December 16, 2014

The Best Products of 2014: The Paint Guide for Figures of World War Two & Painting Guide for AFV of World War Two and Modern Era from Histoire & Collections

For our latest Product Spotlight we take a look at two recent modeling books, one covering figures and one on vehicles, authored by two of the worlds top modelers. With the wealth of products available these days the modeler can be overwhelmed with figures, kits, paints, weathering products, how-to books and DVDs. The process of getting the information necessary for a good model can be daunting for the beginner but there are excellent resources available for just about any type of modeler whether you prefer figures or vehicles or both. These two books are among the best available for any skill level and can be considered new milestones in the modeling world. 

The Paint Guide for Figures of World War Two
by Joaquin Garcia-Gasquez 

From Histoire & Collections of France comes this new softcover English translation from the original French release, with 80-pages devoted to how to paint WW2 figures in 1:35 scale by a skilled Spanish modeler who has regularly contributed to Steel Masters magazine.  The book starts with the author’s explanation of light source to allow for painting figures, which is described as ‘zenithal light’. That is the basis on which the lessons continue, and how to use the light source as your guide to painting the figure accordingly. It is split into 10 main sections, starting with the choice of tools, from the work area to the preparation of the figure, used and in the assembly and preparation of the basic figure.

Next up is painting faces and their different complexions, again considering the areas of light and shadow, and the use of ‘glazes’, a build up of very thin layers of color with acrylics. Then it moves on to standard uniforms before moving on to leather clothing, such as coats, and then how to deal with painting camouflage uniform. Next comes a section on painting equipment, including weapons, before talking about how to stage your model and creating vignettes with figures and appropriate scenery.
Throughout each stage of the process, the author deals with particular figures and takes you through the whole story of painting them, including giving all the details of the paints and mixes used, along with a series of excellent step-by-step (SBS) photos, each of which are well captioned and keyed to the main text. The painted figures look delightful, and the mix of SBS photos and the color mixes he has used are really clear. I am sure you will pick up on other elements, but overall this is a nicely produced book. If you are looking for some help on your WW2 figure painting, there is plenty of inspiration to be found in this one.

Painting Guide for AFV: of World War Two and Modern Era by Jose Luis Lopez Ruiz

Jose Luis Lopez Ruiz is a renowned Spanish modeler, well known to readers of Steel Masters magazine. The talented modeler spent the last few years developing and improving his techniques inspired by the zenithal painting effect aka the black and white technique, to achieve a stunning color finish on his military scale models. Following the best selling Paint Guide for Figures of WWII, this new book explains, through detailed step by step photos (SBS), how to give your model the perfect enhancement of contrast and a eye catching look. A variety of materials are used, black and white priming technique and different types of weathering are also presented. Five examples of AFV’s, from WWII to modern era, are illustrated with many photos. The understanding and the mastery of these methods and related techniques are essential to give a striking realism to military vehicles of WWII and modern era.

The book has 80 glossy pages with cover. The quality of the print is excellent and the images are sharp, the font for the text is very suitable for reading and there is a sufficient amount to both read and observe on each page.

The section on materials covers airbrushes, primers, paints, varnishes, pigments, special products. There are not only examples of products used in the book and others besides the book are given, but also necessary hints on how to use them properly. For example, there is a detailed section on how to produce different types of effects using oils on the model which includes color charts and a walk through of the techniques available. The author stresses the crucial aspects of work with primers, airbrushes and paints. 

The examples section features five exclusive models that were made especially for this book and includes 1/48 Char B as “Beute panzer”, Soviet BT-7 in 1/35, German Tiger I in 1/35 with distinctive winter camouflage, large 1/35 modern truck M-1078 with a drone in the cargo and finally a 1/35th scale Israeli Tiran 5 tank. Different scales, eras, and subjects - the author shows full range of possible techniques. Basically, these are ready to use recipes and the readers would be able to pick up ideas straight from the text as the explanations are clear and simple. Some of these builds like the Tiger and Tiran use Black and White technique more extensively, while M-1078 is closer to earlier “zenithal light” models. 

A gallery of finished scale models completes this highly recommended book for modelers.

Preface from the author
Materials used in the book
Concepts for painting AFV models
Examples of models from the author
Additional gallery

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