Sunday, November 13

Read n' Reviewed: AK Interactive's Tanker Techniques Magazine Issue 04: "Damage Inc."

We are four issues into the "Tanker Techniques" magazine now. That is four issues, each with a certain theme, we have had extreme rust, extra armour a bit of dirt, and now for issue four we get "damaged." Let's have a look at what AK Interactive's showpiece magazine has in store for us this issue...

Tanker Techniques Magazine Issue 04: Damage INC.
Product no: TKM04
English and Spanish Languages
89 pages
A4 Portrait Softcover format
Price: 9 Euros

This is issue four of AK Interactive's "Tanker Techniques Magazine" that we are looking at today. This magazine series is aimed mostly at the finishing stages of a model, the painting and weathering of the vehicle to make them look like they have been affected by an environment or a man-made influence. Dirt, rust and extra armour have all been featured, but now we shall see just how to recreate the effects of battle and environmental damage in our models with several complete builds featuring just that – the recreation of destruction.
This fourth issue of the Tanker Techniques magazine showcases the damage that happens and is caused to vehicles and even a chopper. Several master modellers, like the editor Kristof Pulinckx, and regular contributors Martin Red Kovac, and the awesomely named Zach Sex are amongst the stars of the show – the other stars of this mag are the models they make and the way they have used their materials to achieve that look. Let's have a look at them all in turn right now...
This is an A4 sized, portrait format magazine with a glued binding (a square edge type,) this magazine has a nice feel of the softcover and the pages are thick enough to feel like they are of some good quality. The proofreading is pretty good, even with the majority of the modellers not naturally speaking English and the pictures are all shot in an expose style so you can see just what is going on. The text next to each picture (numbered so easy to find) is very helpful and the little intros do not take too much away from the SBS (step by Step) model making in this mag.

Always good to see a note from the editor and that he has not been replaced by robots :-)
First up we see a grat looking Trumpeter IS-7 in 35th scale from Martin Red Kovac. I don't know if "red" is a nickname, but it sure fits this build of a heavily shell bitten tank, Martin shows us how he makes this shell damage on the front glacis and turret, he then beats up some photo etched stowage boxes before he gets to the painting. An interesting two-tone winter camouflage is weathered and tracks added, making this a wonderful looking what-if project for Russian armour fans.
Next up, we see a competitor for biggest and baddest on the block, The editor Kristof Pulinckx and his 35th scale Tiger I mid-production kit. This Tiger is shown briefly unpainted and the method of applying damage is shown, if all too quickly for me, I like to see more of this process of making the kit. We transition straight into the stripping of Zimmerit, the painting of the several layers, paste and the remnants of the anti-magnetic still showing in a very skilful presentation. This is a great model and although the article is of only a short space in the mag it is to the point in an SBS style build.
The next kit is a twin build of two Sherman derivatives, the combat veteran and its rescuer from Zach Sex in 35th scale. The combat-proven Sherman is first treated to some extensive battle damage to the roadwheels of the tank, obviously the reason for the rescue, and then we see how both of these tanks are painted and weathered, using Tamiya, AK Interactive and Wilder pigments. A lovely diorama base is added but we do not see it being constructed, it was donated by a buddy of the modeller it says in the write-up.
One point I will bring to light about the editorial layout is that I do like the way this magazine is graphically enhanced with fonts, colours, and of the layouts of the builds – but this build of the two Shermans is broken up with two pages of single page adverts right in the gallery of the completed kits. Next time it would be more prudent to have the adverts together and as a bookmark to separate the builds instead? It would make more sense to me, and it is a small foible that does not really stand out to most people who aren't looking for issues.

