Book Review
Weathering Mag #4
AK Interactive's Weather Magazine Issue #4: Engines, Fuel and Oil
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by: Matt Flegal [ NINJRK ]


Let me start off with the good news; Mig Jimenez is lying to you. The deceitful so-and-so claims to give you 7 articles in the magazine via the table of contents. You actually get 12 articles and features. How's that for a bonus? More importantly, they are all well done and highly detailed in how the effects were achieved. I won't keep repeating this for each article breakdown, so please just take as a given that each article is profusely illustrated and includes step by step descriptive captions and text that tell why the technique is being used instead of just how.

Content review

1. Maybach HL 230 P30 Engine by David Parker
Here is a focused look at the engine compartment of the 1/16 King Tiger build that has been serialized in AFV Modeler Magazine for the past year or so. The artistry is evident but I truly appreciated how restrained the weathering was. It looks realistic but clean like your car engine might (if you're maintaining it anyways. . .) instead of having gobs of obtrusive leaks and spills all over. For those of us who like a fairly clean model instead of an over-weathered one (yeah, I said it) this is exactly the subtle technique you're looking for. It also demonstrates a care for this one piece of the model that most complete models rarely get.

2. Asphalt Paving Machine by Rick Lawler
Take a 1/50th toy-like die cast model and make it look real; Mr. Lawler shows you how. Almost the opposite of the previous article this one shows a beaten to Hell working piece of machinery. Mind you, it looks like it is actually working, so heavy rusting and the like are not present. This is a comprehensive finishing article so it does include scrapes and chips as well the asphalt smears and just heavy soiling. It is heavy finishing but it is realistic heavy finishing which is a rather important difference in my eyes. My only comment is that, outside of inspiration, it will probably not give a lot of usable technique to armor modelers. However, this is one of the strengths of these magazines; they take the techniques we are familiar with and apply them to other genres so that many different types of modelers will benefit from them.

3. Grease Girl by Cesar Oliva
Extending that last theme is this article, which addresses adding weathering to a figure. This is an article I truly appreciated as it tackles one of my two biggest pet peeves about modeling; weathered vehicles crewed by figures freshly back from showering and the dry cleaner. Dust has already been applied to this figure (discussed in issue 2) and the author adds grease spots with oils and enamels.

4. Spills of Fuel, Oil and Grease by Ruben Gonzalez
Using enamels and oils, the author does exactly this. Highlighted are how to combine streaks with spatters for added realism.

5. F-15 Jet Pipes by John Murphy
A short article on weathering Alclad painted resin jet exhausts with washes, pigments, and sprayed acrylics. Attractive and restrained work.

6. Old and Forgotten WWII Aero Engines by Jamie Haggo
Here we have an abandoned 1/48 P-40 with an engine that's been exposed for some time. The work overall is very nice indeed but I especially appreciated he subtle touch of using pigments to represent the moss growing in some of the recesses.

7. Oil and Grease on Modern Tanks by Mig Jimenez
An Iraqi T-69 is beaten to a bloody weathered pulp. Having seen enough photos the weathering isn't actually all that overdone, the real tanks are just a hot mess. Here we have a process of using pigments and acrylic wash/streak overlays to represent what happens when gunk and dirt combine.

8. Rocket Nozzles by John Murphy
2 space shuttle engines are weathered using different approaches to show a moderately weathered engine bell. The comparison of techniques is a nice touch.

9. Weathering an Overused L45ooR Engine by Wu Bayin
A Zvezda 1/35 engine is very heavily weathered with acrylics and pigments.

10. Oil Tank Weathering by John Murphy
Two 00 train oil tank cars are weathered, again using slightly different techniques. Again, very nice work that not only captures the nuances of RR weathering but calls them out for idiots like myself who had never noticed them. Reference photos of 1:1 versions effectively countered my initial "that looks wrong" thoughts. . .

11. Painting Engines by Alex Uschi Van Der Rosten
Do you have any of those exquisite Wingnut Wings' kits? Then you can really use this article. Step by step on how to convincingly model an in-service grimy Mercedes Benz engine that has been smeared and attracted dust and dirt from the grassy fields. My only concern is that it includes Mr. Metal Colors which can be hard to obtain in the states.

12. Diamond REO Truck Engine by Rick Lawler
here we have a badly in need of service big rig engine. Lots of enamel washes and AK oil/grease effects.

Krote by Lincoln Wright
here we have a heavily weathered SF3D kit with oil and grease oozing from most of its joints.

Weather Motor by Marc Reusser
A short article on using color modulation with some subtle effects to show an in-use engine.

Reference Photos
Five pages of reference photos of oil and grease on vehicles.

Bytom Model Show Report
Three pages of snapshots. Some nice models but the photos are rather small.

They're replacing Akatsiya!
Damn them, damn them to Hell...


As I alluded to at the beginning, I had written off this issue because I don't build open engine compartments and fuel spills are fairly straightforward. I shouldn't have. What makes this series special is that while they are focused on one weathering application it presents several different master modelers' take on it. Different techniques, different approaches which allows the reader to learn the ones that fit best with their own particular style. The articles are detailed enough that the techniques are pretty easy to follow. The work itself is first rate and there isn't a clunker in the bunch. I also have grown to appreciate the sly sense of humor behind the editing, from the mildly controversial use of the attractive model Akatsiya (and a wry joke about it on page 4) to the tone of several of the articles. Speaking as someone who will pay $10 for a magazine with just one great weathering article getting 14 of them for $2 more seems a reasonable deal.
Highs: Detailed step by step photo essays and narrative; High quality and useful photos; Engaging text; Lots of content for the money.
Lows: Honestly, none come to mind.
Verdict: Highly recommended.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: N/A
  Suggested Retail: $12/~$8 online electronic
  PUBLISHED: Apr 29, 2013

About Matt Flegal (ninjrk)

Copyright 2021 text by Matt Flegal [ NINJRK ]. All rights reserved.


i have the first magazine, and will be buying this one, as well as the rest. one of the best "how-to" magazines money can buy. Well worth getting.
APR 30, 2013 - 10:50 PM

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