Wednesday, August 13

WWI aircraft models are the theme for the new "Aces High" magazine we review today..

We got the chance to look at the launch edition of the exciting “Aces High” magazine last month – it was pretty nice and full of top quality builds by noted modellers. Last month was night fighters of the Luftwaffe but this edition covers the aircraft of World War I – let’s have a look at what is in store for us in our issue II review….
Aces High #2 “world War One”
English /Spanish versions available
82 pages A4 Portrait format
Price: 9 Euro
This magazine is available through Aces High’s distributors, or their online shop..

Aces High is now two issues old. Each of the issues concentrates on a particular theme which is the popular thing to do it seems now-days – Issue No. 1 was full of with German Night Fighters of World War Two whilst and this issue centres on the fairly recent craze in aircraft modelling - World War One aircraft.
This is a newer style of magazine – the business model is higher door price but fewer pages wasted with adverts so a more in depth experience of modelling each of the kits. These magazines are harder to locate than your regular newsagent type but on the whole I find this new crop a lot more rewarding and better value for your buck.

The driving force behind this magazine – and this is pretty evident through reading his earlier works is the top modeller and now editor, Daniel Zamarbide. Daniel has written for plenty of modelling magazines and most recently the very nice Valiant wings series of “how to” books on the He-219 & Mustang from Zoukei Mura. Having reviewed these books the style in this magazine has almost copied them – you get a feeling that this is laid out more like a book than a magazine.
We DID however have some minor issues with the first issue that hinted at a rushed or compromised release. I am really pleased as this has led to a better experience in fluidity this time around. We’ll talk thru them as we go. 

Physically this magazine is 65 pages bound in a glossy cover with lovely artwork on the front and inside the covers. There was a problem with the few pages of adverts last time – they were placed in odd locations – In the middle of built model galleries which broke up the flow. The three or four pages of advertisements in this mag are thoughtfully place between builds so you aren’t distracted from the real meat of the sandwich.
These magazines feature a fold out centre spread with the artwork in a Pyn-Up style of a lovely lassie of the time period. Last time we saw that if you took the fold out poster out you lost a page of the build from your magazine. Daniel has moved the two other advertisement pages so they back this and now you lose nothing through taking out the poster. Great stuff.

The ladies of WWI get a look in as well in a nice poster for inspiration - let’s get on with the builds in the mag..
The first build we see is a 1/32nd Wingnut Wings (who must love this edition) AMC DH.2 of the RFC made by Jose M Fernandez. He is a fearless chap as this machine is so laden with wires it looks like a strainer. 
Using a lot of masks and a fair bit of skill he paints and makes his own masks and rigging for this complicated airframe. You get a step by step (SBS) build of this in several incriminations of steps showing you just how something that looks like a plastic engine become something that is a real miniature 32nd scale engine. Fading techniques and some cloth rigging as well as painting propellers is shown here a little as well.

The second build is another Wingnut Wings kit in 32nd scale - the Sopwith Pup in service with the RNAS by Juan Manuel Villegas Castro. I was very impressed with this build as he let us in on a few nice tips that will help a lot of modellers out there. 
Some very nice wood grain reproduction, some canvas interiors, faded cloth wings, oil splattered new metal finishes and a great tutorial on weathering wheels is just part of the build instruction on this kit. I really enjoyed this build.

Now for the turn of “Ze Germans” with Miguel Morales build of Eduard’s 1/48 kit of the Fokker Dr.I from Eduard.  A black and white colour scheme has been chosen for this build and it is great to see something different in this choice.
The well-known brownish streaking on the wing upper surfaces has been captured very well with this build and the pictures and model are very clean. I would say that we could see more pictures of smaller sections instead of larger pictures of a larger part – it reduces the impact of this otherwise great build

The next build is a beautiful looking 1/32 Hannover CL.II from Wingnut Wings modelled by Tomek Wajnkaim in a lozenge scheme made using homemade masks. This green, yellow, blue and purple machine really does stand out. It is colours like this and the Fokker that really attract people to these early flying machines.
This model aircraft isn’t just a nice cockpit and woodgrain with some lovely engine work – it is lozenge mask parts in four different layers applied bit by bit – it’s hard to do this without applying paint to thickly and I think Tomek has pulled it off here pretty well. 
The French-built Nieuport 23 in 1/48th scale is next cab off the rank – built by Ricardo Abad Medina this kit from Eduard is seen in an interesting Russian scheme that is faded and beautiful. Ricardo shows us just how he got there in another step by step build featuring strong work in natural metal, masking and faded cloth finish. 
I lied it seems a little in the intro I confess - when I said this magazine focuses on WWI aircraft – well there are some other modelling here a WWI modeller might be interested in. Figure and accessory modelling are in here as well. Firstly some figure painting step by step processes - pilots and ground crew figures from Aviattic in which Roberto Ramírez shows you how to paint these and compose a vignette of pilots waiting for the call to action.

We all need scenery to make our models come alive - this 1/32nd German fuel cart allows you to refuel your Luftstreitkräfte’s scale aircraft and Roberto Ramírez teaches us how to apply an attractive finish to the new Aviattic resin kit which should fit into a lot of scenes in Wingnut Wing’s kits.
We continue non sequitur with the 1/72nd scale Mack AC truck - a product of RPM it is modelled here by Francisco Javier Martínez Rodríguez in minute but precise detail.
We end with a tip that next edition of this magazine is focused on the Empire of the sun – Japanese aircraft in World War II

Well second episode in – and this magazine is on the improve already. In  changing a few things like focusing on just a short intro and step by step builds, moving the advertisement placements and some layout changes it has helped with the flow of this magazine a great deal. Modellers are visual creatures and the pictures in these builds and the way they are laid out makes for a magazine that reads with the quality of a book.

Great job on this – keep it up!

Adam Norenberg

Thanks to Aces High for sending this mag out for review - It is available through Aces High’s distributors, or their online shop..