MODELLING AND PAINTING SF
◗ crowood.com ◗ £18.99
Written by Paul Stanley and with a forward by Rick Priestley, this is an impressive book. Published by Crowood, this is very much a companion piece to their earlier tome on Painting Fantasy Minis (which also has a forward by Rick P). As the title suggests, this volume is split almost evenly between figures and various vehicles and the cover gives a good indication of the models style and their provenance: as it’s such a prominent part of the over all figure gaming hobby there are quite a few 40k models featured in this work. But don’t let me steer you awry: it’s not all plastic GW (or resin Forgeworld). Other manufacturer’s minis are featured with some quality sculpts from the likes of Reaper (with their ‘Bones’ semi rigid plastic material) and Warlord (in resin and metal) are also covered.
In the first chapter, paints and tools are given some brief analysis: the former embraces primers, enamels, acrylics, oil paint plus inks, washes and weathering powders.varnishes are then mentioned but – in all this – the author gives a few recommendations from his experience. Flock, glue, fillers, putties and other consumables get the same treatment. Finally there’s the cutters, scalpels and razor saw listings of what’s good to aim at: off-putting, maybe, to a beginner but good essential tools for an experienced modeller, which Mr Stanley certainly is.
Chapter 2 details model ranges, materials and scales and that’s pretty comprehensive and then, in the next chapter, the author covers Conversions. The next seven chapters cover – in order – Basic Figure Painting Techniques (model cleaning, priming, colour triads etc); Painting Clothing, Armour and Weapons; Alien Creatures (including ‘Ghost Buster’ style slime creatures and – of course – Zombies); Assembling and converting vehicles; Painting them; and Detailing them. Finally there’s a section on Mutating Vehicles: sort of bio-growths from putty and so forth (intriguing stuff!)
The range is impressive: in the alien creatures there’s some excellent advice on making effects – like gore – from glue and paint mixes plus – in the vehicle chapters – a wide selection are at least touched on. It’s not all Orc Spitfires and Gobsmashers: there’s also a spread of everything from GZG spaceships to Konflict ’47 AFVS via Mantic Veer-myn Tunnelers. There’s also some impressive scratchbuilds – a very nice Konflict ’47 landing craft being a case in point.
When it comes to painting AFVS there’s some genuinely refreshing elements, like a 15mm Kra’vak grav bike with riders by Ground Zero Games that’s painted as half way into being cloaked and has a pretty transition applied onto it – not so much a camo pattern as a‘lighting effect’. Additionally, and from the same manufacturer, the author gives some tips on painting actual camo on some 15mm hover tanks – both by hand and using the‘blue-tac’masking approach which (it being a favourite subject of mine) immediately drew my attention.
So – to sum up – this is an interesting volume, especially when compared to the Model Tanks book I reviewed elsewhere in this issue. Having them both open on my desk at the same time that comparison is pretty much inevitable. This is a work much more aimed directly at gamers: the basing techniques are all wargaming related (there’s not a diorama I could find in the book). As such, while I think the tanks book will be of use to wargamers, this volume is of real relevance to gamers of whatever period.