Forgeworld's Imperial Armour Model Master Class, Volume 1 Review
By: RedScorpionsGirl (aka RedStickStudio) First published online: 23-10-2008 on Bell of Lost Souls
Imperial Armour Master Class Volume 1, the newest book produced by Forge World, just released on 17 October 2008. This book, written by Phil Stutcinskas and Mark Bedford, brings you into the world of Golden Daemon quality painting and modeling. When you open to the contents (if you are lucky, you will get one of the first 500 that have been autographed by both authors, as I was lucky enough to) you will find it rather simple, but to the point.
Table of Contents
- Tools and Equipment
- Renegade Medusa
- Cadian Stormsword
- Krieg Macharius
- Krieg Macharius Vanquisher
- D-Battery, 45th Artillery Company
- Marching to the Front
- Krieg Malcador
- Imperial Airbase Typha-IV
- Marauder Destroyer
- Marauder Bomber
- Tau Tiger Shark AX-1-0
- Tau Barracuda
- Siege of Vraks, Sector 577-449
It starts as one would expect, going over tools and equipment used throughout the book, the basics such as primer, knives, files, etc. to epoxy, white spirit, Klear floor polish, screen wash, weathering powders, hairspray, airbrush with compressor and an unusual use for the contents of a used water filter. Each of the items is allocated a paragraph or so to explain its uses when you continue on. (To answer what the water filter contents are for, Rivets! It is explained in the book how this is accomplished) Very unusual uses for some of the most common household items in some cases.
On to the modeling, the first tank on the list is the Renegade Medusa. Being the first of the builds, this is the ONLY tank that is completely built within the confines of the article. They start off by showing you the bundle of plastic sprues and the resin components of the kit and go from the ground up building it. Unfortunately to some, this is the only tank they lavish this much time on, one can only assume they were trying to convey the idea of not treating the reader like a complete novice and they are looking to the book for inspiration on fine detailing for their finished model. The best ways to take the surplus blocks of resin (called feeds) off and removing flash without damaging anything is discussed, as well as shown in large clear photographs. (everyone knows how trying the larger blocks can be) Extra details are lavished onto this tank throughout the article with detailed directions and good close up images through the steps.
Track hangers are constructed, details added to the dozer blade, barrel drilling and more are discussed and shown. Making tow cables with parts of the original pieces of the plastic one combined with picture hanging wire is discussed (complete directions with pictures) as well as distressing track guards and more. Battle damage (while it’s an amusing thought that all of the tanks just rolled out of Mars production facilities….umm..sure, NOT) is brought up, with a full page devoted to it with the how to. (only 6 steps) The authors bring up several points within the entire text of the book, noting one in particular in regards to this tank, “one can imagine that the once revered Imperial iconography would have no place in a Chaos army. I am sure that one of the first jobs that the Chaos militia crews would have done to their newly requisitioned vehicles would have been to attack the hated Imperial eagles with grinders!” The exquisite detailing continues with instructions on making spare tracks to hang on the tank, grab handles and more.
Next comes the painting process. They go over airbrushing, as well as a few techniques to bring rust to the model, paint chipping, oil and debris (ie. gearing assemblies that would need lubrication), and painting the fighting compartment interior. Continuing with the painting at this point, they move onto the camouflage, showing how to use low tack masking tape and an airbrush to accomplish this. They then complete the tank with weathering, rusting, mud and dust, shell strikes on the armour plating, and finishing up the tread. The final touches are rusting the dozer blade using hairspray, working with some of the brass etches, and finishing up the tow ropes and spare track links.
This tank build is extremely informative, and covers pages 12-33 in the book, as they break down and show you how to do a lot of the different techniques that produce the final tank shown on the last 4 pages. It is a great read to see just how many different techniques and ideas were used to complete the final piece.
Moving on through the book you find several finished models they use to show you how to apply different techniques to. Some of these techniques include oil and grease, rust paint, dust and dried mud, flamer turrets, leaking fuel, lenses, weathering, highlighting paint chips, and more. You are shown a single shot in most cases of the tank before any of the techniques are applied but the focus of the photography is the end result.
The next detailed build consists of making a diorama. This diorama, being D- Battery 45th Artillery Company, is rather extensive, consisting of a dug-in Earthshaker Cannon, and a Trojan delivering artillery supplies as well as all of the expected crew milling about. The pieces themselves have already been finished, and this article focuses on building the diorama itself. The weathering of the tanks is discussed, and then it moves onto building the diorama. Forge World trench sections are the mainstay to build the emplacement the cannon sits behind.
A sturdy wooden base is the start of this, with the main sections of the diorama built up with insulation foam. The article continues through to explain how to make it look as if they have been there for quite some time, mud churned up and that its location has been shelled several times as well. Adding details, like the spots that have been shelled as well as areas of reinforcement with sandbags is shown, then it is built up from there, starting with a mix of household filler, PVA glue, grit, sand, gravel and scorched brown paint as well as all the extra bits and such that were planned out. They then proceed through the painting and finishing process for the base itself, painting anything that needs to be detailed separately and adding it to the base when the time is right. The Trojan is added, as well as the finishing touches on the Earthshaker Cannon are made, and then the crew that will be in the diorama are discussed and painted appropriately. The entire article spans pages 66-85 with the last 4 pages devoted to the pictures of the final project.
Pressing further into the book you find an article on modeling and painting mud, winter camouflage, and creating the Imperial Air Base Typha-IV. The Air Base is the beginning of the aircraft section, encompassing detailing both styles of Marauders, a Thunderbolt, a Valkyrie, a Tau Tiger Shark AX-1-0, and a Tau Barracuda. Within each of these two page spreads, there is highlight on where the paint scheme was derived (in most cases Forge World’s book Tactica Aeronautica provided the inspiration for the paint scheme) and highlighting a few of the finishing touches that are unique to each of them respectively.
The final build is the Siege of Vraks Sector 577-449 battlefield. This is an interesting article as it goes through making a modular gaming table. It was being made to go to Gamesday 2006, with a starting size of 4’x2’ and looking at a finished size of 12’x4’. They go through the making of the boards, and how to make sure everything lines up so it is truly modular, with everything being able to work both together and separately. They delve into shaping the foam, then move to texturing the boards, fine details and painting it. The last 8 pages of the article and book respectively are devoted to showing the finished product, with Titans fighting on the last two. A couple of the techniques mentioned previously in the book were pointed out on the Titans as well.
Overall the book is a good read. A lot of good information awaits you, and some unusual techniques, tips and household items to use that will, with a little time and practice make your model truly unique. The only downside, in my opinion was the extensive use of the Death Cops of Krieg models within it. It seems it would have been a more diverse book if they incorporated a model from each of the races if they are going to show different techniques and ideas. While it is great for the Guard/Krieg enthuiasist, something that also incorporates the Orks, Eldar/Dark Eldar, Space Marines, and Inquisition would provide a little bit of something for everyone. It has been mentioned that this is the first book in a possible series of Masterclass books, so hopefully this is the intention, each of the volumes having a main focus, but also touching on several other models as well.