TANKART Vol. 2 WWII Allied 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.
It’s déjà vu all over again – Michael Rinaldi’s TANKART Vol. 2 WWII Allied Armor is just such a work, following close on the heels of the amazing TANKART Vol. 1 WWII German Armor. Batting 2-for-2, the author seems to be on quite a roll, with TANKART Vol. 3 Modern Armor’s forthcoming release eagerly anticipated.
Back to TANKART Vol 2… Consider this: 208 pages of full-color “why to” and “how to” finish and weather Allied 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 29-page foundation establishing his preferred products/materials and fundamental weathering principles, then delves into execution of hairspray chipping, oil paint rendering, painting of olive drab, and pigment application. Once the foundation is established, Rinaldi walks the reader through 134 pages of application of those techniques and others on 5 distinctly-unique projects spanning the spectrum of Allied armor color schemes and operating environments of WWII. Schemes include Whitewash over color-modulated Olive Drab, “Lacquer Thinner Dry-Brushing,” hard-edge camo and filters, hard-core color modulation of Olive Drab and pigment application, and hand-applied sponge and brush chipping. As in Vol. 1, the final chapter features figure modeling, and is authored in Vol. 2 by Radek Pituch.
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-up by a 2- page photo-rich “SBS” (Step-By-Step) summary spread of the steps (for quick workbench reference).
All said, this book and its predecessor are arguably the best of their kind to ever hit the market and are must-haves for the WWII armor modeler. I most highly recommend TANKART Vol. 2 WWII Allied 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 review sample, and to IPMS/USA for the chance to enjoy and review another standard-setting work!