Modeling Airliners, A Scale Modeler’s How-to-Guide

Published on
October 11, 2012
Review Author(s)
Book Author(s)
Aaron Skinner
Other Publication Information
Softcover, 79 pages, how-to instructions, full color photos throughout
Product / Stock #
Provided by: Kalmbach Publishing Company - Website: Visit Site

FineScale Modeler and Kalmbach are well known for their excellent collection of publications covering a wide variety of hobby-related subjects. This publication continues that tradition of excellence.

Modeling airliners requires a set of modeling skills that, while not unique to airliners, are critical to the completion of the project at a high level of quality. Thus, Scale Modeler’s How-to-Guide spotlights those skills and provides the modeler with suggestions on mastery of those skills.

Organized into 7 chapters, this publication covers:

  1. Basic construction
  2. Painting
  3. Applying decals
  4. Conversions
  5. Detailing and improving kits
  6. Weathering
  7. Airliner Gallery

Keep in mind that this publication is a “How-To-Guide”. The author describes and demonstrates various skills and techniques through the use of full color images, descriptions of tools and supplies, and well-ordered “step-by-step” instructions.

The images contained in the book are full color pictures, of very high quality, and are, by themselves, highly instructive and useful. They “tell the story”. The images form a major part of the book, consuming about ½ of the space on each page. In fact, it is easy for an experienced modeler to learn something new by simply looking at the images. As an example of this, I learned a new technique for filling fuselage windows by filling them with putty by pushing it through the windows from the inside of the fuselage outward. It’s a simple thing but I never considered that particular approach before.

Every “How-to-Guide” should include information about the basic tools and supplies that should be on the workbench. Aaron’s “How-to-Guide” accomplishes this goal. Some of the tools shown may be unfamiliar to the novice but those with more experience and disposable income will recognize them. Some of these tools are UMM’s wooden-handled saw/engraver, Tamiya Liquid glue, Alumilite, and Westley’s Blech-Wite cleaner. One also sees the ubiquitous Xacto knives, sanding sticks, and paints from a number of manufacturers.

A good “How-to-Guide” should augment the images with clear and precise text that enhances the associated images. In many ways, the text is more significant for the novice modeler than are the images. The author, an experienced and knowledgeable builder, can offer an explanation to the novice which images simply cannot communicate. For example, on page 67, the author clearly defines a “wash”. I have seen questions about “what is a wash?” on many forums and discussion boards, and the author provides an excellent definition in one very short sentence. He states, “A wash is nothing more than very thin paint.” A simple, elegant, and informative description is always helpful to the novice. In another example that appears on that same page, the author expresses an opinion as to the choice between “oil washes or enamel/acrylic washes”. This question can vex novices. The author states, “I favor artist’s oil washes because I find the paint flows better than enamel or acrylic.” Now, how simple is that!

This “How-to-Guide” is highly recommended. It provides an excellent guide to basic tools and supplies as well as including some of those items that are familiar to the more experienced builder. The images are numerous and instructive. The text is well written, simple, and precise. Congratulations to author Aaron Skinner, and thanks to Kalmbach for providing this item to IPMS for review.


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