The internet has brought us some wonderful on-line article sites where the content is cheap but the subject is interesting and often rare. This site has been around for over a decade but reviews and even commentary are rare. So what do you get?
Let me start by saying I love this trend. When sites like AFVModeler, Glenn Bartolotti's SBS eBooks, and so on are releasing helpful booklets or individual articles for a couple of bucks it does make the modeling dollar stretch much further. I've circled around Modelersite for years now but never actually pulled the plug and bought anything. A lot of this has to do with pricing, so lets address that right up front. The articles themselves are very reasonably priced, anywhere from 1-1.9 British Pound Sterling (GBP) ($1.50-$3). The issue is that there is a minimum order of 10 GPB plus a 1 GBP "bandwith" fee so if you are only interested in one article you are looking at dropping ~$17 to get it and hope the quality of it and your "filler' articles are worth it. Had I been able to buy these articles individually I would have bought one years ago and probably bought individual ones whenever the subject struck me. That however is the publisher's decision and I assume the trade-off is worthwhile to him. After ordering, it took about 90 minutes for me to be sent active links to the PDF's of the articles. You get to download them once and then the links go dead to prevent piracy.
So What do you get for your money? I will say that of the six articles I ordered, this one and the Type 5 Chi-Ri are the strongest, and based on this cursory view I would recommend that, if you're picking filler articles, pick the more expensive ones as they are much stronger in content. For the KV-220 one, I would have to say that it would be an excellent resource for someone new to large scale conversions and basic scratchbuilding techniques. You get 18 pages of step by step techniques on how to chop up the hulls and scratchbuild the compound curves of the turret, mantlet, and cupola, and they are quite well covered in photos and text. The only thing missing for the novice would be templates on how to chop up the hull sides, but even without these this article would be a great step by step for someone who wants to learn the skills for scratchbuilding in a "safe" format. After these 18 pages of how-to article you get 98 (!) pages of photos of all stages of construction using the same photos, but much larger and with higher resolution. I found this to be a nice touch as it allowed me to look more closely at aspects of construction that were a little small in the photos of the article body.
Painting and weathering are described in a short paragraph, so the focus of this article is the actual construction. As this aspect is pretty solid I have no complaints about this. My one suggestion for future articles in this vein would be to make them idiot proof by going into more detail about adding rivets and such fine details. For $3 I think the content is completely reasonable but as an inexpensive primer for newbies on extensive conversions and scratchbuilding I think there's a real hole in the industry that could use filled.
Overall, I find this to be a well-done conversion tutorial on a tank I intend to actually build. The photographs are good and plentiful, the text is helpful and relatively thorough, and the workmanship is excellent. The down side again is the minimum order and bandwidth charges which may scare people off.
Highs: Lots of photos.
High degree of workmanship.Lows: Glosses over some minor steps (placing rivets, screening intakes).