Model Art Auto Modeling, #835, December 2011
This magazine is a very, very nice binding of 136 glossy color pages in A4 size, analogous to what a National Geographic feels like, only larger and a little more hefty. Nearly all of the text is in Japanese, but I gained a great deal of information about Formula 1 car kits, despite my inability to read Japanese. There is just enough English throughout to understand the material and navigate the text. Of course, seeing words like “Ferrari” and “Pirelli” on the colorful variety of subjects doesn’t hurt either.
The main focus of the publication is twelve 1/20 and 1/12 scale representations of Formula 1 race cars produced by Honda, Lotus, BMW and others. Powerplants range from V6 turbos to straight 4 turbos, from the 1980’s and ‘90’s. The color schemes and advertising density are just as one might expect on professional racing cars. The publisher’s website clearly states that this issue is not a periodical, implying that there will not be another F1 issue soon. However, the presence of a kit review of a LeMans car may be a teaser for the next issue’s subjects. Of course that might be clearly stated in the back, but I can’t read it.
The chapters contain lavish photos of builds and conversions. Kit manufacturers represented include Tamiya, Studio 27, Revell, Model Factory Hiro, Fujimi and EJAN in a variety of forms, ranging from injection-molded to multi-media mixes. Step-by-step photos sequences give excellent insights on construction and painting, with good logical connections between each photo. Other information is included, such as kit reviews, and what appears to be a table of all, or at least significant, Formula 1 cars raced from 1980 through 1989.
I have never built a kit of any of these cars (I am a Land Rover buff) but I think I could be nudged into construction of one of them right now. In my opinion, this speaks very highly to the marketing savvy of Model Art. Using this photo-rich format for Auto Modeling, they have enabled their product to easily cross language lines. While there is no question that understanding the Japanese text would add immensely to the information gained, there is still much to be found in the richness of the photos and illustrations. In spite of my Japanese illiteracy, I was able to find my way around pretty well. I will be much less hesitant to look at other Model Art publications. Yes, I did take a quick peek at 1/20 scale kits.
Thank you to Model Art and to the IPMS Reviewer Corps! It is a real privilege to share my opinions and thoughts on modeling materials to our community.