based on a historic photo depicting a German pilot and his mechanic.
  Our regular contributor from Japan, Toshihiro Sano painted two subjects using enamels and oils. The first is the 180mm bust of Edward Corringham “Mick” Mannock from Hawk Miniatures that takes up four pages and a further six pages for the Waffen SS AFV Crew 1944-45 No.1 in 1:35 scale from Alpine Miniatures.
We hope you enjoy our latest edition!
Stelios Demiras

Figure Modelling No.18 Contents

4 Roman Gladiator “Thraex” - 90mm
12 Corporal Vicente Manzano, Dragoon Regiment 
“Pavia” Ontígola 1809 - 75mm
22 Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill 
1874 - 1965 - 200mm
24 WWI Early War German Ace Oswald Boelcke - 54mm
32 First World War German Airmen - 54mm
36 Waffen SS AFV Crew 1944-45 No.1 - 50mm
42 Edward Corringham “Mick” Mannock, VC, DSO & 
Two Bars, MC & Bar (24th May 1887 - 26th July 1918) - 180mm
46 British Trench Raider - 75mm
Pre-order Now & Save

Sample pages from FM18

MTSC Product Spotlight

Mr. Black Scale Model Handbooks
Imported from Greece
Mr. Black Publications Scale Model Handbooks are a series of books covering all aspects of figure, dioramas and vignettes modeling. Each issue includes a unique collection of work that is aimed at all levels of modelers. Award winning models, Step by Step themes, Techniques, History, Original illustrations, Color tone recipes, Sculpting Tips, Scratch Built Themes, Brushwork Tricks, Groundwork Techniques and much more, all submitted by well know artists, compile this mosaic of inspiration.

Figure Modeling Series

MMH-SMHFM1 Scale Model Handbook Figure Modeling 1 
MMH-SMHFM2 Scale Model Handbook Figure Modeling 2 
MMH-SMHFM3 Scale Model Handbook Figure Modeling 3 
MMH-SMHFM4 Scale Model Handbook Figure Modeling 4 
MMH-SMHFM5 Scale Model Handbook Figure Modeling 5 
MMH-SMHFM6 Scale Model Handbook Figure Modeling 6 
MMH-SMHFM7 Scale Model Handbook Figure Modeling 7
MMH-SMHFM8 Scale Model Handbook Figure Modeling 8
MMH-SMHFM9 Scale Model Handbook Figure Modeling 9
MMH-SMHFM10 Scale Model Handbook Figure Modeling 10
MMH-SMHFM11 Scale Model Handbook Figure Modeling 11
MMH-SMHFM12 Scale Model Handbook-Figure Modeling 12 
MMH-SMHFM13 Scale Model Handbook-Figure Modeling 13 
MMH-SMHFM14 Scale Model Handbook-Figure Modeling 14 
MMH-SMHFM15 Scale Model Handbook-Figure Modeling 15
MMH-SMHFM16 Scale Model Handbook-Figure Modeling 16
MMH-SMHFM17 Scale Model Handbook-Figure Modeling 17
Coming Soon>>> MMH-SMHFM18 Scale Model Handbook-Figure Modeling 18
Diorama Series
MMH-SMHDM1 Scale Model Handbook Diorama Modelling 1
MMH-SMHDM2 Scale Model Handbook Diorama Modeling 2
WWII Special
MMH-3301 Mr. Black Scale Model Handbook WWII Special Volume 1
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Scale Model Handbook Figure Modelling No.17
I'll let Stelios Demiras aka Mr. Black himself tell you about it...
Welcome to Figure Modelling No.17 in the “Scale Model Handbook” series, which is the 20th edition in Mr Black Publications’ modeling books. In No. 17 there are nine articles from seven well-known artists with tips and techniques, plus information about modelling miniature figures, vignettes and small dioramas from Ancient Times up to the Second World War Period. Most of the articles are covered in great detail with lots of step-by-step photos and explanatory texts. We are pleased to welcome a new contributor to this edition, Anson Chen from China, who painted the 180mm Gaius Julius Caesar bust from the Nutsplanet range.

