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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Interesting read but lacking...., December 27, 2011
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This review is from: Basics of Ship Modeling: The Illustrated Guide (Paperback)
My model building days are behind me, I have other pursuits now, and can find other things to spend $250 to $350 on besides a resin cast ship model. (I have a number of kits sitting in my garage that I cannot bring myself to complete, a Tamiya Yamato, a Lindberg Blue Devil Destroyer, and a Lindberg PT-109 for example)

While I can appreciate the effort and level of detail that goes into building one, the book makes that clear, I find it interesting that some of the basic and realatively simple things that can make a ship model come to life are not even covered in the book.

Having been a photographer and photo interpreter, and scientist, I find it odd that the subject of painting, color selection and color scaling are not even discussed.

A lot of information is available on authentic colors for naval ships and the color patterns for specific periods of time covering the days of the modern warship. This subject is not discussed.

More troubling is the complete lack of discussion of color scaling. Why put $450 or $500 into a model ship and countless hours only to paint it in a way that makes it look like a cheap kids toy, detail not withstanding.

One glance at the cover of the book, and I realized the author put more emphasis on detail, than model realism. The stark colors of the cover photo make the model look no more real than my kids plastic bathtub toy.

Color scaling takes into account the scaled distance one would be standing from the actual ship to see it in the size depicted in the model. It factors in the dulling and muting of the colors by the air and haze that would be between the viewers eye and the actual paint on the ship. One only has to walk outside and look at something in the distance to understand this concept.

Scaling the color on a ship should make the model look real to the person standing a couple of feet from the model. Ignoring this concept undermines all the effort put into building a highly detailed model in the first place.

As an experienced model builder in my own right, I would place color scaling near the top of the basics to learn for a beginner modeler. A model with mediocre detailing but painted with scaled colors can look very real indeed, but a detailed model painted with amateurish looking garish out of scale colors will look like the efforts of a beginner.

As a previous reviewer mentioned, the book only pays lip service to weathering techniques, mentioning it in passing in the caption of a photo that does not even depict it.

I bought the book for several reasons, I still have an abiding interest in modeling if not the time to pursue it as a hobby, and I like to learn new things about things in which I have an interest. Sadly I would lump this book in with a number of others that I have purchased. That is to say, they are quickly thrown together in order to fund the hobby of the authors or club (each chapter was written by a different author is seems). That is not to say that the book does not offer information worth knowing, it does. That the book is a mashup is obvious by the fact that the chapter of scratch building is really discussing the building of a master model for making a resin mold of a ship for making resin cast kits.

I found the part on correcting cast defects enlightening. Having to cut up a hull into numerous pieces in order to reassemble them and fill the deficiencies calls the whole cost and endeavor of building a resin cast kit into question. But I do realize that building ship models or AFV, aeroplane or dioramas is more for the enjoyment of the individual or club (preaching to the choir if you will) than anyone else. If the builder is satisfied, then so be it.

All in all I did not find much worth the $15 I paid for the book. I was disappointed in the number of color photos and the lack of detailed "process" descriptions.

Better just go to any number of ship model websites and download the very good detailed how to articles that are in full color. The best of the lot is [...]
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