Thursday, July 3

Review: Static Model Manual Volume 6 - Painting Models - Materials and methods

We were lucky enough to look at the number seven in the Static Model Manuals from Auriga Publishing last month – it showed how to best paint and weather your models and no doubt it would be a lot of help to a many modellers out there – this book – number six in the series shows you just how to apply the paint – and all of the questions you might have ever asked about the materials and methods before you start getting’ it on in the first place…

Static Model Manual Volume 6 - Painting Models - Materials and methods
By Alessandro Bruschi
Auriga Publishing international
Duel English/Italian Languages
100 pages
Full colour photographs throughout
€ 22.90 + P&P Directly at this link

This book is the predecessor to the painting techniques book we read and reviewed last month. I can say THAT book was great!  So we naturally were looking forward to reading this book. In a slightly different format to a bunch of tips – it is more of a normal book taking us step by step through the theory and then practical of the lessons of modelling using paints and airbrushes. We all need more help with our modelling so this can only be a good thing – right?

Physically this book is a shiny softcover A4 portrait format packed with dual text in both Italian and English languages. The pages inside are of a quality thick magazine style feels and the pictures which fill the book to the brim are well shot and well lit.

Colour theory and how to apply that theory are all here.
The text is easy to read and the subjects are incredibly diverse! Check these out – normally a page or half a page with some topics a few pages each…I took them from the webpages as there just so many – too many to include here in blow by blow commentary!

Paints for modelling
A first encounter with paints
Paint characteristics
The families of modelling paints  
What’s in the bottle?
Work in progress
Enamel for models 
Compatibility of different brands of enamels
Modelling lacquer   
Water-based acrylics
Alcohol-based acrylics
Compatibility between different brands of acrylics
The acrylic families
Best value for money
Paints in spray cans           
Paint application
Retarders and cleaners     
Some examples Universal synthetic thinners   
Acrylic thinners
Maybe yes, maybe no?
The main contenders
Alternatives for thinning acrylics
Storing the paint
Opening paint containers 
Mixing paints
Quick identification
Modelling brushes
Getting started         
Brush care
Perfect shape
Painting with a brush
Cleaning and degreasing
Using a brush on large surfaces
Spray paint
Comparison of strategies
Why is it indispensable?
A large selection
Autopsy of an airbrush      
Paint reservoirs
Holding the airbrush
Do-it-yourself compressors
Recognizing the components
Some tips
Useful accessories
Thinning and overlapping coats
Controlling the airbrush
Fine lines
Freehand camouflage schemes
Practical tips
Painted surfaces
Cleaning the airbrush
Disassembly and cleaning           
Nozzles and needle
Special paints
Metallic paints
An alternative solution       
The decal sheet
Silvering effect
Tools of the trade    
The cut
Freehand trimming 
Difficult surfaces     
Torn decals  
Curved surfaces
Alternatives to decals
Protecting the decals         
Complementary techniques
Pin washes on a flat finish           
Pin washes on semi-gloss and gloss finishes
General washes on gloss
Dry brushing
Removing paint from a model

.... Phew!

Normally I would  take you through these parts of the book one by one – but you can see by what is listed really just how many small areas of the basics of painting, airbrushing and the makeup of your materials in the finest of detail (like opening paint bottles) you may learn something here that you might be afraid to ask someone else it is that basic. It goes through with no ego or superiority showing you just how the experts do it.

For once a helpful chart!
Not only is there plenty of text in this magazine but there are many instances where the author explains what he is talking about  in helpful comparable tables, data charts, boxed suggestions, and little mottos to live by that are often something you may not have thought about.

An example of how this book teaches you is the small but important instance of thinning acrylic paint and the use of things like window cleaner to do it. The author shows us in a chart just what IS IN window cleaner and why it is and isn’t the best for certain brands of paints. Thoughtful authorative advice and not just someone vouching for a product on a forum or at a model show really are great. Especially when the use of products span the whole gamut of brands like here. I like the non-partisan approach to materials continued on here from their last book I reviewed. It gives you trust in what they are saying in this heavily sponsored world of modelling print.

Thinning colours explained in great detail
The book also shows you how to SAVE money as well as to spend it on expensive materials. It points out helpful tips with paints and household materials you might not have thought of and other larger things like alternatives for an expensive modelling compressor as well as things like how to most efficiently clean out your airbrush – one of your most expensive and delicate tools.

You gotta know when to hold em - and how - this book will teach you how to get to know your airbrush inside and out.
You can be the best painter in the world but stuff it up if you do not know your tools. A poor tradesman blames their tools – so to get to know them a little better and the theory is that you will be a better tradesman? That’s what I can glean from reading this book with all of the small page or half page of tips. This bite sized little pointers with good accompanying pictures and captions really are a great way to learn. You could do a lot worse than to spend an afternoon with this book before you painted a model.

The simple to follow expose’s on each of the materials and methods of painting were good lessons to be learned that I could have dealt with at a beginner’s stage. Now do not think I am not much better than that after all these years – but I wish I would have had this as a teenager. It would be a teen audience plus I would point this book at. Don’t worry adults can get just as much out of it! I sure learnt a hell of a lot but I think it would be especially handy to those needing that initial step up as well as those self-professed masters out here who will learn something from this I bet.

 Finishing and weathering processes are discussed in this book as well..
It’s a good book for flicking back for reference as well – with all of the charts of compatibility and methodology there at the flick of a page – keep it handy!

This is another great book from Auriga Publishing and an essential companion to the next book on the painting and finishing of the kit (no 7 we looked at last month).

Adam Norenberg

Thanks to Auriga Publishing international for sending us this book to read and review.