TankArt 1: German Armor, 3rd Edition
This is the third edition of Michael Rinaldi’s first book on modeling techniques. It has been expanded from 208 pages in the first edition and 224 pages in the second edition to a whopping 288 pages of glossy, high grade paper. This 64 page increase over the second edition includes three additional chapters, two by Michael Rinaldi, and one by Lester Plaskitt. The chapter on figure painting by Marijn van Gils is no longer included, but figure modeling by Lester Plaskitt to go along with his Sd.Kfz 251/22 Drilling is included. This edition is touting a “Lay-Flat binding” that works quite well, allowing you to open to a particular section and have the book stay open, ‘flat’ as it were.
This edition uses all the style and methodology that has been on display in Rinaldi’s Tank Art series of books. The print quality of the large and bright color photographs is truly superb. Michael Rinaldi demonstrates a step by step method of building the vehicles with the focus on bringing the finishes to life. Each of his techniques are demonstrated and are painstakingly explained in the text.
Michael Rinaldi opens the book with a discussion on the products he utilizes. This includes his philosophy on paints, airbrushes, and pigments to represent dust, dirt, and mud. Next up are his views on weathering principles focusing on layering, chipping, filtering, and washes. He outlines the ‘Hair Spray Technique’, providing his process along with a trouble shooting guide, all heavily illustrated with color photos. Michael Rinaldi goes in depth on ‘Oil Paint Rendering’, breaking down all the ingredients to enhance the model’s surfaces. This includes an excellent step by step application reference.
The first model is a repaint of a Tamiya 1/35 Sd.Kfz 142/2 10.5cm Sturmhaubitze. Well, it’s actually a bit more than a repaint since it got new tracks and a new gun. Each model Chapter includes a multi-page Step-By-Step guide that is basically a quick index of every step of painting and weathering for the specific model. Each succeeding model chapter shows off different finishes and techniques and include distressed winter whitewashing, hard edged camouflage, soft edged camouflage, heavy chipping and rusting, and dirt and mud effects. Just seeing the steps that Michael Rinaldi utilizes makes me anxious to get in and try it myself, especially the winter whitewashing since I recently did a Polikarpov I-16 in a distressed winter whitewash.
The Table of Contents includes the following sections:
- Foreword by Mario Eens
- Products and Materials (Page 10)
- Weathering Principles
- Hair Spray Technique (Page 21)
- Oil Paint Rendering (Page 31)
- Technique Proficiency (Page 38)
- Tamiya 1/35 Sd.Kfz 142/2 10.5cm Sturmhaubitze 42 (Page 54)
- Dragon 1/35 Pz.Kpfw VI Tiger I (Initial Production) mit 8.8cm KwK36 L/56 (Page 68)
- Dragon 1/35 Pz.Kpfw IV Ausf. E DAK mit 7.5cm KwK37 L/24 (Page 112)
- Tamiya 1/35 Pz.Bef.Wg V Panther Ausf. G mit 7.5cm KwK42 L/70 (Page 152)
- Tamiya 1/35 Sd.Kfz 161/2 Panzer IV Ausf. H with Dragon 88mm Flak 37 (Page 201)
- Tamiya 1/35 Jgd.Pz 38(t) Hetzer fur 7.5cm PaK39 L/48 (Page 212)
- Tamiya 1/48 Sd.Kfz 251/22 mit 7.5cm PaK40 L/46 Pakwagen (Page 256)
- AFV Club 1/35 Sd.Kfz 251/22 Drilling by Lester Plaskitt (Page 279)
This volume is truly inspiring and is an excellent guide to the art of modeling. I think that every modeler can learn something from this book and apply these techniques to any type of model. The focus is on painting and weathering, and this book easily demonstrates how both can be utilized to produce a great model. My thanks to Rinaldi Studio Press and IPMS/USA for the chance to review this great book.