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Ammo of Mig Jimenez

Black and White Technique Book Review

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review December 2015 Title Black and White Technique
Author Jose Luis Lopez Publisher Ammo of Mig Jimenez
Published 2015 ISBN 978-84-944741-1-8
Format 112 pages, softbound MSRP (Euro) 19,00€

Review

We recently looked at a new paint set release from Mig which introduced me to the 'Black and White Technique'. They've followed that product up with this new 'how-to' title which goes into much greater depth on the Black and White technique. The pamphlet in the paint set and this title are both oriented to armor modeling, but regardless of your preferred modeling subjects, you can take away some very interesting modifications to your painting approach.

In aircraft modeling, we've had a technique called 'pre-shading' where the panel lines and certain details are pre-painted black (or other dark color) before the application of the base color. On dark-colored plastic, you'd need to prime the model in white or gray before applying the pre-shading. Once the base colors are applied (and assuming they're not too thick), the underlying black would darken the areas of your base colors giving the illusion of depth and wear on the model.

With the black and white technique, you paint your model in various shades of gray with extreme shadows in black and reflected highlights in white. Imagine seeing your subject (or model) on black and white film and you get the idea. This technique allows you to simulate the effects of lighting which is only enhanced by real lighting on a contest table or your display shelf. Once the model is shaded as desired, you apply a diluted coat of your base color (olive drab, panzer yellow, 4B0 green, etc.) and your model is literally pre-shaded. From there you can build upon that look with other weathering techniques to place your model into a given environment (wet/dry, mud/dust, etc.).

This title starts off with some great illustrations on the effects of color under different lighting and how that can be replicated using this technique on models. This well-illustrated title also showcases several step-by-step case studies to show how the process works. As you would imagine, this technique works best with mono-colored camouflaged subjects, but this title does show how you'd use this technique with multi-colored camouflage such as late-war German armor by masking and painting only one color onto the monochrome pre-shading so that all three colors are in direct contact with the pre-shading, not one over the top of another.

This title is produced in several languages, this sample being in English. With the exception of a portion of a table on page 87 that didn't get translated, this title reads easily and the illustrations are excellent.

This title provides some interesting insights into this technique and I've already started trying a few variations on a project that is on my bench now. I will be adapting this technique to my aircraft and science fiction modeling as well. Get yourself a copy of this and you'll see how this technique can be adapted to enhance your own modeling skills as well.

My sincere thanks to Ammo of Mig Jimenez for this review copy!

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