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Aces High Magazine (Issue 4)


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Aces High Magazine (issue 4)

THEATER OF OPERATIONS

THE MEDITERRANEAN

 

In co-operation with: AK Interactive

Editor: Daniel Zamarbide

 

Available from Aces High Magazine for € 9.00

 

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We’re taking a look at issue #4 of Aces High Magazine. Since our own Jim Hatch is assistant editor (!!) for this magazine, I took it upon me to do the review. Just to keep things in a healthy perspective J

 

With magazines appearing on the market like Air Modeller, we’ve seen the trend of good design and layout work making it’s way to the hobby and book stores. Suddenly the magazines turn glossy, feature amazing life-like photography, art-work, illustrations and advertising copy. The result is two-fold. On one hand it raises the prices of these magazines slightly. From an average of 7,50 euro’s to about 10,00 euro’s. On the other hand you get a magazine that doesn’t end up between old newspapers at the end of the month.

 

I used to buy every single modelling mag that hit the shelves. Fumble through it. Read the articles on subjects that were in my stash (or soon would be) and only save the mags that featured a build I thought would help me in the future. Huge piles of paper would mount up to a reference library I would never be able to use, since it would be impossible to find that one article I know should be in there somewhere… Since then, I donate these old issues to the neighbors’ kid.

 

The Aces High magazine is of a completely new calibre. A first flick through the pages reveal: High quality paper. Very well designed. And filled with step-by-step builds. A modelling guide that teaches us to weather, use new products, scratch build and detail. Definitely a publication that will find it’s way to my book-shelf, even though 90% of the builds featured will never see the light of my modelling lamp. On top of that the images are printed in a very high raster, which can be seen on close inspection, doing justice to the details pictured on it's pages.

 

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The contents

The African Eagle Owl

1/72 Hasegawa Mosquito

 

Deadly Desert Friedrich (See what I mean with the advertising copy?)

1/48 Hasegawa Messerschmidt  Bf109 F-4 Trop

 

Lybian Eisenseiten

1/48 Eduard Bf110 E

 

The Shark Toothed Hawk

1/32 Hasegawa Kittyhawk Mk.1

 

Maltese Warrior

Braille scale Tamiya Spitfire Mk.Vb Trop

 

Mind the Gap – The ground section

A tasty 1/18 scale figure vignette

 

Mind the Gap – The Ground Section

1/35 Ford Maultier by ICM

 

Step-by-Step

Various modellers with pretty high standards have been invited to share their work with the magazine and document it step-by-step, revealing their secrets. My favourite definitely being the 1/48 Hasegawa Bf109 F-4 Trop on page 18, by Javier Lopez de Anca. He builds the old but still good kit in the colours of Hans-Joachim Marseille’s ‘Yellow 14’. The first spread of this build gives us a little bit of history on Marseille and is designed in a colourful and tasteful way. Well, just look for yourself:

 

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The weathering is explained with clear photographs, brands of materials used and used techniques. What I like is that baby steps are used. Meaning no huge leaps in the building progress are skipped, so you don’t go half-way: How the hell did he suddenly pull that off?!

 

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The English copy reads smooth (Jim Hatch’s doing??) and makes the magazine feel like it was written by one person, instead of a collection of hobbyists.

 

In the middle of the magazine we see a little bonus. A pin-up poster in the style of Romain Hugault, but since this is a magazine I will want to keep, I’ll just leave it in there.

 

 

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Since this magazine is supported by AK Interactive it comes as no surprise that their products are used throughout the magazine. I always like to see this kind of product placement in perspective and realize there are also other brands on the market that do the trick. Nevertheless: The AK products do seem to hit the mark in these builds!

 

1/72 Mosquito build:

 

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1/48 Bf110 E:

 

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Braille scale Spitfire Mk.Vb Trop:

 

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Et voila!

 

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Not all is found high up in the air:

 

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Verdict

It has to be said. This is a welcome new title on the market. I can’t say it’s right up there with the likes of Air Modeller, since it’s not a standard kind of magazine. See it as a building guide that unlocks the techniques acquired by modellers from all over the world through years of practicing. The magazine will also soon be available as digital download, but personally I prefer the high quality glossy paper I can touch and lay on the bench. Somehow I would mind less if paint splattered over a magazine, than over my Ipad…

 

All in all. If you want to master new techniques, rather than read on new releases and reviews:

 

Very highly recommended!

 

A special thanks to AK Interactive and Aces High Magazine for the review sample (and Jim Hatch, Assitant Editor, for helping out with the copy!)

Get you copy here...

 

Jeroen Peters

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