by: Matt Flegal [ ]
I won't rehash what I wrote in my review of the second book in the series in too much detail but in brief.
Michael Rinaldi is an extremely skilled model painter and teacher. His books are weathering textbooks in the truest sense; information dense, exhaustively explained, and not truly geared for a few minutes of skimming. The chapters are relatively self-contained but they build on each other so to really get the most from each chapter you have to absorb the information from the previous ones. This should seem scary and overwhelming but it's really not since the text is engaging and well written. This is a book that sucks you in as you read it and makes the reader want to go out and try the techniques within.
What has been interesting is that you can see the evolution of the Rinaldi style over the course of the books. One gets the impression that the author is a bit of a control freak when it comes to painting and weathering since his style shows movement towards minimizing techniques that offer uncontrolled variability for equivalent techniques that allow greater control. This is great for us, because he is going through all the method development struggles and then giving us a detailed blueprint of how to do the techniques ourselves. Then we get photos for each step so we can follow exactly what he is doing and see how to accomplish it ourselves.
Okay, maybe that wasn't so brief.
Covering the author's philosophy for both weathering and the series.
Products and Materials:
Here we get several pages covering the materials used from primers to pigments including details on the individual brands. That last is important because even though we often know that we like certain paints over others I don't generally think about how this will affect some of the techniques I read about. Rather nice to not have to do the R&D on my own.
More detail on the specific concepts of the process as well as the low of the techniques.
Combining HS & Oil Paint:
Here is where everything comes together for the thrust of the book. I get the impression that Oil Paint Rendering has finally become a fully mature technique for the author as it is now being used for every facet of weathering beyond hairspray paint chipping and pigments for dirt and dust. I remember what a revelation it was when the idea of using oil paints to add chromatic differences to monotone colors (areas of bluish drift, or red, or whatever) and what is in here is raised to a new level. You get the variance but far more subtly with the techniques in this book.
This is the chapter that covers the basics of performing the techniques in the book as well as covering the common complications and why they happen and how to avoid them.
It covers, well, pigments. Not much new in these two pages beyond the use of pigment staining but it's a good overview of the techniques we'll need.
In the bulk of the book we get 6 models over the course of 181 pages. These include a resin D9R armored bulldozer, a Kabul graveyard T-62M1, AMX-30B, resin FV221 Caernarvon, T-72B resin conversion, and MT-LB by guest author Andy Taylor. Each build gets informative text, lots of clear and detailed photos, and a summary of steps in photos at the end. I personally like the T-72B chapter the best simply because this is the least battered of the builds and hence the style I want to steal for my own models. I also think the MT-LB chapter is an excellent addition because the author is skilled, the model is very nicely done, and the techniques are close enough to the rest to make sense in context but has enough differences that it opens up options for the reader such as pin washes, streaking grimes, and painted fading.
This is a very useful book. Once again we get a book from the author that sets the standard for what a weathering textbook can be. It must be said that this is not a book for a browser, the text is engaging but it is also quite dense and won't reward skimming. If you have the time to put into practice what the book teaches you, you will be rewarded by being led step by step through the process in as much detail as you might need.
One thing I'll add is if you model non-armor projects this book will set your wheels turning. I'm working on an old Tamiya 1/350 Yamato now and I can't wait to see how the OPR techniques can be applied to it.