TankArt 4 – Review through my eyesDN Models
“To those of you that choose to push to a new level… this book is for you”
That is written just beneath the glossary of the new book by Michael Rinaldi – TankArt4. For those who are familiar with his previous work, my words here are more or less useless, since they should know what are all these books about. For those who haven’t touched one of the TankArt series…well, my following words are for you.
This is not a book. This is a modeling tool. Period. And not only that, but it is THE most useful modeling tool that I have seen in my life. I’ve been modeling for 25 years already, and I’ve seen a lot. I’ve been to seminars, to open modeling sessions, to interviews, clinics, collaboration builds… but this, this piece of paper taught me more than everything else combined.
I was skeptic the first time I heard about TankArt book and I remember thinking: “come on, another overpriced magazine-like-full-of-useless -pictures thing, not showing us the proper tips and tricks, but only the popular ones.” Yeah, we all know great masters does not reveal their knowledge willingly, and some even go further, advising the wrong methods. I could’ve been never further from the truth.
Nope guys and gals, this book is something different. I learned my way reading through TankArt 3, but the new one – fresh out on the market September 2015 – is even better. Not only because it deals with subjects that are very interesting for everybody, but because it explores the possibilities in a manner that is not used by any other author.
But let’s get back to the book. It features German Armor from World War II. It starts explaining few popular techniques, but testing the aspects that you look at scale modeling from. It shows how things can be done differently, or with equal results but with different approaches. That not only helps those who cannot cope with the best modelers out there, but widens the perspective of the whole hobby. Seeing through the eyes of the others can often bring you to a new shore with unexpected new ideas. That is what all is about actually. Well, at least in this book. Oops, excuse me. Correction: Modeling Tool.
I will get back to that in a second.
So after explanation of the processes and their execution /according to the author’s rich experience and history full of surprisingly well completed models/, we are being introduced to few projects, each having it’s own charm and charisma. It is just like the crème de la crème of the German Armor camouflages is squeezed into 5 models, each of which is with specific soul. We have German Gray in two projects – early war and captured vehicle, we have winter camo, disc camo, and factory camo, but weathered only using sole products – oils.
We all know that Dark Gray camouflage is very hard to be done properly, especially when going to a modeling contest. Most of them look like dark gray bricks. Not in here. Here we have proper explanation to the process of completing a Dark Gray tank in a way, that it should look like a piece of wall art, rather than a plastic model.
Winter camo? Oh, no ..far beyond that. Very few aspects of what happened with the real thing are exploited when making a scale model. Mr. Rinaldi here, shows us how to take the other road. How to think like an artist, and along with that re-live the history of the model you are doing. Being there as if you were part of the crew through the whole journey up until the point where you want to show it to the public.
Disc camo, well, I could not help myself here. I have to mention, that I did a tiny tiny part helping there. And I am very proud that Mike Rinaldi chose me and my company from so many out there to help him with the execution of his model for TankArt 4. By that I mean the disc camo masks. He shows us how to do a proper disc camo over a howitzer, using stencils, made by DN Models, and he shows that in a way that somehow every other magazine, article or a book misses to do.
We started this line of masks because of Mr.Rinaldi, and what he did with them is beyond amazing. Comparing his completed model with pictures of vehicles wearing this camo scheme, I must say that they have striking resemblance. That is not because our masks are so great /well, they are good!/ but because he uses a different approach when making a model, and this book shows us exactly that.
That is the reason why this is not “a book” but a Modeling Tool. Its format, its way of showing things, everything is oriented toward a modeler as a bench helping instrument, rather than a night stand piece of paper which you go through before sleeping. TankArt /and not only this one but every last one of ‘em/ are specifically made to sit next to your airbrush, sandfile, tweezers, and of course – model.
And I am not praising this book because I know the guy and he is a great one as a modeler and as a person. I am praising this modeling tool because it helped me get from a mediocre armor modeler to a place where I now am trying to explore new methods and brake personal barriers. And I almost forgot how to enjoy modeling before reading through the first TankArt that I got.
This book brought back to life The Fun of modeling for me. The approach that gives you not only satisfaction from the finished model, but from testing your own skills, the boundaries of the kit and the perception of the viewer.
I know that this is not the review you expected to read through. But that is my point of view. That is what this modeling tool brought from my soul out in the light.
I cannot thank Mr. Rinaldi more! He brought back the fun. Nothing more to say…
You can get Mr. Rinaldi’s wonderful books here:
Aslo at: Rinaldi’s website
A more thorough visual idea of what’s inside can be found here: