Book Review
Mastering Oils
Mastering Oils - Oil Painting Techniques on AFV’s
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by: Vitor Costa [ VITORCOSTA ]


Oil paints are probably the most “powerful tool” to use when we want to weather a kit. Due to its characteristics it is almost impossible to contour oils when it’s time to weather our models, with the increase of its use its natural that some brands try to demystify its use showing us how to use it. This book is a really good example of that. So the old story about a lack of skills or information is no longer valid.


What an amazing time to be a modeller! There is a huge number of publications showing us how, and now there is one more! Abteilung 502 just released an amazing book showing us how to use oils paints. Titled ‘Mastering Oils - Oil Painting Techniques on AFV’s’ by Joaquín García Gázquez. And what a book this is! Here we will learn A LOT about oils, its composition and history and off course how to apply it in our models!

There are 128 pages filled with amazing pictures and very useful information. This is a high quality publication, it looks great and the paper and print are top quality across the contents. Well to be honest it’s one of those books that we are going to want two of, one to keep and the other to consult, or is just me?

Some concepts that are explained here cover areas like filters, lights and so on. The book is divided in to chapters and after a brief introduction you will find lots of very well explained techniques and tips; one thing I particularly likes are its tables showing us the oils to use depending on the base colour of the kit. So we have the colours to use with the German Grey, DAK yellow, greens, camouflaged paints etc. It will help you to understand why and how to use those colours, making it easy for the less experienced modellers.

In a very comprehensive way you will find a “how to” for almost everything that can be done with these paints, highlights, shadows, outlines, filters, rust, dust, mud… everything is explained with a short but easy to understand way, of course the pictures will help a lot to understand. So since the lightest to the heaviest weathering is all clearly explained in order to obtain a very realistic finish on your latest work. It’s possible to see some kits in this title being painted and weathered from the very beginning of the paint job. At the end there is a huge number of pictures on the gallery chapter.


With oils paints being one of the most “powerful tools” in the weathering process this is a must have book for all that are learning or want to improve and refine their technics. This is a top quality book as regards the material used, the print quality and for all the useful information on it. Congratulations to AB502 and the author Joaquín García Gaszquez.
Highs: Good pictures, easy to understand text, amazing pictures and print quality. Excellent price to quality ratio.
Lows: Well not much to point out here, it would be nice to see some how to use oils on the AFV’s interiors, but who knows we may see it in a future book.
Verdict: This is a must have book for anyone who is starting to use oils, I’m sure that even the most experienced modellers will find something useful too. Highly recommended.
  Scale: N/A
  Mfg. ID: Mastering Oils
  PUBLISHED: Apr 04, 2017

About Vitor Costa (VitorCosta)

I build models since i was 7. I like all the different type of models i already have build almost every thing there is to build but my favourite is the aircrafts, mainly 1/48, i build many 1/72 since i still do commission work. After 25 years i return to the AFV's too.

Copyright ©2021 text by Vitor Costa [ VITORCOSTA ]. All rights reserved.


Dear Vitor,I have read some review where says that this book have not enough information, it have basic topics, but, best thing is the information about colours wheel, and complementary colours. What do you think?
APR 04, 2017 - 04:11 PM
Hi Dam
APR 09, 2017 - 08:45 PM
Hi Dam
APR 09, 2017 - 08:45 PM
Having problems here Is natural people want more when they buy a book, this is a very good reference, don't doubt about it. There is better? Probably, but we need to look for the size of the book and for what is supposed to cover! For the number of pages i think there is more than enough info there, for the price there is more than enough info there. It could be better? Maybe, but it would be expensive for sure, since the increase of info means the increase of pages. For the feedback i received from some friends everybody liked the book so... :-) I hope you like it too.
APR 09, 2017 - 08:50 PM

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