What’s also inside? One very detailed article from Ernesto Reyes Stalhuth - the box art for Stormtrooper’s 90mm “Trooper, 2nd Dragoons, Balaclava, Crimea 1854”, and from Mike “The Kiwi” Butler a Life Miniatures 180mm, New Zealand Battle of Britain Duo. Jason Zhou comes back with an impressive article from the Young Miniatures’ range – a 180mm “Templar Knight” bust. Stelios Neofytidis has been very productive presenting three articles this time. Two are WWI themes - The “Periscope Rifle”, a three-figure Gallipoli vignette in 1:35 scale from Firestorm Models and a 54mm Australian Soldier in Gallipoli from the Tommy’s War range. He also produces a WWII two-figure, 1:35 scale vignette based on the Ardennes campaign using Alpine Miniatures with replacement Hornet heads. Mr Black Studio offers another WWI 54mm action figure from the Tommy’s War range entitled “Mons 1914”. The final article is a small 1:35 scale diorama of “Joachim Peiper in Kharkov”, a combined work from two well-known Japanese artists, Ryota Sakai made the scenic base with a “wedgie” from a Dragon PzKfw III kit and Toshihiro

Figure Modelling No.17 Contents
4 Trooper, 2nd Dragoons (Royal Scots Greys), Balaclava, Crimea 1854 - 90mm (Stormtrooper Miniatures SDF90-04) – 10 Pages
14 Gaius Julius Caesar - 180mm (Nutsplanet NP-B016) – 4 Pages
18 “Snow” and “Kiwi”, A New Zealand Battle of Britain Duo - 180mm
(Life Miniatures LM-B009) – 6 Pages
24 Templar Knight - 180mm (Young Miniatures YH1837) – 6 Pages
30 The “Periscope Rifle” - 50mm (Firestorm FS35114) – 7 Pages
37 Gallipoli 1915 - 54mm (Tommy’s War Australian TW54015) – 3 Pages
40 The “Battle of the Bulge” - Ardennes 1944-1945 - 50mm (Alpine Miniatures 35076 & 35096 with Hornet Head Sets, Soldiers Wall SDS030) – 4 Pages
44 Private, 1st Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment, Mons 1914 - 54mm (Tommy’s War British TW54002) – 2 Pages
46 Joachim Peiper in Kharkov, 19th February 1943 – 15th March 1943 - 50mm (Dragon 6387 & Alpine Miniatures Set 35201) – 5 Pages
Sample pages from no. 17

Scale Model Handbook Figure Modelling No.16
I'll let Stelios Demiras himself tell you about it.
Six of the articles are covered in great detail with lots of step-by-step photos helping the reader to follow the different techniques concerning painting, sculpting, converting and making unique scenic bases. We are pleased to welcome a new contributor to this edition, Jason Zhou from China, who painted the 180mm Hannibal Barca bust from the Nutsplanet range.

So, what’s also inside? Two articles from Ernesto Reyes Stalhuth (a Crusader 90mm from Pegaso Models and the box art for Stormtrooper Miniatures Ensign 28th foot at Waterloo in 200mm) and we’ve a sculpting article for a 75mm Viking by Igor Kordyukov with more than 125 step-by-step photos, which was originally released as commercial piece by Irbis Miniatures. A Second World War subject is a 180mm bust of the German tank commander Otto Carius as painted by Juanma Vergara for 51 Studio’s box art. Javier Gonzalez (“Arsies”) concludes his “Rhino” fantasy article (part one dealing with its sculpting and converting was published in Figure Modelling 15) by presenting the unique painting technique he used! The second fantasy theme comes from Adrian Hopwood, a familiar name from his previous astonishing work on Cleopatra, Queen of the Nile (published in Figure Modelling 10) and from more than 20 years as a contributor to Britain’s Military Modelling magazine… It’s a unique approach for “Twitchy Mary” an Andrea Miniatures 54mm product illustrated with a lot of step-by-step photos. Sergey Popovichenko strikes back with an impressive conversion using a well-known Roman figure - a 75mm from Pegaso Models with more than 30 step-by-step photos.


