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  1. Encyclopaedia of Armour Volumes 3, 4 & 5 AMMO of Mig Jiménez We reviewed the opening Volume of this series here, and followed it with Volume 2 here back in 2016, after which we somewhat lost track of the release schedule. We are now playing catch-up with the remaining three Volumes thanks to the good folks at AMMO, and bring you the final three in one easy-access review, plus the links above to go back and see the early parts. In case you haven't yet seen the earlier reviews or played catch-up by following those links, this is the AFV version of AMMO's popular series of books on Aircraft Modelling Techniques from 2015 that we reviewed here, and is a complete reference guide for modellers of all levels to improve their techniques, learn new ones, or like myself remind themselves of how to do things if it's been a while and you can't remember. What was I saying? Oh yes – The books are split between the stages of building, painting and completing an AFV model, with all the sub-steps and variations on techniques in between that the author feels may suit some of us better than others. They are laid out in a common-sense manner, with a heavy visual content that is captioned to clarify where necessary, and as these are books to teach the use of the techniques, they often use the extreme level that they can be taken to, in order to demonstrate the look at its most exaggerated, so that you can see it easily and then choose for yourself how far you want to go toward that extreme. They aren't telling you that THIS is the only way to build a model as some people think, simply demonstrating the ultimate end of said technique to give you the tools to go forward and interpret it yourself in the striving for realism or artistic expression. It's absolutely your choice, as it's your hobby. All books are printed in the same style both physically and in terms of layout, print style and format, with a stiff softback cover that has half-width fold-out sections on the inside. After a chapter listing it's straight on with the task at hand, which is education and entertainment. The tutorials are pictorially rich as mentioned above, with step numbers and captions on just about every page, going into extraordinary detail on how the techniques are achieved, even down to the best masking techniques and tools used. Volume 1 - Construction https://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/235000159-encyclopaedia-of-armour Volume 2 – Interiors & Base Colour https://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/235010718-encyclopaedia-of-armour-volume-2 Volume 3 - Camouflages 7.0 Camouflage Painting 7.1 Materials and References for Camouflage Painting 7.1.1 Tools and Materials 7.1.2 Camouflage Painting References 7.2 Multicolour Camouflage Schemes 7.2.1 Hard-Edge Camouflages 7.2.2 Semi Hard-Edged Camouflages 7.2.3 Soft-Edged Camouflages 7.2.4 Stripes and Mottling 7.3 Chipped Paint 7.3.1 Chipping Fluids: Features 7.3.2 Chipping Effects with Chipping Products 7.3.3 Other Chipping Techniques 7.3.4 Scratches and Pitting 7.4 Filters, Washes and Oils 7.4.1 Filters 7.4.2 Washes 7.4.3 Oils 7.5 Winter Camouflages 7.5.1 Chipped Whitewash 7.5.2 Washed-Out Whitewash 7.6 Desert Camouflages 7.6.1 Lightly Weathered Desert Camouflages 7.6.2 Chipped Desert Camouflages 7.6.3 Makeshift Desert Camouflages 7.7. Primer Colour and Bare Metal Finishes 7.7.1 Primer Colour 7.7.2 Bare Metal Surfaces 8.0 Advanced Painting Techniques 8.1 Light Techniques 8.1.1 Zenithal Light 8.1.2 Colour Modulation 8.1.3 Illumination by Panels 8.1.4 Spotlight Technique 8.2 Black and White Technique Volume 4 – Weathering 9.0 Weathering Effects 9.1 Weathering Materials and References 9.1.1 Tools and Materials 9.1.2 References for the Weathering Effects 9.1.3 Preparation Work for the Weathering Stage 9.2 Dirt Accumulations 9.2.1 Accumulated Dirt Stains 9.2.2 Rust Stains Accumulations 9.3 Streaking Grime 9.3.1 Streaking Grime Marks 9.3.2 Rain Marks 9.4 Streaking 9.4.1 Dirt Streaks 9.4.2 Rust Streaks 9.5 Dust and Earth 9.5.1 Scuffed Dust 9.5.2 Dust and Earth Stains 9.5.3 Dusting with Pigment 9.6 Mud Effects and Splashes 9.6.1 Dry Mud 9.6.2 Medium Mud 9.6.3 Fresh Mud 9.6.4 Mud Splashes 9.7 Oil, Fuel and Wet Stains 9.7.1 Oil and Grease Stains 9.7.2 Fuel Stains 9.7.3 Water and Wet Stains 9.8 Rust Effects 9.9 Winter Weathering 9.10 Desert Weathering Volume 5 – Final Touches 10.0 Final Steps 10.1 Materials and Graphic References 10.1.1 Materials and Tools 10.1.2 Graphic References 10.2 Tracks Assembly 10.2.1 Flexible Rubber Bands 10.2.2 Non-Workable Styrene Tracks 10.2.3 Workable Tracks 10.3 Painting and Weathering Tracks 10.3.1 Fairly Clean Tracks 10.3.2 Rusty Tracks 10.3.3 Tracks on Dry Soil 10.3.4 Tracks on Wet Soil 10.4 Painting Wheels 10.5 Exhaust Pipes 10.5.1 Painting Exhausts 10.5.2 Exhaust Soot Stains 10.6 Tools 10.7 Tow Cables 10.7.1 Replacing Tow Cables 10.7.2 Painting Tow Cables 10.8 Clear Parts 10.8.1 Periscopes 10.8.2 Headlights and Tail Lights 10.9 Armament 10.9.1 Machine Guns 10.9.2 Rifles and Other Guns 10.10 Antennas 10.11 Wood Parts 10.12 Metal Items 10.12.1 Bare Metal Items 10.12.2 Painted Metal Items 10.13 Fabric and Canvas Items 10.14 Natural Elements Gallery - 27 pages of photos of the models built for this book Conclusion This is a must-have collection of modelling assistance that will appeal to pretty much all AFV modellers, as a dip-in refresher, a good read or to glean some new techniques to try on your next model. There's a little repetition if you look at the series as a whole, but as a ready reference, these sections come into their own, not assuming you have any of the other Volumes to detail things such as your toolkit. Apply the techniques as restrained or as flamboyantly as you see fit, and as long as you're enjoying it, you're doing it right. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  2. 