Painting and weathering techniques have been in the focus of the modeling world for the last couple of years. This trend is supported with a number of how-to books and magazine articles explaining these techniques in detail and showcasing the incredibly realistic models done by the top artists in the hobby. On the other hand, the construction methods, scratch-building and super-detailing techniques have been rarely covered in hobby publications, as if these are not a crucial component of the model building process.
ALI Producciones is a small publishing company producing how-to books dedicated primarily to show model assembly in detail, with their first title displaying the techniques employed for updating an old Tamiya 1/35 scale Tiger II Porsche.
The book arrived safely packed in a hard cardboard box additionally protected using bubble wrap. The first glance clearly shows it is a different kind of a modeling book; spiral bound, the book is designed to be folded and used on the modeling bench in a landscape format… a very interesting concept. Quick look through the book confirms it is printed on high-quality paper, with each page full of images and author’s own sketches showing the build process in step-by-step fashion.
Here are the basic facts:
Title: Scale 1/35 Tiger II Porsche
Publisher: ALI Producciones Editoriales
Author: Angel Inigo
Format: hardcover (spiral bound)
The book deals with building the Tamiya Tiger II Porsche (#35169) into a specific vehicle of the s.Pz.Abt 503. Besides the Tamiya kit, the author uses several photo-etch sets, aluminum barrel, spare parts from Dragon kit and a ton of scratch-built pieces.
The book is divided into 15 chapters. After a short publisher's note in which the author introduces himself and shares his modeling philosophy with the readership and a very interesting chapter on Tiger II history, the modeling manual begins... the following 9 chapters of the book are all about building a model, adding scratch-built details and upgrading an old kit. Each chapter displays a process of upgrading a section of the kit showing details which received a special attention from the author. The step by step sequence is well documented in close up photographs, with the captions providing explanation of the techniques used. The captions are informative, but some of the text suffers from the awkward translation making it difficult to understand the message the author is trying to convey. Nevertheless, the assembly chapters present a ton of tips and tricks on basic model building techniques which can be a great help for beginners, but also going into more advanced methods of using different materials to modify the existing kit pieces or make completely new pieces from scratch. In a “plug and play world" dominated by readily available aftermarket upgrade sets, I feel this "old school" approach is a breath of fresh air, returning to the basic modeling techniques and teaching modelers to use their own hands in producing various details missing in the kit. Although the book deals with upgrading an old Tamiya Tiger II tank, all the techniques described are well beyond this particular model and should be easily transferrable to any scale model. The final chapters show the painting and weathering techniques, describing the process on both the vehicle and the crew figures, as well as displaying the finished Tiger II... a true masterpiece.
The Tiger II Porsche Scale Model Notebook is an impressive book, covering the construction and painting of a single scale model on over 100 pages. The author uses an old Tamiya 1/35 scale kit to show the model assembly in great detail, updating the model with parts scratch-built using different materials. Building link-by-link tracks, using photo-etched pieces, applying zimmerit, utilizing parts from spares box… it is all there and serves the purpose to super-detail the original kit.
Although the book covers a Tiger II model, all the techniques described in the text could be applied when building any model kit irrespective of the scale, genre and era.
A big thank you to Juan Luis from MacOne Models for the review sample. BTW, MacOne distributes the book at a very affordable price through their webshop: link