4 Roman Legionary 1st Century A.D. - 75mm(Pegaso Models, 75-018) - 6 pages
10 Knight Hospitaller, 13th Century - 90mm (Pegaso Models, 90-043) - 6 pages
16 “The Descendant of Odin” - 75mm (Irbis Miniatures, IM75-32) - 8 pages
24 Hannibal Barca - 180mm (Nutsplanet, NP-B018) - 4 pages
28 Otto Carius - 180mm (51 Studio, 10001) - 6 pages
34 Ensign 28th Foot at Waterloo - 200mm (Stormtrooper Miniatures, PPST25) - 8 pages
42 Rhino Painting! - 75mm/100mm (Knight Models, KMV004 & KMV014) - 4 pages
46 Twitchy Mary - 54mm (Andrea Miniatures, DN-04) - 5 pages

Scale Model Handbook
WWII Special Volume 1
The 18th book in Mr Black Publications’ Scale Model Handbook series is the result of collaboration from some old as well as some new contributors. This is the first book in the series dedicated entirely to creations inspired by those events that took place between the years 1939-1945 known to Western histories as “The Second World War”. Even though wartime themes are numerous, and feature an extended variety of models and figures, especially in 1:35 scale, Mr. Black has managed to present many representative examples catering to the varying interests of our readers. Contributors include: Kaz Tomori, Carl Startin “Carlos Figureart”, Man Jin Kim, Juanma Vergara, Stelios Neofytidis, Ioannis Tsikstiris and Toshihiro Sano.

Contents World War 2

- Deutsches Afrika Korps - North Africa 1942 - 50mm (1/35)
- Rasputitsa! - 50mm (1/35)
- LAH Kharkov 1943 - 50mm (1/35)
- SS Unterscharführer - 75mm (1/24)
- WWII US BAR Gunner - 50mm (1/35)
- Japanese Officer in a Tropical Hell - 75mm (1/24)
- Oberleutnant Georg Briel - DAK - 120mm (1/16)
- On The Edge of No Man’s Land - 180mm (1/10)
- Tripoli, 1941 - The DAK is here! - 50mm (1/35)
- Stalingrad, 1942 - 50mm (1/35)
- German DAK Infantry North Africa WWII - 180mm (1/10)
- Tips For Beginners
- Blitzkrieg - Vorwärts - 50mm (1/35)
- Royal Armoured Corps AFV Crew - 50mm (1/35)
- Battle of Moscow, 1941-1942 - 50mm (1/35)

Scale Model Handbook Diorama Modelling 1
After nine volumes of very impressive Scale Model Handbook Figure Modeling titles, Mr Black Publications have released their first Diorama Modeling issue. There are a total of nine dynamic articles spread over 100 pages in A4 format with a beautiful matt laminated card cover. The quality is as with all the Figure Modelling volumes top notch, color reproduction is perfect with sharp images on every page. Stelios Demiras from Mr Black Publications contacted us with a short introduction to his new book. 
From the publisher
Welcome to the first book about modeling dioramas in Mr Black Publications’ series of Scale Model Handbooks. We promised in our first issue that our publications would eventually cover a greater variety of military modellling themes and now our first special issue dedicated to various types of dioramas has come to fruition!

While gathering material for such a special book we soon realized that it wouldn’t be possible to cover everything we wanted to in our standard 52-page format, so a 100-page book became inevitable to provide more coverage and satisfy the requirements of our readers. Different approaches, techniques and step-by-step instructions are covered in more than 400 photographs and associated texts to inspire you, the reader, to make your own creations.

It took us about 18 months of intensive work to gather our material, since we wanted to cover many historical periods, such as Napoleonic, 15th century, WWI, WWII and not forgetting civilian based scenes, as well as considering the many different and popular scales of 1/35 (50mm) and 1/32 (54mm) to the larger 1/24 (75mm) and 1/16 (120mm) scale dioramas, to satisfy our readers’ interests. Our aim was to make this book a necessary and useful handbook for modellers everywhere.

