Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Review: IA Model Masterclass Vol.2

Well, possibly the thing I've waited most for FW to produce since Vol.1 and this book does not disappoint.

Thanks to Maelstrom I managed to pick up a copy at the FW Open Day (FWOD) on 1st April. And thanks to that stroke of good fortune I managed to get mine signed by Simon Egan, Mark Bedford and Phil Stutchinkas (once he'd finished his lunch).
I must admit I was fairly sycophantic - in a good way - I was like "the first book was awesome, so glad you made it..." and "your Death Korps Artillery Emplacement is the best thing ever!"...

So, it's going to be very difficult to review this without comparing it to the first installment, however, there are a few things in the new book not covered in the first one.

To start with, as the first one, the whole book of 140 pages is full colour and glossy with lots of lovely big images. There are walkthroughs on whole models such as an Imperial and Chaos Reaver Titan, the Imperial One is the one which is similar to the one I have a photo of in the previous post painted by Phil Stutchinkas, he gives full in depth descriptions of how to attain the shiny plate armour and the weathering around the feet. Even better than this, on page 15 and 16 there is a lovely guide on how he created the knee plate heraldry, how it was weathered in and some technical details on creating a sized up transfer sheet. He also shows how lettering was weathered in.

In the first book it was mainly Imperial Guard Armour focused on, in this one there is a breadth of different faction types including Land Raiders, Eldar Titan, Thunderbolt Diorama, Titans, Chaos and Renegades. The bonus here is that different focuses are made, where Imperial Guard weathering looks great, there are different techniques shown for Eldar.

There is a guide to the Balmaeus Ice Mine gaming board, shown first at GD2011 and on show at FWOD, both construction and painting. The Raid on Kastorel Novem board is also shown, how it was built and painted.

I've been a bit careful showing off pages from the book (don't want to infringe). I've shown this one because it displays one of the best things about the book - the small blocks of tips on how to do small things, such as iconography in the example above, though there are others, weathering and transfers and small details on one of the best bits in the book; the Thunderbolt Diorama.

There is a small 2-3 page section on how to use weathering powders, the FW ones are used but obviously these also apply to MIG pigments or whatever you choose to use. This is handy as it is not applied contextually to a certain model and can be used on almost anything you choose.

New techniques shown:

Enamelling - marbling of a blue armour. Applicable to any colour.
Metallic banding - this is a nice one, used on metals especially, colour variations etc making large metallic areas more interesting.
Heat bloom - was shown in previous book, but, in more depth here.
Colour mottling/glazing - this is quite interesting, and very handy on large plates with large FW models, brass scorpion and titans for example.
Detailing of a model - similar to scale modelling, using brass rod and plate to extra detail a thunderbolt, quite interesting.
Using FW weathering powders - good stuff but admittedly fairly standard. I prefer the FAQ Dvd produced by MIG Jimenez.

I would say, that the techniques used in the book are not really for the beginner, and without an airbrush or many of the materials in the book, there's little in there for you.

All in all, a fantastic book, at £26 it's worth it, though I'd certainly advise buying the first if you don't already have it. Admittedly this isn't as ground-breaking as the first one, which is unsurprising but it certainly follows up the series admirably. Bring on the next one FW!

In other news, congratulations to the Sun newspaper for a fantastic headline today, regarding Abu Hamza "Sling the Hook Today!" hah.


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