SM.03 Sazabi Custom
I was very pleased when I heard the news that Casemate was going to be carrying Mike Rinaldi's excellent books. This Single Model series differs from the original books in size and instead of covering a handful of different projects to highlight his techniques, they focus on obviously a single model- in this case a Bandai Sazabi Custom kit. Anyone who has ever watched a Mike Rinaldi seminar in person or on You Tube knows you are getting educated when you take the time to listen and absorb what he is teaching.
The text is presented in a format that highlights the techniques and why and how they are being done. Rinaldi bemoans the fact that so many SBSs don't go into enough detail. "Using oils to weather..." or "I applied a wash..." might give one a general sense of what was done, but leaves the knowledge of why and how it was done lacking. The process is the key and these guides provide plenty of that missing information to the reader. He gives information of essential tools- like a round #2 brush, good quality odorless turpentine, and the like. The book provides thorough information on the Windex Removal Technique (WRT), the Hair Spray Technique (HS), and Oil Paint Rendering (OPR).
The chapters in the book give an overview of what is inside- but this isn't your typical sit down by the wood stove and read book. You will feel inclined to grab your test bed model and some supplies and actually try out what is being shown. After the Introduction, he goes into how he selected the paint scheme for his mech, wanting to avoid the typical scheme one would see and using some inspiration from his well known military builds to guide his choices. A section on his Weathering Philosophy follows and he then proceeds to take the practice model he had and applies some of the aforementioned techniques to it.
The latter part of the book centers on the unbuilt kit and his latter chapters involve Assembly, Painting, Hair Spray Chipping, Decals, OPR Weathering, and Final Details. He stresses the importance of the primer step as a base for all that follows. Throughout all of the chapters, other than some brief paragraphs on the philosophy- we get captions labeled either W (for the Why) and H (for the How). These are the best parts of the book in my opinion. My only small gripe is that some of the text is in a faded gray color which makes it difficult to read, but this could easily just be me.
After a Model Gallery showing excellent close-ups of the work from the book, the last few pages are a step by step reference of each phase of the book's content with page numbers so you can refer back to them. Throughout the photos are small circles indicating areas of focus that coincide with the text. I apologize for the photo scans but the odd size of the book makes it difficult to get on the scanner well...yet it is ideal for laying on the bench to try your hand at the tips and techniques.
I am beyond ecstatic to see not only these volumes of Mike Rinaldi's works back again, but also to see Casemate offering them up for the masses. There are other books in this Single Model series-- SM.01 involves a Steampunk Fish Submarine which I hope to see back in print soon, and SM.02 on a S-65 City Tractor, which is also available now from Casemate. There look to be upcoming books in the series on the Brummbär, Hanomag SS100, and the He-219A-7 Uhu aircraft. It is also good to see his larger books back in print, including his German Armor and Modern Armor books.. According to an email from Mike, the second book in the series, Allied Armor, should be done printing and begin shipping soon. There is also another series called Technique Guides- one on Hair Spray Chipping and another on the Oil Paint Rendering that should be out sometime around or after the holidays. This is all in regards to orders on his website, but I am sure we will see these available from Casemate soon. Check Mike's website or the Casemate website for more up to date news on releases. My thanks to Casemate Publishing and IPMS-USA for the review sample.