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AK Interactive

Aircraft Scale Modelling F.A.Q. Book Review

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review May 2015 Title Aircraft Scale Modelling F.A.Q. Book
Author Daniel Zamarbide Publisher AK Interactive
Published 2015 ISBN N/A
Format 380 pages, softbound MSRP (Euro) 57.00€


Here is an impressive modeler's reference just released by AK Interactive. If you've seen their in-depth how-to books on armor modeling, you might have wondered why they didn't offer something similar for aircraft modelers. Well here it is and I must say it represents a significant body of work too. But before we go there, if you saw my recent write-up on the AK Interactive Catalogue, they've provided a great section which instructs the modeler with a step-by-step tutorial on how to use any of their weathering products. If you follow that link above, this reference is a free download in the language of your choice.

This title picks up from that great resource on HOW to use their weathering products. Aircraft Scale Modelling F.A.Q. takes goes beyond the HOW and shows you up-close with excellent images and illustrations WHEN and WHERE to use those products. What's more, this title doesn't focus on the AK Interactive product line. You'll see a variety of tips and techniques using a wide range of products we use in our projects including Tamiya and Vallejo paints, Alclad metallizers, MIG and AK Interactive weathering products, Eduard and other aftermarket detail sets, and more.

This in-depth modeling reference shows you how to make award-winning models. The secret? Treat every subassembly in your model as a complete model in itself. Not sure how to apply that to a MER (multiple ejector rack)? The author walks you through the transformation of that simple fixture we typically paint white and transforms it into an eye-catching item on its own. From wooden propellers to ejection seats and from wheels to pilot figures, there are numerous examples to view ranging from World War I to present, propeller and turbine power, and representing subjects that literally come from around the world. Just take a glimpse of the coverage:

  • Assembly, Preparation and Materials
  • Painting Guide
  • Technics (sic)
  • Interior
  • Exterior Details
  • Camouflage, Painting and Weathering
  • Special Finishes and Markings

Each of those table of contents entries above have numerous sub-entries which hint at the level of detail in this title. The final section (Gallery) of this title has a great photo array of the completed aircraft used in this title which include:

  • A-4E Skyhawk
  • B6N Tenzan
  • B-25J Mitchell
  • B-26 Marauder
  • Bf 109E-4
  • Bf 109G-6
  • Bf 109G-10
  • Buccaneer
  • Buchon
  • CASA 2111
  • F-4D Phantom II
  • F-4J Phantom II
  • F7U Cutlass
  • F-14B Tomcat
  • F/A-18 Hornet
  • F-51D Mustang
  • F-84G Thunderjet
  • F-100D Super Sabre
  • F-105D Thunderchief
  • Fw 190A-6/R11
  • Gnat T.1
  • Hansa-Brandenburg W.29
  • He 219A-0 Uhu
  • I-16 Mosca
  • Ju-87G Stuka
  • MiG-21F-13
  • Mosquito NF.2
  • P-39 Airacobra
  • P-40N Warhawk
  • P-51B Mustang
  • J2M3 Raiden
  • SB-2
  • Spitfire Mk.I
  • Spitfire Mk.Vb
  • Spitfire Mk.IXc
  • TBM-1 Avenger
  • Wellington Mk.X

This nice cross-section of subjects provide a nice body of diversity to show how, when and where to apply the wide variety of tools and products to achieve a given result. What is also nice is while the author does identify the kit he started with, there is no discussion of the kit's strengths and weaknesses, this focuses on techniques that can be applied to virtually any kit, subject and era.

The next time you're working at your bench and you look at a bomb, missile, wicker seat, or whatever, and wonder how to give it dimension, you'll want to have this title nearby. If you want to take your modeling skills up a notch or ten, get this great reference!

Highly recommended!

My sincere thanks to AK Interactive for this review copy!