Wednesday, July 13

Read n’ Reviewed: The Weathering Magazine Issue #15 “What If”

Mig’s Weathering Magazine is one of the most popular on the market and today and we look at “What If?” in an alternate future in issue #15 in today’s review…

Read n’ Reviewed:
The Weathering Magazine Issue #15 “What If”

From: Ammo Publications
78 pages
A4 Portrait format
Available in 7 different languages: Czech, English, Polish, Hungarian, Spanish & French & German.
Price: €8 or you can subscribe to this magazine as well.
Ammo’s Weathering Magazine Website also available in digital versions for apple & android

The latest weathering magazine marks the fifteenth issue in the series already. It is a series from AMMO Publications that features the work of some of the world’s best modellers and their work with the latest of techniques and at the same time showcase some of AMMO’s materials. We got the chance to read it in our review so let’s have a look at what is inside…

Definition of “What if?”
noun \ˌhwät-ˈif, ˌwät-, ˌ(h)wət-\ used to ask about something that could happen in the future, especially something bad (Cambridge Dictionary)

First known use of “What–if” was in 1970. However, when applied to modelling, later on, this genre of the hobby was first taken up by modellers who were keen to model the most advanced weapons and machines of war and engineering. These fanciful scenarios were not always a thing that might have brought the world good – but they are usually interesting subjects that enable modellers to use their creative and artistic side. They allow for the maker to use their imaginations, and sometimes this is a great jog to the minds of modellers in a rut or in need of inspiration. (personally, I get inspired from Olivia Newton-John Videos from the 80's, but to each their own...)

Physically, this magazine is a glossy cover, A4 mag, with seventy-seven pages inside packed with builds and step by step (SBS) builds which are all the rage nowadays with us all too time-poor to read anything. The thickness of the pages is noteworthy, and it gives a quality feel to the mag. Some people may not like the use of the “Lay-deez” used to spice up the models but it is up to you. I found it not too much of a distraction – well not a bad distraction anyway.

The thing that may be a bit of a distraction to some people is the use of mainly AMMO products inside the magazine. All of the major publishers connected to painting and weathering supplies do this however, so again it is up to you if you approve of this or not and while I try not to focus on it, it is a “thing” that will annoy some modellers.

This issue is broken up into seven main building and painting sections. Between these builds are placed the adverts which is the best place for them. This approach does not break up the flow of the magazine and it does take the focus off the interruptions which is the best approach. In total eight single pages of adverts in 77 total pages of this mag makes this not an overly saturated read for the asking price of Eight Euros.

Let’s take a look at the builds…

The first build is by the boss of the show. Mig Jiménez shows off his 1/35th scale Takom T-14 Armata that he has portrayed in Soviet colours originally but then handed over in a “what if” to the Syrian government.

The build is shown in some very clear step-by-step (SBS) build sequences which indeed only show you the painting and weathering sections of the model. Those looking for a magazine showing you a complex build process will not get much out of this series. But then again it is called “The Weathering Magazine” for a reason. the model itself is great with some smaller details brought to light in the text which you may have missed. There is a good reason this fellow is so well known in the modelling world when you look at a model like this.

Next, we look at a very cool (and probably most familiar “What If” scenario) of Luft’46 with Michal Dostal’s UFO-looking Haunebu disc aircraft of the Third Reich. This kit from the Japanese Company called "Wave” is very much in this book’s category of a machine that might have, “if….” Thanks to baby Jeezuz it did not!

The short build is never the less a nice instruction of how to weather your Luft ’46 and beaten-up splinter camouflage subjects. Michal does a great job in transforming this toy-like resin piece into something a bit more than most people would. 

I like how these modellers are making little scenarios in their heads to illustrate their builds. Jamie Haggo does this very well in his introduction of the model he has made for this issue. We all do this in our heads when making kits so it is good to see his thinking here on paper (I’m not that crazy after all.) 
His build of a Soviet Navy F-14 Tomcat is derived from the Eduard 48th scale boxing of the F-14 with multiple enhancements which although are not shown in construction are mentioned for those wanting to replicate this for themselves. Shame we could not see that in the build but I digress again… A lot of wearing, chipping and beating up of the airframe make this a really nice build although more pages on this would have been nice.

To counter this, the Americans get Flankers! This build of the Su-27 in the famous US Navy’s “Jolly Rogers” scheme is just as interesting a prospect as it’s counterpart. The “What If” scenario model is made from the 48th scale Academy kit by Andy Brown.

This kit has the same back story of the earlier Russian Navy F-14(ski) and it’s great to see both of these modellers colluding in this magazine with the same story. It kinda really suits the purpose of the prose on offer here. This build is just as nice as the F-14 by Jamie. Both of these aircraft are painted and weathered with a lot of skill and these unconventional build colours will teach a lot of modellers a bit about doing something out of their original comfort zone.

Another vehicle of the “What If” zeitgeist is the massive German tanks. King among these is the Trumpeter kit of the E-75, this time, modelled by Maxi Fernandez.

This is a fairly simple kit, with some equally simple looking base painting (using some really helpful dot masks) but weathered and aged in a way that is far from simple, this is a skilful build with a great result played out in SBS style.

We go even earlier and more “What If” now – back to WWI times with his scratch built model that portrays a large mecha on the charge over the muddy battlefields of Europe. Stefano Marchetti’s kit is large even in 1/35th scale I must congratulate him on the unique shapes he has created. I would like to see more of the build, but here again the focus in on the finishing. A short but never the less interesting article that should be in a book it’s that good. Its very good to see it here.

Totally in the zone right now is “Star Wars” – and this Rebel “reprocessed” TIE fighter is a unique scheme that I have not seen before. I have seen really colourful space fighters recently but no captured versions. Oishi’s 72nd scale TIE is great but again I would like to see more of it.

A thought-provoking part of this magazine is three single pages of colour profiles of aircraft in unusual liveries – captured spitfires in “Red Baron" colours, a Polish F-4 Phantom, an F-16C of the Confederate airforce as well as an X-Wing of the US Navy are just some examples of the whacky ideas on show here. They ARE however simple illustrations of just what “What If” is all about. Nicely done.

Lastly, we see one of our favourite girl modellers, Takami Maekawa, and her Red Oxide Tiger II of the Japanese Army. This is seen in the made up story of the defence of the Japanese mainland in a tough struggle, the model is shown in not just painting but also surface preparation with some nice SBS’s. As well as the model we see a little of the figures and the base it is laid on, with some very traditional Japanese foliage thrown into the mix.

This magazine does exactly what it says on the tin. Apart from not enough of the actual builds being shown sometimes and the reliance on one type of product, I find it hard to fault this magazine given the quality of the pictures and SBS features within.

The models are the real stars here in this issue. The different ideas shown are the supporting cast and the modellers should take a bow for their performance. Well done to all the cast.

Adam Norenberg

Thanks to the guys (and gals) at AMMO for sending this to us - you can subscribe to this magazine at Ammo’s Weathering Magazine Website also available in digital versions apple & android