Published on
August 27, 2017
Review Author(s)
Book Author(s)
Aaron Skinner
Other Publication Information
Soft Cover, Square Bound ; 8.25” x 10.75”, 144 pages
Product / Stock #
Provided by: Kalmbach Publishing Company - Website: Visit Site

Aaron Skinner started out early in publishing, founding his High School student newspaper in the early eighties. He has been an avid modeler since the age of six (supported by his grandfather). He graduated from The University of Queensland in 1992 with his degree in Journalism and History. He has worked with several newspapers in Arkansas and Texas as a photographer and reporter from 1994 until in joined Fine Scale Modeler in 2006. He was promoted from Associate Editor to Senior Editor in 2015 and has authored several modeling books, including: Essential Skills for Scale Modelers (2011), Modeling Airliners (2012), and Airbrushing for Scale Modelers (2015). He is active representing Fine Scale Modeler and providing presentations at contests and shows, recently returning to Dallas for Squadron’s EagleQuest in June 2017. He has a regular video kit review with Elizabeth Nash that I wholeheartedly endorse that you can receive through email or at the website.

This new square bound soft cover book is on one of his specialties, sci-fi kits. Aaron, along with other contributors noted in the table of contents below, have a delightful romp in applying different techniques to a large range of kits, all in color. I counted 805 color photographs on gloss paper. Nearly all pictures are well captioned and provide a handy guide on each step. He and his compatriots cover sixteen different kit builds focusing on the ‘How To” for lighting, scratch building, airbrushing, and weathering techniques.

The sections include:

  • Introduction – Aaron Skinner
  • Explore New Techniques, Seek Out New Projects – Aaron Skinner [Polar Lights 1/1000 NCC-1701 Enterprise, Page 13]
  • Spray On Target When Airbrushing – Aaron Skinner [Fine Molds 1/48 X-Wing, Page 33]
  • Produce Purr-Fect Plastic Figures – Joe Hudson [Moebius 1/9 Cat Woman, Page 41]
  • Improve and Pose Post-Apocalyptic Foes – Brett W. Avants [Hasegawa 1/20 SDR Unmanned Interceptor Vega/Altair and Wave 1/20 Raptor SAFS)
  • Light Up the Supersonic Dragonfly – Jeff Pollizzotto [Moebius Dragonfly, Page 52]
  • Paint a Fantastic Flaptter – Aaron Skinner [Bandai 1/20 Flapptter, Page 64]
  • Elevate Boba Fett To Contest Quality – Jeff Pollizzotto [Bandai 1/12 Boba Fett]
  • Sink Your Claws Into a Superhero – Tim Kidwell [Polar Lights 1/8 Wolverine, Page 80]
  • Holy Simple Modeling Techniques! – Mat Irvine [Polar Lights 1/25 Batmobile]
  • Make a Viper See Red – Brad Hair [Moebius 1/32 Viper, Page 94]
  • Working with Resin Is a Ball – Aaron Skinner [Skyhook Models 1/8 Dark Star Xenomorph]
  • Master Gundam Style – Steve Pontius [Bandai 1/100 RX-7802 Gundam, Page 104]
  • Try a Super Stellar Vinyl Vignette – Aaron Skinner [Dragon 1/9 Groot and Rocket, Page 114]
  • Replicate an Extraterrestrial RV – Mat Irvine [Moebius 1/24 LiS Chariot]
  • Light and Detail a Star Destroyer – Nicholas Sagan [Revell 1/2256 Venator, Page 131]
  • Start a Starfighter From Scratch – Ro Annis [Y-Wing]

I was really drawn to the build by Jeff Pollizzotto on the Jonny Quest Dragonfly kit from Modebius. I have been threatening myself to dive into LED lighting for some time, hoping to scale up for a 1/350th USS Enterprise. Jeff’s well laid out directions show how easy it is to apply LEDs to a small kit. Now I just need to pull out my kit and light it up to accent the Swedish 70s splinter camouflage.

I find this book to be an essential resource for the beginning modeler as well as for the more experienced modeler. There is always something I didn’t quite know how to approach, or maybe I had forgotten how to do. Aaron Skinner, and his cohorts, has done an excellent job of displaying through a pictorial process, step by step. The pictures are high quality and quite thorough for each technique. If you own one the previous releases in the Fine Scale Modeler’s series, you know what you are getting. If this is your initial entry into this series, you will be quite pleased.

My thanks to Kalmbach Books and IPMS/USA for the chance to review this outstanding book.

Highly recommended!


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