Book Review
Video Review included
Armor Finishing Techniques
Realistic Armor Finishing Techniques with Marcus Nicholls
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by: James Bella [ C5FLIES ]

Weathering a model can be an intimidating experience, after all the time spent building and painting the ‘perfect’ miniature this is the step that many feel will ‘make or break’ the finished model. Beginners, intermediate and experienced modelers benefit from any tips and techniques that they can acquire from the internet, books, live demonstrations and, now, DVD videos.

DVD instructional videos are fast becoming a common sight in modelers’ home libraries as it is much easier to learn a new technique when you can see the process in motion. Realistic Armor Finishing Techniques with Marcus Nicholls, one of the DVD’s in the Expert Model Craft series produced by Compendium Films, focuses mainly on the weathering process.

An established modeler, and editor of Tamiya Model Magazine International, Marcus Nicholls shares with us some of his finishing and weathering techniques. With a short introduction and closing by author/modeler Richard Windrow, the DVD is rated for all regions (worldwide) and runs approximately 95 minutes total, with the main program at about 57 minutes.

Navigating through the DVD is extremely easy, menu screens will bring you to the area of interest and the main chapters are further broken down into sub-chapters. An index is also included to zip you to a specific section for a quick refresher lesson.

Color Wash is the first area covered and Marcus walks us through this procedure from color choice, thinning the oil paints to applying the wash. While the wash is being applied he explains the effect we are trying to achieve. This topic is quite a long one as it also includes pin washes, streaking, camouflage and sealing the model to get ready for some more extreme weathering.

Paint Chipping is next, and Marcus shows the materials he uses and how to apply the chipping. This is all done by brush and the narration gives us an idea of where to apply chipping. Products, colors and mixing different shades are detailed.

Rust and Staining is the third chapter and starts off with an example of fuel stains using both oils and acrylics for different effects. Then onto pitting the metal and applying light rust with pigments, and finally heavy rusting using acrylics and pigments. These techniques can be used on various areas of the model for some great effects.

Burnished Metal is a subtle, yet important, part of creating a realistic looking model. Here we are shown a quick and easy method for duplicating this effect and various areas to use it. A light sheen to very shiny effect are shown as well as different areas to apply it.

On-Vehicle Tools is a quick chapter on the painting and weathering of the wood tool handles and metallic finish of the tool heads. This is a very convincing look as is or can be weathered further for a more extreme look.

German Panzer Gray is the final chapter in the main program, and one of my favorites. This shows a couple of ways to handle the mono tone gray and make it come alive. The techniques here, as in all the techniques shown, can be mixed and matched for various effects. Also, by varying colors, this can be used on other one color paint finishes such as Olive Drab and Dunklegelb.
With some DVD’s it is necessary to view the extra’s section through a PC, in this case it played fine through my DVD player.

Additional Techniques is the first extra chapter and covers Fabrics, Tracks and Rust. Marcus shares a simple way to weather cloth, which can be used on seats, tarps, clothing etc.. This is a quick and easy process which can be left as is or further enhanced by using other techniques.

The track section shows how to finish tracks in a few different ways, depending on the material and style used on the model. Track rusting is also covered here and once again the amount of wear and tear can be varied using a variety of techniques.

Correcting Common Mistakes will instill confidence in the modeler, showing that everything is not irreversible. Throughout the video, Marcus will at times make a mistake purposely to show how to correct it and this section goes a little further. Mistakes will happen to all of us, and this shows how easy it is to fix most of them.

Profile of Marcus Nicholls is a short section on how he started in modeling and where it has brought him.

Model Panorama is a view of close-ups and overall shots of various models, no music or narration in this section.

Recommended Products is a list of the various products and manufacturers that were used throughout the video.
First off, on the DVD jacket and on the websites, the ‘hairspray technique’ is listed as being included which it is not.

Watching this video over and over to write this review I found that there were sections that continued to hold my interest, other areas that once was enough and some I could have done without altogether. All in all this video contains a lot of information, though it is not, the ‘do all be all’ of armor finishing. And as clichéd as it sounds, nothing replaces practice and experience. For the newcomer this will be the start of a solid foundation to pulling together those final details.

Weathering can be a personal and creative side of modeling, with many different techniques and materials to use, therefore peoples’ opinions on techniques and finished product will vary. If you are fairly new to weathering or have questions about certain techniques, this DVD will be a great start. Others may pick up some new ways to achieve a finish and be able to merge some techniques in with their own to bring their models to the next level.

My thanks to Casemate Publishing for allowing me to review this for our readers.

Highs: Easy to understand and follow along, will give confidence to the apprehensive weatherer. Techniques can be left as is or further enhanced, and alternate ways to achieve a finish is provided in some instances.
Lows: Beginners may have to go on blind faith with some techniques as the subtle detail is hard to see in the video.
Verdict: Highly recommend to beginners and intermediate modelers, relatively low cost with lots of information packed in.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:1
  Mfg. ID: 978-1-905573-99-8
  Suggested Retail: 24.95 USD
  PUBLISHED: May 13, 2008

Our Thanks to Casemate Publishing!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About James Bella (c5flies)

My main interest is 1/35 scale WWII armor, Axis and Allied, and will occasionally branch out into other areas. The builds I have done so far have been pretty much OOB, and considering what most newer kits include, that is usually more than enough for me. Even though my projects do not always end up ...

Copyright ©2021 text by James Bella [ C5FLIES ]. All rights reserved.


What I want to tell you here is that if you log in LINK and then spell “坦克 模型“(tanke moxing),you gonna see a lot of short film about model built from japan modeler. But first thing you need to do is to install a Chinese input software.
MAY 12, 2008 - 05:45 PM
Rob and Brent, thank you for the comments. They are very much appreciated. I hope the review gave you a little more info on the DVD. Lu Yuan, that pretty much left me speechless. I'll personally keep the ' Chinese input software' off my computer, thank you, and let's try to keep this on the subject at hand.
MAY 12, 2008 - 06:05 PM
Thanks Bill! Will place an order today! Rob
MAY 13, 2008 - 01:26 AM
Lu Yuan, What in the heck does this have to do with the DVD mentioned above?!? If you feel you will be better served by watching something else online then that's your issue! Rob
MAY 13, 2008 - 01:33 AM
Good review James I'll use yours as a blue print.
MAY 13, 2008 - 03:14 AM
Very good review, from both the 'Did I like the reading it' (I did) and 'Is the product something I'm interested in' (It is) aspects. Good job.
MAY 14, 2008 - 04:21 AM
I'll second that! The clip is a huge "bonus" to the review. Touche! Mike
MAY 14, 2008 - 04:35 AM
This sounds like a pretty good DVD. I picked up something similar a while back by Floyd S. Werner on modeling the BF 109G and I must say there is nothing like seeing the techniques actually performed instead of just the before and after shots. I may have to pick up this DVD to see if there are any new tricks I can learn. Thanks for the review James.
MAY 14, 2008 - 06:38 AM
Thanks for the feedback, gentlemen. Both pro and con comments help to improve future reviews.
MAY 14, 2008 - 06:04 PM

Video Review

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