Several of the previously popular Military Modelling magazines, particularly the 'best-sellers' have, it must be said, become a little tired and stale over the last few years. Informative, yes, but in the final analysis, a touch antiquated and unwilling (or unable) to change their format to reflect the revolution which has ocurred in the last few years. The revolution, has been the 'net. In particular, for those of us who have little contact with other modellers, the Internet has become our source of critique, news, and a means of debate. Very much the situation where those lucky enough to be members of modelling clubs can enjoy the benefits of 'face-to-face' contact. Very much the situation that many of the print magazines hve found themselves in, struggling to survive in an age where modernity is a pre-requisite, some have 're-invented' themselves, others it appears are still agonizing. So, the question we are left with, is Model Military International
ready to compete with the 'net and the other magazines?
The Magazine - A Brief Overview
Model Military International
is a 66 page, monthly magazine. The magazine is edited by John Murphy
and is published in Britain by ADH Publishing
The magazine is in full-color throughout with the predominant emphasis on AFVs although in this issue there is an article on Trumpeter's
1/35th scale Chinook and an article on painting Verlinden's
200mm Fallscirmjäger bust.
At the end of a this review, there is a full 'contents' list.
Closer in - some depth..
Sometimes with a review like this, it's useful to look more closely at one or two articles or chapters and put them under the microscope to get a general feeling for the publication. In this case, i'll be looking at two very different articles:
"Chute to kill" .
Painting Verlinden's 200mm Fallschirmjäger bust.
"Small but Perfectly Formed..."
-- Tamiya's M10 Tank Destroyer in 1/48th scale.
"Chute to kill"
In this article, Fraser Gray goes through the process of painting one of Verlinden's better releases. After a lengthy 'background' piece, the author describes in clear text, the various stages (and pitfalls) he went through in producing an extremely nice piece of work. The photos are large and well edited showing all the essential stages in the model. Some of the author's own techniques are well worth considering, such as the prior 'mapping-out' of the splinter camouflage and some useful notes on the application of highlights and shadows. The final section of the feature includes a 'Data-Box' which summarizes the article listing the paints used, reference material and materials used. A brief summary of the opinions of the author is given - very much like a 'Build-Review'. (See photo the finished model at the side).
The second article I chose was:
"Small but Perfectly Formed..."
- Tamiya's M10 Tank Destroyer in 1/48th scale which is a complete build article by Marcus Nicholls. Once again, the technique employed is in the nature of a 'Build-review' however, it's different from the more conventional 'out of the box' as Marcus uses a fair amount of AfterMarket (AM) parts from Aber and Hauler along with stowage and an MG from Verlinden. The author gives some useful building/finishing tips within the article along with his thoughts on improving the original kit. Once again The article finishes with a 'Modelspec' - a highly useful little datafile / summary.
Standing back - Personal Viewpoint...
The first impression one gets from this magazine is impactive. It's bright and clear, easy on the eyes. It's not a magazine which looks like a down-market tabloid, nor in the case of others, with the visual appeal of the Harvard Law Review. It's lively but discreet with a strong emphasis on the visual. It certainly has all the better elements of the 'good' magazines with few of their failings. Some areas are worth particular mention:
The Editorial Team.
- any magazine (or website) is only as good as its editors. The impression I get from this, the first issue of Model Military International
, is that the editors know precisely what they intend to achieve. The style may change slightly in future editions, but even with the first issue the impression one gets is solid-professionalism. The editor is present, but discreet, unlike the (intrusive) editor of another Military Modelling magazine..
- Visually, the magazine is interesting. The photos are well-planned and exist to provide information, not to fill up space.
- the Editors can actually communicate. No matter how much 'visual' impact a magazine may have, the text still remains important - to communicate, to explain and ultimately to inform. The linguistic style is clear and unambigious neither 'folksy' nor overly dry, a good general style.
- there are elements from other (similar) publications, as I mentioned previously, the Editorial team have their own style and although nothing is radically new, the impression is of freshness.
- a simple reality of life is the need for advertising. The adverts are diverse and unobtrusive.
- Well presented, original and interesting. A mixture of skill levels, from the 'Novice' to 'Advanced'. Again, well-balanced and interesting for all levels of experience.
In conclusion, this is a HIGHLY welcome addition to the modelling magazines available. It will (unless they change radically), hasten the death of one or two, as this is, in my opinion, the kind of magazine which many of us have been waiting for for a number of years. It must be hoped that the Editors can maintain the momentum with the subsequent issues, although my (personal) prognosis is that this magazine will (and deserves) to flourish....
Content of Issue Nª 1:
• IN THE FIRING LINE
Dragon’s 1:35 Sherman Firefly Vc gets the Formations makeover, and more...
Tips and techniques for building resin kits, using Resicast’s 1:35 Beach Armoured Recovery Vehicle as the guinea pig.
• ‘CHUTE TO KILL
Verlinden's 200mm Fallschirmjäger bust is brought to life by Frazer Gray's expert hand - a full painting guide is included
• FIRE MISSION
Vietnam war vignette based on Great North Roads 1:35 firebase revetment.
• CH-47A CHINOOK
A first look at Trumpeters 1:35 Chinook
• Also in Issue 1…
Friulmodel track building techguide
Nuremberg 2006 show report
Dragon 1:35 King Tiger
Tamiya 1:48 M10 TD
New figure releases
Acknowledgements and further information:
First of all my thanks to the Editor of Model Military International
for the advance copy of the magazine.
Secondly, Issue 1 (May 2006) will be published on April 6, 2006.
Finally, for more details of subscriptions etc, go here:
Model Military International Website