How to Make Vignettes – Basic Guide
Ammo by Mig is a well-known provider of all sorts of modeling supplies, from paints to weathering powders to tools. They also publish a fairly extensive library of ‘how-to’ type of books, such as this example.
Printed on good quality, glossy paper and bound between stiff, glossy boards, the publication values of this book, as with others I have seen from Mig, are quite high.
This particular book is written by Artur Miniszewski, an established figure painter and diorama builder. He also has a company, Mantis Miniatures, which produces resin figures and accessories. As can be expected, both Mantis and Ammo products feature prominently in this guide.
The author uses six vignettes that he created throughout the book. There are six chapters, not including the ‘summary’ at the end, with each section focusing on a particular technique or type of effect. The final chapter shows multiple views of each of the vignettes, without text.
The individual chapters focus on:
- Wood Elements
- Metal Elements
Each chapter lists the supplies used to create the specific effects in a table, and then through a combination of clear photos and text, walks the reader through the process. The steps all look straightforward and logical, and I tried a few of them with moderate success. There is enough detailed information that you should be able to replicate some of the work demonstrated fairly easily – and these techniques are quite realistic in my opinion.
One thing that bothered me slightly throughout the book was not identifying the source of some of the base materials, such as the brick walls. The tutorial just starts in with a nicely-cast (resin?) brick wall and the techniques start to be applied. While not a major issue, the lack of identification stood out to me. Building a vignette is about more than just cool painting techniques (although they are necessary). Building (or obtaining) the basic building blocks (walls, doors, etc) are part of the process. I guess if the title were “Painting/Finishing Techniques for Vignettes” it would have been more on point. There is some discussion about some of the ground techniques, but mostly this volume is focused on painting/weathering. What is presented is particularly good, I just wish there were even more!
As someone who loves to build little vignettes and dioramas, and who is always looking to up his game, I found this book quite useful. Some of the techniques were new to me, and I am happy to add them to my skillset. Despite the bulk of the products used being Mig, they were used in an effective way, and it did not look like just a slick marketing pamphlet designed to push product. The end results from the author are inspiring. Highly recommend.
Thanks to Ammo by Mig for the review copy, and to IPMS for allowing me to review it!