by: Carlos Martin [ ]
The new book from Accion Press, as the title says, targets those who are starting in aviation modelling, and has been written by Javier López de Anca, Mario Gabás, Julio Fuente, Philippe Roger and Alex Hernández.
However, its public can be wider than that, as it includes techniques and tips that can be helpful to all modellers.
You may ask if it is necessary such a book, when internet is full of tutorials, forums and videos available for free. In my opinion, yes, without any doubt: Beginners can find here an excellent base for starting. The book covers all basic areas of aircraft modelling, detailed, in order and clearly. It allows also to be read in any place and time, get immediate replies, study its photos and text at your pace and have all information in a single place.
Also, the information is consistent: despite often you are offered different alternative ways, there are no contradictions, as you may get from other sources.
It is a valuable reference also for modellers from different areas like armour, figures or cars, who want to try with aircraft, and even experience air modellers will find useful information and tricks as well.
One of the strong points of the book is that allows to get decent results with basic materials and techniques. There are several good books to show advanced techniques, using lots of products and steps in the process. This one however starts explaining how to correctly paint using a brush and acrylic paints, and what effects can be used to improve the finish. Later on it describes also the use of the airbrush.
The book is a softcover of 152 pages of satin paper, A4 size. The binding seems strong and the book remains open in your table on any page. The text is clear, with a good sized font and easy to follow. There are plenty of photos of different sizes, all showing pertinent details of the model or technique. Photos and text are linked by numbers.
Each technique is labelled with a ribbon from 1 to 5, highlightinhg the skill level. There is no particular preference for a brand, but all paints and products are well known like Vallejo, Ammo or Tamiya and should be easy to find therefore.
Also there is a wise selection of models, from WWII onwards and including allied and axis aircraft for the Second World War, and Eastern and Western modern jets.
The first chapter are four pages of quick build models that do not need glue or paint. It is good to know how they work, and will be useful if yo want to introduce the younger ones to the hobby.
opens with a description of the basic tools and materials needed, so as how to use them. Covers from the blades and brushes to airbrushes.
It is a well detailed section teaching how to prepare parts and cut them from the sprue, how to use photoetch parts, glue, etc.
For the painting it covers primers, painting with brush and airbrush, decals and basic weathering.
Then all these lessons are put into practice with a Lightning kit. It is built out of the box, without using aftermarket products and making minimal corrections like filling gaps where needed.
Every step is clearly explained through text and photos.
The model is painted with acrylic paints and a brush, and the book shows how it has to be done. Some basic weathering is added and the result is a good example of what can be achieved using only few resources and techniques, but properly applied.
The rest of the book is divided into sections dealing more in depth with different areas of the aircraft, like cockpit, engine, weapons, etc. Both construction and painting are covered.
Apart from them there are also specific sections for camouflages -soft and hard edges and speckled, masking, decals and weathering.
The weathering section includes working with oils, pencils and pigments.
There are examples of both jets and propeller aircraft.
The last chapter covers an advanced model, to show the path beyond the previous basic modelling. The chosen kit is an Apache helicopter who gets the seats rebuilt, complex masking of the canopy, preshading and several other effects.
Finally, there are four pages with a short biography and models of the authors.
This is an extremely useful volume for beginners, as it answers on a single place all questions that may arise, from the basics of building to use photoetch, from painting with brush to clean an airbrush or weather a model.
All of that in a simple style, step by step and supported by lots of photos. For those coming from other areas of the modelling hobby, who may already know part of the techniques, they will find how to specifically use them for aircraft.
But also more advanced modellers will find a good number of tips and tricks, and see how to build a kit and finish it in a simple way and with decent results. And once read you can lend it to a friend, it is always good to spread the hobby!