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  1. Here is the roll-out of my Mirage III CJ of the Israeli Airforce which will be part of the Mirage SIG in Telford this year. I won’t tell any more details of the build here. This can be read in the work in progress category: So here are the roll-out pictures: And finally 2 fotos of real IDF Planes: One showing how less weathered they were - even on the undersides and being in combat - and the other one from the aircraft I built: That’s it and now up to the next: Happy modeling!
  2. Tanker Techniques Magazine IDF Special Issue vol.2 Author – Several Publisher: Ak Interactive Price: 18,95€ AK4845 Introduction AK has been established as a renowned brand for modelling products and high-quality publications. The book is in a A4 format with 112 Pages, with soft cover with reinforced inner cover. The paper is satin finish, with a good touch and with excellent printing, giving a lot of quality to the colors and image. All Photos are sharp and superb quality, allowing us to appreciate in detail each one of them. This publication is a special issue part 2 dedicated to IDF Armour vehicles and its crews, represented in 8 articles, 7 vehicles and a figure, made by 8 well know modellers. All articles have introduction text, and all pictures are numbered and correspondent captions in English and Spanish. A foreword is written by Michael Mass and Kristof Pulinckx and present us a modelling perspective of the subject in hands (IDF armour), and as a kind of bulleting news, informing about the amount of available IDF scale models currently in the market. As a special note, every build has a preface of the type, made by Michael Mass from Desert Eagle Publications, describing the historical context of the vehicle, its origins, field deployment and evolution in IDF use. A real compact history lesson in two pages. As for the content goes, and consulting the index, we have the followings: 1. ACHZARIT by Rubén González Hernández The first article is one of my favourite’s armour vehicle. Using 1:35 Meng as a base, this is a full step by step photo description, featuring assembly, detailing, interior painting, exterior painting, and weathering. 2. AMX-13/75 by Lucas Zaro The next article focusses on the AMX-13/75 in 1:35 scale, from Takom with aftermarket goodies. A very clean and straightforward build, also with step-by-step photos of the entire process. 3. Magach 6B Gal Batash by Oscar Ebrí Casola Using 1:35 Meng model as base, this article presents us with a model with some degree of scratch build and show us how we can improve a model with simple technics. 4. M113 Chata’p by Jesús Ramón The fourth article focus on the highly modified and classic M-113. Using Tamiya’s 1:35 as base and with the help of a conversion set, the author uses with care combination of items in resin, photo etch and scratch build, to obtain an original and aggressive look. Also, with comprehensive step by step photos of the entire process. 5. Merkava Siman 2 by José María Illa The sixth build focus on the famous Merkava MBT. Using 1:35 Takom Merkava 2B. This article focuses on a complete build with emphasis at the painting and weathering parts. 6. Nun-Nun M325 by Łukasz Orczyc-Musiałek Using the classic Resin offering 1:35 Mig Production resin model, this sixth article present us the task of preparing, building, detailing, and painting a multi-media. The result is a very convincing scale vehicle. 7. IDF TANKER by Calvin Tan The seventh article is a figure in a base in 1:35, using a classic Verlinden reference. The set was updated with some scratch details and minor corrections. The author integrates the figure in a small base. A written description of all items (figure preparation, scene, and painting) is provided, as a chart with all colours used to paint the figure. 8. M109A2 DOHER by Kristof Pulinckx The last build is a modern classic. Using the 1:35 AFV-CLUB Doher, Friul Model tracks a and a conversion set, the final result is a very convincing model of this well know SPG. The narrative drives us through the construction parts, showing the use of P.E. parts as replacement for the Kits parts, scratch build details and tracks worn and used treatment. The painting process is quite simple and effective, and the weathering process is based almost with oils in order to give a dusty look. Conclusion This is a long review, but the book deserves it and I really hope that the pictures will help to understand why. The historical introduction in the beginning of each article is a pleasant and original way to present the model. It’s my view that every author offers us with their unique way and personal approach to several technics, starting by the model preparation, painting and weathering and in the end, as far as a average modeller like me, I was captivated with some weathering technics presented. This book is a must, as it covers several aspects of the theme, aggregates several technics, and present it in a very attractive reading and visual guide. Highly recommend! My thanks to Fernando Vallejo and Ak-interactive for the review sample. Ricardo Veríssimo
  3. WW2 German Most Iconic Vehicles Vol. I Author – Several Publisher: Ak Interactive Price: 24,95€ Available in English or Spanish Introduction AK has been established as a renown brand for modelling products and high-quality publications. The book is in a A4 format with 159 Pages, with soft cover with reinforced inner cover. The paper is satin finish, with a good touch and with excellent printing, giving a lot of quality to the colors and image. This publication is part 1 of 2 dedicated to models used by units of Waffen-SS, covering 12 1:35 builds from 8 modellers, ranging from medium tanks, to halftracks, self-propelled, antitank armoured and transport vehicles. A historical introduction, model presentation Historical units’ description is made by Carlos de Diego Vaquerizo. As for the content goes, and consulting the index, we have the followings: 1. Sd.Kfz 234/3 by Roger Hurkmans The first article presented is a compact one, with succinct description regarding the figure’s conversion and painting, the building, vehicle and base. 2. Panhard P204(f) by Abilio Piñeiro Grajera This article depicts a French Panhard in German use. The focus is on the vehicle paint and weathering process, concluding with a overall description on the building and base elements. 3. Sd.Kfz. 124 Wespe by Rick Lawler Using the well know Tamiya 1:35 rendition of this SPG, the article describes in a graphic step by step, the assembly, painting and weathering of the vehicle and correspondent base. 4. Pz.Kpfw. III Ausf. M by Łukasz Orczyc-Musiałek This build focus on the build, detail, paint and weathering Dragon’s 1:35, using several aftermarket sets. The result is a very realistic and balanced model, using several weathering technics and materials. 5. Steyr RSO/01 by Fabio Mosca Using the old Italeri 1:35 as basis for this diorama, the author, present us with a deep and detailed article, covering several upgrades on the model, using scratch build or aftermarket parts as resource. The build is a classic example of multimedia, as several type and sources are used. The painting process is well explained in the step by step, as well as the ground build and paint sequence. 6. Sd.Kfz. 247 Ausf. B by Łukasz Orczyc-Musiałek This article presents us a 1:35 resin model from Sovereign 2000 upgraded with scrathbuild items and aftermarket bits and retrieve from other models. The result is a very original diorama of a very unusual vehicle. 7. Pz.Beob.Wg. III by Jaffe Lam This article describes a complete step by step of the model and base, includes in depth pictures and description for the painting, weathering, again using several techniques and products, and on this chapter, the use of pigments and associated material to proper address the road wheels and tracks. 8. Sd.Kfz. 251/9 Ausf. D by Łukasz Orczyc-Musiałek This article presents a vignette using as a base the Tamiya Model, being the centre piece, the focus is the model assembly, painting and weathering. 9. VW Type 166 Schwimmwagen by Marcin Skrzypek This is for me, one of my favourite builds. Again, using the classic Tamiya’s model, the author descrives in a graphic step by step the assembly and painting of the vehicle. The figures also are included, with complete instructions of the paints used in the process. The house is a scratchbuild one, and despite no detailed photos are provided, some notes are presented as some close-up pictures of some details of it. 10.StuG. III Ausf. G by Łukasz Orczyc-Musiałek The 10th article presents us a very original Stug III Ausf. G, using 1:35 Dragon’s model. The author presents us with a in depth, step by step, of the painting and weathering process of this model, concluding with the base and terrain construction, detailing, painting and finishing. 11.Sd.Kfz. 250/1 Neu by Fabrizio Mercuri This build is quite simple and compact but presents a lot of detail and care on it. the first part of it focuses on the vehicle assembly, starting on the interior, resorting to scratch build items and aftermarket sets. The exterior is also presented with detailed photos and captions of the process. The small base construction is also presented with a compact but very complete step by step. 12.Bocage Road (Sd.Kfz. 251/1 Ausf. C) by Roberto Del Cima The last article presented is a small vignette where the primary elements are two figures, complemented by the front part of a sd.kfz 251. As so, the focus of the build are the figures, and a very comprehensive step by step of pictures and captions, are provided, describing with detail all steps of it. also provided are the colour sets used for painting. The complex camouflage presented on the uniforms catch my attention, as these are very colourful and complex to paint. Nevertheless, the description is clear, and the author “disassemble”, making it quite simple to understand. I do think that in the end, the modeller’s hand and sight make all the difference! The secondary element, the Sd.kfz 251 is also described as a step-by-step photo guide, with captions, not as depth as the figures, but also clear. The last element to be presented is the base, with also deserving a step-by-step process. Conclusion This is a long review, but the book deserves it and I really hope that the pictures will help to understand why. Nowadays we are blessed with a boost of information from several sources but sometimes, we are at our workbench and there is nothing better that read a book, consult it, inspiring us to build, create and evolve. This book is a must, as it covers several aspects of the theme, aggregates several technics and present it in a very attractive reading and visual guide. Highly recommend! My thanks to Fernando Vallejo and Ak-interactive for the review sample.
