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Essential Skills for Scale Modelers (FineScale Modeler Books) Paperback – October 28, 2011
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I would have liked to have seen a little more work put into painting cockpits and canopies though - just saying you can buy a pre-cut mask at an aftermarket dealer doesn't cut it. This is problematic because not all models have this option available and a good number of hobbyists (especially beginners) still have to make their own masks either by cutting masking tape or using a masking solution. This hobby can be expensive enough as it is and telling beginners that they need to buy aftermarket parts or masks is an instant turn-off to many who already dropped a sizable penny on the kit, paint, and essentials. Not a big deal to an expert, but for a hobby that's not seen as "cool" as it once was, this doesn't do the book any favors.
Elegantly photographed, laid out, and written chapters will take you through the tools and trades of building models.
Each chapter covers one modeling subject (armor, car, aircraft, ship, figure) and takes the reader through the necessary steps of tackling that general area.
It doesn't have the wham-bam tutorial aesthetics of some contemporary modeling publishers, instead a quiet, gentle approach that author aaron skinner has infused the Fine Scale Modeler magazine with. I am withholding the fifth-star because this book and the related magazine can vastly improve and become indispensible by borrowing the photographic idioms of the aforementioned magazines : maximize the image sizes, and the contrast of the photography to reveal details more. Perhaps find a better printer who can reproduce such tonal depth. I think most of the tutorials could be accomplished by reducing the body text to a a short introductory paragraph and telling the story by image+caption pairings alone.
It is important to read Skinner's text, even if you are tempted just to follow the pictures and captions, for the text provides sequential instructions, explaining basics rather thoroughly. The text refers to the photos, but usually the text is not on the same page with the photo to which it refers. Given electronic typesetting, better layout is possible, but it is likely that Kalmbach's (the publisher) motive was to save pages, reduce costs, and maintain profitability. So this is one book worth a second edition with better layout choices and spiral binding (as is done with some of the Osprey books).
The book could also use a list of items used (as, e.g., Bob Steinbrunn includes in his Stuart Tank book for Schiffer). While these lists can become outdated, in this case the kits used as examples, too, may go out of production, so the book may need updating every few years anyway.
This book is worth the cost of the publisher's updating and improving, and it is well worth the purchase price for beginning or returning modelers who need a help developing skills, or even an interesting choice fore skilled modelers who are curious about the author's advice. Get one for yourself and another for a modeler buddy.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I build models. For years I made "simple" models. The model is put together from the box, painted with a brush, and the decals applied. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Bill Hensler
I am new to modeling so needed to learn about the necessary skills. This book covers everything you would need to know.Published 8 months ago by P. Webb
Great information for getting back into current model making again.Published 9 months ago by David W.
The book has great tips on how to do things. A lot of the stuff I had forgotten since I have not been doing anything model related in 33 years.Published 12 months ago by Sailor98277