The Paint Guide for Figures of World War Two

Published on
Published on
Published on
Review Author(s)
Book Author(s)
Joaquin Garcia-Gasquez
Other Publication Information
82 pages, full color images, 8.5x11.5 softbound
Product / Stock #
HIS 0526
Company: Casemate Publishers - Website: Visit Site
Provided by: Casemate Publishers - Website: Visit Site
Book Cover

A few modelers, including myself, will suggest that the genre of modeling that most resembles “fine art” is Figure Painting. The process of painting a figure seems to be confusing and difficult, requiring the knowledge and artistic ability of a Rembrandt, while at the same time possessing the mechanical ability of a Da Vinci. This book does not deny that artist ability is important, but it gives hope to those of us whose best figure drawings look like a collection of sticks, and whose best figure-painting efforts are rather 2-dimensional and quite devoid of life or realism.

Originally written in French, and then translated by Kent Brazeau, the text requires some concentration and flexibility in interpretation of the English version. This is especially true of those readers who are speakers of American English. This is not a detriment in the book but rather a notice to the American reader that they are in for a very pleasant “turn of phrase” as they study and read this excellent book.

As a novice Figure painter I have found this book to be an exciting and promising aide. The Table of Contents serves as an excellent plan for progress in figure painting. There are fourteen chapters, the last three of which present a photo gallery of completed projects, a technical gallery, and an Epilogue. Chapter 14, The Gallery, is just that. The images on the Gallery pages show what can be accomplished if one masters the techniques and skills that are addressed in the book’s early chapters. Chapter 15 is the “Technical Gallery”. Each image is accompanied by list of colors used and steps taken in order to achieve the high level of quality that is presented in the images of the figure models. But Chapter 14 and 15 represent the “end of the beginning”. One sees, in the images, what one might be able to achieve, and the level of ability that one might reach once the basics are mastered and practiced over time. For a novice, such as myself, the real substance of the book are the first 10 Chapters.

There is a mindset that one quickly sees when reading the introduction and Preface ( Chapter 1). It is wise and prudent to understand that figure painting is a process and that one’s abilities and skills will evolve with practice and diligence. The “instruction” component begins in Chapter 2 with a discussion of “zenithal light”, and with a discussion of the use of acrylic paint. Chapter 3 lists the basic tools, the necessary equipment that one should have on hand in order to paint figures. The basics of assembly, and all modelers are familiar with issues surrounding “assembly” of their work, are covered in Chapter 4.

Now the fun begins. Painting complexions, uniforms, leather, and camouflage are covered in Chapters 5 through 8. For me, these chapters form the core of my current effort to become an adequate figure painter and I am excited about the possibilities I see for growth and progress when I read and study these chapters. Many figures have accessories, such as flags and weapons, and Chapter 9 discusses the methodology to be used when preparing the accessories.

I think of this book as a tool, just as I consider the various kinds of paint brushes, glues, and seam fillers as tools. The book sits on my workbench, inside a plastic display frame so that I can refer instantly to it during my practice sessions. While I have no doubt that my level of proficiency will not jeopardize the leadership role of Raymond Giuliani or Joaquin Garcia Gasquez, I am sure that my finished work will evolve as rapidly as time and practice permit. I am also sure that my level of enjoyment of the hobby will increase in an exponential fashion as I repeat the lessons presented in this excellent publication.

A big Thank You to Casemate for providing a copy of this excellent book for review and to IPMS USA for the chance to review it!

This book is highly recommended and well worth the price!


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