  4. 1:48 Mig-21PFM “Days of Glory and Oblivion” AK Interactive Catalogue # AK 148003 Available from AK Interactive for €49,95 Introduction Already the third collaboration with Eduard, that establishes not only as a paint and weathering brand, but also kit ‘manufacturer’. I’m hyphenating this, since the sprues are 100% Eduard, but the schemes and some other parts in this kit are AK’s work. Eduard is known for it’s clever engineering, good fit and well researched subjects, so in that sense one of the best parties to collaborate with. What AK Interactive adds is a selection of interesting schemes (with lots of scope for intensive weathering), extra parts and superb instructions and decals. Days of Glory and Oblivion The theme of this boxing clearly refers to the golden days of soviet and communist aircraft design and development, followed by the demise and abandonement of numerous airframes. Left to the elements and final decay. In other words: there’s two ways to go with this kit. Full shiny AK Xtreme metal (or Alclad J ) or bring out the chipping fluid, grime, pigments and washes. The kit This kit is basically the same kit Eduard offers in their #8237 kit and is concerns the PFM version of the Mig-21. PFM stands for: - P = Perekhvatchik ("Interceptor") - F = Forsirovannyy ("Uprated") - M = Modernizirovannyy ("Modernised") Actually only one scheme features the PFM version, with the other two being the East German Mig-21SPS, where SPS = Sduv Pogranichnovo Sloya ("Boundary Layer Blowing"). To avoid confusion with the local "MiG-21PFM" designation given to the modified MiG-21PF the East German air force redesignated the "real" MiG-21PFM as "MiG-21SPS." AK Interactive has selected a total of 3 schemes to choose from. Not a whole lot, but this is compensated by the inclusion of a full stencil set (I’m talking hundreds of ground crew stencilling): A • Mig-21PFM, Soviet Air Force, Operation Danube, Czechoslovakia, 1968 B • Mig-21SPS, c/n 944302, JG-8 “Hermann Matern”, East German Air Force, Marxwalde, mid 1970’s C • Mig-21SPS, c/n 944302, Museo del Aire, Madrid-Cuarto Vientos, Spain, 2015 Scheme A and B: Scheme C: As you can see scheme B and C are actually the same aircraft. B depicting what it looked like back in the 1970’s and C how it resides now in the Airforce museum in Madrid… The kit consists of: • 372 plastic parts (with 26 parts in clear plastic) • 1 fret of photo etch • 3 resin wheels with flat or punctured (NOT FLATTENED) tyres for scheme C. • decals for 3 versions (including full stencilling) Sprue M: Just look at that surface detail. Sharp as a knife: Inside fuselage: Sprue E - Weapons and external fuel tanks x2: Sprue C: The cockpit rear wall show sufficient detail on their own. No real need to get the Eduard Brassie interior... Sprue D (Just look at the sheer amount of little parts. Hard to believe we're looking at 1/48 here): Separate types on the wheel hubs, superb detailed gear... Sprue N: The kit lets you choose from two types of instrument panel. Grey plastic. Paint it and maybe die out the instruments from the decal sheet separately. Or use the flat part and apply the full instrument panel decal on it. I'd go with option A... These parts are also featured in clear plastic. Lots of options. Sprue L: Again: lovely surface detail... Inside wheel wells: Sprue G: Superb clarity: And here's the transparent instrument panel option: Extra parts: Pre coloured seatbelts: Punctured tyre: The decals... Impressive set of stencils. Daunting almost. The decals appear to be printed by AK Interactive, which in my experience go down really well and respond to agents nicely. Good detail on the instruments and check out those weathered numerals... How's this for weathered decals? So how does this kit compare to the Eduard Profipack Edition? Brett Green reviewed the Eduard version some time ago, here, and gave it a two thumbs up for building pleasure, fit, detail (in all areas) and surface detail. Looking up close at this kit, I can only concur. The only real difference between the kits is the coloured PE set. In the Eduard kit (which is about the same price) the PE includes cockpit sidewalls, instrument panel and seatbelts. Also included in the Eduard kit is an extra uncoloured PE fret containing various parts. To be honest: the cockpit of this kit is detailed pretty well without the aid of any PE. But if you do want to go Full Monty, you could get the Eduard Brassin upgrade for the cockpit which costs about $29,95. But let’s get back to the whole idea behind this kit! This kit is all about the use of AK paints and weathering agents. For instance: if the decayed museum Mig is what sparks you, then you want to leave the canopy closed and maybe even fog it up! Add the included resin punctured tyres (which are not in the Eduard kit ofcourse) and you’ve got yourself a Jamie Haggo. Or go shiney metallic and try some AK Xtreme metal for a change. Here's a look at the Eduard Brassie cockpit, so you can decide whether to go all out, or keep your pit closed. Tempting right? Look at that helmet in the seat... The instructions seem to be drawn by Eduard (which makes sense, since you need the 3D master models in order to render these drawings), but all the colour codes are added by AK Interactive and call only for a combination of colour description (i.e. Light Grey) and AK paint coes (i.e. AK481). I am always a fan of brands that provide colour charts with Tamiya, Mr Hobby, Gunze, etc.. colours, but this being a paint and weathering brand, it makes marketing-sense they only provide their own line… Instruction booklet: And last but not least: There is an extensive 3 page full colour walk around of the Madrid Museum Mig-21: Verdict If you just want to build a 48th scale Mig-21, you could just go out and buy the best one out there: The Eduard version… or the AK offering. Simply the one you bump into first. The prize is about the same and they were both pushed from the same mould. The plastic, details, engineering is the best out there and won’t disappoint. The Eduard Profpack has a few more PE parts, but the AK version offers cool weathered schemes and resin punctured tyres. So if you want to build a derelict Mig-21 like the one in Madrid, you really want this kit. There are a lot of walkarounds online providing photo’s of this particular plane and there are also a lot of photo’s included in the instruction manual. Another great kit that was given a new make-over by AK. My sincere thanks to AK Interactive for this review sample. Jeroen Peters
  5. ACES HIGH Magazine ‘Captured’ (AK 2914 Issue 8) Publisher: AK Interactive Chief editor: Daniel Zamarbide Suárez Available from AK Interactive for € 9,00 After already 8 issues we have grown accustomed to the quality, concept and content formula of Aces High Magazine by AK Interactive. A glossy, high resolution printed magazine with a Romain Hugault poster in the middle and a concept theme that links all the topics. This time we’re looking a a selection of captured birds. One of my personal favourite subjects. Luftwaffe subjects are cool, but it’s refreshing to see them in RAF or US colours every now and then. Or vice versa. Always enjoying the content directory: Previous Aces High titles I have reviewed are: Aces High 4: The Mediterranean Aces High 5: Vietnam Aces High 6: Battle of Britain Aces High 7: Silver wings The magazine is available from the AK Interactive website for € 9,00 euro’s. You may think that that is steep for a magazine, but only if you view this publication as such. I tend to keep these titles and grap one when covering a certain subject or trying a new technique. Every build is accompanied with step by step tutorials, that will pull you out of your comfort zone. So what do we get with this issue? A sturdy glossy cover, binding 82 quality glossy pages. A poster in the middle (as always). Restrained advertorial space (and yes, the HK Models ad on page 75 with our own Large Scale Modeller logo in it, makes me all warm and fuzzy inside), many tutorials and techniques, and well designed lay-outs. Let me walk you through it: Index: • P-51B Mustang - The Wild Horse from Zirkus Rosarius - ” (1/48 Tamiya by Daniel Zamarbide) Daniel himself kicks off this magazine with this excellent Tamiya kit. His immaculate but thoroughly weathered style always grabs me. He can take me through the paces time and again, but I know I’ll never reach his standard. He’s one of those modellers that builds, paints and photographs at the highest level and throws in a good dose of creativity in the mix. His Spanish school style painting on the nose and spinner of this plane brings it to life. Much respect for the yellow underside (which is always a difficult colour) and brining just the right amount of contrast in the mono-colour. A sweet, seemingly simple build, with a great scheme. The incomplete swastika on the tail, shows us that his builds want to reach a larger audience than just Spain. • Pfalz D.III A - The Unlucky German - ” (1/32 Wingnut Wings by Michel Gruson) I have to admit I haven’t heard of this modeller before, but this Pfalz is a home run. Yes we all know the Lozenge decals can be tricky, but Michel manages to use the Aviattic decals to good effect. I really like the way Michel applies the English Roundels to the wings and fuselage. He uses masks by Oramask. Another first for me… The model is rigged with metal 3D prined turnbuckles by Gaspatch (the best..) and EZ line. • Ju-87 D-3 Stuka “Under Entirely New Management” (1/48 Hasegawa by Kamil Feliks Sztarbala) Another venerable kit and another build with a yellow underside. Maybe superfluous to mention, but the undersides of Beutewaffen / Captured planes was to show the friendly troops that the pilot examining the enemy bird was a friendly too These enemy planes were put through their paces extensively, which gratifies a well worn and weathered appearance. And yes, this is another reason these captured planes are such an interesting subject for the modeller. • Mig 007 James Bond (1/48 Trumpeter Mig-21F-13 by Girolamo Lorusso) The title had me puzzled until I read the story. What we have here is an Iraqi Mig under new Israeli management. James Bond refers to the activities of the Mossad in 1963 that intertwined with the Israeli Air Force. A bit farfetched, but I get the point. The kit is extra detailed with a Neomega Resin cockpit and painted with a mix of AK Extreme Metal and Mr Hobby Color. The roughed up aluminium surface and the colourful red elements really set this one off. The poster (as always) is from the hand of Romain Hugault. Romain’s love for round chested ladies and sexy warbirds has created an almost all new genre on it’s own. The accuracy of the plane details, the historical background, the feeling for drama in composition and perspective and the curvy ladies is something you don’t see combined in a whole lot of comic books. • Fw 190A-5 “The Blue Hunter” (1/48 Eduard by Marek Novacek) Step by step we are shown how amazing depth in colour is achieved, scratches are added with Prisma pencils (my favorite) and shades of colour variations are sprayed. This build clearly shows the effective use of panelliner, oil streaking and pencil highlighting. • Sukhoi Su-25 UB/UBK “The Gulf War Escape” (1/48 KPMasterline by Juan Villegas) This build is the highlight in this magazine. The brand KPMasterline is not well known and not highly recommended by Juan in the introduction. It’s clear the modeller had many obstacles to overcome and lots of detail to add, which is a good thing for us eager to learn. The model receives added raised plastic card and photo-etch for a more rugged appearance. He starts his paintjob with a mix of panel line shading and random patches. A technique I like to use. Juan also uses the new Gauzy agent (AK’s Future) to prepare the model for decals and weathering. Can’t wait to try this myself. This article has a bonus ‘Techniques in detail’ section, which show us how to make registry covers, reliefs and rivets. Pretty cool stuff. • Profiles To show us that there are more examples of captured planes than the standard Fw190 in RAF colours or Thunderbolt in Luftwaffe scheme, 9 surprising profiles from both wwI, wwII and post war are added. Also make sure to check page 80, which shows some black and white photographs of captured subjects. • Mind the Gap ‘Captured Schwimmwagen Type 166’ (1/48 Tamiya by Francisco J. Martinez) A cute, quick build of a Schwimmwagen in US colours. Basic steps used to great effect. Filters, Washes, Rust and Dust. Lovely. Verdict What can I say? A cool theme, great builds, clear step-by-step instructions (which makes you hang on to these titles), great artwork and photography. If I had to nitt-pick (and since I’m writing a review here I have to), I would recommend a tighter grip on the english grammar, which can be a bit bended here and there. If you need inspiration, advise or just to be amazed, get your copy now. Next issue: Helicopters! A special thanks to AK Interactive for the review sample. Available here. Jeroen Peters
