TANKART Vol. 1 WWII German Armor
“How the heck did he do that?” A polite version of one of the most often-asked questions in the scale modeling culture. With the proliferation of modeling blogs and videos available on the internet, as well as generations of printed reference material, it seems a rare occurrence when a scale modeling reference in print form hits the market with such great impact and acclaim.
Michael Rinaldi’s TANKART Vol. 1 WWII German Armor is just such a work. For that matter, the book seems to be a work of art in and of itself. Yeah, that sounds a bit extreme, but seeing, reading, and re-reading is truly believing. So much for cliché, let’s get into the facts.
Consider this: 208 pages of full-color “why to” and “how to” finish and weather German armor. Yes…”why to.” Not only does Rinaldi extensively detail material and technique, but also the thought, experience, and real-life operational factors driving those choices and approaches to achieve what he calls “artistic scale-ism.” That combination of “why” and “how” makes this a uniquely potent addition to the benchtop library.
After introducing his inspiration and approach, the author builds a 28-page foundation establishing his preferred products and materials, fundamental weathering principles, then delves into execution of hairspray chipping and oil paint rendering weathering techniques. Once the foundation is established, Rinaldi walks the reader through 124 pages of application of those techniques and others on 5 distinctly-unique projects spanning the spectrum of German armor color schemes and operating environments of WWII. Schemes include Whitewash over Dunkelgelb (dark yellow), Panzergrau (Panzer Gray), “Ambush” tri-color, Dunkelgelb open-top, and Sand over Panzergrau (DAK). If that’s not enough, the final chapter features figure painting, and is authored by Marijn van Gils.
Flow of information is conversational and easy to follow, and is tightly knit with the accompanying photographs, captions, and summary blocks highlighting key take-aways. The project-specific chapters flow from kit selection to upgrades used, then into the finishing and weathering techniques, and are followed by a 2-page photo-rich summary spread of the steps (for quick workbench reference).
All said, this book as inarguably the best of its kind to ever hit the market and is an absolute gem. I most highly recommend TANKART Vol. 1 WWII German Armor for any armor or general-interest modeler with a desire to expand his finishing and weathering techniques.
Thanks to Mike Rinaldi and Rinaldi Studio Press for the autographed review sample, and to IPMS/USA for the chance to enjoy and review this unequalled work!