17ml Storage System – 60 Bottle Paint Rack AMMO of Mig Jiménez Once you've got a decent stock of any brand of paint, it becomes a bit of a pain keeping them neat and tidy, as they can take up quite a bit of shelf or drawer space, and looking at the tops of paint bottles that are all the same colour in a drawer isn't the easiest way to find a particular colour. A paint rack is a damn good investment once you've reached critical mass, and as a lot of manufacturers use those handy 17ml dropper bottles, one in that size could come in handy. AMMO have teamed up with HobbyZone from Poland, and created a stackable modular rack that will hold 60 of the aforementioned dropper-bottles, and although you didn't hear it from me I think you might be able to put other brands in there too. The rack comes flat-packed in a sturdy brown box that keeps shipping costs reasonable, but of course it will need a little assembly before use. There aren't any instructions in the box or on the website however, which might prove a bit discouraging at first, but after studying the photos it soon becomes evident how it goes together. The outer frame is made from four lengths of 6mm MDF, and has been cut with loose-fit dovetail joints at the corners, and has a series of diagonal grooves router-cut into the inner faces. The 3mm fibreboard/hardboard racks and other parts are similarly pre-cut and have a white painted upper surface, which accents the wooden finish, especially where the AMMO logo has been cut into the top hanger. The five rack parts have partial circular cut-outs in the leading edge, which are set diagonally from row-to-row to allow the bottles to be closer-packed, with the bottom row having a narrower "kick board" to hold the bottom row in place. A central stiffener runs vertically behind the racks, preventing them from bowing under the weight of the bottles, which is good news, as particle boards can sag as they age due to absorbing tiny amounts of moisture. How to build it? I'm not about to preach that my method is the perfect one, but in case you're undecided here's how I built mine. I first glued one joint with PVA, holding it square using two engineer's squares I have, letting it set overnight, after which I did the other long edge so I had a U-shaped frame to put all the racks in. With those joints set up I put set it on its side with the grooves for the rack upward. Then I glued the ends of the correct racks in place, taking care to offset them as I went. While the glue was still wet I then glued the opposite end on the corners and in each groove, using my engineer's squares to keep it down, and a couple of claps to ensure it stayed square. The top hanger sits on a set of tab and slot grooves for strength, and it has a small nib at each end that also supports the sides and helps to hold the rack square. That was also clamped to the frame while the glue set. There is a cut-out in the rear of the bottom frame so that if you have two or more racks you can place them atop each other, saving space by hiding the hanger behind the rack. You can place your rack on the desk against something sturdy, but they are designed to be wall-mounted, as evidenced by the two holes in the top of the hangers that will take a screw or any wall-fixture appropriate to your installation. As each bottle weighs around 36g the combined weight of the rack and paints will be approaching 3kg, so make sure you fix it securely or you'll be a bit sad when it drops off the wall. Conclusion It's a cool rack for a decent price, but I would have liked some instructions if I'm honest. The frame could stand to be a little more rigid by the addition of a few small webs in the corners, but unless you're unlucky and careen into it one day, it should stay intact with the liberal application of PVA (wood) glue of a decent brand and strength. Bear Hobbies have been kind enough to provide this rack for review, and I'd like to just take a moment to thank them for their support, and for Mark's enthusiasm for our hobby. You can find his shop in the Vendor Section, or follow the link from his logo below to his site. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  3. Bare Metal Aircraft Colors (A.MIG.7216) AMMO by Mig Jiménez Bare metal colours are a fairly personal choice and some folks swear by a brand that other folks swear at. AMMO have come up with set of acrylic metal colours that will be useful for some of the latest releases, as well as old faithfuls. They arrive in a clear clamshell box with four colours inside, all of which are in 17ml dropper bottles that have yellow caps and mixing balls inside to help distribute the pigment. Like most AMMO paints they separate quite quickly when left unagitated, but a quick shake will soon bring them back to the correct shade. Included in the pack are the following colours, although this is slightly at variance with the website, which substitutes Polished Metal for the included Burnt Iron that was found in my set: A.MIG-045 Gun Metal, A.MIG-194 Matt Aluminium, A.MIG-195 Silver, A.MIG-187 Burnt Iron The paint dispenses readily from the droppers, and once thinned either with water, AMMO thinners or my preferred one-size-fits-all Ultimate Thinners, sprays nicely through my 0.2mm Mr Hobby airbrush, so it should cope with all the larger sizes with ease. It goes down nicely, and has a fine pigment size, so won't appear toy-like when it hits the photo-booth, as you can see from the examples applied to the spare fuselage half from the recent Eduard Royal Class Fw.190A kit. I didn't mask anything up, as I was keen to crack on, so you'll have to forgive the hazy transitions between the colours as I was having issues with my own skills. The Burnt Iron appears more metallic and has a more reddish tint in the flesh than on the photo, but as I was trying to capture the full range from dark to light, it appears a little dark and not quite so burned in the picture. The instructions on the bottle advise leaving the paint to dry for a day, but it was touch-dry within 10 minutes, although I wouldn't recommend handling that early normally. The next day I performed a gloss varnish test with an acrylic varnish, and the colours stayed bright and didn't react one bit. It's a subjective thing, but if anything I feel that it slightly improved the lustre of the bright metallics, and brought out the reddish tone in the Burnt Iron. Conclusion An excellent starter set of metallic shades from the Ammo range, despite the slight confusion on what's included. They go down well without covering detail, are robust once dry, and stay metallic under gloss varnish. That ticks all the boxes for airbrushing, which is by far the best method for applying metallic if you have the facilities. Highly recommended Review sample courtesy of
