Monday, August 10, 2009

Flames of War/Battlefront
This represents Battlefront’s second book on painting tips and covers what appears to be the most popular army of WWII, the Wehrmacht. Given the wide range of uniform styles, colors and accoutrements, the German ground forces (Army, SS and Luftwaffe) are really lots of fun to paint. 76 pages.
The book starts off with half a dozen interviews of specific painters and one “gallery” to show off their painted figures. A nice plus to this text is more “meat” to many of the interviews as they contain brief discussions about the details of how they painted, prepared, made special bases, etc. for their figures. These neat tips really are interesting. The next section discusses German uniforms of the Wehrmacht, the SS, Fallschirmjäger, Africa and the Mediterranean (with specific details for different theatres and years in the war). The reference to the suggested Vallejo paints for uniforms, splinter and three SS camouflage schemes will definitely help gamers recreate these very cool uniforms. Six pages are devoted to the Luftwaffe and its aircraft giving Vallejo equivalents to the RLM shades. Another half dozen pages are devoted to the transition of painting/camouflage schemes for armor; like the infantry uniform colors, a summary of the paint/colors is included to assist wargamers/painters. One of the best parts is the table on suggested three-color paint shades for shadow/base/highlights (blending shades will be useful to eliminate stark color differences). Sections follow to discuss the numbering system and divisional systems of tanks, painting shoulder boards/cool extra touches (e.g. SS collar runes, unit cuff titles, etc.) and rank detail for the ground forces of Germany. It is difficult not to admire camouflaged German units on the gaming table. Interspersed between sections are photo galleries and excellent single page details of how to do specific painting techniques (painting three color camouflage on tanks without an airbrush, painting tank treads, winterizing vehicles and an incredibly detailed discussion about painting a battle worn tank!) The depth of each section on these specific painting tips is very good and marks a vast improvement on the first book where some techniques were less well described (e.g. wet brushing); the use of progressive photos really helps show off each technique well. The book finishes with suggested tools and scenics from Gale Force Nine – I cannot tell how often I have needed to use similar tools like a hand drill, razor saw and files. Scenics really do help make a good base/fig into a great one.
The Art of War – Wehrmacht Edition! is an excellent text for painting WWII German units. While the colors and camouflage are specific to Germany, the tips and techniques can be used for any wargaming armies.
Price: $14


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