Wednesday, October 17

Read ‘n Reviewed: Third World War: The World in Crisis from Ammo of Mig Jiminez

When this new book called "Third World War: The World in Crisis" from Ammo of Mig Jimenez was first advertised it sure did trigger a lot of people. The advertising video came out at the height of US/ North Korea tension earlier this year - a lot of people took it as a knock on the current US President. Seems that it was a book about models after all! Futuristic "What-if?" scenarios shown by some of the best modellers around, we set Paul on to reading it and this is what he found in his review...

Read ‘n Reviewed: Third World War: The World in Crisis
Publisher: Ammo of Mig Jiminez
A4 Softcover 
200 pages
English text 
Price: 25,95 €
Available from
The world has already seen World War 1 and 2, so there seems a kind of inevitability that World War 3 is just a matter of time. Recent events and the strategic situation around the world bear an eerie similarity to the world a bit over a hundred years ago, and the only missing ingredient is the assassination of a particular world leader and we would witness the world plunged into world war once again. 
Ammo of Mig’s has chosen World War 3 to be the theme of their latest publication and presents us with a series of models built around that theme. However, rather than your usual model magazine, Mig has partly gone into the world of fiction and presented us with a media diary of sorts set in an alternate world. 
Asia is the chosen flashpoint, and the magazine starts by setting the scene of the strategic situation and the various world leaders rattling their sabres, resulting in a trade war between the US and China, leading to an escalation in tension. This is an interesting approach by Mig, as it does provide a narrative to what is otherwise just a series of models, but whether the additional cost and size of the magazine are justified, is up to you. 
As a result of the escalation in tension, China responds by sending her aircraft carrier the Shandong to the South China Sea, so the first model presented is a Shenyang J-15 Flying Shark built by Yang Yu Pei.

This book features several double-page illustrations of these aircraft "in Action" which at first I thought were photographs, they are that well illustrated.
 Bearing in mind that this is in an alternate reality, so the models presented here are all what if schemes. The focus of the models is the schemes so there is nothing on the build stages, so Yu Pei walks us through the painting and weathering of his J-15. 
After yet another missile test, and a stray missile later, sees the world powers calling upon their alliances and declaring war one after the other like falling dominos. 
Again we see more excellent artwork - this is a really pretty part of the book.
 A fictional interview with a B-2 Spirit pilot introduces us to the second model, which is built by Yang Yu Pei once again. Just like the first article, the focus is on the painting and weathering of the model. 
In an interesting reflection of our modern lives, we are given a series of fictional tweets by people witnessing various events like helicopters in the sky through the night, unexplained explosions, and seeing people being evacuated. 
This takes us to Rodolfo Melian’s mini diorama of a Japanese V-22 evacuating civilians from the top of a building. This is a much more in-depth article starting with the construction of the building top base and how he painted it. 
The author then goes through his build of the V-22, although once again, the focus is more on the painting of the model starting with the interior, and then the exterior of the vehicle. 
The author then guides us through the painting of the military figures, and then also the scratch building and painting of the civilian figures because they are not available commercially. The result is a very convincing scene of a hovering V-22 hovering over the edge of a rooftop with its rear ramp deployed, and a pair of soldiers helping to evacuate a pair of civilians. 
While this has been happening in Korea, Russia has not sat on its heels and has launched a surprise airstrike on Elmendorf Air Force Base in Alaska, and Ángel Expósito’s build of a Russian Su-35 that took part in the attack. One thing you notice with these aircraft is that unlike modern planes with low viz camouflage, these ones sport fairly colourful liveries. 
After being initially stung, the US decides to launch its counter-attack, targeting the Three Gorges Dam in China. However, with dams being high profile targets, China has set up powerful defences around it, including a squadron of its latest fighter the Chengdu J-20 Firedragon, in this case, painted and weathered by Jamie Haggo. 
While all this is happening in Asia, this puts Europe on a knife edge as well with the European nations strengthening their defences in anticipation of a Russian strike. Javier López de Anca’s Eurofighter is one of those aircraft put on alert. 
I found this model to be a bit more cartoonish in appearance with its heavy black panel lines, but it is the style that he has chosen for his model, and being a what if, can you really comment on its accuracy - even in an alternate reality?
The Chinese Eastern Front with India also becomes a hotspot, particularly with Tibetan refugees making their way to the Indian border, which results in more vigilant patrols by Indian forces, and in this case, Diego Quijano’s Indian Su-30. 
The use of drones has become synonymous with modern warfare, providing modern-day armies with air support or reconnaissance, without the danger posed to a pilot flying in enemy airspace. Javier López de Anca returns with his MQ-1 Predator, substituting the propellers with spare Apache tail rotors to portray an engine upgrade, and also substituting the kit Hellfire missiles with some Brassin GBU-49’s. 
The Americans launch another air strike on North Korea, and this time it is the Russians who are called to scramble, and in this case, it is a squadron of their most advanced aircraft, the Su-57 Foxcat, presented by Mario Gabas, featuring a very retro looking three-tone camouflage scheme on the upper surfaces. 
Throughout all the American air strikes, the escort fighters haven’t been given a lot of attention until now, and we are given the archetypal story of the fighter pilot family, with John Driscoll, the grandson of US Navy ace William Driscoll, now becoming an ace as well in his F-35 Lightning II. For this aircraft, Alan Kelley has chosen a very familiar looking livery, unsurprising really given the backstory of the pilot. 
North Korea makes an appearance in a fictional interview with a captured North Korean “Special Attack” Squadron pilot. Michal Distal presents his Mig 29 with its painted digital camouflage. 
At last, the South Korean Air Force pilots who were able to evacuate after the initial attack finally get their chance to strike back at the Chinese, called to attack a target in China. Hong Hwan Jang presents his SLAM Eagle as one of the aircraft involved in the strike. 
A planned amphibious assault brings us to the end of this book, obviously setting up for part two, and as I’m sure you’ve already noticed, given the amount of aircraft in this book, the sequel will most likely feature land vehicles. 
So what do you think? While the story itself is not likely to win any awards in literature, it definitely adds some interest to the models, and helps bring them to life. And really, most of us do build models based on vehicles with backstories that we enjoy, so why not apply it to the modern world?  
Definitely a worthy addition to your collection for fans of modern warfare. 

Paul Lee
Thanks to Ammo of Mig Jiminez for sending this book to read and review.