  4. Sherman Tanks Vol.1 WWII Commonwealth (A.MIG.7169) Ammo of Mig Jiménez By now we're all pretty familiar with the AMMO range of paints, and many folks are very happy with how they brush and airbrush, so I won't bore you with any of that malarkey. The sets popping out from the AMMO factory are very useful, as they act as a one-stop shop for your project in hand. This time, if it's a Sherman tank that you're wanting to paint (not to be confused with its namesake, the General), then you might want to read on. Arriving in their now standard cardboard box with header flap, this set contains six colours that are specifically mixed with your Sherman in mind, either directly for this pack, or already extant in their range, which explains the non-consecutive numbers of the individual paints. You might initially think that all you need is green, but many, many Shermans were painted with camouflage colours in service, and if the slight flood that ruined the profile book hadn't happened, I'd be able to refer you to that for examples. Sadly, it's now illegible, but we're trying to get another copy for review, so bear with us. In the box is a vacformed clear plastic tray that keeps the six bottles together when you remove them. The bottles are industry standard 17ml dropper bottles with the now-traditional yellow caps that indicate there is a steel ball-bearing within the bottle to aid in paint agitation. This will be a huge help, as AMMO paints do separate when left to settle. A damn good shake will see all the pigments and carrier mixed back together, and you also get a pleasing clatter of the bearing, telling you it is doing its work. In the box you get the following colours: A.MIG.061 BS381c No.61 Light Stone (labelled warm sand yellow) A.MIG.110 SCC 1A British Brown (1941-42) A.MIG.111 SCC 2 British (1941-44) Service Drab A.MIG.112 SCC 15 British (1944-45) Olive Drab A.MIG.113 British Khaki Green No.3 (1939-42) A.MIG.217 BS 381x No.34 Dark Slate (also RLM02) Now we wait for Volume.2 to arrive, although Volume.2 and Volume.3 have become available since we received our sample. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  5. Oil Brusher Paints AMMO of Mig Jiménez Using oils for weathering effects is hardly a new technique, but it has been occasionally hit-and-miss if you happen to buy the wrong oils with gritty pigment, or forget to let the oils "breathe" on a piece of card to wick away the excess oil that slows down drying and makes it harder to achieve certain effects. The lead foil tubes and their caps can also be an impediment, as they are prone to sticking in place if not used frequently, and we have all probably twisted a tube badly whilst trying to undo it at some point. Then there's finding a good brush to apply the paint, cleaning it afterward etc. etc. It can all be a bit of a faff. You know what's coming next, don't you? Let me introduce you to the new AMMO Oil Brusher system. Not the most exciting brand name, but very descriptive. These tubular pots of oil paint have been formulated not to need any oily residue wicking away, and the long black cap has a captive brush with a stiff set of bristles that works rather well. There is a scraper-lip inside the neck that removes the excess paint, and leaves the brush with just about the right amount of paint for the job in hand. The body of the bottle is clear so it's easy to see which bottle you have hold of, and there are 21 shades in the range at launch, with more on the way I'm sure. The screw cap coupled with the rigid body should prevent any clogging down the line, and if the lid does seize, there's plenty to get hold of to apply your massive forearm strength to. If that doesn't work, just run some hot water over the lid to soften any residue. Below are the available shades at launch: A.MIG.3500 Black A.MIG.3511 Red Primer A.MIG.3501 White A.MIG.3512 Dark Brown A.MIG.3502 Yellow A.MIG.3513 Starship Filth A.MIG.3503 Red A.MIG.3514 Earth A.MIG.3504 Dark Blue A.MIG.3515 Ochre A.MIG.3505 Olive Green A.MIG.3516 Dust A.MIG.3506 Field Green A.MIG.3517 Buff A.MIG.3507 Dark Green A.MIG.3518 Sunny Flesh A.MIG.3508 Dark Mud A.MIG.3519 Light Flesh A.MIG.3509 Medium Grey A.MIG.3520 Basic Flesh A.MIG.3510 Rust Following the initial releases, the intended subject matter has broadened with the colour range erring toward Sci-Fi, as evidenced by the Warhammer 40K and Gundam themed names of some of the more recent colours, which meshes with the (fairly) recent book and paint set releases that have firmly placed AMMO in the Sci-Fi miniature and modelling arena. This should attract a larger customer base from the widening of genre, although the Warhammer 40K guys are used to everything being available from their own shops, so that may be a tougher market to crack. To save you craning your neck due to the increased slant of the bottles in the picture, and risking injury, the colours are as follows: A.MIG.3523 Dusty Earth A.MIG.3531 Mecha Dark Green A.MIG.3525 Red Tile A.MIG.3532 Starship Bay Sludge A.MIG.3526 Space Purple A.MIG.3538 Silver A.MIG.3527 Marine Blue Clearly my test wasn't exhaustive, but was enough for me to get an idea of how the pigments would work. I experimented with streaking, shading, and "general grime", and considering the unsympathetic base colour white, the results were promising. Thanks as usual to my 1:72 He.111 wing for putting up with my experimentations. The thinners I used was some old stuff I had lying around but should give a fair representation. You will (as mentioned) need some high quality low odour thinners to blend the oils once applied, whether it is to shade an area, or to effect the oil-dot technique, but if you don't already have some on hand, AMMO have a 100ml bottle that is specifically designed for use with their products here. In use the pigment is dense, and finely ground so that gritty finishes aren't a concern, allowing you to streak, blend and paint without worry, whilst applying only as much as you wish to. Oddly, there is no fill level noted on either the bottle or the accompanying literature, but I found that they hold 10ML whilst rooting around their site. You can buy the full set or individually as you need them, but you may want to consider getting one of the new organisers that have been designed to fit the full 21, and has been laser cut from fine MDF with a white surface finish and the AMMO logo at the front. Highly recommended. Oil Brushers Organizer Enamel Thinners Review sample courtesy of