It is with much excitement and satisfaction that we present you with this first book in our new “Diorama Modelling Series” - it’s one in which we are placing great hope towards it being a new and successful regular edition to our series of modelling books!.

 4      Bailén, July 1808 - 54mm (1/32)
20    Back to the Front - 120mm (1/16)
28    US M3 Stuart “Honey” - 50mm (1/35)
40    Die Ostfront 1945 - 120mm (1/16)
60    Conquistadors - 75mm (1/24)
66    “The Cannon” - 50mm (1/35)
72    Kings of the Road - 54mm (1/32)
80    Making Pine Trees - 50mm(1/35) /54mm(1/32)
88    Near Moscow, December 1941 - 50mm(1/35)/ 54mm(1/32)


Antonio Fdez (Piqui) • Jesus Gamarra • Javier Gonzalez (Arsies) • Theodoros Kelesidis • Noel Petroni • Sergey Popovichenko • Costas Rodopoulos Kazufumi Tomori • Alex Varela (Iguazzu) • Dave Youngquist 

Scale Model Handbook Diorama Modelling 2 
I’ll let Stelios Demiras aka Mr. Black himself tell you about it...
Welcome to the second of our diorama modelling books in Mr Black Publications’ series of Scale Model Handbooks. Like the first book we have an extended format to cover a great variety of military modelling themes and various types of dioramas.

This 100-page book offers lots of interesting and prototype material to meet the interests of our readers. Different approaches, techniques and step-by-step instructions are covered in more than 400 photographs and associated texts to inspire you, the reader, towards making your own creations.

It’s taken more that 24 months of intensive work to gather the material herein, since we wanted to cover many historical periods, such as Ancient and Roman times, the 17th century, World War Two, as well as considering the many different and popular modelling scales of 1/35 (50mm) and 1/32 (54mm) to the larger 1/24 (75mm) scale dioramas, to satisfy our readers’ interests. The aim was to make this book a necessary and useful handbook for modellers everywhere.

Christos presents in a most detailed way the construction and painting of the Andrea super kit, “Elephant Down! Zama, 202 BC” with more than 100 step-by-step photos. Christos’ article also provided the subject for our cover! 
A new method of article presentation is, “History You Can Model” by Grigoris Marmatakis, using all of the Pegaso Models’ vignettes and some more converted figures from other kits in the next diorama. This is a really big diorama that was inspired by the Battle of Teutoburg Forest in AD 9, and the Battle that stopped Rome, presenting all the historical data in detail by Stelios Demiras. An astonishing step-by-step sculpting feature by Igor Kordyukov, that was released as a commercial 75mm kit (IM75-17) comprising seven figures by Irbis Miniatures, and inspired by Ilya Repin’s painting, “Reply of the Zaporozhian Cossacks to Sultan Mehmed IV of the Ottoman Empire”, also known as the “Cossacks of Saporog are Drafting a Manifesto” and a masterpiece of Russian art. More than 150 photos are featured - 130 of them are step-by-step!

Sergey Popovichenko created an impressive vignette by combining a scratch-built setting populated with commercial 54mm figures from Tin Berlin. The painting techniques of Sergey combine acrylics and oils taking the best of each medium.
 “Stalingrad, A Fight To The Last” is another super diorama in 1/35 scale from the well-know master modeller Dan Capuano who used 35 figures, most of them updated and converted, with most of the scenery made from scratch! This is Dan’s first article for Mr Black Publications and we hope that more of his superb works will follow. Resting at Karachev is a combined work from two master modellers in their fields… Christos Panagiotopoulos (figures) and Tolis Moustakas (Tank and scenery). A detailed articled on how to create a peaceful Second World War scene using commercial parts and a lots of imagination. Noel Petroni’s work is well known from his many contributions to English language military modelling magazines around the globe, and from his article in our first Diorama Modelling title. This time Noel has a smaller 1/35 scale military diorama, “The Grim Reality of War, Poland 1939” showing how a diorama can arouse strong emotions. Noel scratch builds the two figures therein and uses the Panzer I Ausf A from Tristar, presenting the construction and painting in 58 step-by-step photos.

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