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Scale Spacecraft Modelling

Scale Spacecraft Modelling Book Review

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review May 2007 Title Scale Spacecraft Modelling
Author Mat Irvine Publisher The Crowood Press
Published 2006 ISBN 1-86126-774-6
Format 208 pages, softbound MSRP (USD) $29.95


Hard core space modelers need no introduction to the work of Mat Irvine. He's one of those chaps that get paid to build models - on movie and television sets, for displays, and more. Mat not only has a nice day job, he does incredible work, and he is here to share some of that experience and insight into space modeling.

If you thumb through the large number of illustrations and photos in this title, you quickly see that Mat has a wide range of coverage from historical spaceflight, conceptual (near future) spacecraft, science fiction, and even some that are just fun.

This isn't a typical modeling book on how to build a particular spacecraft, rather this covers the wide range of issues and techniques that you can apply to make your modeling more fun and more vivid. These topics include:

  • In the Beginning - the space model industry
  • Out of the Cradle - building plastic kits
  • Space as it Should Have Been - converting existing kits
  • The Final Finish - decals, how to use them, how to make them
  • Dream Machines - using a variety of other materials
  • Paper Projects - a modern approach to paper models
  • Fact & Fiction - intro to science fiction
  • Man in the Moon - astronaut figures
  • Desolate Vistas - building a diorama
  • Life on Mars - designing a spaceship

This title has a wealth of information gathered from the experiences of a veteran space modeler. Many of the tips and techniques are valuable to other types of modeling as well. This is not a rehash of other modeling titles 'out there', this is great stuff and the subjects used in this title are contemporary including the Atomic Models Mercury Capsule and Burt Rutan's SpaceShipOne.

Definitely recommeded!

My sincere thanks to Motorbooks International for this review sample!