  6. Trainspotting Trainwrecks, Locomotives & Wagons AK696 Publisher: AK Interactive Available from AK Interactive for € 42,- Whilst this is not a book on large scale models, armour or even planes, I will show you that this title can be very helpful in enhancing your paint and weathering skills. If you however are in the hobby for model trains, this will prove to be a must have for adding realism to your tracks. I have to be honest. When this book landed on my doorstep for review I put it aside, thinking the subject ‘trains’ was of no interest to me, LSM, thus you. But after fumbling through it’s pages I noticed the weathering techniques are quite alike the techniques we use on our Large Scale armour and planes. Maybe more armour than planes actually. Chipping, streaking, washes, etc… And with the ever growing offer of large scale (1:35) train subjects by brands like Trumpeter and Dragon, this seemed like a good title to review for you – the Large Scale Modeller So what do we get? A sturdy A4, glue bounded book. 208 quality colour printed pages, filled with tips, techniques and reference material. The book has both the novice modeller and experienced modeller in mind. The first probably being the railroad modeller that wants to start experimenting with weathering techniques, and the latter looking to up his weathering game. The build up of the book in this sense is logical: • Introduction to materials • Model examples with step by step instructions • Scenes, featuring railroad tracks, buildings and other hardware • Reference material of the real deal Another note to add is that the lay-out and art direction of these AK titles are getting better every title. Being one myself (art director that is) I can really appreciate the attention to detail in this area. I won’t elaborate on every single subject or model (that would be a bit too much), but I will address the highlights as I walk you through the pages. • Introduction As said before, this book is for both novice as experience modeller. Therefor this book starts with discussing all the available jars of goodness we as a modeller can choose from: primers, varnishes, acrylics, lacquers, enamels, oils, etc... This is followed by a chapter on techniques, where the basics of modelling are set apart. Filters, washes, oils… All basic stuff for most of us, but judging by the amount of questions I get through the forum and Facebook, there are still a lot of modellers out there that are new to the hobby, are just stuck in their ways, and will definitely benefit from these ‘seemingly’ basic pointers. • Model examples The first model that gets ’the treatment’ only gets a slight make over. Some washes, a light filter of dust and some subtle streaking, but just enough to bring it to life. This is immediately followed by an Atlas 8-40BW (a what??) that gets weathered to match a real life photograph. Rust, graffiti, streaking, the works. Pretty impressive stuff: The scale of most of these trains is HO, or rather 1:87. Looking at the photo’s of these models, it’s hard to believe these trains are smaller than 1:72. Since this book carries the official approval of the Märklin brand, I looked up some of the prices of your normal locomotive. These easily run for 150 euros a piece. And you thought your hobby was pricey! Now that I got the taste for looking up the prices of some of these trains and wagons, I noticed a locomotive on page 122 (a Renfe-Mikado Steam Locomotive in HO scale) that runs for 425 euro’s online This 425 euro locomotive is basically…. Black. All black, right from the box. Seeing it come to life over the following pages with the help of pigments, pencil and streaking agents is doing justice to this expensive gem. Seeing it run the tracks in all it’s life-likeness should be a treat for the railroad enthusiast... Here you go: • Scenes One thing that makes all those euro’s and hard work a waste, is seeing a huge set-up with stations, villages, roads, mountains and trees, but somehow it all still feels like toys. That’s where the next chapter comes into it’s right. Scenes (or rather ‘scenery elements’). On the following pages we learn how to convincingly paint those plastic looking HO houses, amazing accessories (like a horse drawn cart and water pump), railroad tracks and other structures. If you look at all the aspects in this book, it becomes clear the skills of a hardened diorama and armour builder are useful assets in this hobby. Some cool reference photo's on the scenery details: • Reference Photography About 25 pages finish up the book and show us a good selection of the real stuff. Heavily rusted and weathered, to give you a good impression on where to sprinkle your magic pigments and place your pin washes. Ofcourse, if you are an avid railroad fan, you own and make your own photographs, BUT probably not all over the world, as these photographs were made. Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Zambia…. You know… the places where these trains take the biggest beating. Verdict If you look at this book as a book that is intended for the railroad hobbyist pur sang, you’re doing it short. If you love trains, weathering, armour, diorama’s and more… this title might surprise you. I hope my review will let you take a look inside, where you otherwise might not have done so. Bare in mind that it is 208 pages thick and covers at least 18 trains and wagons through their weathering stages, about 8 scenery elements through their building and painting stages and is topped off by a pretty big reference photography section. I'm sure that if you manage to learn something from this book and apply some of the techniques to your railroad or even large scale models, it will stop the onlooker in their.... tracks A special thanks to Maciej from AK Interactive for the review sample. Available here. Jeroen Peters
  7. 1:48 Bf 109 E-1/E-3 “Over Spain” AK Interactive Catalogue # AK 148002 Available from AK Interactive for €33,95 Introduction AK Interactive ‘The Weathering Brand’ is broadening it’s horizons and ventures into kitmaker land! With two 1/48 kits (The Spitfire Mk.IXc Late being the first) they have added a whole new section to their webshop: AK MODEL KITS. While 1/48 kits are not my area of expertise, I will do my best to provide you with a useful review. Developing and producing kits is a very expensive and specialist operation. Even if you design all the parts in 3D (like is done with this kit). No wonder that AK joined forces with Eduard and uses their excellent Bf109E kit as a basis. So yes, the plastic is the same as the Bf109E-1 kit by Eduard. Except for the color. Where Eduard uses a beige color plastic (and their Weekend Edition) a medium grey plastic, this kit is produced in a dark grey plastic. Eduard released their kit as a Profipack Edition and Weekend Edition. The AK Interactive offering compares to the first. More on that later. Over Spain After WW1 Germany had to abandon all military activities, rendering their military experience to a minimum. The Spanish Civil War that started in July 1936 was the perfect opportunity to gain new military experience. Therefor ‘volunteers’ from the army and Luftwaffe branches participated in operations alongside Spanish Nationalists. Another theory on Germany’s involvement is that Hitler used the operation to obscure it’s de-militarization and/or to obtain control over Spain, before picking a fight with the rest of Europe. The Bf109V3 – V6 saw first action in Spain in January 1937, followed by the C and E versions. Many planes, armour and other material saw rapid development during the revolution. The kit AK Interactive has put the focus on the Condor Legion versions with this kit. Actually 4 versions depict Condor Legion planes and 2 version depict post war Spanish Airfare planes. 5x Bf109E-3 and 1x Bf109E-1: • Bf 109 E-3, 6•91, 3. J/88, Barcience, Spain, March 1939. • Bf 109 E-3, W.Nr. 715, 6•92, flown by Lt. Gustav Rödel, 1. J/88, León, Spain, May 1939. • Bf 109 E-3, 6•111, flown by Lt. Werner Ursinus, 2. J/88, La Cenia, Spain, early 1939. • Bf 109 E-1, 6•123, flown by Oblt. Hans Schmoller-Haldy, 3. J/88, León, Spain, May 1939. • Bf 109 E-3, 6•104, flown by Lt. Carlos Maria Rey-Stolle, Grupo 25, Logroño-Agoncillo, Spain, November 1939. • Bf 109 E-3, 6•126, Grupo 25, El Prat de Llobregat, Barcelona, Spain, 1940. The kit consists of: • 151 plastic parts (with 5 parts in clear plastic) • 1 fret of photo etch • Decals for 6 versions (including full stencilling) So how does this kit compare to the Eduard Profipack or Weekend Edition? First of all: let’s disregard the Weekend edition, since this kit does not include photo-etch, nor full stencilling. In my opinion a kit in this scale needs stencilling! The Profipack however is a bit more complete than the AK offering. It also features a pre coloured photo etch instrument panel and window masking. On the other hand: the instrument decals included in this kit are seriously detailed and might result in a better option. The AK Interactive kit on the other hand focusses on a single subject and includes a 12 page booklet with great wartime photographs of the Bf109 in use by the Condor Legion. If we look at the Eduard plastic I can only confirm that AK Interactive chose wisely in picking a partner! The Eduard kit is in fact in many ways (like part breakdown) a downscale of their excellent 1/32 kit without compromising on detail. The surface rivet detail on the wings an fuselage is amongst the finest around. The guns are delicate as resin and the 2 piece separate wheel hubs would look convincing even after being scaled up to 1/32. I especially love the hollow exhaust stubs. The only downside (for some modellers!) with the plastic could be the fabric control surfaces. The feature quite heavy sack and detail. A little Mr Surfacer and light sanding is an easy fix for he who cares! Two complete wing sprues are included. One with the gun bulges on the underside and one without. The E-1 had MG 17 guns, whereas the E-3 was armed