Monday, August 24

Read N Reviewed: Tanker Techniques Magazine #01 “Extreme Rust”

With all of the competition between companies for the hard won magazine dollar will AK Interactive's new first edition of “Tanker” measure up? Let’s have a look at this promising magazine in our review…

“Extreme Rust”
A4 Softcover
98 pages
Available in eight languages
9€ From AK Interactive’s distributors Worldwide.

AK’s latest magazine publication is called ‘Tanker’ and it says that it is a techniques magazine – and that pretty much is what it is if you like a short review. The softcover A4 magazine comes in a 96 pages and it is sold worldwide by AK Interactive’s distributors in 8 languages, with around 100 pages (English, French, German, Russian, Spanish, Czech, Chinese, and Hungarian.) This – the first issue is centred on one subject that every build features – the most popular fad if you like – Rust – and plenty of it.
The mag is probably a little heavier in pages than most by about ten pages. The advertorials are kept to a minimum and so the asking price of 9€ isn’t too bad when you compare it with other mags crammed full of pages of adverts – this one has six or seven pages of just under 100 so that isn’t a bad ratio.

Slated for a tri-monthy release (every three months) this mag has many of the stars of the modelling world like Adam Wilder and Fernando Vallejo (along with many other names you will well know) involved so we were expecting a high class of modelling inside. The skills of the modellers, photography and the writing all are skilful.
The style of each article is in a similar theme throughout this magazine – that of a few lines about the actual kit (a paragraph) with some accompanying text about the inspiration of goals of this creation, and then several pages of step by step (SBS) modelling with the products shown usually next to the part treated. Numbers connect the text to the picture and for the most part the magazine is easy to follow.

OK that is the layout – good pictures with an SBS narrative and great modelling. Let’s look briefly at each of the builds in this – the first issue…

The first build features Amusing Hobby’s Lowe in 35th scale and very rusted and well painted. Meant to look like an improvised vehicle rushed to the front (in 1946 no less) it’s a great kit to show large flat rusted sides and a painted turret.
Next we look at Char B with a missing turret – The modeller seems to lose a bit too much of the paint but recovers (or maybe it was his cunning plan always) to leave this as an extremely rusted out hulk waiting for repair. The addition of grass and scenic elements helps the look of the overgrown rusted hulk a lot but the flora part isn’t discussed here. 
I liked this next article a little more – Ruben Gonzalez turns this toy like van into a rusted, glass shattered and bullet holed hulk of a thing. The fist modeller not to use just one type of paint, he makes this into a pretty realistic looking model. 
We then look at a skilfully crafted and well thought out half burnt out Israeli Defense Force Super Sherman. The rusted and burnt out features of this kit really do set it aside from the desert tan painted forward hull. I think the only thing missing from this is a small desert dio to place it on. Again we are kept to a strict regime of painting, rusting and then weathering/repeat.
A neat little dio then was a site for sore eyes. Fernando Vallejo’s rusted and derelict soviet era BRDM from trumpeter is shown beaten, discoloured and rusted, and at the scene of a junk yard. The three figures placed with the AFV are interesting. 
We see a little more of the world of dioramas with this next scene of a German soldier eyeing off some rats who are hiding on top of a burnt and rusted T-34  turret in a  trench.  A nicely put together complete scene with far less space needed than other large scenes but just as effective.
Like the maker of this next kit – we weren’t sure about Shermans either. That was before we saw just how you could turn it into a rusted gate guardian like this one.

We next see some rusted relics in two pages before we look at a large section about Rusted ironworks on buildings. In this part the Emanuel Nouailler gave me a little of what I had been missing in this magazine – scenes of buildings and background which up until this part are seriously lacking. Smart and simple techniques are easy to follow here with an easier layout than the rest of the mag. 
Lastly the real coup of this magazine is the inclusion of Adam Wilder. He uses his own product line to make and weather this rusty tracks in this effective tutorial. Having something so interesting like this in the magazine is a real plus and although it has a narrow focus it is very educational.
The site of a mostly buried and rusted out T-34 hull are next – this AFV is covered with earth and the whole scene makes for an interesting diorama. Although it is short this scene is taken from a real picture in a photograph and it’s very cool.

A topical scene is next – with a lot of reference and a great how-to with the subject of how to weather and rust your won 22 foot shipping container. We finish with two pages of Lebanese rusted hulks in a wrecking yard.

This is the end of the real magazine – it says on the cover that the next pages are more of a bonus chapter with simple how-to’s. For the most part these parts are, but sometimes they do feel like a bit of a sales brochure.
And that is the tightrope this magazine is balancing – between being what some people call a paint selling brochure and an educational and entertaining read. These builds really feature prominently the painting, weathering and rusting techniques of finishing the kit ( just like it says in the tittle) but sometimes we do not see enough of the “why’s” and the getting TO the painting stages. There is nothing really about the kits more than a paragraph isn’t really enough for my taste and I would like to see a little more of the story of the build and the impetus of why the builder wanted to make them.

It would also help to broaden the materials used here. Being an AK Interactive publication I can totally understand the predominance of using their own paint I really liked the articles which showcased something different. Otherwise it becomes an exercise in repetition. I would like to see more variation in their next issue on extra armour. This magazine is well put together, well shot, well written and the models are great. More kit construction background and diorama included can only add to the all over entertainment value.

Until then I think this is a pretty good first issue. Some improvements in the areas I have mentioned will make the next one even better.

Adam Norenberg

Now available from AK Interactive’s web shop.. Thanks to AK for sending this magazine to read and review..