Monday, December 2, 2013

Review: IA Model Masterclass Vol Two

  As promised, here are my thoughts on the second volume of the Imperial Armor Masterclass series.  If you thought (or believed me when I told you) that volume one was good, you ain't seen nothing yet!

  Again, volume two does not show you how to build a model or even how to paint it.  It gives you techniques and ideas (tools for your tool box) to use when building your models.  This volume also spreads the love around the universe, but just a bit more.  Imperial guards are still the star of the show, but there is Eldar, Chaos, orky bits and terrain in here too.  What you get is a host of ideas and step by step shots of how to take your models to the next level.  These things are not beyond the level of the avaerage modeler, they show you how it's done.  You can take these techniques to any model from any race (or even any game!)

  First up is some beautiful effects on a Reaver Titan.  Everything from the enamel (looking) paint on the large surfaces to some amazing details on the pumps and gears.  After that we get a Red Scorpions Land Raider.  Lots of good detailing and weathering here, but for a Spess Mahrine vehicle, so it's not too overdone.  Lots of weapon effects and trackwork.  Some photos of an Eldar Phantom Titan bust are next, but no good hints here, just beautiful pictures.

  Coming in next is an amazing winter scene board made from 2 sets of Realm of Battle boards (4' x 12').  A great deal of extra terrain, hills and plaster cast rocks, are added to the boards and then snow effects are done.  The ideas are applicable to any board you may have.  Great photos of the Eldar are here too, all from the Mymeara campaign book.  

  You should have the idea by now, everything here is high quality, great looking stuff.  There are chapters for Nurgling things, diorama-ing things, aircraft and lots more tanks.  Everything is well done and well presented.  The ork themed board at the end is very cool too, lots of bits box ideas.  The book finishes with a chapter on using the Forge World Weathering Powders.  While this is a great, albeit short chapter, I would tend to rely more on the recent videos and ideas from Secret Weapon Miniatures and other web sources for even more ideas.  There is a lot of emphasis on weathering with pigments and powders these days, but it does not take away from the usefulness of the info here.

  All in all, another A+ effort from the boys at Forge World.  A high quality book, great presentation and photography makes this a valuable add to your collection.  I know I don't regret it.