with MG FF 20mm cannons, so beware not to glue on the wrong wings Just look at that surface detail: Note the Eduard brand on the sprue: The two wing sprues: Fuselage sprue: More lovely surface detail: Cockpit sidewall detail on the inside fuselage: Like the 1/32 Bf109E (released in 2009) there is the option in showing the engine. The basic elements are offered here. Engine, engine bearers, guns, oil cooler and Turbo. Since the engine is attached to the exhaust stubs, you can’t leave it out, even when modelling the nose closed. A series of engine detail parts however is not to be used in this case. The engine: Headrest options and well detailed instrument panel: Clever engineered rudder controls: One piece wheel wells: Bit heavy detail on the fabric controls: Superb wheel detail: The canopy is especially nice. Very clear and sharp detailed plastic with the low frame, which was later replaced by the more squared and known version on the E-4. The clear plastic also contains the gunsight and and armoured windshield glass. The latter is not to be used in this kit. Are we clear? Yes we are! As said; the AK Interactive photo etched fret only features the pre coloured seat belts, whereas the Profipack version also includes a lot of cockpit detail, like the instrument panel. However: in this scale I myself am not a fan of pre coloured photo etch. The RLM66 will ALWAYS differ in colour from the rest of the cockpit anyway! With careful painting (in Spanish school style ) and using the instrument panels decals (perhaps punching out the separate instrument with a punch and die?) will result in a more convincing pit in the end. The instructions are clearly done by Eduard. Not surprisingly, since they are 3D drawn and for that you need the 3D files. The lay-out however is clearly done by AK Interactive, who care a lot about design and lay-out. The black and white drawings make the light blue areas where you need to apply glue very instructive. I have always loved Eduard’s instructions for this. Decals by Cartograf. Nicely in register and well detailed: Full stenciling. Including the early VDW prop logo's (decals S47)! Probably the first time ever in a 48th scale kit... Instruction booklet: Additional 12 page Condor legion booklet: Verdict What can I say?? The Eduard Bf109E kit is just lovely, detailed and builds like a dream. The surface detail is superbly done and the amount of parts for a 48th scale kit is pretty high. This kit is complete right from the box. AK Interactive’s choosing a single subject (Condor Legion) is smart and hopefully the start of a long line of kits to come. I hope they will join forces with other kit makers, since we all know that Eduard gave up the fight for the large scale market. There already is co-operation with HK Models… so who knows what the future will bring?? I applaud this ballsy move. We’ve seen kit makers venture in the paint business (Tamiya, Revell) but not often do we see this the other way around. I would rate this kit a 9 out of a 10. The addition of the Condor Legion booklet, the dark grey plastic (which is easier on the eye) and the choice of 6 schemes make this a cool addition to the 48th scale 109-line up. VERY highly recommended My sincere thanks to AK Interactive for this review sample. Jeroen Peters
  8. Tanker Dust & Dirt Techniques Magazine Issue 03 Publisher: AK Interactive Chief Editor: Kristof Pulinckx Available here from AK Interactive for € 9,- Bam! Another Techniques Magazine for the armour enthusiasts. In the past I reviewed the second edition of this magazine / book series filled with special weathering techniques: Issue #2: Tanker Extra Armour Today I’ll take a look at issue #3, which focusses on Dust & Dirt. If you’re having trouble getting the most out of your bottle of pigment powder… read on. Dust & Dirt Today I’ll take a look at issue #3, which focusses on Dust & Dirt. If you’re having trouble getting the most out of your bottle of pigment powder… read on. Kristof Pulinckx doesn’t turn out to be a guest chief editor for AK Interactive, and is also responsible for the 3rd issue in this range and kicks off with an nice impersonation of Luke Skywalker in the desert to introduce the theme. The thing with these magazines is that you should treat them like books. Store them in your library and pull one out when covering a certain technique or theme. The heavy quality comes into play when you fumble the pages on your cluttered workbench…. Let’s just assume it’s cluttered. Trying to achieve a convincing dust effect, beaten look, sun weathered appearance is one of the most difficult crafts to master. It’s easy to go overboard if the wide array of tools and products are not applied properly. Oils, pigments, chipping medium, washes, filters, etc… The magazine: As always I’ll take a look at the magazine by flipping through the articles and tell you exactly what you’ll get for 9 euro’s. 106 pages printed on quality thick paper bounded by a slightly stronger cover. Minimal advert space and lots of step by step techniques. The graphic design (as always with AK Interactive) is of high standard. I should be able to judge, with a background in advertising. The issue contains 18 articles by assorted modellers with subjects going from ww2, to modern to apocalypse. And yes… all are covered in dust J Contents: As said this magazine offers 18 articles: • The Last Patrol A 1:24 scale police patrol car by Esci, done over by Ricardo Chust Roig, adorned by a diorama done by Rubén Gonzalez. It’s always cool to see an old kit detailed up and dressed up by all the modern tools and products we have available now. I especially like how the windows of this battered ‘Interceptor’ gets a milky effect from a mixed flat coat. Very realistic indeed. • Afrika Dusters A Tristar Pz I gets the Pulinckx treatment. Modelkasten tracks, a lovely but simple base, Aber photo etch and lots of AK products. He just makes it look so easy, but trust me: it isn’t. Still good to follow along and try to get anywhere close. • M6 What if on the beach Here’s a kit I haven’t seen built before. Dragon carries a few models in their so-called Black Label series, offering prototype tanks. Just like this M6. This example is modelled by Martin Red Kovac (a little birdy tells me he's from Slovakia ) and he goes the extra mile by adding imaginairy field modifications. The added spikes that were meant to keep Japanese soldiers off the turret are an interesting feature. Reminds me of the spikes we have in Amsterdam to keep the pigeons at bay! This machine is bad ass. Even thought the model is all over olive drab, it’s a feast for the eye and Martin shows you exactly how he achieved the contrast and depth by using pigments and oils. • Hotel Kabul Afghan Barbecue This modern MATV done by Dirk Vangeel is one colourful event. Situated in a little diorama that offers lots to see. The article mainly focusses on the creation of the base and figures. Short but sweet. • Su-122 From Russia with love The old Tamiya kit get’s dressed up with Styrene, mesh and copper wire. I love builds like this. Nothing fancy. It’s all up to the painting. Rubén Gonzalez shows us step by step how he modulates his AK paints. The colour modulation with the green shades are followed by a filter, which is blended in with white spirit. Damn…. I really should use filters more. From all the articles in this magazine, this is my favorite one. Back to basics and all out on pure technique. • Berlin 1946 Panzer Turm Stellung Again, Kristof Pulinckx, goes to town. This time quite literaly with a Paper Panzer resin turret on a scratch built base. I love these late war german efforts. • Beute M3 GMC in DAK Service 1943 Tunis Gergo Szaszko builds the Tamiya M3A2 Half Track in german colours. What I particularly like from this build is the use of different brands. Winston Oils, Lifecolor paint and only a few AK products. This kinda ‘keeps it real’ • I am the Walrus John Simmons builds and paints a futuristic APC in a colourful blue and yellow scheme. This model is bad-ass and even though it’s Sci-Fi it manages to convince. • Dust and Sand reference A good way to get inspiration is look at the real deal. Here’s chapter with modern pics (that can help you model from any era) to give you ideas and reference. Photo’s by Patrick Winnepennickx. • Men at Work The techniques we use can also be applied on Die Cast models. This is shown by Juan Villegas on a Komatsu PC 210 LC digger. • Berlin Streetfighter Whippet For some reason the brand of this Whippet tank isn’t mentiond. Since I reviewed the Takom kit and know what schemes are included, I knew it was Takom and not Meng. Not a lot of dust this time. Sven Frisch delicately weather this dark grey beute tank without adding a lot of extra details. A few fallen bricks from a building and some accompanying dust on the top, kinda tells a story. • Caked Earth effect This (in my opinion) is one of the most difficult techniques to get right. It’s easy to make it look like your tank rode through soaked muesli if done wrong. Ron Soeren takes you through it! The technique that is. Not the muesli… • Weather Road Wheels & Lower parts A small chapter dedicated to painting the rubber rim on roadwheels, adding pigments, metal scratches and dirt. • Map of Products A few pages that compare different paints and other products. I’d say excellent if you (like many) just returned to the hobby and are overwhelmed by the offer of different paints and weathering agents. • School of Techniques Following the summary of different products in the previous chapter, this chapter takes us to school. How to achieve dust with thinned enamel for example. Never knew this was an option! Verdict So you’re an armour builder? And you want to improve your skill set? Then this is the magazine for you. Stay tuned for the next issue: Damage Inc. (Guess what that will cover…) A big thank you to AK Interactive for the review sample. Jeroen Peters