  6. King Tiger Interior & Exterior Acrylic Paint Sets Mig AMMO Launched to coincide with the new Takom King Tiger kit in 1:35 that we reviewed here, and for which AMMO drew the profiles and advised on colour choices, these two sets are out now. They are broken down to Interior (Vol.1) and Exterior (Vol.2), and both consist of 6 x 17ml bottles of acrylic paint with dropper tops, and a stainless steel ball-bearing in each to aid mixing by shaking. The boxes are cardboard with a hanger for display at one end, and inside is a clear carton holding the paints in situ, and allowing you to remove them en masse. Vol.1 Interior Colours (A.MIG-7165) The cramped interiors of German tanks were painted a cream colour where it counted, and left in red oxide primer where it didn't, and of course the ammo was either steel or brass cased, depending on a number of factors such as supplier and how short of strategic materials they were at the time. The set includes the following shades to allow you to paint the basic colours of the interior, but if you intent to do any modulation of the colours, you will need to make sure you have additional shades on hand. A.MIG-003 Resedagrun A.MIG-014 Rotbraun (floor) A.MIG-017 Cremeweiss (interior) A.MIG-194 Aluminium A.MIG-197 Brass (ammunition) A.MIG-218 Schwarzgrau (engine) Vol.2 Exterior Colours (A.MIG-7166) Three main colours were in use during the period of the King Tiger's service, with a usual base of Dark Yellow, broken up with Olive Green, and Chocolate Brown in a huge number of variations. Winter distemper camo was also applied, which is catered for in this set by the supply of a "washable" white paint, which can be applied and removed to show wear. The tracks are painted a very dark brown, which will require some additional work to give a lifelike finish, and a number of wooden parts such as the jack block are visible amongst the pioneer tools. In the set are the following colours: A.MIG-002 Olivegrun Opt.2 A.MIG-010 Dunkelgelb Mid War A.MIG-015 Shokobraun A.MIG-024 Washable White Camo A.MIG-035 Dark Tracks A.MIG-037 New Wood On the back of the box are four profiles of alternatives from the kit boxings, all of which have the required colours called out next to their profiles, as shown below: Conclusion AMMO paints are by now a known quantity, and this combination of sets will doubtless find favour with anyone building a new King Tiger, no matter what the source kit, as well as those building any late war German armour. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  7. Israeli Defence Force Special Edition Paint Set AMMO of Mig Jiménez In recent years there has been an explosion of Israeli subjects available in the AFV world, which has resulted in new paint colours being added to many ranges. This new Special Edition from AMMO contains some new formulations of existing colours that have been based on actual samples of the real thing from different periods of operation. The box is their standard size, but is finished in gloss black, with silver and white writing that makes it stand out from the crowd. Inside is a clear tray that contains six 17ml dropper bottles with the newer yellow caps that identify them as having the steel BBs inside to aid with mixing the paint during shaking. It is billed as the definitive Israeli set, and the colours are as follows: A.MIG-066 Faded Sinai Grey Lightened version of real IDF Sinai grey '82. Perfect for highlights, faded colours, and adding a scale effect without altering the tone. A.MIG-067 Light Sand Grey Lightened version of real IDF sand grey. Perfect for highlights, faded colours, and adding a scale effect without altering the tone. A.MIG-068 IDF Green Green colour used by the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) from the early years through to the Six-Day War in 1967. A.MIG-049 Red Colour used by the IDF to highlight certain items such as handles or lifting points. An essential reference for IDF models. A.MIG-131 Real IDF Sinai Grey '82 Colour used by the IDF from the First Lebanon War to this day. Merkavas, Magach and a host of other vehicles are painted in this colour. Highly accurate colour; authentically matched to the real paint. A.MIG-132 Real IDF Sand Grey '73 Sand grey tone used by the IDF from the Six-Day War to the Yom-Kippur War and up to the 1980s. Highly accurate colour; authentically matched to the real paint. The paints are thinned with either AMMO's own thinner (A.MIG-2000), or water, and can be brush painted or airbrushed if thinned to the usual consistency of semi-skimmed milk. The paint dries to the touch slightly slower than some acrylics I have used, and the box states that it will be fully dry in 24 hours, which isn't a bad recommendation for any acrylic to be honest. Many modellers have taken to this paint system like ducks to water, and now swear by it, which is a good enough testament to anyone considering making the switch. Review sample courtesy of
  8. The Weathering Magazine – Washes, Filters & Oils AMMO of Mig Jiménez Timed to coincide with the release of AMMO's new Oil Brusher range (reviewed here), this edition of the popular and useful techniques magazine is all about weathering, and a section of it is devoted to the use of oils. The magazine isn't structured like most modelling mags, which is why feel it is worthy of review of each edition. Instead of the usual format, it details the use of specific techniques by following the modellers in their build of a particular subject, which if you're expecting just a long procession of armour models, you'll be surprised to find an aircraft, well-known space craft and even a locomotive within the pages. Each article concentrates on one technique, and after a preamble from Mig himself, it proceeds as follows: Filters by Mig Jiménez Washes & Oils by Mig Jiménez Oil Dot Technique by Mig Jiménez Outside the Loft – a Hobby Boss AAVP-7A1 by Maxi Fernández Washes, Filters & Streaked Grime Effects on a A6M Zero by Mig Jiménez Oil Highlights & Combined Grime Effects on an Sd.Kfz.251 by Sergiusz Pęczek Stardust Shows No Mercy – Millennium Falcon by Konrad Dzik Old School Never Dies – A Hetzer & Sd.Kfz.232 by Pat Johnston The Forgotten Workhorse – A Fiat Ferroviaria D345 locomotive by Graziano Ghetti Acrylics on Wash Duty – Dirtying up a grey panzer by Sergiusz Pęczek Each article spans between two and fourteen pages, and follows the familiar pattern of AMMO books, with plenty of photographs of the work in progress, plus captions that complete the picture. Of course AMMO products feature heavily in the articles, with more than a couple using the new Oil Brushers, but the techniques are important in themselves and if you're not wedded to AMMO products for whatever reason, it is easy enough to substitute your own existing stocks. The modelling on display is first-rate and an inspiration to us all as to what can be achieved with a little bit of skill and some innovative products and techniques. It's just a shame that the skill part can't be bought over the counter. The magazine isn't over-burdened by adverts, and this English language version has been translated from the original language by Iain Hamilton, and is available in Spanish, French and Russian in addition. The series can be purchased individually or as a subscription from the AMMO website, or you can probably find them at your more adventurous newsagent or model shop. Highly recommended for anyone looking for a quick reference for weathering techniques. Review sample courtesy of
