Sunday, August 17

Review: Static Model Manual Volume 4 – Building – One hundred and One Tips

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 four in the series shows you just how start at the basics – and how to advance to the higher echelons of model making skill – but is it useful to the average modeller? Let’s have a look in our review…

Static Model Manual Volume 4 – Building – One hundred and One Tips
By Alessandro Bruschi
Auriga Publishing international
Duel English/Italian Languages
113 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 the those two books we have already reviewed were excellent and massively helpful to all modellers we thought – so we had high hopes for this issue – number in the series which focusses on the very start of our craft through to customizing and scratch building using different methods -  great!  So we naturally were looking forward to reading this book.
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.

Now I don’t know if there are indeed one hundred and one tips in this here book – but it seems like there are! One hundred and fourteen pages are in a dual Italian and English language set apart by bold and regular type. The writing is good and apart from missing my cue sometimes and trying to read Italian before realizing what I was doing I think it works well.
The text is easy to read and the subjects are incredibly diverse. Most of the tips take up a page or a little more each in instruction and some are more of a breakdown of what you might want to use or modify to use in a situation or to make something. The book starts off with the basics of what you might need to make a simple model – how and where to source them, and how to develop the finesse to use them on just the right way. Diagrams and arrows showing which way to use tools and materials.

Gradually as you go through the book you go from the basics of cutting, filling and gluing your kit to making extra details, extra details on the original model to make them more realistic to later making your own parts. I think this is a great book for not only the regular modellers but child modellers as the writing is basic enough (and not up it’s own bum) but the more experienced guys will get something out of this too I guarantee it.
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.

Interesting to note is the adaptation of power tools to the modeller’s workbench and jut how to use them without destroying the plastic model. Punch and die kits, drills and polishing tools to what seems at first are more complicated tools like Vac-forming machines are mentioned.
Making specialized surfaces like the anti-slip coating on many modern and some older vehicle as well as the many types of Zimmerit coating are talked about with helpful pictures of how to make the tools to create this almost artist effect. Making wood into smaller scale wooden pieces and fabricating your own wood from plastic are in here as well. We also look at making cloth and canvas from plaster and the way to perfect the look and thickness of Perspex on cars, trucks and armoured vehicles. This was really starting to feel like a book even the big boys would get something from. We look at simulating damage on vehicles and especially armour using soldering irons and while we are on it using all types of aftermarket wheels and tracks for tanks is demystified.
Lastly we get into some advanced modelling which could take your kits to the next level. Using silicone moulds to make the parts you need to add to or just to make more of certain bits like spare wheels or ordinance or spare engines, you learn in this section using straight pouring techniques and pressurised moulding just how to cross this which is one of the last frontiers in model making.

Maybe the only thing missing in this book is the new technology of  3D printing – this I suppose could well be covered in it’s own publication later on. Maybe using CAD to make your own models is another good thing for an “Advanced” book further down the line.
Auriga Publishing’s titles in this series we have looked at so far are essential companions, and even these earlier books in the series are great o have to read thru in case you hit a problem or need to know more about a subject or want to polish up on the newer advanced and obscure techniques we as modellers hope to prefect in our craft. . I would think there are questions about the most basic of techniques in here that you have never thought of. 

This is another great tittle and you all should read it!

Adam Norenberg

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