  9. Air Series Soviet Aircraft Colors 1950 - 1970 #AK 2300 by AK Interactive Available from AK Interactive for € 18,95 What we have here is a complete paint set for your typical Soviet early cold war jet. It’s a mix of two AK Xtreme Metal jars and four bottles with the interior, radome and cockpit colours. Get this and some panel liner and weathering agents and you’re good to go. To be precise the exact paints included in this set are: AK2301 Cockpit Turquoise AK2302 Radome Green AK2303 Interior Green AK2304 Cockpit Grey AK479 Xtreme Metal Aluminium AK480 Xtreme Metal Dark Aluminium I did the math (so you son’t have to, and because I’m dutch) and if you buy these paints separate from the AK Interactive webstore, you’ll spend € 19,60, so getting this set is slightly cheaper. The set is part of the Air Series range from AK Interactive. The range includes a lot of assorted sets (Luftwaffe, US Modern Aircraft, etc..), weathering sets (spilled oil, panel liner, pigments, etc...) and books. I especially love the panel liner myself. The paint First of all, let me tell you I’m a BIG fan of Mr Hobby paint and am always hesitant to try new brands, especially in a set (instead of trying one bottle). Therefor I will try to compare this paint to Mr Hobby (and / or the very similar Tamiya paints). The first difference is the thin-ness. You can shake (not even that hard or long is necessary) the bottle and pour a small amount directly into your airbrush. Tamiya and Mr Hobby typically needs to be thinned pretty much, if you like to build up your paint in thin layers (like me). I sprayed the back side of a plastic spoon and noticed that the paint covers pretty well. Almost in one go. Therefor I ideally would thin this paint too, but only with about 20% acrylic thinner, instead of 40%-50% I use for Mr Hobby. The bottle tells you to use the AK Interactive acrylic thinner, but I used some Humbrol acrylic thinner and found that worked pretty well too. The paint dries quick to the touch (about 20 seconds) into an egg shell satin finish. Just the way I love it. I’ve had good experiences with Mr Paint too, but that tends to dry more glossy. It kind of depends on what you want to achieve and how you’ll go about applying masks, decals and weathering agents to determine if gloss or satin is most suited for your needs. As I said: I like the satin finish: very similar to Mr Hobby and Tamiya paints. Only one word of advise: clean your airbrush well after use. The residu around the needle behaves different than Mr Hobby paint and can be harder to clean. Just spray some acetone through the brush after use. The Xtreme metal paints are quite remarkable. Again: very good coverage after only two passes. Much like Alclad paints. But what I like more is (again) the satin / glossy finish that does not get affected by the acid from my fingers. Then I stuck some Tamiya masking tape on the fresh surface (5 minutes later) and pulled it off. The tape that is. Not the paint J Perfect if you want to mask areas to apply a different shade of aluminium. The subject One of the most typical colors on a cold war jet will be the cockpit green / turquoise which can be hard to mix yourself. Compare it to an even more difficult color: the ww2 japanese cockpit green… I love this color and it appears to look the same shade in a lot of photographs. A spoon-full of Cockpit Turquoise: Below you'll see two examples of the turquoise green in two different shades. This could be the lighting of the subject or the result of UV weathering. Again: be sure to check your references. Not like the radome green (which differs in tone through weathering, sun, age) or the interior green, which seems to go from olive-like green to almost dark green from photo to photo. There are two cockpit colors included in this set, because not all cold war jets were all turquoise under the canopy. If you look at the pic below you’ll see the cockpit of a Su-22. Just a matter of checking your references. The Su22 cockpit in light grey and the AK paint below: Then the radome: Again: two different examples. One clearly weathered through sun and drought and one pristine restored. The AK paint below: I have seen SO many different greens inside these jets (gear bays, gun bays, avionics bays), that I don't think there's one definitive color. All I know is that this green below looks pretty cool As said there are two tones of Xtreme metal included in this set. Aluminium and Dark Aluminium. Perfect for variation in shades. The two shades are actually pretty close together as you can see. If you’re looking for some more contrast, you can just add a little bit of black (or Tamiya Smoke as I like to do). But to my eye, the contrast on a lot of models is often exaggerated. Below two nice examples of a Mig21 with subtle tonal variation and the AK paints below: Just look at the perfect finish of the aluminium: Verdict This is a perfect set for anyone that took the step (or wants to take the step) to acrylic paints. I did, and I’ll never go enamel again! And also the perfect starter set for anyone that joined a soviet cold war group build J The pro’s are the excellent coverage, the finish (satin), quick drying, adhesiveness (doesn’t get pulled off by your masks). The only con I could spot was you need to make sure no residu remains in your brush. You actually should always clean your brush after use, but we all do this more thoroughly one time than the other. One last thing: I love these screw cap bottles. Much easier to open than the always stuck Mr Hobby jars. Even when I have both opening aids from the Mr Hobby range. A special thanks to AK Interactive for the review sample. Available here. Jeroen Peters
  10. So, here's my Trumpeter 109G-6 done as a quick build for a workshop with Jamie Haggo the other weekend. The workshop was crackin with loads of new techniques picked up and a chance to see the master in action! Winter whitewash was the theme and this was my attempt. Anyway, I finished it off this week and knocked up a base to set a winter scene. Aaron
  11. ACES HIGH Magazine ‘Silver Wings’ (AK 2912 Issue 7) Publisher: AK Interactive Chief editor: Daniel Zamarbide Available from AK Interactive for € 9,00 Silver Wings! That’s this edition’s topic. One of the most difficult finishes on a model. No real wiggle room for small mistakes since you can’t weather it away or obscure it like you can easier do with camo. The reason behind this topic is no doubt the new Metallic paint range by AK: Xtreme Metal. Not so long ago the only way to achieve a convincing paint finish was bare metal foil, Alclad or some obscure rub and buff agents. Today we are spoiled with easy to use, fast drying, strong adhesive and more forgiving options: like Xtreme Metal. No need to thin, just drop it in the airbrush and go. Previous Aces High titles I have reviewed are: Aces High 4: The Mediterranean Aces High 5: Vietnam Aces High 6: Battle of Britain The magazine is available from the AK Interactive website for € 9,00 euro’s. You may think that that is steep for a magazine, but only if you view this publication as such. I tend to keep these titles and grap one when covering a certain subject or trying a new technique. Every build is accompanied with step by step tutorials, that will pull you out of your comfort zone. So what do we get with this issue? A sturdy glossy cover, binding 82 quality glossy pages. A poster in the middle (as always). Restrained advertorial space, many tutorials and techniques, and well designed lay-outs. Let me walk you through it: Index: • B26 Marauder “The Flying Barracuda” (1/72 Hasegawa B-26 by Fernando del Pino) You might remember Fernando from last editions He-111 in 72nd scale. I called it the best 72nd scale He111 I had ever seen, and I will call this the best 72nd B26 I have ever seen. The fun thing is that I have seen this build somewhere on Facebook. Back then it made me wonder how the intricate riveting was achieved. And here it is. Explained in detail. The extra detailing, polishing, masking and Xtreme Metal finish is amazing. The finished model photo’s will make you guessing for it’s scale. The only reason I wouldn’t guess it’s in 32nd scale, is because… it doesn’t exist! (Yet • Mig-21 Magyar Silver Arrow (1/32 Trumpeter Mig 21 by Bera Karoly) This Hungarian builder goes to town on the venerable Trumpeter Mig 21 and finishes it in the colours of his home country. Daniel Zamarbide certainly has a good pick when it comes to superb modellers… It’s nice to see the old salt mask technique again and some quality pre-shading. Two techniques that seem to die out at the moment. The same goes for the sponge chipping technique. Bera is old school but really makes it look great. Pretty impressive and useful stuff. • P-51D “The Mighty Mustang” (1/32 Tamiya P-51D by Michael Rosiak) I’ve seen a lot of great builds from this kit. It’s almost impossible to mess it up. And this is another fine example of how it’s done… The poster (again) is from the hand of Romain Hugault. One of those ‘comic’ book artists that will make you buy his comics, even if that’s not the sort of thing you’d normally buy! The topic is a Marilyn Monroe-type pin up, crawling out (or into) the pit of a cold war jet (F-80). These posters are perfect to adorn any self respecting man-cave! And don’t worry about tearing out use ful articles: the rear contains advertisements. • F9F Panther “Blue tail fly” (1/32 Fisher Resin F9F Panther by Daniel Zamarbide) Again: I’ve see this build on Daniel’s Facebook page. Daniel is an ‘all round’ modeller that is good at building, figure painting, detail painting and weathering. This really is an EPIC build with pretty cool step by step sequences (like painting the pilot figure and instrument panel). • F-101 C Voodoo “One-Oh-Wonder” (1/48 Kitty Hawk F-101C by Jordi Lario) Jordi hasn’t been featured in the Aces High Magazine before, but kicks off his debut with a delicate build of this Voodoo. Very subtle weathering on the aluminium panels and great masking of the colourful tail. The one thing that scares the heck out of me. Pulling off that mask at the end in the fear of peeling of precious paint. • Techniques in Detail This section explains how to successfully paint fuel tanks in all scales. Interestingly this deals with using Black base or spray the Xtreme metal directly on the plastic. Verdict A very shiny edition of this quality mag! No ‘ground section’ subject this time (normally an armour or figure topic is included). Personally: when I buy an aircraft mag, I don’t want to see any armour topics, so no tears here! Another thing that is worth mentioning is that all builds are done with Xtreme Metal. This is logical, since Aces High is an AK Interactive publication, but in previous editions other brands were thrown into the mix. Something I applauded. Other than that, this is another seriously mindblowing edition. A must have when you plan on building something shiny! Another very highly recommended! A special thanks to AK Interactive for the review sample. Available here. Jeroen Peters
  12. ACES HIGH Magazine ‘Battle of Britain’ (AK 2908 Issue 6) Publisher: AK Interactive Chief editor: Daniel Zamarbide Available from AK Interactive for € 9,00 Here we go! Anther action packed Aces High mag from the hands of AK Interactive. This theme based quality magazine is, as I’ve mentioned in previous reviews, not the kind of magazine you buy, read and throw out. Since this range includes step-by-step how to’s and revolve around a certain theme, they’re easy to store in a certain section of your library. Ready to pull out when the need appears. Previous titles I have reviewed are: Aces High 4: The Mediterranean And: Aces High 5: Vietnam The magazine is available from the AK Interactive website for € 9,00 euro’s, which is pretty reasonable for the quality you get. Quality in terms of featured models, contributing modellers, printing quality, paper and… layout design. The last being the sort of thing I can be turned off by, since I happen to be a Creative Director. So what do we get with this issue? A sturdy glossy cover, binding 82 quality glossy pages. A poster in the middle (as always). Restrained advertorial space, many tutorials and techniques, and well designed lay-outs. Let me walk you through it: Index (which is beautifully designed by the way): • Der Adler Tag (1/72 Revell Heinkel He-111 by Fernando del Pino) At first glimpse when thumbing through the mag I thought this was the Revell 1/32 offering, judging by the detail and sharpness of this build. But it turned out to be the braille scale Heinkel! Completely riveted, scribed and detailed up. Of course painted with the new AK Air series paint line, which looks pretty effective. Especially the always tricky RLM65 on the lower surfaces. This must be the best 72nd He111 I’ve ever seen… • Death & Glory (1/48 Hasegawa Hurricane Mk.1 by Anis El Bied) With the coming Fly Hurricane in 32nd scale, this build could be a nice inspiration. Interesting detail is that the camo pattern is done free hand and the author describes how he achieved the fine demarcation lines, accentuated with