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AK Interactive

Metallics Volume 1 Book Review

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review December 2015 Title Metallics Volume 1
Author Multiple Publisher AK Interactive
Published 2015 ISBN N/A
Format 84 pages, softbound MSRP (Euro) 9,95€


AK Interactive produces a 'Learning Series' of titles to show the modeler how to achieve different effects using various hobby products, especially with their growing selection of paints, washes, pigments, etc. This title is part one of a two-volume set covering one of the most challenging areas of modeling - bare metal. One reason master modelers use silver as a primer coat is because it will reveal the slightest scratch, glue spot, or other blemish on their model's surface. Volume 2 will cover how to detect and mitigate these flaws, but first we look at the different options for metallizers and how to apply them in this volume.

One of my pet peeves in model kits is chromed parts. On the surface it appears that the chromed parts save modelers time and frustration in achieving a (somewhat) realistic metallic surface on a bumper, grille, or wheel (for example). The disadvantages of chromed parts include loss of detail since the chrome plating is usually thick; the stub remnant where the part was attached to a tree cannot be touched up by any of the available hobby products because nobody has created that plated chrome in a paint yet; it is difficult to paint chromed parts without careful preparation for those areas that shouldn't have been chromed; and more. Of course you can remove chrome plating using one of several techniques, but then we're back to replacing the plating, though now you have options.

In order to understand the world of metallic paints, first you need to understand the real metals, how they appear new, used, and corroded/worn. This title has a nice section illustrating the various colors and where you'll find these in your modeling. The metals discussed here include iron; steel; aluminum (aluminium); copper; bronze; brass; titanium; chrome; silver; and gold.

The rest of this title focuses on the mediums available from AK Interactive as well as other brands to provide a range of options for achieving realistic metallic surfaces including some examples from various model projects. These examples include metallic wax paints, pigments, acrylics and lacquers, inks, metal foil, graphite pencil, achieving chrome, and worn ships propellers.

There is one section of interest that discusses the performance of these various options including metallic particle size, metallic sheen, masking resistance, effects of varnish, and enamel weathering. This compares a variety of products including Tamiya, Gunze (GSI), Alclad II, Vallejo, and of course AKI. This section also has comparative photos showing the relative reflectivity of each brand before and after weathering.

This volume will bring you up to date with the variety of options available at your local (or online) hobby retailers and how they work. Definitely recommended!

My sincere thanks to AK Interactive for this review copy!