Accion Press has recently released issue number 43 in their Panzer Aces magazine series. This issue, 64 pages, perfectly bound, A4 size, features only four build stories but they certainly pack a wallop, every photo is nice and clear, in full color, and all well captioned.
The previous issue focused on soft-skin vehicles with a number of jeeps in particular, something that the editorial justified by pointing out how important their role was and how varied the modeling opportunities they presented. With this issue the publishers have gone back to the bread and butter of German WWII vehicles only. The four articles detail the building and finishing of a Panzer IV B, a Panther, a Kugelblitz, and a King Tiger, so nothing remotely soft skin about any of these.
The first article by Volker Bembenek is a Panzer IV B operating in France in 1944. Volker explains that these were training tanks used by the 21st Panzer Division that ended up being pressed into action with the loss of material from the Normandy fighting. Regardless the model is superlative, Volker does an outstanding job of taking us through the build and backdating of a Tristar Pz. IV Ausf C. His finishing techniques are second to none. Of particular interest is the outstanding job he does on the muffler assembly, I have not seen a better treatment before.
The second article is the Panther G by Diego Quijano which blends all of the recent finishing techniques that are in vogue to create a typical muddy vehicle. Diego uses color modulation, dot filters, rain marks, pigments, scratches, wet effects, and pigments to bring out the best in the big cat. No narrative with this article but nice informative captions with every photo, so much so that any narrative would have been superfluous.
If you like the paper panzers then the third article is for you, a Kugelblitz by Javier Redondo. Javier makes no apology for the paper panzer instead having some fun with it. He created a nice compact diorama of a couple Russian soldiers inspecting it, presumably post war. He gives the Kugel a red oxide turret and uses the sponge method for the steel plate used to adapt the turret to the hull.
The final article is, fittingly, the King Tiger by Fabricio Pincelli. In this build Fabricio imagineers a King Tiger hastily put together from different sources which allowed him to finish different sections with unrelated painting schemes, or in the case of the red oxide hull, no final paint scheme at all. Again, most of the recent finishing techniques have all been employed to bring out the final product.
If you have any interest in raising your standards of finishing WWII armor you could pick up quite a few pointers and techniques with this issue. I know some of us who read this will want to bemoan the fact that the entire issue is German WWII material, but that should not take away from the fact that these are all first class builds that go a long way toward highlighting some great finishing techniques and styles.
Highs: Great color photography, clear and well captioned. Great techniques throughout with an easy to follow step by step process. Lows: Well, all German with nary an Allied vehicle in sight. Verdict: Recommended. The section on mufflers alone may be worth the price.
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About Rick Cooper (clovis899) FROM: CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES
I have been modeling for about 30 years now. Once upon a time in another century I owned my own hobby shop; way more work than it was worth. I tip my opti-visor to those who make a real living at it. Mainly build armor these days but I keep working at figures, planes and the occasional ship.