pencil. Pretty interesting. • Devils in Yellow (1/32 Eduard Bf109E-1 by Juan Villegas) It’s a shame to this day that Eduard discontinued their large scale ventures. Their Bf109 is a great kit, but with some challenging areas. In this build Juan shows some interesting pre shading effects, which is interesting, since the whole pre shading technique is being challenged at the moment! Juan appears to pre shade the inner panels, with a depth simulation technique, instead of tracing every panel line. Worth a try by the looks of it! He then goes to town with a whole range of pigments, oils and washes, weathering the hell out of the little plane. Especially digging the detail highlights with pencil in the final stages. Just love this: The poster is a cool addition, and since the only thing you’ll lose when taking it out are advertisements, you’re not messing up a perfectly good magazine when sticking it to your wall. It’s drawn by master cartoonist and aviation hobbyist Romain Hugault. Need I say more? • The Trumpets of Jericho (1/48 Hasegawa Ju87B-2 ‘Stuka’ by Mario Gabás) Another model that makes you second guess the scale. A great detailed up splinter camo Stuka with opened gunbay. Weathered with streaking grime, hydraulic fluid and fuel. A small proud moment for our own brand: ‘Large Scale Modeller’ when I spotted the HK Models advert during this build, adorned by our logo. Nice… • Live to Fly, Fly to Live. (1/48 Tamiya Spitfire Mk.I by Miguel Morales) Some nice scratchbuilding going on here to improve the venerable Tamiya Spitfire that still seems to hold it’s own after all these years. Scratch built seat frame, Barracuda seat, Eduard details, scratched rudder pedals,wiring… The following page highlights a certain area of the build: Painting the seat. The author takes us through his painting stages step by step. Not exactly the order I would follow, but that’s what I love about these tutorials: They show you a different perspective. • No. 29 SQN. RAF ‘75th Anniversary’ (1/48 Revell Typhoon FGR4 by Istvan Michalko) With the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain this Typhoon of No. 29 Squadron was painted in ww2 BoB colours. The colours feature the plane of the only pilot that won the Victoria Cross during the battle. Hurricane pilot Lieutenant Nicholson. No building article, but just great pics of a great subject. • Mind the Gap, The Ground Section (54mm Andrea Miniatures Spitfire pilot by Roberto Ramirez) A whole new modelling league of it’s own: painting figures. I can watch as many how-to tutorials as I like, but don’t think I’ll ever really master the skills. Again, here, all the steps are shown and I see how it’s done. A superb little scene with barrack wall, dog begging for a biscuit. Like me, begging for the skills… • RAF 10HP Tilly (1/35 Tamiya Tilly by Francisco J. Martinez) Building 35th scale airfield vehicles is always a bit of a gamble. The difference between 32nd scale and 35th scale is not very large, but can become apparent when mating the two subjects. If you can live with the scale differences, this little truck can look great in a diorama with any RAF ww2 subject. Francisco uses some real Spanish school techniques to highlight the details in high contrast. Verdict Another hit by Daniel Zamarbide Suárez and his crew (including proper English editing by our very own James Hatch!). An appealing theme, great lay-out and superb models. For the price of € 9,00 this is a no-brainer. Another very highly recommended! A special thanks to AK Interactive for the review sample. Available here. Jeroen Peters
  13. Tanker Extra Armour Techniques Magazine Issue 02 Publisher: AK Interactive Chief Editor: Kristof Pulinckx Available here from AK Interactive for € 9,- What we have here is a mix between the typical modelling magazine and a ‘how-to’ book, bounded by a niche concept amongst armour modelling subjects: Added Armour. AK Interactive are really bringing these magazine technique titles to a higher level, by means of well known and respected authors that contribute, appealing topics and well executed design and printing quality. They’re easier to pull out when starting a certain project, instead of rummaging through a thick bible and trying to place it somewhere on the bench. Added Armour Exotic Armour Conversions are a thing of all times, but lately we see a rise in apocalyptic subjects, fluently blending in with WW2 and modern subjects. Perhaps spurred on by series like ‘The Walking Dead’ and movies like ‘Mad Max’. Figure brands like MAIM, Not-Yet-Dead and even Master Box are jumping on the wagon and provide us with half rotting plastic and resin figures. But zombie apocalypse field modified vehicles are not the only armour that apparently needed added armour. This title also features modern and WW2 vehicles with bolted and welded on plates of steel. This magazine teaches us how to work the surface of these plates in order to make it look rugged and life-like, how to paint and weather it and how to add some convincing battle damage. The magazine: Let’s take a look at this title article by article and see if it’s worth getting (and worth the 9 euro’s). The first thing I check when flipping through a magazine in the local hobby shop is how much of the paper is wasted by adverts… Well, these are kept to a bare minimum in this case. 8,5 out of 102 pages are used up with ads for mostly AK Interactive products. So all is fine in that department. Another thing to look at is the paper it’s printed on. This is a glossy, heavy paper magazine with a glue bound back. Definitely not something to shove in the kitty litter box when through with reading. And it will survive a couple of builds on the bench, which is a good thing, since that’s actually what it’s designed around. The introduction is written by well known modeller Kristof Pulinckx who has some wise words about the theme J. The next pages add a little more history to the topic and elaborates on the beginnings and development of added armour. This issue has no less than 18 articles varying from Mad Max, Zombie, Ukranian, modern and ww2 armour. All with one thing in common: Heavily used and battered and all upgraded with extra steel. The first article is written and modelled by Lukasz Orczyc-Musialek who build an Ukranian BMP-2 in diorama setting. This vehicle has added armour in the form of tree trunks and side impact armour covering the road wheels. Most of the modelling steps are covered. From primer, chipping medium, pigments, dry brush, oils, punch and die, and so on… Of course mostly AK products are shown in these steps, but I appreciate the fact that these are not used exclusively, as everyone knows modellers almost never use just one brand. Glad to see Lukasz in keeping it real . The same goes for 2 builds down the mag. Martin Red Kovac builds a very heavily up-armoured Jackson and paints and builds it with MIG, AK, Tamiya, Life Color and Wilder Pigments. Almost every step in his painting and building process is photographed elegantly and the result is hard to beat. I guess the best result a magazine like this can obtain is letting us use and experiment with new materials. Stepping out of our comfort zone. Contents: As said this magazine offers 18 articles: • Battlefield Taxi BMP-2 (by Lukasz Orczyc-Musialek) • Up Armored Krupp Protze (by Kristof Pulinckx) • Serbian Jackson (by Martin Red Kovac) • Lebanese M-113 Field mod during “Nahr El Bared” Battle (background info by Samer Kassis, model by Imad Bouantoun) • Zombie Slayer , diorama with Hummer and Zombies (by Kristof Pulinckx and Roberto Ramirez) • Buick Max Apocalypse (by Ricardo Chust Roig) • Marder on Steroids (by Sven Frisch) • Uparmoured Vehicles Refences. Photographic reference for modern US softskins (by Ralph Zwilling) • Painting Impact. A how-to tutorial on how to create convincing battle damage. • Sandbags with Magic Sculpt. Another tutorial on how to create your own sandbags. • School of techniques. This chapter continues to teach us how to create impact, cast turret textures, solder large pieces of brass and how to create your tool to replicate screws in the armour texture. But also how to modify your plastic cement in order to fill small gaps and create weld seams with putty. • Gallery: The magazine closes with a 5 page photo gallery with amazing up armoured models to spark the modellers mojo if that hasn’t happened already. Very cool stuff. Last but not least The final pages of the magazine are taken up by no other than David Parker. He shows us his bench and talks about his passion. A pretty neat insight into this skilled and prolific modeller. Verdict If you’re into armour or just dipping your toes into the ‘dark side’, then this might come in handy. As said before, these magazines tend to pull you out of your comfort zone and make you experiment with new materials. It’s not just a shopwindow for AK Products, and I think that’s a good thing. A magazine worth keeping at hand and it should proof a 9 euros well spent. A big thank you to AK Interactive for the review sample. Jeroen Peters
  14. The Eagle Has Landed Armour & Aircraft Dioramas by Aitor Akzue Diorama Series Publisher: AK Interactive Author: Aitor Akzue Available here from AK Interactive for € 39,95 Today I’m taking a look at a book that covers some of the works by one of my favourite modellers: Aitor Akzue. But first, let me take you back to the days we all remember as a modeller. The time when we got our first inspiration from catalogues, magazines and books by modellers like Shep Paine and Francois Verlinden. I remember them vividly. Scanning the photo’s and marvelling at how they got their shades, details and compositions just right. Like works of art I would probably never be able to match (let alone re-create). It’s modellers and their publications like these that pulled me (and probably you reading this) into the hobby. I remember seeing Aitor’s work in person for the first time at a modelshow some years ago. SMC in Eindhoven (The Netherlands) if I’m not mistaken. It stopped me right in my tracks and I gazed at the resin children playing around the aircraft graveyard. Trying to identify which kits and what After Market sets were used. To be honest Aitor’s name was at that time not known to me. Much later I saw another diorama by his hand and immediately identified it to be from his hands. This was the crashed He111 diorama, which probably still is my favourite dio to this day. As mentioned by Aitor himself in the intro of his book, a good (no great) diorama needs at least 3 different skill sets: a sense of composition, good modelling / painting skills and the ability to work with a wide variety of materials. Kind of like an artist with the skills of an architect, mad scientist and McGyver. The book: Let me review Aitor’s book and provide you with the information I would want before purchasing. First of all this book mainly offers diorama’s featuring (late war) ww2 Luftwaffe aircraft in often derelict or crashed situations, with the inclusion of a german submarine or panzer here and there. This happens to be Aitor’s favourite subjects, but a little birdy told me to expect some ww1 subjects in the near future too. What I love about this book are the huge atmospheric photo’s, the clear ‘how to’ steps, the inclusion of the colour profiles used on the vehicles and aircraft and the detail shots. But also the small charts at the beginning of every diorama that tells us exactly what kits and after market was used. Contents: The book contains 10 chapters