by: Russ Amott [ ]
About the book
This is a review of Auriga Publishing's Static Model Manual step by step, Vol. 3 - Painting and Weathering Tanks, by Marco Marchetti. The text totals to 73 pages, full color, with Italian and English text
Volume 3 in the Static Model Manual series is a detailed presentation on what is needed to paint and finish model armor kits, both in equipment and technique. To quote the introduction, "Commit yourself from the beginning to get inspiration from what you see without trying to reproduce it straight away. This is the approach that will allow you to make your models unique. And it's just thanks to the endless imagination of modellers that our hobby keeps evolving." This reference serves as a base to give modelers new techniques and ideas that can be applied to improve personal skills, and help new ideas and techniques evolve in the hobby.
The book is laid out as it states, in a step by step manner, from beginning to end. Information is provided on what tools will be needed, and why. Current release model kits are presented in an unpainted state as a demonstration of what will be used to instruct the various techniques presented.
Painting is covered in detail from priming, base coating, layered effects, filters, washes, detailing, oil dots and white washes, dry brushing and profiling. Specialized weathering techniques are demonstrated in multiple steps as well, including worn paint, chips and scratches, dust and mud and rust. Techniques, such as dusting, the hairspray method and color modulation are all carefully explained.
The book is divided in specific areas of the model. Two sections cover painting and finishing interior details. Exterior painting demonstrates how to apply camouflage freehand and with masks. One section covers decal application. One covers how to assemble and weather tracks and tires.
Each section is accompanied by multiple photographs showing details of the steps being demonstrated, materials being used, and drawings and illustrations explaining some specifics, such as thinning ratios for filters and washes, and different products to use to achieve different effects. The colors the model kits are painted in appear to be very bright but highlight the techniques being used, and show good contrast for each step being demonstrated. At the end of the book, the model kits used for demonstration in the text are shown in completed form.
I found it particularly helpful that the author described differences in paint brands throughout the text, as well as giving reasons for using acrylic, oil and enamel paints for different steps in the weathering process. Also of note is that the author focuses on technique and end result, and does not specify any particular brand or product name. A variety of actual tools and materials that any modeler would have access to are shown.
The text is generally clear, with the English translation quite good. Some techniques and explanations were brief, or at least I would have preferred more information, but to do so would have gone beyond a basic step by step guide. The idea of the text is to provide a beginning, and not be the end all definition of how to do things.
The book makes an excellent reference for any modeler seeking to improve their model finishing skills. As stated at the beginning, it is not definitive, but rather an introduction that will allow the modeler to experiment and develop new techniques, to expand the limits of modeling itself. It provides an easily accessible hard copy reference.