May 12, 2017

FRIDAY'S WITH FARLEY: Another Dose of Useless Tidbits

The Good Stuff...
Two new books from the DK/Smithsonian series caught my attention on a recent trip to Barnes & Nobel. DK has mastered the art of creating encyclopedic books that “pop” with visual “eye candy”. Regardless of the subject matter, I find it hard to open up any DK book and not want to scan through it in entirety. The combination of DK’s presentation and the wealth of artifacts provided by the Smithsonian is something I find hard to ignore.
DK is the world's leading illustrated reference publisher and part of Penguin Random House. DK publishes highly visual, photographic non-fiction for adults and children. The DK and Smithsonian publishing relationship brings the scholarship of Smithsonian experts out of the museum and into your home with authoritative books for both kids and adults that cover a range of topics, including history, science, nature, design, fashion, and more. Whether you are interested in a visual history of the Civil War or the many ages of fashion, DK’s unique collaboration with the Smithsonian offers books that are as educational as they are beautiful.

Tank: The Definitive Visual History of Armored Vehicles
This book will satisfy anyone with a craving for reading/understanding armored vehicles. Not a single page of the books 250+ pages is wasted. Presented in a chronological manner that pretty much starts with the early 1900s to present day … the thorough nature of the book doesn’t forget to spotlight Da Vinci’s armored vehicle drawing. Following the traditional method DK uses to present material, the chapters are grouped by significant periods in the history of tanks. Each and every page is laden with original (not archived) color photos that beautifully illustrate most every facet of tanks/armored vehicles all the way up to today. While the book is wonderfully rich in photographs, the accompanying text and factoids add to the books informative value. Throughout the book are numerous two-page spotlight sections that pay special attention to key innovations, innovators, vehicles and events in tank history. What I particularly liked was that iconic vehicles are highlighted and each is given a multipage spread that includes a highly detailed photographic examination of that vehicle’s interior and exterior (including the Sherman, T34 and Tiger tank). Even experimental tanks are covered and presented in vivid color.

The Smithsonian contribution is what really packs the book’s punch … the collection of photographs give you the experience of visiting a museum. I have all the DK/Smithsonian “Definitive Visual History” books in my personal library and view them as indispensable resources. Each and every volume offers an exhaustive study of the subject matter with stunning visual support; TANK is yet another fine addition to this wonderful series of books.

Publishers description...
Tank: The Definitive Visual History of Armored Vehicles
A visual guide to the history of tanks, Tank tells the full history of tanks through stunning photography and informative text.

From the early Mark Is of World War I to the T-34 of World War II to the cutting-edge M1 Abrams of today, Tank showcases the most famous (or infamous) armored fighting vehicles in history. Packed full of tanks, armored vehicles, personnel carriers, and anti-tank weaponry, Tank combines comprehensive photographic spreads with in-depth histories of key manufacturers and specially commissioned visual tours of the most iconic examples of their kind. The featured vehicles are placed in their wider context, along with with tactical and technological improvements, and the impact of the tank on the evolution of battlefield and military strategy.

Tank charts the evolution of the tank over the past century, covering over 450 tanks and military vehicles from all over the world. Look through the history of tanks and explore the form and function of a weapon that changed history. Learn the different vehicles' weight, size, country of origin, and time of use through in-depth profiles.

An essential visual history, Tank provides a complete and exciting overview to the iconic vehicles that changed history.

The Vietnam War: The Definitive Illustrated History
This book is an excellent narrative about the Vietnam War. The introduction explains important events that led to the colonization of France in Vietnam to their final expulsion in 1959, with entry of the United States. into the long conflict, and to the United States exit. The book offers a snapshot of key players from all camps engaged, with a chronological listing of the major battles - and some lesser known, (the only American military confrontation with Khmer Rouge) etc. There are familiar, timeless, and profoundly moving war photographs, including photographs of military equipment, weapons and uniforms of the warring factions.

Since this is a DK publication, the book is not meant as a serious scholarly work, but rather a popular history with many photographs, illustrations and similar materials. This book is very engaging and very informative. The most iconic photos are here, whether the famous shooting of the suspected collaborator, to the running girl and others, but there are many many photos I have never seen before that are just as powerful.

Publishers description...
Created in association with the Smithsonian Institution, this authoritative guide chronicles America's fight against Communism in southeast Asia during the 1960s and 1970s, and comprehensively explores the people, politics, events, and lasting effects of the Vietnam War.

Filled with more than 500 photographs, The Vietnam War tells the story of Vietnam through powerful images; profiles of the war's most influential figures, such as Henry Kissinger and Pol Pot; and a complete overview of the conduct, strategies, and events in this controversial war, including Ho Chi Minh's rise to power, the Geneva conference, America's intervention, and the Christmas bombings. Gallery spreads feature collections of infantry weapons, artillery, aircraft, and armored vehicles, and diagrams and maps show exactly where battles and key moments happened.

A divisive and destructive event, the Vietnam War was the world's first televised war, and photographs from its front lines powerfully convey war's complex reality. Taking a global perspective, The Vietnam War remembers the people who served and features full spreads about prisoners of war, anti-war protest movements, and the significance of the war for black Americans as they struggled for civil rights.

