Another modern themed armor modelling magazine has arrived and it is most welcome. One of the best armor modelling magazines covers six (or seven) builds and miscellaneous information and short articles.
There are an awful lot of good armor modelling magazines out there these days, so a magazine that costs twice as much as its competitors and focuses on only one era (and not one that includes Panthers and Tigers!) is a gamble; one that I have become very glad that they made. Why, you might ask? You did ask, right? Ahem, fine, well, onwards.
First is the simple physical quality. The paper is heavy gauge and glossy, with first rate high resolution photos. The magazine lies flat and looks like it will last for quite a long time as a reference. Second is the quality of the builds themselves, they are uniformly excellent with real skill on display and explained with well chosen photos and useful descriptive text.
Third and most importantly to me is that each of the painting and weathering jobs are different. If the point of a magazine such as this is to serve as both inspiration and instruction it is a great idea to have each kit finished for a different effect, so that the reader can steal from the one with the effect that they most want. As an example, the T-80U is realistically weathered but the camouflage is un-muted and somewhat bright; perfect for the modeller who wants realism while showing off their paint scheme. The Object 279 is weathered more stylistically, allowing details to pop out to the viewer. The Type 10 uses streaking to add a lot of chromatic richness to the build. The T-90A is perhaps the most realistic with the dust and grime unifying the whole of the weathering job. And so on.
Two pages of summaries of new products from Meng, Master Box, Desert Eagle, AGV Models, and so on. Six pages of a build review of the new Dragon M48A3 covers some foibles and clarification of the instructions, and a nicely done and very clean review. Eight pages of a muddy build of the Xact Scale T-80U. As previously mentioned, there is a lot of weathering and mud but the paint scheme shines through clearly and attractively. Two pages of photos of the real T-80U. Six pages of a spattered but bright Panda Object 279 come next. There's a lot of attractive color and artistic staining that make this one very visually pleasing. Two pages of photos of the real Object 279.
Eleven pages of the Tamiya Type 10. Out of all the articles this one spends the most time detailing the actual build and detailing. Having built the kit recently, he gives you an excellent blueprint for sprucing up this already excellent kit. There are a lot of vertical rain marks and streaks on this one that break up the finish nicely. The finish on the rubber skirts is especially noteworthy when you compare them to the included photo of a real vehicle. Great job on some stained and beaten up rubber.
Thirteen pages of a comparison build review of the Zvezda and Meng T-90A's. This is my favourite article in the whole magazine, which is really saying something. Itís a very fair comparison of the pros and cons of both kits (spoiler, Meng wins). It also does a magnificent photo-real weathering job which is my preferred style, albeit about a few thousand percent better than anything Iíve managed!
Four pages of a rusty and beaten up Italeri shipping container. Using the hairspray technique we have a moderately beaten up shipping container that you can find all over the world. Five pages of photos of French wheeled AFVís follow, along with a one page overview of the next issue to close out the magazine. Then a back cover and weíre done.
My opinion? The magazine is worth the price. It was both inspirational and illustrative. There are definitely some approaches that Iíll be trying in the near future
Highs: Technique variety.
Quality of printing and articles.Lows: Price I guess if that is an issue.Verdict: It's excellent an a worthwhile purchase. This is a magazine that deserves to be bought and continue on.