Saturday, June 7

Is this the greatest book on model aircraft? Review: "Airplanes in Scale -The Greatest Guide"

There seems to be a few good books on the market recently with new and improved methods of making your model the best you possibly can. Well Accion Press – the guys behind Panzer Aces and the Euro Modellismo stables have made a new step by step book to give you the best in “how to” model scale aircraft models. With some beautiful looking finished models and some nicely photographed sequences it looks interesting – let’s have a look in our review…
"Airplanes in Scale -The Greatest Guide"
Accion Press
Javier López de Anca & Ricardo Abad Medina
200 pages with more than 1000 pictures
A-4 portrait format
€39.95 directly from Accion Press

The preview images of the models in this book look very nice – so we naturally were really looking forward to seeing the book in the flesh. Though not known so much for their aircraft models as their “Tank Aces” series, Accion press does do an aircraft related “euro Modellismo” with mainly European modellers with some merit. Two of those modellers are the authors of this book which promises to be the “greatest Guide” to Airplanes in scale. Let’s see if it’s true.

2.- Introduction
4.- North American P-51D Mustang
24.- MACCHI C. 202
46.- Messerschmitt Bf 109 E1
70.- Dewoitine D.520
90.- Nakajima Ki-84 Hayate
114.- De Havilland Mosquito NF.II
140.- Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-3
162.- Messerschmitt Me 262A
186.- Tools & Techniques
193.- Subject index
194.- Biographies

The two authors of the book, Javier López de Anca and Ricardo Abad Medina have concocted a book of two hundred pages with over a thousand pictures. Physically the book is a thick one; with a solid square binding and glossy cover. The A4 pages are filled for the most part with pictures and text.  Now there were two pictures in this book that had ghosted images. We aren’t sure why but they were on the same page. Otherwise every other picture was well lit and in focus. The book has a quality look and feel to it that has stayed looking good even after travelling around with me for the last few days.
It can be said these models are made in the “Spanish Style” – a lot of contrast and hyper realism leave you only once or twice thinking if the approach is right..but by the end of the model you are a believer in the process. A lot of very nice use of scratch building and correcting with aftermarket is very helpful to make the reader understand the process and order of adding extras to an aircraft.
One of the reasons this book is indeed a superior tittle over much of the opposition is that it features at least one of the top aircraft in each of the main manufacturing nations and sometimes two. All of the major players of the world’s airforces are included here in this book. The US’ P-51D Mustang, the Italian made MACCHI C. 202, the German Messerschmitt Bf 109 E1and Messerschmitt Me 262A, the French  Dewoitine D.520, the Japanese Nakajima Ki-84 Hayate, the British made De Havilland Mosquito NF.II and the Russians Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-3. IT is outstanding that they have included a plane from the zeitgeist of most people’s fighter choices of WWII.
Each build takes us through the kit from start to finish. There is a double page introduction of the aircraft type on the first pages, and then we go step by step through the build from start to finish in a caption-to-a-picture style. I really appreciate this way of showing off a build. and i think that this is the best feature of this whole book and i will explain why.

Several books try it with the dual block text/ pictures and captions. This approach keeps it simple and it does not break up the flow of your reading the book .It makes it easy to follow on the run as well. You do not have to go through a lot of text to simply find what you want to know about a process.
The large section of different aircraft from all theatres should catch most modeller’s interests as well as having a twin engine prop and a jet aircraft in there gives you a point of difference of finish on these aircraft. Techniques differ in weathering radial, inline and jet engines and these are shown off to good advantage. Although there are just two model makers on display here it never feels like you are looking at the same techniques again and again. Variation in this book is the key.
It features several different brands of kits and aftermarket, paint and wreathing powders as well as a few tools I haven’t seen before. Nothing is duller than seeing one brand championed above others, usually because of an association with the modeller or publisher. Now I would think that there has been some support from companies as there are a few pages of promotion at the end it never feels like a large sales brochure.
A few things I think can be altered. The book features just 1/48th scale builds. This is a popular scale but not for everyone. There are one or two translation errors (but then again I bet you can find spelling mistakes here in this review as well). Small issues that do not reflect poorly on this book but in the nature of a review must be brought up.

The icing on the cake is some lovely galleries of each of these aircraft at the end of each chapter
I took this to a fellow modeller’s house and if I can quote him “this book is inspirational”, and that pretty much sums up my feeling on it as well. I like the approach of several brands of kit, the non-partisan approach to materials and difference of airframes means you are never left feeling like the agenda is on anything but model making.

A round up of tips and tools and an author profile is included at the end as well.
Inspirational and polished in it's execution - Who knows whether it is the greatest book ever in scale aircraft but i think this is a must have for modellers wanting to improve their skills or learn from some true masters of the art of modelling. It makes you want to get stuck into your own models to emulate what is on show. 

Adam Norenberg

This book is available from the Euromodelismo shop  and thanks to them for sending this to us to read and review…