  9. The Weathering Aircraft - Engines AMMO of Mig Jiménez The Weathering Aircraft might not make grammatical sense to a native English speaker, but the contents certainly do. It is a quarterly publication from the modern kings of weathering AMMO, demonstrating the techniques available to the modern modeller, whilst leveraging their products into the frame, and who can blame them? The edition concerns engines, and details a number of different techniques for creating realistic engines in differing states of repair, from in-service to dilapidated, to ripped out of the airframe and lying on the ground. It follows the usual style of AMMO publications, breaking down into a number of articles by different modellers, dealing with the different types of installation in turn. The text is accompanied by copious in-progress photographs with descriptive captions to fill the gaps, and the various products used shown for your ease. Of course the majority are AMMO products as you'd expect, but you can easily substitute whatever you have in your drawer for similar effects. The techniques are the important aspect, and as already mentioned recently, it's just a shame we can't purchase talent in bottles to help us improve effortlessly. The articles are as follows: ME.262 Jumo 004B – The chief editor builds and paints a highly detailed jet engine to sling under the wing of a Schwalbe. Salmson – A WWI radial engine is built and painted, showing the different finishes used. Nakajima HA-109 – a 14-cylinder Radial engine from the WWII Japanese fighter Ki-44 is painted and fitted within the cowling. UH-1Y – A Kitty hawk Venom is built with a detailed engine visible within the inspection bay of the latest Huey variant. General Electic J79-GE-19 – The guts of this engine are exposed via the belly bay, built from a resin upgrade set. Rolls-Royce Merlin 60 – Hyper-detailing and painting the block from a Tamiya 1:32 Spitfire. Nakajima Sakae 12 – A well-worn engine from a Zero 21 is built into the fuselage of Tamiya's kit. F-105 Thunderchief – A trolley-borne engine from this Cold War warrior is built and painted, demonstrating heat discolouration techniques. Mercedes D.IIIa – Using the guts of a WNW Fokker D.VII and a 3D upgrade from Aviattic, the Mercedes lump is built up in a well-maintained museum quality model. Mercedes D.III – as a contrast a Roden engine is built as a heap of junk on a well-rusted trestle. Pratt & Whitney PW2800 – built as a vignette of a crash scene, the engine is depicted ripped out of the airframe with a damaged and bent prop still attached. Radon-Klzer 602C – What? Anakin's pod-racer from The Phantom Menace (oh, that film) is given a spectacular paint job after some sympathetic detail upgrades. The index at the front is a little out of kilter with the contents, but at least it proves I read it! The mix of content and build styles hits a good balance between shiny and shot-at, and should give any budding engine builder some useful tips on how to improve their engine building work. As usual, the magazine isn't over-burdened with adverts, and has a couple of young attractive ladies dotted through the pages in case you get tired of looking at models and like that sort of thing. A good read with plenty to offer even the experienced modeller. Review sample courtesy of
  10. Encyclopaedia of Armour Volume 2 AMMO of Mig Jiménez We reviewed the first volume of this series here on April Fool's day, and just to convince you finally that we weren't pulling your leg, here is Volume 2, which concentrates interiors and base colours for your armour models. That doesn't seem particularly much to devote a whole book of 152 pages to, but you'd be surprised. Or maybe you wouldn't if you've ever gone to town on a model. The style, layout and paper stock are a match to the previous edition as you'd expect, and it is printed in portrait orientation in a card binding that has fold-out half width leaves that are printed with glossy examples of some fabulous armour models. Mig himself makes an appearance in the Preamble, leaning against a softskin vehicle in a jaunty manner, and after that the book gets down to the serious business of painting and weathering models. 4 Materials and references for the painting stage 4.1 Tools and Materials 4.2 References 4.3 Preparation Before Painting 5 Painting Interiors 5.1 Cars and Truck Interiors 5.2. Painting AFV Interiors 5.3. Painting Engines 6 Exterior Painting 6.1 Preparation of Parts 6.2 Airbrush Painting 6.3. Priming 6.4 Preshading and Base Coat 6.5 Paint Effects With the Airbrush 6.6 Markings and Insignia Photography and the modelling on display is exceptional as we've come to expect from the AMMO studio, and it's nice to see soft skin vehicles being discussed as well as the usual heavy metal. Incidentally, I was amazed and impressed to see one of the examples was the pseudo WWI-era tank from the film Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, which I happened to be watching on Blu-Ray with my son only this week. It captures the look of the film prop perfectly, even down to the banana-peel barrel on the port side, which Indy ended up hanging from while the baddies tried to crush him against the side of the gully. What an awesome model and a classic film! Conclusion This series, like the Aviation series is almost essential reading for any modeller that wants to progress in terms of painting and weathering, and leafing through the books leave me feeling rather amateurish, but also inspires me to raise my game on my next model. Do however bear in mind that these examples are sometimes taken to extremes to demonstrate the techniques used more clearly, and you don't have to mimic them exactly. Not all tanks are knackered, rusty and covered in mud, but not all tanks are pristine and squeaky clean either. There is a whole range in between the two extremes, and they can all be correct. Extremely highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  11. 