In the spirit of full disclosure I will admit it right up front; I have a man-crush on Mig Jimenez. Come on now admit it, you know you do too; he is like the Javier Bardem of armor modeling, but without the creepy haircut. I wouldn’t be surprised to find that Mig uses a compressed air tank from a captive bolt gun to power his amazing work with the airbrush. His new venture, AK interactive
, has built up an impressive array of products in a very short time, much to the delight of modelers around the world.
AK Interactive has now released their third video demonstrating various techniques and principles of weathering for the modeler. This particular DVD, Winter Techniques, provides pretty much everything you could want in a how-to demonstration of weathering vehicles in a winter setting. The DVD is right at 60 minutes in length, is narrated completely in English and is divided into three sections once you get past the opening credits. The DVD comes packaged in a nice sturdy case with a 6 page booklet with stills from the two featured models. The DVD is recorded in the PAL system and should play without problem in a computer, my copy played just fine in my small desktop video player that I have on my workbench.
The DVD, as mentioned earlier has three video chapters; the first is a short introduction about winter scenes and a few quick takes of various built models with, get ready for it, winter finishes! Bet you didn’t see that coming did you. The other two chapters deal with transforming two different models, the first is a nice lengthy presentation on weathering a 1/35 Opel Blitz.
The Opel starts life in a basic camouflage yellow base coat, but it doesn’t stay that way for long. I counted no less than 13 different steps to the weathering process, from a simple soft white partial coat, through the chipping stages, filters, washes, backing off over worked areas, more chipping, streaking, blending, rust, illuminating, dust, dry mud, splattered mud, canvas weathering, and fuel stains. All of this is accomplished with a dizzying array of mediums and products, filters, washes, pastels, enamels, varnishes, and acrylics, from Tamiya, Mr. Color, Vallejo, AK, Mig, and Vallejo, and I probably missed one or two along the way. The really nice thing is that when you see each step demonstrated nothing looks so difficult that it could not be replicated on your own model.
The second feature model is a 1/16 KV-2, you thought this was big in 1/35 you should see 1/16! Mig uses this particular platform to demonstrate the now famous ‘hairspray method’ of applying a worn winter white wash over a green base color. If you thought this meant simply some hairspray and white acrylic being attacked by a wet toothbrush you are in for a real treat. Mig takes the modeler through another blitzkrieg of techniques to create this masterpiece. Again, this is all very well presented and nothing goes by so rapidly that you are ever left with a “did I miss something” moment.
While the two features are fairly similar there are enough differences in the general methods that having the pair really helped me to see what the process was. One small complaint that I had with the presentation was it did not often mention drying time between techniques, something that would have really helped to reduce the learning curve for the mortals among us.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then it would take a modeling mathematician to determine the true value of a DVD like this one. If you couldn’t tell before let me say that I really liked the DVD, I felt like everything was presented in such a way that even I could pull it off on my next winter vehicle. The quality of the photography, the close up shots in particular, was absolutely top notch. If you are interested in winter finishes at all and hope to bring your skill set to a higher level than this would be a great place to start. Now I’ve got to go and get started on a winter vehicle of my own; right after I finish watching “No Country for Old Men” and that scary haircut again!
For more images please see Here