by: Darren Baker [ ]
When news came out that Adam Wilder was to release a series of books on modelling there was a lot of interest from members here and modellers in general. Now at last two books are with us to pour over and glean information, the first of these looks at construction and that is the title I will be looking at in this review.
This book has a soft back cover and has 192 pages. The contents break down as follows;
How I got to here
Whats available to modellers today
How much would you like to get involved with this hobby
Involvement with forums and facebook
Model clubs and chapters
Shows and competing
Before we start. Why assembly is so important
Choosing a subject and starting assembly
Critical assembly fundamentals
Cutting, sanding and cleaning parts
Filling pin marks and gaps
Gluing parts quickly and effectively
Flame cut edges
Simple effective battle damage
Simple grab handles
Wiring, lights and other details
1. assembling plastic track
2. assembling workable Model Kasten track
3. assembling metal tracks
Working with resin parts
Removing segments of plastic from kits
Cladding large open areas
Applying weld detail
replicating welds from stretched sprue
imitating welds using a two-part epoxy
Replicating zimmerit using two-part epoxy
Working with after-market resin zimmerit
Working with photo etch and other metal parts
Basic brass and photo etch assembling techniques
Soldering complex photo etch assemblies
Scratch building parts from copper sheet
Preparation for painting
This chapter does a good job of telling you about the influences that got Adam Wilder to where he is today and how these progressed his modelling. Being a staffer on Armorama and the KitMaker Network I found his opinions on websites and facebook very interesting, in particular his thoughts on the pluses and minuses of displaying your work in this way.
I like most do like looking at Adam Wilders work and other well done models, but I cannot help but think turning a third of the book over to this chapter has over done what is required, and it could have been much better utilised on the technical aspects of modelling. Another option would have been to reduce the number of pages and so helping to keep the price down. I do accept that this is a personal opinion and others may disagree. This section would also have been a better addition to the second book released that covers painting and weathering.
This section of the book will be most beneficial to newer modellers or those progressing to armour modelling from another area of the hobby. The skills are explained and covered clearly via pictures and words. While I have said most of these skills are really classed as the basics, there are areas that I found of help, the sections on welds and textures were of a particular interest to me.
This chapter looks at all the fun and games that the modeller comes into contact with when working with resin. I found this section of great benefit to me, as while I have tackled resin kits, it is not an area I am particularly comfortable around. This chapter does a fair job of helping the modeller to identify the plus marks to resin and the specific skill set needed to get the most from working with resin parts. Issues such as air bubbles and removing the pour plugs are addressed, and of course you are shown as the reader how to remedy them. This is possibly one section of the book that could have benefitted from some of the space taken up by the gallery.
This chapter covers the removal of plastic areas from a base model part, this aspect usually comes into play when using after-marker resin or photo etched sets. This is another section of the book that could have benefitted from being longer and perhaps covered removing sections of turret and the like for replacement with resin parts. It could also have gone into separating and extending areas of a model where scale has been messed up. With that said what has been covered has been done well and will give the reader an idea on how to tackle such issues.
I will admit to being at a loss when I first looked at the title of this section cladding large open areas, but when you look at the area of the book all is made clear. This section refers to addressing such as the open void on older Tamiya kits where the sponsons are missing, the area where you can see the top of the track run through open hatches and engine deck grills.
How to replicate weld detail on armour is a question often asked on modelling forums, and the correct answer is not always easy to provide as it depends on what type of weld you are looking to replicate. In this chapter of the book a couple of methods are explained clearly and their uses looked at. This section also shows a simple home made tool for adding weld detail.
Zimmerit! I can see the cold sweat breaking out already. Nothing seems to cause more issues for fans of WW2 German armour modelling than the use of and application of zimmerit. This chapter of the book starts by providing a quick overview of zimmerit and why it was applied and then looks at various patterns applied to German armour depending on the factory that produced it and how this results in tanks of the same type looking very different. Adam has then shown how a modeller can apply zimmerit via epoxy puttees and the pluses and minuses of that method, in regards to the epoxy puttee method we are also shown several methods for applying the patterns from home made tools to purchased tools. The other method covered is the application of resin zimmerit that can be purchased from a number of sources.
This section is mislabelled at the start of the book as it is listed as Chapter 8 again. Here Adam shows the reader how to reproduce impact damage on an AFV model. He goes to pains to point out that there is a lot of different ways that impact damage can look on an armoured vehicle, everything from penetrating rounds to glancing blows, it also shows how different types of ammunition cause different looking damage. There are a couple of methods for replicating the effects on armour covered and it is made clear that when adding the impacts to a model consider placement carefully, especially if more than one impact is to be replicated.
This tackles photo etch and metal parts generally. This is one area of the hobby where I sometimes think a whole title needs to be addressed to the subject to even start covering it, that said Adam has done a fine job of explaining the difficulties of using photo etch and that a modeller should not try to run before they can walk. I like that Adam covers the simple tasks as well as the more advanced aspects of metal parts and their use. This final chapter of the book is for me the most advantageous to my skill set, as I still struggle with many aspects of working with metal parts.
This title written by Adam Wilder and published by AFV Modeller Publication looks to have a good mix of methods covering many aspects of model assembly and detailing; the areas covered cover the full gambit from basic to advanced methods. These are described in quite good detail and provide a fair guide to managing the techniques covered. I am disappointed that the chapter element at the very start of the book has chapter 8 and 9 both listed as chapter 8, with them being at the very start of the book the proof reader let the side down here. I also feel that the space turned over to gallery pictures of Adams finished models could have been better utilised for further techniques. With that said I think modellers of all skill sets will get something from this title, but those at the beginning of this hobby will gain the most. The skills you can learn from this book will serve you well for a lifetime of modelling AFV models and most of the skills can be used across the different genres of modelling.