1935-2016 Mythical Russian Greens Acrylic Paint Set Mig AMMO Russian Green has a different meaning depending on many factors, including era, factory, whether the vehicle has been repainted in the field, the effects of weather conditions on the pigments etc. It's a subject that causes much head-scratching, and more than a few arguments on the internet. Mig's researchers have done their research in an attempt to simplify this process for you, but as always there is always room for exceptions to any rule. The paint set arrives in the by-now-familiar card box with a header for display, and inside are six 17ml dropper bottled with yellow caps, and a small ball-bearing to aid in paint mixing during agitation. Also included is a little booklet that describes the evolution of Russian armour paint colours, with the aid of a timeline diagram and on the back side (not pictured) are some profiles with the base colours shown for example. Included in the box are the following six shades: Name Paint Code Russian Green A.MIG-019 Alkidno Uretanovaya A.MIG-022 Protective Green A.MIG-023 Protective NC 1200 A.MIG-053 Dark Green A.MIG-915 Russian Base A.MIG-932 There are some ten shades mentioned in the booklet in total that have been used over the years in Soviet/Russian armour, and as this set only contains six shades, you will need to pick up a few more in addition, the numbers for which are below: Name Paint Code XB 518 Zashchitney Zeleno A.MIG 083 Russian Green Middle East Camo A.MIG 931 KHS 5146 Green Khaki A.MIG 056 PKHV 512 Camo Light Green Khaki A.MIG 058 Review sample courtesy of
  12. Weathering Aircraft Magazine - Chipping Ammo by Mig Jimenez This is now the second Weathering Magazine from Ammo that I have seen, and this seems to be of the same high quality. There are 66 pages of glossy high quality paper in an A4 format, all in colour. As the title would suggest this edition concentrates on paint chipping seen in various degrees on aircraft. In addition to photos of the real thing there are models from different eras and genres showing off the techniques. These include a French Navy Corsair, Russian operated Hurricane, Japanese Ki-84; and a Star Wars Y-Wing among the builds featured. The different authors show different styles of chipping, though as the title suggests Ammo products feature. Conclusion This looks to be a very useful publication, although in magazine format the print quality is more like a book. Overall a high quality publication. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  13. German Camo Weathering Set (A.MIG 7443) AMMO of Mig Jiménez AMMO continue issuing new paint and weathering sets at a rate of knots, and are garnering some fans with the quality of the products and their fidelity to the real thing, which is always good. The set arrives in the clear plastic clamshell box with a header to facilitate hanging on one of those merry-go-round display stands in shops. Inside are five 35ml bottles with black screw caps, which don't have the new(ish) metal BBs in to aid mixing, but that's easily remedied. Each bottle has a plastic seal that tears on first opening, and unfortunately, one of the bottles in my set had leaked, but this is the very first one in years of using this type of bottle, so I expect it to be a rare anomaly that's seldom repeated. The five bottles contain different products, not just the expected washes and filters, as follows: A.MIG-1751 Dry Steppe for mud and splashes - a thick, gritty liquid with an enamel base A.MIG-1000 Brown wash for German dark yellow - a thin wash to highlight detail and bring extra tonality to the paintwork A.MIG-3007 Dark Earth pigment powder - concentrated pigment to add dust, dirt and accumulated grime effects to your model A.MIG-1203 Streaking Grime enamel mix – an enamel based liquid to create effective streaking by drawing an application downward using a brush moist with thinners A.MIG-1510 Tan for 3 tone camo filter – a thin translucent wash that subtly adjusts and tone and harmonises the colours of your paint Conclusion I have been using these useful products for years in various guises, and they are one of the most useful shortcuts during the weathering process, saving hours of mixing up your own, and removing all the uncertainty of getting the balance right. If you're unsure of how to use any of them, you can find plenty of tips, tricks and videos on the AMMO website, and if you're following their new AFV Encyclopaedia series, you'll have everything at your fingertips by the time it is complete. Review sample courtesy of
  14. Space Legions Color & Futuristic Warzone Scenarios Acrylic paint sets AMMO of Mig Jiménez AMMO continue issuing new paint sets at a rate of knots, and are garnering some fans with the quality of the paint. As well as sets for the traditional Aircraft/Armour/Maritime modellers they are now producing sets for other modelling genres. These two new sets are aimed at the sci-fi modeller, though there are many uses for the coulours in other areas. The sets arrive in the standard long cardboard box with a header to facilitate hanging on one of those merry-go-round display stands in shops. Inside is a clear tray that holds six dropper style paint pots neatly in the box, avoiding all the paints spilling out at once in a Donkey-Kong style. The bottles contain 17ml of paint, plus a stainless steel ball bearing for easy mixing of the paint by shaking. The yellow caps are indicative of the new BB equipped sets, which only came along fairly recently. Space Legions Color Set (A.MIG-7153) The colours in the box are as follows: A.MIG-086 Blue (RAL5019), A.MIG-121 Blood Red*, A.MIG-122 Bone*, A.MIG-123 Marine Blue*, A.MIG-192 Polished Metal, A.MIG-198 Gold. * Indicates a new colour added to the range. Futuristic Warzone Scenarios (A.MIG-7154) The colours in the box are as follows: A.MIG-045 Gun Metal, A.MIG-060 Pale Green, A.MIG-097 Crystal Orange+, A.MIG-124 Lime Green*, A.MIG-125 Gold Yellow*, A.MIG-190 Old Brass. * Indicates a new colour added to the range +This seems to be a clear color These sets should be a welcome addition for the sci-fi modeller, and an addition to anyone's range of colours. