Thursday, March 22, 2007


Osprey Publishing
Modelling Fallschirmjäger Figures (Osprey Modelling 31)
Modelling the Me109F and Early G Series (OM 36)
A departure from the usual reviews of the Osprey MAA Series, this review looks at two books from the “Modelling” manuals. I chose two from completely different topics – one discussing how to paint humans and the other machines. Both books are 80 pages long; the Me109 book has an extra page insert with RLM color swatches with a description on the other side – a very nice touch! If you are looking for books with full color photos describing construction and the painting process, these books are exactly what you need – each one has over 200! full color photographs detailing each part of the particular process and finished figures/aircraft. There are no black and white photos to be found in either book! The Fallschirmjäger (FSJ) book also references some color drawings from other Osprey MAA books as well as drawings of camouflage schemes (Luftwaffe splinter, marsh 1943 and splinter reverse colors). The addition of color/color blending suggestions from the Vallejo line of paints is a nice touch to speed up the painting process for wargamers.
The FSJ book shows how four different vignettes were designed using 1/35th scale figures. Each chapter discusses, in detail, how to paint certain parts of FSJ figures. The chapter that covers the complex and difficult task of painting the face provides 16 different photos from the base color to the finished figure. Other chapters cover such things as painting the 1941 uniform/jump suit, later war camouflage patterns, white winter uniforms, scratch building/conversions and building groundwork (basic and more complex) or basing. The way in which each step is clearly discussed and photographed significantly increases the opportunity for gamers to successfully reproduce these techniques! Each chapter lists the subject and project overview, names the modelers, the skill level, the make of the models used, scale, any additional materials used and the colors of paint used (listing the Vallejo paint colors used while painting is a definite plus, as previously mentioned). The skills in each chapter run from intermediate to master, however, this should not put any reader off – personally I intended to use the book for the painting, not converting ideas and I anticipate that I will be able to use their recommendations easily.
The Me109 book shows off five different planes from the Mediterranean to Finnish model and a model in white (always a difficult color to paint well) to a “Wilde Sau”. It starts off with a photo chapter showing “hidden details” of the Me109 – there are parts and places I didn’t know that I didn’t know! The first part of the book discusses different types of scales and the manufacturers who produce them. It also talks about the advantages and disadvantages of each type; a full page listing of scale and manufacturer – there are 34 different 109F and G models available from 10 different companies from 1/144th to 1/24th scale! Each chapter that dealt with a plane noted the subject, modeler, skill level, base kit, scale, any additional detailing sets used, paints (airbrush) and decal markings. Paints suggested were Model Master enamels, Gunze acrylics and Tamiya acrylics. (editor – Polly S makes an excellent line of German RLM colors as well) Something in particular that I liked about this book – the author talked about his mistakes and even photographed them. He showed how he worked around each one and even how he went back to the drawing board when not completely satisfied with the current project.
Both books come with extensive references and bibliography for those who wish to learn more. For wargamers who like their Osprey books full of pictures and easy to understand “how to” instructions, the Modelling Series may have the exactly the books you need!


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