We see a very char-"Grile"d tank next. Rob Ferreira's burnt out Marder III kit is next, as we see a lot more of how an interior can be damaged by constant use, battle and then fire. This Dragon kit in 35th sees a lot of detail added with plastic strips and rivet detail, this is all then painted in layers, using salt chipping effects int he fighting compartment and engine to really show layers of paint, metal and rust exposed to extreme heat and then the environment. Rob has gone to some great lengths to use paint in several layers to get some varied hues and colours that you might see on something damaged by explosions and fire. It is a great article of good length to learn from.
One of the cover girls is next, with the small MRC kit in 48th scale of what they have turned into an "Air America UH-IC "Huey" complete with a lovely diorama. Built as a labour of love to celebrate a deceased member of their model club by Ricardo Chust Roig and Ruben Gonzalez. This kit in the livery of CIA's own private airline in the Vietnam (and other adjoining areas) fame, was put together from parts, and we see the addition of several bullet holes, shattered rotor damage, and even some scratch building . After construction, the two modellers get to using masks to create the unusual paint scheme and then weather it in a "tail up" aspect. Making the oil and fluids, as well as the dust and smears look like they are trailing down to the jungle floor. Nothing on the base, but the build and damage on the chopper is great.
From the Second Chechen War, we see the editor's battle weary and only slightly damaged T-72 MBT. Kristof shows us over two pages how he treated this tank to minor wear and tear without going over the top, this was meant after all to be a functioning vehicle after all. We see the ERA armour dislodged, a fender off, and roadwheels chipped with some photo examples fo the real thing to help for reference. The painting begins, Russian colour set in AK Interactive paints is shown in action, with a lot of nice shading work to create light and shadowed parts. We also see some very nice oil, wash and pigment work with in-progress comparisons in some of the shots to show the difference between before and after the effects. It's a very nice looking finished product.
Next, we see a damaged KV-2 from Andrey Grechkin. This captured giant has the "sheet" blown out of it on the side of the tank, tracks shown constructed in a way that replicated this extreme damage nicely. The second part of the article goes into how Andrey created this interesting hard edge three tone german camo, the painting, fading using oils, rust effect, scratching and chipping and splatters mix in with battle damage rendered in colour as well as plastic. Pigments, as well as figures, are all added to the kit for the finishing touches of again – a very nicely done model that displays just what is on the cover of this magazine – "damage Inc."
A popular tank to show beaten up and blown apart is the space armoured Panzer IV. Lechu Villanueva's heavily damaged and abandoned Pz.IV adorns the next three pages, and although it is a short build article, it is none the less nicely finished and the diorama base is shown off a little here (yay.)
We get three very interesting pages of vehicles with the hell blown out of them over the next few pages. Good reference work, and insightful if you want to replicate the effects on these newer types of vehicles pictured.
I keep banging on about not seeing enough of the making of these vehicles and the "Wreckx-n-Effects" of these AFV's, but now we see a lengthy eight-page "how-to" tutorial of how to replicate damage on your own model. The bare plastic is on show, as we look at all types of vehicles and their damaged goods, fenders, road wheels, ricochet's and penetrations of small and large rounds, as well as a blown apart gun barrel are all shown in this great part of the magazine.
We have a gallery of three pages of what I suppose are kits that might not make it into the magazine for space or editorial reasons – they are all great models showing a lot of damage.
Lastly, we see a double page feature on one of the better modellers in the business Mr Lester Plaskitt. This interview-style piece is meant to give us some insight into the modeller and his ways of thinking and methods of modelling. His work speaks for itself but his words were interesting to read as well. You could have more of this and never get tired.
Well, that is it for Issue IV: "Damage Inc." of tanker Techniques Magazine. I have seen an improvement in quality and in content over the first issue I reviewed a while ago now. For my liking, this magazine could do with a little more of a balanced view to modelling in all aspects, especially of the dios these kits inhabit, but I suppose I am missing the point of this magazine.

It is meant as a proficiency guide to show (in this case) damage – and it really does that very well, some of the best models I have seen in a while and good writing in SBS make this easy to read and to follow.

Adam Norenberg

Thanks to the people from Tanker Techniques Magazine & AK Interactive for sending me this magazine to read n review – you can get your own directly from either of their websites...