Tuesday, 9 December 2014

REVIEW: ''Painting guide for AFV'' by JOSÉ LUIZ LÓPEZ RUIZ

As you all know, since the mid 2012 ( give or take a few months ), we have ushered in to a golden age of modelling. The golden age brings us an overwhelming amount of kits, paints, weathering products and educational books and DVDs. The process of getting the information necessary for a good model with an attractive finish is easier than years ago, and generally the quality of models made all around the world is improving dramatically attesting to the now easily aavailable and well done guide books.  Among the myriad of guide books however, some modellers and certain publications become milestones in modelling world like no other. This currently reviewed book is one of that kind.

As soon I saw that this book been announce, I had to have it!
I always been a fan of José Luiz's works. As you all know, he's was a modeller from the ''Spanish School '' of modelling. I'm sure I don't need to explain what the Spanish School is. José Luiz took the basic principle of the Spanish School's display of vibrant colours and develop it further into which he termed '' the Black and White technique ''

The book has 80 glossy pages with cover. The quality of the print is excellent and three is no instances of defects or blurry pages. The images are sharp ( although some can be quite small for the eye) , the font for the text is very suitable for reading and there is a sufficient amount to both read and observe on each page.

This book is structured to allow readers a gradual introduction into the idea behind the book, author’s concept and the B&W technique, detailed explanation of the materials and finally step-by-step examples of how to make a very attractive model.
I am not going to write all details about this in too much details as better sites such as Armorama has already covered it in details.  In fact, I will just point out a few high point of this book that prove that this is a must-have.

This chapter is about colour and it's very obvious that this is targeted for new starter but veterans can also benefits from this.

A chapter dedicated to washes and what colour wash should be used is very welcomed. 

Now this is the cream of the crop. I have a lot of guide books ( even the widely acclaimed Tank Arts book ) but never have I seen a guide that is dedicated this much in oil usage. José has gone taken the trouble of listing what oil is perfect for what application. For me, this is gold. I have read all the famous book but never have I seen such breakdown for oil usage and this section has benefited me alot. Fair enough, there's not too much listed here but this is a necessary need-to-know pointer and one can develop further one's own style base on this information. 

This is another good thing of the book. This table basically tell you the steps from start to finish of a process of making a model kit; when to put on filter, when to put on wash so on so forth. This table will greatly benefits the beginners. 

Here José  explains the benefits of his Black and White technique and shows how it can substitute the classic approach of highlights and shadow that we are mostly using nowadays. In a nut shell, when using Black and White approach you paint the model using a gradient of greys along with black for the darkest shadow and white for the top highlight. Here all necessary effects are created prior to application of colour scheme to the model – chipping, mud, everything! The main advantage (on top of the model looking beautiful in black and white) is that you can play around with monochrome model as long as you want without risk of ruining it and then when you finally apply very diluted base colour to model you only enhance already created effects. 
José has put in the necessary steps of his B&W in a very comprehensible table and you can see it is well laid out and you can easily apply the B&W technique yourself after a thorough reading.

The examples part features 5 exclusive models that have never been published elsewhere and were made especially for that edition ( I follow his works quite closely and I haven't seen them in any other publication. I could be wrong though). Different scales, eras, and subjects - José shows full range of possible techniques and makes really attractive models. Basically, these are ready to use recipes and the readers would be able to pick up ideas straight from the text as the explanations are clear and simple. Some of these builds like the Tiger and Tiran use Black and White technique more extensively, while M-1078 is closer to earlier “zenithal light” models. Altogether, this is very intense section, packed with hundreds of images that clearly show step-by-step progress. Very inspirational!

In sum, this book is quite outstanding. The text is very comprehensive and will gives you a real push go to the bench and try the B&W techniques.
The print quality is very good and it is printed on glossy papers.
All the steps are well explained using the illuminating photos.
The different tables with different functions of each material or technique are, beyond doubt, a great help and something to always have on hand in the workbench.

The lowest point is some spelling typos easily detectable in a quick read (like sastifying or form when it should be from) but this is minor.
In short, the book is suitable for the novice modellers to the advance ones, and is useful on any shelves with dozens of useful tips, easy to follow and great advices and great table charts.

One other thing, the book is “perfectly bound” ; it is quite rigid and can prevent or resist full opening, you will have to use a book holder (or put something on top of the opened pages) if you would like to keep it open on the bench for reference while working on the model. 


Happy modelling guys and have a nice day.


  1. That looks awesome and weathered Homie! The mud is spot on. Maybe with a lil grass stuck in the wheels it would be real. Great work you tankmaster!