The Vietnam War is a stirring visual record of the suffering, sacrifice, and heroism in America's longest and bloodiest conflict of the 20th century.

• Digital Delights...
Life Miniatures has produced a fabulous pdf Painting Guide for Beginners. Clocking in at 59 pages  this easy to follow guide walks you through painting a Life Miniatures bust.

Publishers description...
As this hobby requires some experiences and skills to achieve good result, we present you the BEGINNERS SERIES especially for the starters. It is provided with downloadable painting tutorial.
Download a copy HERE

Mr. Black Publications, publisher of Scale Model Handbook Figure Modelling, Diorama Modelling and World War II Special series, is releasing video reviews of their editions on Youtube. Stelios Demiras just informed us they recently added reviews of their two latest books. World War II Special Vol.2 by Man Jin Kim and Figure Modelling No.18. Besides former book reviews, you can also find different videos for model show, painting guide, online catalogue and open box reviews on MrBlack Publications on Youtube

• Quickies...
Looking for a Flesh Wash?
When I paint my wargaming stuff I tend to use a lot of washes. A simple block paint job with a wash and reapplying the base color as a highlight is a quick way to get a lot of stuff painted in a reasonable amount of time. Painting faces and skin can be tricky and it can be even trickier to find a good flesh wash. After months of trying different brands I was finally able to try The Army Painter Flesh Wash (TAP-WP1143), now available individually.

My go to before was Vallejo but this is by far the best flesh wash I’ve used. I’ve tried Vallejo, Privateer Press, Reaper, and Citadel before this. The tone in The Army Painter Flesh Wash is a great shade color for my preferred flesh color without being too orange, red or brown. It flowed very well and dried flatter than the homemade wash I had been using. It can be thinned with water exactly like their other acrylic washes. This wash is a welcome addition to their range of Inks and Washes. Highly Recommended.
Army Painter WP1143 Warpaints Quickshade Washes Flesh
Matt Koltonow 5-17

How to Paint 1:72 Military Vehicles
AMMO by Mig, Product Number: AMIG-6019
120 Pages, A4 size, approx. 400 colour photos, full english text. 
by Alex Clark, Jan Moravik et al

The range and quality of Small-Scale armor kits has improved exponentially over the last decade or so, and some of the world’s finest modelers have devoted themselves to working in ‘Braille Scale’. The guys at AMMO Mig Jimenez, as part of their Weathering Magazine special series, have put together the work of some of these modelers in a ‘how-to’ guide to modelling, painting and weathering 1/72nd scale armor. 

The book begins with a very useful introduction to the some of the major kit manufacturers in this scale, from the simplicity of the Armourfast range to the complex multi-media kits produced by Modelcollect. The subjects covered range across periods and approaches to modelling. The high point is probably Alex Clark’s rusting T-62 from Modelcollect, but Jan Moravek’s Panzer IV Ausf. D., Artur Wachkowski’s Tiger I and the two models (a Scud-D and E-75) are also superb. Mig Jimenez’s own account of painting and weathering an S Model BMD-2 (a tiny model in this scale) is probably the fullest account and also excellent. What I found interesting is the authors’ willingness to use conventional brushes, rather than the airbrush, to lay down camouflage colours. Overall, this is nicely produced and inspirational volume. At $18.00 it’s competively priced and 1/35th scale modelers, as well as smaller-scalers, will find much of interest in its pages.
View a page by page look HERE

Panzerwrecks No.20 is the third in the ‘Ostfront’ (Eastern Front) series. Image quality is down a notch compared to previous editions but there is a very good reason for this; the wartime photos are taken from Russian Central Military Archives of the 17th Air Army while evaluating the effects of Soviet air weapons on Axis armour during the battles around Lake Balaton, Hungary in 1945. So in a way, the book is also a study of aerial warfare as well as about ground-armour, which makes for fascinating reading. The publishers have included some absolutely superb colour artwork by Felipe Rodna throughout the book, based on photos (also shown) to clarify the details, camouflage and markings. A wide variety of machinery is depicted, from the humble Panzer IV to Panthers, Hetzers and Stugs to exotica such as the Möbelwagen and Hungarian Nimród anti-aircraft tank. A slightly different approach this time and as ever, an extremely interesting read.

Deluxe Materials
Plastic Magic Box with Brush - 40ml non spill bottle  ref. DMX-AD77
Plastic Magic Twin Brush Pack ref. DXM-AC25
Plastic Magic is another indispensible product that’s  a must have for all modelers. Plastic Magic is a liquid solvent glue that produces invisible glue lines and is ideal for all your modeling needs. The new safer formula can be applied with the Deluxe Materials Pin Flow Solvent Glue Applicator, conventionally with a fine paintbrush or by using the very latest Plastic Magic Twin Brush Pack’or with the ‘Glue Brush Set’. Plastic Magic bonds nearly all commonly used modeling plastics including polyester, styrene, ABS, PVC, butyrate, and Polycarbonate.

• The Parting Shot ...

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