Book Review
Adams Painting and Finishing
Adams Armour Modelling Guide Painting and Finishing
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by: Darren Baker [ CMOT ]


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 second of these books looks at painting and finishing and that is the title I will be looking at in this review.


This book has a soft back cover and has 232 pages. The contents break down as follows;

Chapter 1
Introduction and acknowledgements

Chapter 2
How I approach painting an AFV

Chapter 3
Applying basecoats and camouflage

Chapter 4
Colour modulation

Chapter 5

Chapter 6
Applying markings and insignia

Chapter 7
Applying a winter white wash

Chapter 8

Chapter 9
Fading and adding shadows

Chapter 10
Paint chipping effects

Chapter 11
Painting exterior components and details

Chapter 12
Painting mild steel surfaces and rust

Chapter 13
Adding earth tones and effects

Chapter 14
Painting steel road wheels

Chapter 15
Simulating oil, grease and spilt fuel

Chapter 16
Exhaust and smoke effects

Chapter 17
Painting impacts

Chapter 18
Simulating worn painted steel


I am not going to break this book down into sections during the review; my reason for this is that this is a title that should be taken as a whole rather than piece meal. That is not to say that you have to follow Adam’s techniques religiously, I get the distinct impression from this title that he wants you to take what he does and alter the methods to make them your own and work for you.

Some areas of painting models that I was especially pleased to see in this book have nothing to do with actually painting a model. Adam has taken the time to show some of the issues encountered by anyone who picks up an airbrush; he has identified the issues where paint, thinner, pressure and distance cause problems, he identifies the issue, what causes that issue and how to overcome it, it is good to see someone like Adam take the time to cover the basics in this manner. Another basic skill I was pleased to see covered is the cleaning of the airbrush. These sorts of skills are just assumed to be known by many, but anyone picking up an airbrush for the first time will become frustrated and give up. I know when I was given an airbrush for the first time, at the age of 12 or so, I was completely lost. Back then there was no internet to turn to and no-one for me to ask about the issues I was having, the result was that it was 4 years before I really started using an airbrush thanks to meeting someone who could help me.

This book having been written by Adam Wilder I am sure you will not be surprised that the paint modulation method is covered in good detail here, everything from a very basic colour modulation style through to much more advanced methods of using this style. Despite a very good feature on colour modulation submitted by Adam to Armorama some time ago, I still find this method a very interesting painting method that can be difficult to get a grip of, but results in some very pleasing finished models. The book does do a fair job of covering this method in words and images.

Having seen a good number of articles and videos from Mig, it was Adams approach to aging and weathering models that grabbed me and made me pay attention. Adams methods are very similar to many others out there, but he brings it altogether in a way that I find easy to understand and that this book provides clear information to allow a modeller to re-create at home. Covering everything from aging and weathering the finish on the model, and then through to adding dirt and grime to the models in natural way. This title does excel in the way that the various methods for making a model look like the real thing in various situations and degrees of dirt and attrition.

Other things I like about this title is that the modeller can quickly and easily find the section that they need, if you are looking at working on some tracks and want to age them, go straight to that section and take from it what you want. It really does do a good job of explaining things in a logical progression. The other thing I really appreciate with this book from Adam Wilder is that despite having his own line of products, he has not used this title to push only the products his company produces, and so it is likely that most modellers will have a selection of the many products used in this title. No need to rush out and buy a new set of products in an attempt to replicate the effects found in the book.

In the previous title from Adam that I reviewed, I was critical of the amount of space turned over to a gallery. It is this title that really needs that gallery and provides the most for the reader to gain from it. I find myself wondering if the publisher moved the gallery from this title to the other in an effort to balance the page count; I suppose that if you buy both titles that would work, but if you only buy one, you either get a book with no gallery where it would really benefit you, or a gallery in a title where its inclusion does not really make sense.


In this second book from Adam Wilder, he has done a very good job of explaining his methods for painting and weathering a model. I found the various sections easy to follow and I look forward to seeing how well I can replicate his approaches when I get to work on my new brigade of Chieftains. Adam does feel to me to have done an excellent job with the way this title has been presented. I did find a few places where the ‘auto correct’ made me stop and read a sentence for a second time, but a reader should not let this put them off as it does not detract from the information provided.
Highs: I found the way that I could look for information on a specific task and find it made this a very useful title.
Lows: Some ‘auto correct’ issues with the text mean you sometimes have to read a sentence more than once.
Verdict: If you struggle with creating a lifelike and natural finish to your models, then this title should prove to be of great help.
  Scale: N/A
  Mfg. ID: ISBN : 9780955541391
  Suggested Retail: £29.95
  PUBLISHED: Nov 30, 2015

Our Thanks to Casemate Publishing!
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About Darren Baker (CMOT)

I have been building model kits since the early 70’s starting with Airfix kits of mostly aircraft, then progressing to the point I am at now building predominantly armour kits from all countries and time periods. Living in the middle of Salisbury plain since the 70’s, I have had lots of opportunitie...

Copyright ©2021 text by Darren Baker [ CMOT ]. All rights reserved.


Excellent reviews Darren, thank you very much. Absolutely informative.
NOV 30, 2015 - 01:13 PM
Having browsed through this title already I am happy with the book, very useful. What I miss from this (and from many others - so maybe I am the problem ) is the lack of attention paid to vehicles not too torn/aged/used/weathered. What is also considered a plus for me is that this book is not a "product catalog" for one or two specific paint manufacturers, Adam uses all kinds of products and not just the trending ones. All in all I am happy that today's modelers have plenty of resources (books, magazines, youtube) and materials to educate themselves, one just needs to find his own path... (+ budget). Cheers, Adam
NOV 30, 2015 - 05:50 PM
Looking forward to seeing these books in person.
DEC 07, 2015 - 09:54 AM
Got both of these on the way. They look very promising as to the content.
JAN 09, 2016 - 01:09 AM
Best modelling books I have ever read...well worth 100$ for both volumes if not more...
MAR 28, 2016 - 10:45 PM

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