on 10 diorama’s, a superbly built Ho229 and some extra gallery shots from the author. Diorama 1: Germany 1945 This diorama features a german street in Berlin. A very interesting and staggering display of buildings, bridge, quay and vehicles. Lots of scratchbuilding going on and a mix of Tamiya, Italeri and Tristar vehicles, adorned with Alpine, Verlinden and Pegaso figures. Aitor shows us how to build up the base for this diorama, the groundwork, the scratched facades of the houses, totally scratched bridge, water effects, etc.. etc.. This diorama covers a wide array of techniques. Colour profiles: Diorama 2: Autobahn (Stuttgart-Munchen 1945) We’ve all (well is you are somewhat of a history buff) seen the photographs of Luftwaffe planes hidden between the trees, using the german Autobahn as a runway. And Aitor has managed to capture this event vividly well. A rushed out of the factory, puttied up Me262 being inspected by US soldiers. The foliage, bushes and trees in this diorama are the show stoppers. Another thing I love about this book is the inlusion of ww2 photographs that show what Aitor based his diorama and composition on. ww2 era photo's: Diorama 3: Booby Trapped When I saw this diorama pop up on Facebook not too long ago I had to look for my lower jaw. A converted Ju88G6 and a derelict Bf110 carefully searched by US soldiers for anti-looting devices. The high rising corner of the hangar in the background place the two broken planes in their element. The amount of attention to detail that went into the two planes is amazing. As is the scratchbuilding that went into the hangar. The opened up engine bay of the Ju88, the added detail to both cockpits. The only thing I could possibly find to comment on is the very recognizable stance of the Alpine figures that give away their brand and kind of put them out of context (for me). It’s the moss growing between the concrete slabs and left behind accessories of the Luftwaffe ground crews that really add the finishing touch. Diorama 4: Hamburg 1945 When I saw this diorama, I though: Ah! That must be the 1/35 Bronco U-boat XXIII! But it was not. This thing is entirely scratched! All putty and greencard. This waterside diorama shows british troops inspecting what’s left after the battle. Defeated german soldiers licking their wounds. Again, here it’s the details that set this diorama off. Offcourse the huge scratched cargo cranes and warehouse façade are impressive to say the least, but the seagulls, spent cartridges, debrie in the water and rubble bring this scene to life. Diorama 5: Neverending History This is the diorama I was talking about in the introduction and the first diorama I ever saw of Aitor’s hand. The Luftwaffe graveyard, used as a playground by little children. A FW190D and Stuka are taken apart and opened up all over the place. Resin engines, loose cables, broken props and wings an amazing paintjob. There’s just something to see from every angle. What I like about this chapter is the step by step altering of a white metal figure from Pegaso to a small boy wielding a make believe sword and wearing a fighterpilot skullcap. This marks a new chapter where several figures from different diorama’s are altered to different stances or sometimes complete make-overs. Extra figure alteration chapter: Diorama 6: Norway 1943 And here’s my all time favourite. It doesn’t have an impressive backdrop and it doesn’t even have a whole lot going on. But it does tell a story. A He111 that crashed into a rocky rover. Ice cold water. Injured crew mates, trying to make it to the shore while hailing a german staff car. The water and rocks look too real. Pay attention to the white washes paint chipping from the He111’s wings. This chapter also includes a special how-to in how to make snow and ice. Diorama 7: Tempelhof 1945 Quite in line with the ‘Autobahn’ and ‘Booby Trap’ diorama’s, this one is set in the end of the war at the Berlin Tempelhof airport. The hangar doors that serve as a backdrop and are humongous. Of course the author explains how he made these from scratch. The same goes for the evenly impressive roof of the hangar, with metal lighting fixtures. As far as the Fw190A is concerned, I’m surprised to see what can be achieved with the old Verlinden detail set! What can I say more? It’s all just mindblowing stuff. Diorama 8: The Fallen of the Eagles This is another diorama I’ve had the privilege of eye balling up close and personal. It’s as if the whole spares box was masterfully painted and spread across the hangar floor. A 2 seat Me262. A crippled He219 and yet another He219 wing for good measure. The detail is scary. Right down to the nails of the dog that the pilot in his beach chair is playing with. I can remember not getting enough of this diorama when seeing it in real life, but looking at these detailed photographs reveals even more detail. And I guess that would be the main reason for me to buy this book. Diorama 9: Tirstrup 1945 And yes, another end of war, derelict plane situation. A Ju88 / Fw190A Mistel combination with Luftwaffe ground crew and allied forces paying them a visit. I’m running out of superlatives here, but man, the detail! The Opel Blitz with open hood and superdetailed engine. The detailed Dingo scout car. And again, what I just can’t get over, is the high level of detail Aitor accomplishes with the Verlinden update sets for the Fw190A. Diorama 10: Winners and Losers Very much like the ‘Autobahn’ diorama, this Ju188 stands hidden in the forest. Let’s forget the fact that this again is a great diorama and focus on the plane alone. The AIMS Ju188 conversion is actually a pretty tricky one. It takes skills to pull it off. A vac form canopy and chunks of resin. I love Aitor’s way of working. It may seam a little bit messy when he’s on the go, but the result is as convincing as it is stunning! This resembles the way I work. Except my outcome isn’t always that stunning… An extra chapter here is added to show us how to make a Birch and Pine tree. A nice little and useful demo, since you just can’t buy these things ready and looking convincing in a store. Zoukei Mura Ho229 Built straight from the box. Instead of using Uschi’s wonderful wood decals, Aitor takes the high road and uses Photo etch templates. The result is equally pleasant to the eye. It’s a matter of preference. Last but not least An extra gallery, revealing huge spread photo-graphs of more amazing diorama’s. Check out the last one in the book… Oh… I forgot to include it in my review? Well… I guess you’ll have to buy the book! Verdict Alas I have run out of superlatives to try to convince you. I’m giving it a 10 out of 10 and will do so every time I take it from the shelf to fumble it’s pages, looking for inspiration. A big thank you to AK Interactive for the review sample and to Aitor Akzue for documenting his work and steps. To purchase directly, click here. Jeroen Peters
  15. Metallics Volume 1 AK Learning Series 04 Publisher: AK Interactive Editor & Idea: Fernando Vallejo Available from AK Interactive for € 9,95 What we have here is number 4 in the growing line of AK Interactive’s Learning series. Instead of covering a series of subjects (like Cold War Tanks for instance) ththis range deals with a certain material. Volume 1 taught us to paint Realistic and weathered Wood and was linked to the AK paint set. Volume 2 was all about German Panzer uniforms and volume 3 dealt with rubber and iron under the title: Tracks and wheels. Pretty smart marketing, since the result of a modellers work is crucial in creating raving fans of a certain tool or paint. Focussing on a certain material helps us to master a certain technique. So what do we get? A sturdy glossy A5 cover, binding 83 high quality glossy pages. Restrained advertorial space and various metallic painting techniques and metal types. Let me walk you through it: Index: • Introduction With an explanation on how light is refracted and basic colour theory. • Paint types Deals with the characteristics of acrylics, enamels, lacquers, inks and other metallic paint types available. • Main metals in modelling The most common metals we try to replicate in our models and the challenges they bring. • Techniques and samples Step by step tutorials on how to achieve a convincing steel or aluminium finish with various paints and techniques. This last chapter is one to take a closer look at. There are so many ways to deal with various metallic finishes, that it’s important to choose the medium and technique carefully. The book shows us the effects of weathering pigments, filters, washes and inks on top of the XTreme metal paints by AK Interactive (but these materials ofcourse can also apply to Alclad II for instance). It shows us how to properly use the wax and polish agent with the name True Metal by AK Interactive and has an entire section of step by step airplane finish techniques and super glossy car and bike finishes that show your mirrored reflection after careful polishing. Even the application of Bare Metal foil is shown, even though it is not featured in the AK product line-up. A nice touch. Look at the effect of inks on this heat discolored engine of a 1/48 Fouga Magister... Verdict This is a simple but effective little title that will offer great help to the novice modeller, whether he falls for the AK Extreme Metal range or not. But it will also help the weathered, senior modeller that is open to new techniques and / or materials. A highly recommended for the quick learner! A special thanks to AK Interactive for the review sample. Available here. Jeroen Peters
  16. ACES HIGH Magazine ‘Vietnam’ (AK 2908 Issue 5) Publisher: AK Interactive Chief editor: Daniel Zamarbide Available from AK Interactive for € 23,95 The Aces High magazine is one of those magazines you just don’t throw away once read. Every issue revolves around a theme and is printed on high quality paper and clearly blessed by the hands of an avid and able graphic designer. Since every issue is theme based, it’s pretty easy to grab an issue from your bookshelf, once starting a certain project, looking for reference or technique. The issue at hand is based on the Vietnam conflict. Which means many early blowtorches and lots of weathering opportunities. The price of 9 euro’s is compensated by the above and the inclusion of a poster by Romain Hugault and the many clear step-by-step instructions in the articles. Going through the colophon two personal friends of mine jump out, which to me means: Perfect English grammar (James Hatch!) and inspiring modelling (Jeroen Veen!). Recently the modelling scene has seen the entry of many new techniques and materials, so it’s important to stay on the ball and up your game. Magazines like Aces High do just that and manage to inspire along the way. So what do we get? A sturdy glossy cover, binding 78 quality glossy pages. A poster in the middle. Restrained advertorial space, many close ups, and well designed lay-outs. Let me walk you through it: Index: • The Mighty Snake (1/48 Hobbyboss Mig-17F by Istvan Michalko) A very thorough documented build of the the Mig-17F, treated with Alclad, fluid mask chipping in combination with silver pencil chipping. There’s also some old-style chipping with a bristle brush and silver enamel that looks really convincing. The pencil chipping is done with a silver refill pencil (o,5 mm thickness?) that I must get my hands on! Especially in the smaller 1/48 scale this comes in handy. I’ve said it before, but I do appreciate the fact that not every