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Military Vehicle Modelling and Conversions

Military Vehicle Modelling and Conversions First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review March 2008 Title Military Vehicle Modelling and Conversions
Presenter Duncan Howarth Publisher Crowood Press
Published 2008 Format DVD, two discs
MSRP (BP) £29.99

First Look

Military Vehicle Modelling and Conversions

I don't know about you, but I enjoy watching the 'DYI' (Do It Yourself) shows on television. Another group published a few DIY videos for aircraft modelers, the Master Class Model Building Videos' Bf 109G-6 for example. Crowood Press has produced this two-DVD set featuring the work and techniques of modeler and presenter Duncan Howarth.

The video series is elegant in its simplicity and Crowood has laid out a nice end-to-end set of features that focus on particular aspects of armor modeling (or armour modelling). The results are achievable by any modeler and only require some patience to sit through the video segments. I say patience as it is all-too-tempting to stop in the middle of an idea and go try it. In fact, that is the beauty of this DVD set because you can do just that. Watch it once end-to-end, then refer back to specific chapters to address particular aspects of your own project.

The chapters/techniques presented in this DVD set are:

  • 12.8cm Selbstfahrlafette 'Sturer Emil' Self-Propelled Gun - Out-of-the-box construction techniques
  • M4A1 Sherman with Cullin Hedgerow Cutter - Simple conversion of Tamiya kit
  • Sd.Kfz.251/18 Half-Track Command Vehicle - Intermediate conversion of Zvezda kit
  • Humber Armoured Car Mark 2 - Building a resin model
  • Painting and Finishing

If you've wondered how some of these armor modelers achieve their nice weathered finishes, the presenter takes you from base coat to weathering. In fact, the base coat in this example was applied with a spray can, with highlights and shadows applied with an airbrush, details painted by hand, and weathering applied with a combination airbrush and finger-applied pigments. The project is finished with a bit of metal color drybrushed on the finished tank which brings out the recently-used look of the otherwise weathered model.

Military Vehicle Modelling and ConversionsCrowood

As you watch the building and painting of the kit unfold, more experienced modelers will see some different ways to do the same thing. Less experienced modelers will be able to follow the presenter's step-by-step instructions and demonstrations and achieve similar results with the right tools and a little practice.

While this video uses specific model subjects, the techniques can be applied to any armor or AFV subject with great results. If you want to jump-start your modeling skills, look no further!

I definitely recommend this video to all armor modelers. Like similar modeling how-to videos we've seen, I would also strongly recommend that IPMS chapters buy copies for their club libraries to help educate new modelers.

My sincere thanks to Crowood Press for this review sample! I hope you'll be doing more!