Friday, March 9

Read n' reviewed: Ammo Modelling Guide - How to Paint with Acrylics

Paul has been reading the Ammo brand's new book that shows us how to get the most out of our acrylic paint - simple you might think - but to get these type of results we could all do with a little help - Let's see what he thinks in his review...

Read n' reviewed: Ammo Modelling Guide - How to Paint with Acrylics
Reference: AMIG6040
108 pages and more than 500 high-quality pictures.
Price: 15,95 €

Mig Ammo is constantly releasing more and more modelling products, but do you really know how to use them? Having used them for a while now, I will admit that there is quite a learning curve involved in starting out with acrylic paints so a guide to using these paints will be quite handy.
The first chapter is called What is Acrylic and obviously gives a description of what acrylic paints are, and how they are different to other paints on the market. This is especially useful for people starting out with acrylics because I have found that they do behave quite differently in contrast to the Tamiya and Gunze acrylic lacquers that most of us are familiar with. There is also a list of Ammo’s other paint products with a brief description of what they are used for.
The second chapter is on Primers, describing what it is for, and then its application with brush or via airbrush, and then using Ammo’s range of colour primers. Pictures are a good addition to the text and really do help show what the text is describing. It is also good to see that Ammo has not neglected the use of the good old paintbrush in this publication because almost all of the help guides you find are almost exclusively about airbrushes.
This doesn’t mean that the book skimps on using airbrushes either giving good instructions on how to airbrush the primers, as well as offering tips on potential problems that may come up while spraying.
The next chapter covers Acrylics with Airbrush and starts off with describing the various elements of the airbrushing setup such as the compressor, single and double action airbrushes, and also a sort of troubleshooting guide to the various paint issues you may come across while using your airbrush. All very handy to someone new to the use of an airbrush, but also helpful to those who are familiar with the use of an airbrush, but not necessarily the theory behind it. This is something that I really enjoyed about this publication as the explanations really do help understand how the airbrush works and potential problems.
The chapter also gives a guide on painting techniques such as modulation, and the use of masks for camouflage patterns. Another aspect of this magazine that I found really informative is the use of various subjects to show the different applications of the paints as each subject matter has its own relevant skills and techniques, in this case showing different kinds of masks applied to a Cessna Dragonfly, and also an Sd.Kfz 251 halftrack. The chapter also goes into topics such as weathering and a more in-depth look at airbrushing problems and is very informative.
As I mentioned earlier, it is a good thing that Ammo has not neglected brush painting in this publication, and chapter 4 focuses on Acrylics with Brush. While all paints can be brushed on, I do find these acrylics to be one of the easier paints to be applied with a brush. Again, the chapter is a good mix of the theory, covering types of brush as well as palettes and brush maintenance.
There is a small section on diluting paint and is illustrated through applying the paint on a figure, and then goes into depth on the paint stages of a Nato camouflaged Humvee.
Emphasizing the mix of theory and technique, the chapter goes into depth with theory such as light and shadows, and the covers techniques such as dry brushing, covering a wide range of subjects including the half-track that was featured earlier to bring out the various details of the hull and also the running gear.
The book also covers the use of dry brushing on scenery work such as brick and stonework, and also covers washes which are basically heavily diluted paint.
Chapters 5 and 6 are comparatively shorter chapters, but covers specific elements such as Painting Cockpits in chapter 5, and applying decals in chapter 6.
Chapter 7 goes into the art of Figure Painting which I think is a real highlight of the book starting off with lighting effects, and then a step by step tutorial on applying the various highlights and shadows to a face.
Other areas such as clothing and camouflage are also shown in step by step tutorials, as well as a feature on mixing the use of acrylic and oil-based paints, in this case, the use of Ammo’s range of Oilbrushers. 
Chapter 8 covers Chipping, and Ammo’s Chipping Fluid is used to good effect on a Chaffee tank, but doesn’t neglect the use of a brush in the creation of chips and scratches with paint.
Chapter 9 goes into Washable Paint and I must admit that I never really understood how to use it properly so I found this chapter to be very informative in showing the application of Ammo’s Washable Dust, and Washable White camo.
Chapter 10 covers the use of Metal Paints, and again, its wide variety of applications is shown to good effect starting with a brush painted copper statue and does a good job of illustrating that a metal finish isn’t necessarily one shade of metal colour.
The airbrush comes out again and shows that a smooth metallic finish can be achieved with these paints on some tank ammunition and an aeroplane wing, and then bringing out the details with Ammo’s Panel Line Wash.
Ammo’s range of Clear colours is the feature of chapter 11 and shows their application to the various lights of a Volkswagen Police car, and the periscopes of a Chaffee tank.
Chapter 12 covers the painting of tank tracks, and their weathering using Mig’s pigments and where to use them.
A fitting end to the book are the pictures of the various models featured during the step by step tutorials in each chapter, and they are a good showcase of what can be achieved using the various products in the Ammo range.
I have often commented on publications appearing to be more like infomercials rather than magazines, but this publication really does hit the spot in terms of How to Paint with Acrylics, but in fact, features a lot more than just painting with acrylics. While there are plenty of videos you can find on Youtube, a book is really a lot more handy, and easier to find something specific rather than having to sit through a five or ten-minute video. Or even half an hour. This is definitely a worthy addition to your bookshelf with the range of Ammo products currently available. Highly recommended.

Paul Lee

Thanks to Mig Ammo for this book to read and review. This new book is now available in the AMMO Store online