This World War II Special is the 22nd bookazine from Mr Black Publications, sees a collaboration with MJ Miniatures very own Man Jin Kim, a good friend of mine and an incredibly talented Artist. This issue contains seven chapters spanning 80 pages, awash with step by step instructions and colour photographs throughout, we are even treated to a gallery chapter near the back of the book. The chapters cover everything from the basic tool through to painting faces and the more specialised works that we have all marvelled over whether in video or Facebook updates, the painting of German uniforms!
At a time of recession, a time of uncertainty over how our world will continue to develop, Mr Black continues to represent the very pinnacle in modelling literature and as such we should all continue to support their efforts. In light of the collapse of Figure International, there are less and less, collectable publications out there for us to sate our figure painting urges, let’s make sure this one is around for a very long time!
DESIGN AND LAYOUT
The design and layout of this volume is well considered and easy to follow. The photographs throughout are relevant, the step by step pictures in particular are numbered, annotated and clearly show the progress along each step. Not only do we get the full process in exhaustive detail including colour recipes and palettes but more importantly the author regularly divulges some tip or nugget of wisdom that frequently helps to piece everything together and aid us on our personal journey of development.
World War II Special consists of seven chapters, chapter I is a rather short and generic breakdown of the various tools MJ uses along with further pages on preparation and construction. Chapter II discusses the features of acrylic paints and how to use the brush correctly, sounds straight forward however, there were one or two points I hadn’t really paid much attention to, so I will definitely be paying closer attention to this during my next session. Chapter II also provides a complete colour chart of all the brands and colours MJ uses throughout the book which is a handy resource too, having them all listed in one place rather than having to re-read sections to determine the colours used.
Chapter III opens with an introduction into painting faces before going in to three separate full SBS tutorials on heads wearing caps and helmets, each technique slightly altered for each version, creating different results depending on lighting and setting.
Chapter IV focuses on a 1/35th scale (50mm) German Infantryman from Alpine Miniatures and how he paints the Field Grey uniforms of these troops. This is achieved over five pages of various steps, each outlined with annotated images so you can see exactly what each step achieves. This chapter also contains his process for painting the “black and white” uniform of SS Panzer crew again from Alpine Miniatures, who assisted throughout the book providing the various figures on display. He unselfishly explains to us his own experiences with these problematic tones and his technique for getting the best results! We then have an additional three tutorials talking us through his intuitive steps for recreating the various camouflaged combat clothing such as Oak Leaf and Italian pattern, M44 Pea Pattern and Palm Tree pattern. Finally in this chapter he takes us through another SBS, in considerable detail on how to paint leather type textures! For anyone wishing to paint these types of military figure, this book should be come your bible!
Chapter V is a relatively short affair discussing techniques and colours for painting the various accessories from map case, to rifle to water bottle and then we are on to one of my favourite subjects in chapter VI, Base Building! Over the next half dozen pages or so, MJ talks us through the construction of the scenic base for the 12thh SS Grenadier, from choosing a suitable base, beginning the groundworks, to adding the various elements in a pleasing composition and finally the paintjob!
Finally World War II Special ends with chapter VII, showcasing some of MJ’s amazing military figures from this era over the last couple of years, from small scale to 90mm to bust, each is a work of Art and full of details and textures, that if you absorb the contents of the book you will soon be replicating in your own projects!
EASE OF UNDERSTANDING
There are different approaches throughout the book although there are a lot of numbered steps yet it is still flexible enough displaying various skills and techniques, so that the reading does not become monotonous. Some of the articles are more step by step and concise, others are informative and insightful but they are all relatively easy to follow and understand.
World War II Special featuring Man Jin Kim is a wonderful resource not only for painters of military figures from this genre but also for any figure painter, especially those with an interest in the authors works and how he creates his wonderful projects. Remember also that MJ is incredibly prolific and the techniques within are the result of years of refining and fine tuning, so you are receiving an incredible lesson here for an incredible price. Consider the cost of attending a weekend workshop, throw in your travel expenses and lodgings and you could be looking at £3-400 easily, yet for less than €25 you can have a permanent reference on your bookcase, readily available! I believe the book represents great value for money, highly recommended! I was also fortunate enough to receive my copy signed with personal message from my lil bro in Korea, thank you MJ, I consider it an honour to be your friend!
AVAILABLE FROM: HERE
No of PAGES: 84
Jason Martin is an award-winning painter, student of the arts and head honcho at Figurementors. His heavy metal listening, ex-forces exterior belies his true passion – to help you succeed on your personal journey to become a better figure painter.