TankArt volume 2 is the second installment of a series of books by Michael Rinaldi. For those unfamiliar with the series, you can read my review of the first book here.
(Note: all four Tank Art books have now been re-edited, but I haven’t seen them, so the reviews you see here are all from 1st editions).
The second volume retains the highly professional, streamlined look of the first. Pictures are again of excellent quality and the layout of text, captions and overall design is second to none. The tone of the text and the way it is structured also follow the same approach as volume 1.
The second volume is the exact same length as the first, 207 pages, made of the following chapters:
- Products & Materials
- Weathering Principles
- Hairspray Technique
- Oil Paint Rendering
- Painting Olive Drab
- Pigment Application
- [Model] Churchill MKIII [Russian]
- [Model] M-26 Pershing
- [Model] Char B1 bis [¸Marseille]
- [Model] Sherman Firefly Vc
- [Model] KV-1 Ehkranami
- Figure (special guest Radek Pituch)
After having read this second book from cover to cover, I’d say the series feels very much like a music masterclass. For those of you without a musical background, a masterclass is where a master musician plays various traits and comments on the specific of his or her interpretation in relation to the technical aspect of the instrument and a variety of more general considerations about what it is to be an interpret. And in a masterclass, the master does repeat a lot of key concepts throughout. This is exactly how if feels reading Rinaldi’s book.
Some will have noticed that the first four parts of the book listed above are identical to the ones in the first book. The hairpsray technique is explained again, as is the Oil Paint Rendering technique. I can easily imagine that this has been made so with readers who did not read the first volume in mind. Those who did read it as I did would understandably have preferred some other topics to be covered.
But new stuff there is too. Rinaldi explains how he goes about using a dark base coat to prepare the model for proper color modulation application. He also deals with color application to shade and age a monochromatic scheme. You’ll probably end up like me realizing there is a lot more to it than just shooting paint. Very useful techniques to have in any modeler’s arsenal.
The Core of TankArt
Still, the project models and how Rinaldi goes about executing them form the core of the book. On that count it delivers ten fold. I think I can safely say that the Churchill Mk.III project probably ranks among my personal top five best models I’ve ever seen. It is one very dirty tank, and I know this isn’t the cup of tea of all, but if you are indeed interested in heavy weathering, this project alone is worth every penny of the book all by itself.
The Pershing (1:48 by the way…) offers an interesting contrast of a dirty OD covered tank with subtle aging and paint wear. In terms of techniques, this project is most useful, as I confess I was entirely oblivious of the possible ways to finish an OD tank with this level of depth.
The Char B, sporting a hand-painted scheme, is going in yet another direction. The Firefly wraps many previously-seen techniques into one build and finally the KV-1E explores the realm of relatively unscathed, clean vehicles. What it gives us in the end is five surprisingly varied projects, with many suggested and explained techniques and much more than just OD painted AFVs.
Also worth mentioning is TankArt’s second volume guest author: Radek Pituch explains how he goes about sculpting figures, an interesting and not often covered topic. Pituch also explains his approach to modelling figures and constructing scenes. I believe there was a problem with editing captions, however, as it seems none of the pictures of the main step-by-step project are in sync with their respective captions. Pituch’s figures are all very very well done and inspiring.
The second volume retain the lows observed on the first, which were minimal: some may find the size of the text to be somewhat small, and there are still some typos that could have been caught, (less than the first though). I should add that I’m not anal on typos, I make tons of them myself all the time. But since the general level of awesomeness of the book is way up there, typos tend to clash a bit more in that context. And again, content redundancy may be a concern to some.
TankArt is about inspiration and execution of artistic intent applied to scale modelling. It has excellent pictures of truly outstanding models and provide insightful and thorough comments on their execution. The book itself is of excellent quality. Some may be concerned with content redundancy.
On more general and far-reaching perspectives, TankArt provides inspiring, masterly executed and well explained projects. I can easily see myself going back to these books in five, ten or twenty years from now to replenish some of my modelling creative juice.
Michael Rinaldi, Tank Art vol. 2 – WWII Allied Armor, Rinaldi Studio Press, 2013, 207 pages.
The book is available at www.rinaldistudiopress.com.
This review was originally published on April 2013 on Track-Link modeling site.
Images courtesy of Rinaldi Studio Press.