how-to photo shows a clean AK products bottle in the background, fictionally applied with a clean brush. The fact that other brands are used by the modeller, tells me that I’m not being fooled into any brand J • The Deadly Arrow (1/48 Eduard Mig-21PFM by Jeroen Veen) This sweet build by my buddy Jeroen Veen tackles a new technique still untouched by me: metalizer paste you need to rub and buff. Although he himself isn’t 100% satisfied by the result, I’m impressed. The detail and finish on this bird are outstanding. • Da Nang’s Death Angel (1/48 Hasegawa F-8 Crusader by Girolamo Lorusso) If all-out aftermarket is your game, then you’ll love this build. The venerable Has F-8 with all Aires resin sets. Lots of sanding and dry-fitting as well as detail painting is documented and depicted. So is putting the bombs in the spinning part of your Dremel to paint the yellow stripes. A technique I once used and failed miserably in. • Vietnam Warhorse (1/72 Trumpeter F-100D Super Sablre by Vitor Costa) Next up is a much more restrained build of an F-100D. Only an aftermarket cockpit is used and the paintwork is weathered to a minimum. Quite refreshing amongst all the badly battered birds. • Rhino over Hanoi (1/48 Academy F-4B Phantom by Jose Dominguez) Another sweet build! The Academy F-4B. Spiced up with scratch building that incorporates greencard, rod and wire. An all out build with a sexy paint scheme. This shows how spoiled we are as modellers. I catch myself not touching kits in my stash, when no proper aftermarket has been released for it yet. Note to self: Just pull it out and scratch what you need! Some inspiring bonus pics from the day: • Mind the Gap, The Ground Section (1/32 Verlinden Mig Killer figure vignette by Roberto Ramirez) The old Verlinden range is what got me drooling as a young boy in the modelshop. The camo patterned boxes with luscious photo’s of the finished thing on top. This figure (I believe) is from those days! A resin figure, maybe not quite up to the Alpine Miniatures or Ultracast examples of today, but with some patience and good painting skills and can look like this. The head (IMHO) could have done with a replacement… This article also shows us how to scratch build the vignette base, fence and palm tree. A nice scene that depicts the Mig Killer attitude of the Vietnam conflict. • Mind the Gap, The Ground Section (1/48 Verlinden Ford Mutt by Francesco J. Martinez) Another Verlinden golden oldie (1995)! The Ford Mutt. These older resin kits can be a pain to assemble and require a lot of research yourself, but can be turned into real gems with some filter and pigment. Verdict Well what can I say? This is just another sweet issue of this welcome addition to the magazine rack! Theme based and well designed, so worthy of the bookcase, instead of the magazine stack that ends up in the kitty litter box. Daniel Zamarbide has a keen eye for spotting great modellers, that don’t just know how to build, but can also write and photograph. The added poster that’s always included in the Aces High Magazine is a nice bonus that will liven up any boy’s room (or mancave ofcourse)… Another very highly recommended! A special thanks to AK Interactive for the review sample. Available here. Jeroen Peters
  17. Extreme Reality (AK307) Publisher: AK Interactive Andrew Argent • Kristof Pulinckx • Edouard Nouaillier • John Simmons • Gert Mertens • Doozy Available from AK Interactive for € 23,95 Last month I visited the dutch Scale Model Challenge in Eindhoven. One of the best shows around for armour, figure and diorama highlights. The work that is on display there is of the highest standard en keeps surprising. I was blown away by Aitor Azkue’s crashed Me163 and some rather out-of-the-box pieces, like Andy Argent’s ‘Cycle of Life’. A 1/6th scale bicycle, almost reclaimed by mother nature. I eyeballed it up close for a while and was wondering how Andy pulled off the convincing rust effects, plants, etc.. So imagine my surprise when this title fell unannounced on my doorstep! The main cover photo shows Andy’s work, and the first chapter deals step-by-step with the secrets behind this masterwork J So what do we get? A thick glossy cover, binding 128 sturdy glossy pages in a glue bound back. Six well known modellers show off their skills and tricks in clear steps, and comprehensible copy & captions. This book is a great way for AK Interactive to show what their product range is capable of, and comes in a line of titles covering metal paints, diorama’s, rust effects, wood simulation, figure painting, etc… Don’t think that just by copying the steps, you’ll achieve the same level of result though. The photos inside are the result of years and years of experimenting and practising, followed by an ambitious product company that supplies these modellers with amazing products. It’s quite easy to overdo and overuse these products. I’ve seen totally grimed up engines and thoroughly rusted vehicles that wouldn’t even hold up to gravity in real-life. Anyway! Let’s have a look at the builds covered in this book. • Andy Argen’t ‘Cycle of Life’ As said in my introduction, this model is big and impressively real. What I like about the step by step building process is the fact that normal hairspray was used for the … hairspray technique, instead of the AK Interactive chipping medium. I can understand why, since the AK chipping medium makes for a very subtle and minute texture, perhaps too subtle for a bike this size. The photographs show every important step in the process, from the bike itself, to the amazing scratch build clutter and plant-life and spider cobs surrounding it. • Kristof Pulinckx’ ‘Bull dozer’ I’m not quite sure what kit this model is made from, since it is not mentioned in the text. The engine however is the one shown on the box art of AK’s Engines weathering set (AK-087). Here they take a look at the entire, finished model of the bull dozer. AK’s primer, chipping medium, paints, varnish, pigments and oils are all used to create a stunning model. • Edouard Nouaillier’s ‘Walls of Decay’ Amazing scratch building skills are displayed in this chapter, where the fronts of entire houses are built with styrene, plaster and foam. Even before these walls and houses are painted, they look convincing to the eye. Free hand painting, sponge techniques, chipping and various other techniques are used and explained. The end result is placed on the painter’s easel and I guess that’s exactly where it belongs. • Andy Argent’s ‘Rustic Oil drum diorama’ A simple yet effective diorama with an 1/6th scale oil drum showing off his rust technique. Yes, again amazing skills in combination with the AK-product range make for a stunning result, but it’s the small fauna that really adds life to this little dio: scratch built butterflies, spiders, snails and a wasp. Stuff that is almost just too little to replicate in 35th scale. • John Simmons’ ‘Major Refurb’ This project shows that even a simple die cast model can look pretty convincing with added detail and effective weathering. Heavy use of pigments, subtle chipping and a tutorial on how to replicate a flat tyre make all the difference. What I love about these build stories is that most of them (like this one) starts with a real picture or outdoor find for inspiration. • Gert Mertens’ ‘Devastator’ As with the previous build by John Simmons, Gert is inspired by a real car he spotted whilst visiting a demolition derby and uses an AMT 1/25th scale kit as a starting point. Hardly any AK products are used in this build, but the results and patina on the weathered and beaten up panelling is amazing. This project teaches us to carefully study the real thing and take loads of pictures, if making an exact replica is your thing. • Doozy’s ‘Shore’s Café’ What we have here strikes me more as art than simple modelling. Right down to the matching, old wooden driftwood base, the use of various materials and the compostion. A 1/12th Nissan Sunny, backed up by the façade of an old Café/Bar. Old advertising signs, an empty Coke crate. God is in the details. This is underlined in his second featured projects: ‘Bakery in N.Y.’, ‘Gee Bee Café’. If you want to know what that is all about… Buy this title! OK.. so I wasn't going to share the next one, but what the He!.. Verdict AK Interactive keeps hitting us with helpful titles. Not just showing off great work (like us little boys were treated to by for instance Francois Verlinden), but letting the artist take us through his steps one by one. Will it instantly make us great? No. But every little bit helps. This sure is an inspiring title that shows us how much can be achieved with proper weathering and an eye for detail. Very highly recommended! A special thanks to AK Interactive for the review. Available here. Jeroen Peters
  18. Soviet War Colors 1936-1945 Gordon Forrester / Fernando Vallejo AK Interactive Profile Guide Series Available from AK Interactive for € 21,50 and paint set available for € 13,20 What we have here is quite an impressive book filled to the rim with colour profiles. Actually 180 of them! The first thing that struck me was the attention to lay-out. Every chapter is introduced by a spread large artwork in the concept of this edition: Soviet WW2 propaganda. The chapters cover: • Light AFV • Medium AFV • Heavy AFV • Light Vehicles, Crawlers and APC • Lend lease • Photo references The second thing that appealed to me are the 3 view profiles. How many times did you find a profile online or in a book, only showing the left or right side. Leaving you guessing what’s happening on the top, front or back? Admittedly not all 180 profiles provide 3 views, but the ones’ that need ‘m, have ‘m. The artwork is crisp, clear and really well done and are accompanied by background information on the subject. The last chapter is a bonus and gives us full color walkaround photo’s of surviving subjects. Material The book is printed on sturdy, high quality paper. The soft cover is printed on a double folded matt laminated heavy material that oozes quality. The back is glued. Total is 102 pages. Conclusion This book is a must have for any armour modeller that is tempted to tackle any Soviet subject. It’s full of inspiration, variation and gives you a more than good sense of what colors to use. Speaking of colors… Soviet Camouflages (Soviet Tank Colors from 1935-1945) Paint set nr. AK 561 A good base to start your Soviet color collection with comes in this set, that is linked to the Profile Guide book as descriped above! The AK Interactive paints can be used directly in you airbrush or handpainted on. When spraying with a fine needle you might want to use thinning agent. AK Interactive suggests using their Acrylic thinner: AK-712, but other brands might work too. I myself haven’t tried a different brand so feel free to chime in. The bottles are the typical bottles we have come to know. 17 ml and shake well! The colors included in this set are: AK 746 • 4BO (Russian Green, used as primer, protection from corrosion from 1941) AK 747 • 6K (Russian Brown) AK 748 • 7K (Russian Tan) AK 750 • Protective Green AK 749 • 3B AU (Basic Protector, used as primer, protection from corrosion from 1935 – 1939) AK 751 • Washable White Paint (for creating faded white washes camouflage) Very highly recommended Our sincere thanks to AK Interactive for the review sample. To purchase the book directly, click HERE. To purchase the paint directly, click HERE. Kind regards, Jeroen Peters
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