Tuesday, September 29, 2015
Title: Airframe Workbench Guide - Aircraft Modelling
Author: Libor Jekl
Publisher: Valiant Wings Publishing
There are a few modelers out there on the internet whose work always catches my attention...Paul Boyer, Mike Grant, Tony O'Toole, Joe Youngerman and the author of this new book, Libor Jekl. If the work weren't enough, the book is one of the few modeling manuals that is dedicated to 1/72 scale modeling. (The only other one that comes to mind is the previously mentioned Mr. Boyer's "Building and Displaying Scale Model Aircraft.") It appears to me that many how-to books often avoid 1/72 subjects in favor of focusing on larger 1/32 and 1/48 models. Maybe it is easier to illustrate the author's techniques?
The other unique thing about this small ring-bound book is that it is not an introduction to modeling or even a complete modeling manual. Jekl focused on more advanced skills, often related to finishing, and skipped all the basics. For example, the first chapter (on rigging) opens with the Gloster Gladiator in primer. Besides rigging, the book includes chapters on scribing, rivets, weathering, natural metal, and resin kits. The final chapter is interesting in that it gives the author's tips on how to finish models quickly...oddly named Kwik-building. All are worth considering, but the last one is possibly the most unique suggestion I've ever seen in a modeling book...to go out, take a walk, and get some exercise!
Each chapter is profusely illustrated with in-progress photos and each chapter has a gallery of the finished project. I do wish more words were included to guide the modeler in each step; the book looks like a gallery of Libor's work. (Which isn't a bad thing. Looking at his models is fun.) The only real complaint with the book is that there is no consistent layout. Sometimes a set of steps are numbered 1-2-3, sometimes it is A-B-C, and sometimes there are no labels for the steps at all.
I enjoyed the book and it is a quick and easy read. I picked up a few tips I want to try out; especially the decal-like rivets that were used on the Hellcat. (Obviously, I spent too much of my youth building old Airfix kits, since I am excited to try to add raised rivets to a model!)