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  15. Modern Russian vehicles Vol.2 & Expo Camouflage Acrylic paint sets AMMO of Mig Jiménez AMMO continue issuing new paint sets at a rate of knots, and are garnering some fans with the quality of the paint and their fidelity to the real thing, which is always good. These two new sets expanding on the colours available to the Russian AFV modeller, which is rather handy given the profusion of new kits of the ultra-modern Armata variants that are coming to market. The sets arrive in the standard long cardboard box with a header to facilitate hanging on one of those merry-go-round display stands in shops. Inside is a clear tray that holds six dropper style paint pots neatly in the box, avoiding all the paints spilling out at once in a Donkey-Kong style. The bottles contain 17ml of paint, plus a stainless steel ball bearing for easy mixing of the paint by shaking. The yellow caps are indicative of the new BB equipped sets, which weren't introduced until fairly recently. Modern Russian Camouflage Colours Vol.2 (A.MIG-7161) This is the second set in the series, although we've not yet reviewed that one, you can get it here to complement this set. The colours in the box are as follows: A.MIG-046 Matt Black, A.MIG-051 Light Green, A.MIG-057 Yellow Grey, A.MIG-070 Medium Brown, A.MIG-083 Zashchitniy Zeleno, A.MIG-210 Gray Blue. Russian Expo Camouflage Scheme (A.MIG-7162) These colours are designed to match the splinter patterns used on the T-14 and T-15s at the Russian Arms Fair, with two main schemes used. The faded yellow colour is a completely new mix for the set, and the rest of the set is as follows: A.MIG-119 Cold Gray, A.MIG-210 Gray Blue, A.MIG-130 Faded Yellow, A.MIG-061 Warm Sand Yellow, A.MIG-102 Ochre, A.MIG-041 Dark Rust. Review sample courtesy of
  16. Modern French Armed Forces Colours – Smart Set AMMO of Mig Jiménez There has been an increase in new toolings of French armour subjects of late, which AMMO have picked up on, releasing this new Smart Set to supply all the major colours you will need for their vehicles. The shades have been formulated following extensive research on the proper colours, and allowing for a slight lightening due to the scale effect of aerial perspective washing out colours the further away from the object the viewer is. The set is supplied in a deep clamshell box, with four 17ml dropper-top bottles with yellow caps nestling within. Each bottle also has a ball-bearing inside to assist in mixing the paint by shaking, which is key with most paints, but especially acrylics. The paints are as follows: A.MIG-046 Matt Black A.MIG-060 Pale Green A.MIG-061 Warm Sand-Yellow A.MIG-064 Earth Brown This will allow you to create both the temperate and desert schemes that are worn by French vehicles in modern theatres. As with other AMMO paints, they are the same formulation, and can be used with airbrush or traditional paint brushes. Very useful for my recent VBL review here. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  17. Encyclopaedia of Armour Ammo of Mig Jiménez Following the excellent series of books on building aircraft models that we reviewed here, this new set from the same author deals with the altogether different subject of building and weathering armoured vehicles, including the sometimes scary subject of mud, although this isn't covered in the initial volume, which concentrates its focus on construction. You might think that construction would be a bit of a "teaching Grandma to suck eggs" exercise, but you'd be mistaken unless you're a modelling god with total knowledge of the most advanced techniques. I've been knocking around armour modelling for a couple of years now, and I still found it very interesting reading with tips, tricks alternative methods to achieve the same results, and even some tools that I haven't yet come across. Construction is the bedrock on which you build a good model, because if your structure isn't believable, no amount of expert painting and weathering will fool the viewer into believing it's the real thing. The book is published in a perfect bound card cover, which has fly-leaves folded within containing more information on the series as well as some pictures of finished vehicles. There are 152 pages within the cover, in a glossy white stock with colour printing throughout, giving it a quality air. It is broken down into sections, with further divisions as necessary within each section. Each technique is studied using the by-now familiar photo style, with a numbered sequence and description accompanying each step. This makes the technique under scrutiny easy to follow, and shows you what you should be aiming for throughout the process. The book is broken down as follows: 1 Tools and Part Preparation 1.1 Tools and materials 1.2 References 1.3 Removing parts from the sprue and parts preparation 2 Assembly of Vehicle Interiors 2.1 Interiors in cars and trucks 2.2 AFV interiors 2.3 Detailing engines 3 Assembly of Vehicle Exterior 3.1 Basic exterior assembly 3.2 Advanced exterior assembly 3.3 Textures 3.4 Battle damage 3.5 Exterior detail The steps to each technique are easy to follow, and the English translation is pretty good throughout. If you aren't a native English speaker, there are also editions in Spanish, Russian, Polish or French that might suit you better. Conclusion Another superb reference work from AMMO that will prove very useful to both beginner and experienced modeller alike. The information is well presented with excellent visuals and a nice clean design that makes reading a pleasure. I'll be keeping mine nearby, as a combination of a poor memory and sporadic armour builds means that I'm always forgetting the various techniques used. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  18. Mecha Painting & Weathering Sets AMMO of Mig Jimenez Following our review and build review of a Gundam Zaku II of the Zeon Republic recently, we're building on the theme with assistance of AMMO, who produce both a Guide to painting Mechas as they refer to the giant robot genre collectively, as well as a crop of painting and weathering sets to help you achieve the amazing effects that are commonplace in the AFV modelling arena, and transfer well to Mech painting. The acrylic colours are suitable for brush-painting or airbrushing, and they are well regarded as a range of colours, either mixed with their own thinners, water or Ultimate Thinners. In case you haven't a clue what I'm talking about, these giant robots are a regular part of Japanese Anime (cartoons) and Manga (graphic novels) that have become a staple entertainment in Japan, which has spread to the West with the aid of dubbing and subtitles. The industry is worth billions of yen per annum, and there is a wealth of subjects to choose from, with specialist importers such as our friends at Japan:Cool bringing many of the kits into the UK to facilitate your interest! Mecha & Robots Colours (A.MIG.7127) Gundam and their ilk are usually quite