Tracks & Wheels is part of AK Interactive’s Learning Series of books that are profusely illustrated how-to guides that include step-by-step instructions on how to assemble, paint, and weather kits. Other titles in the learning series include:
- Metallic Paints
- Flesh & Skin
- Realistic Wood Effects
- Panzer Crew Uniforms Painting Guide
- Modern Figures Camouflages
- Photoetched Parts
Tracks & Wheels includes in-progress photos and descriptive text explaining each of the steps in assembling, painting, and weathering kit track & wheel subassemblies. The techniques are demonstrated using photos and text by artists and expert modelers. The photos are very clear and explain each progressive step in painting & weathering techniques and includes tips on tools to use. The book includes photo examples of models and actual vehicles to illustrate weathering using the various techniques described in the book. Most of the products used in the book are from AK Interactive.
Chapter 1 describes the assembly of plastic, resin, and rubber wheels. It also describes how to model tracked vehicle wheels with damaged rubber rims. The 2nd chapter deals with painting wheels with tires and includes base colors & painting techniques to be used. The step-by-step guide includes weathering wheels in different types of environments such as desert, mud, snow, etc. and how to model them. Chapter 3 deals with painting wheels on tracked vehicles, including wheels with rubber rims, without rubber rims, and sprocket & idler wheels.
Chapters 4 and 5 describe assembly and painting of plastic, metal, and vinyl tracks. The last chapter 6 provides a gallery of scale models and actual vehicles for reference.
This is an excellent step-by-step how-to guide for assembling, painting, and weathering wheels and tracks. Guides are provided for modeling various environmental and road conditions with clear descriptions and excellent step-by-step photos. Photos used to demonstrate the modeling techniques are sharp & clear, and the modeling examples are very high quality. The photos of models and actual vehicles also provide additional references for vehicles in different environmental conditions. The paints and weathering projects are from AK Interactive, but can be easily translated to other manufacturers.
Thanks to AK Interactive for publishing Tracks & Wheels and other titles in the Learning Series. Thanks also for providing the review sample to IPMS.