Monday, December 03, 2007

Battlefront/Flames of War

The newest release from Battlefront is a book devoted to painting entitled “The Art of War”. It discusses techniques, includes tips and briefly touches on practically all aspects of painting (and even photography!) As with all other Flames of War supplement, it is supported with beautiful photography of individually painted miniatures to entire armies. Soft cover, 84 pages.
The book starts off with several interviews of different painters from around the world. The painters discuss the techniques they use, why and how they use them. They also give specifics regarding what they actually use for priming, basing, painting and finishing (protecting) to give the reader specific ideas of what is being used by some of the better painters. Battlefront has done an particularly outstanding job of selecting painters that produce figures in a wide range of painting styles – the photos that accompany the interviews lets readers to see their finished figures. This allows readers the opportunity to decide if they like the particular results and apply the techniques themselves.
There are brief discussions of suggested tools for painting, cleaning and assembly with more in depth descriptions of head swaps and the use of “green stuff”. The book then describes step by step painting process from basecoating to sealing, briefly highlighting two different and popular painting styles: block painting, wet brushing and black lining. Step by step photo displays would have been very useful here. Another very sharp brand new addition is the inclusion of suggestions of Vallejo paints for “shadow, base color and highlights” for those who like the “three color” painting style (like me!) for eight colors. Five pages each are devoted to weathering and basing. The photo examples of each are truly excellent – another nice feature of this book is how the authors, when discussing techniques, refer back to examples of the different techniques in the original painter interviews. The book finishes with sections of painting camouflage, photography, a review of techniques and airbrushing. Interspersed between sections of the book are photo galleries, displays of full armies and specific examples that compliment the sections they follow.
I enjoyed reading this book from cover to cover. While I have been painting for several years, have tried almost every style available and read whatever I can about painting, I found several new ideas and tips I had never considered before. The close up photos (my personal favorite) are available for those of us who like to “borrow” others’ techniques! As always, the book is very professionally produced and offers useful tips for both the novice and expert. I will look for their next book, an in depth study of the Wehrmacht, with great anticipation!


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