colourful, especially on the side of right, with white bodies, colourful forearms, shoulder pads etc., which are more pure colours than the muddied shades you often find in the pre-existing armoury of the military modeller. This set contains six 17ml bottles of acrylic paint, with yellow screw top caps and a dropper applicator inside. The new yellow caps indicate that there is also a stainless steel ball-bearing within each pot that assists with paint mixing. Inside the box are the following colours: A.MIG-048 Yellow A.MIG-049 Red A.MIG-103 Medium Blue A.MIG-119 Cold Grey A.MIG-120 Light Brown-Grey A.MIG-204 Medium Gunship Grey Green Mecha Colours (A.MIG.7149) There's a LOT of green in mech painting, particularly the Zeon folks in Gundam, Zentradi in Macross, and the Gamilas of Space Battleship Yamato. This set is also acrylic like the previous set, but instead of a range of colours you get a range of shades to enable you to colour modulate and adjust the tonality of the finish to your heart's content. Included in the set are the following colours: A.MIG-023 Protective Green A.MIG-045 Gun Metal A.MIG-062 Blue A.MIG-077 Dull Green A.MIG-082 Interior Light Green A.MIG-201 Light Gray Green Chipping Set for Mechas 1 (A.MIG 7428) Unlike the paint sets above, this set is a small three paint set, with two 32ml bottles and one 17ml dropper bottle. The first of the 32ml bottles contains Chipping Fluid that you apply liberally to the surface of the model before painting, while the second is an enamel wash of Engine Grime. The acrylic bottle contains a brown shade to create weathered chip marks with. The chipping fluid is applied before the paint, and when dry the paint is gently agitated using a damp stiff brush to give the desired effect. The Engine Grime is applied as a wash to give a dirtied-down appearance to your Gundam, and can be removed or adjusted by either wiping with a piece of towel, or by dampening the edges with a brush moistened in enamel thinners. Finally, the brown paint is applied with a small brush, taking care to keep the marks in scale. A.MIG-044 Chipping A.MIG-2010 Scratches Effects A.MIG-1407 Engine Grime Weathering Set for Mechas 2 (A.MIG-7429) Another three bottle set, this time with three 32ml bottles, one each of enamel filter, wash to add layers of detritus to your finished model. Layers of filter can be used to subtly change the hue of the underlying light/white colour, while the Streaking Grime is added to areas where dirt would accumulate or be drawn by rain marks, after which it can be faded, adjusted or drawn in the direction of gravity with a brush moistened in thinners. The Dark Earth pigment is added to areas where mud, dust and dirt build-up, then moved about with a dry brush until you are happy with the look, and then fixed in place by a dot of thinners or pigment fixer. A.MIG-1500 Filter Brown For White A.MIG-1201 Streaking Grime For Dak A.MIG-3007 Dark Earth Pigment Review sample courtesy of
  19. Desert Airplanes Panel Line Wash Set AMMO of Mig Jimenez This is a three-pot set of enamel-based panel line washes for desert camouflaged aircraft, which generally have a lighter, sand and brown colour applied to their outer skin. Accentuating the panel lines with a dark brown would result in a stark finish, while these shades will result in much more restrained contrasts and give a more realistic finish. In case you aren't familiar with enamel Panel Line Washes (PLW), they are highly diluted enamel colours with a mild thinners that are designed to be used over an acrylic surface, with a gloss finish giving the best results. They are ready to use after agitation, and rather than sloshing the mix all over the kit, the mixture is touched to panel lines and creases, wicking along by capillary action. Not only does this make your bottle of PLW last a lot longer, but it also minimises clean-up. Once the wash is surface dry, it can be removed with a piece of kitchen towel, drawing back in the direction of the airflow. Any stubborn patches can be removed by adding a little thinners to a brush and pushing it into corners, or removing it with towel after wetting. It offers a high degree of control, and is the perfect complement to any paint modulation technique. Included in the plastic clamshell pack are the following colours in 35ml Polyvinyl chloride plastic bottles with white screw-caps: A.MIG1620 Dust – for green desert colours A.MIG1621 Shadow for Desert Brown – for dark desert colours A.MIG1622 Ochre for Sand Camo – for light desert colours Some of the latest sets have ball-bearings added to aid mixing, but this set must have missed the deadline with my review sample at least. 6mm balls are easy to find online for pennies, however. Review sample courtesy of
  20. Modern Ammunition & Weapons Colours Paint Sets AMMO of Mig Jimenez The releases of new paint sets from the new company harnessing Mig Jimenez's prodigious talents just goes on from strength to strength. Today we see two sets with a tenuous link, both of which arrive in the by now familiar card box, inside which is a clear plastic tray containing six 17ml bottles of acrylic paint with dropper-style screw-off caps. Modern Ammunition (A.MIG7129) This set contains little ball-bearings to aid mixing of the paint, which is handy because it's important for metallic. The ammunition in question is the larger types, shells of various types from the new Discarding Sabot types through shaped charges and standard shrapnel producing shells. The box contains the following colours: A.MIG194 Aluminium A.MIG196 Warhead Metallic Blue A.MIG197 Brass A.MIG032 Satin Black A.MIG081 FS24087 US Olive Drab A.MIG212 FS26373 Silver Grey As always with metallics, you need to shake them vigorously to get full particulate suspension, and you should decant it immediately to reduce settling. The colours are nicely done, with a very fine flake size, which will help with realism. The metallic blue is a particularly pleasant colour to look at, so it's worth buying the set just for that mesmerising blueness! Brass and Aluminium are used in shell casings as well as expansion bands, and the Black, Olive Drab and Grey are often used as colours for warheads. Check your references to make sure you paint, as usual. The box is covered in some useful reference pictures, with more on the rear to assist you in this vein. Did I mention the blue? Weapons Colours (A.MIG7123) The set is without balls, as they seem to be a more recent introduction, but there's nothing to stop you adding your own. The colours are for traditional hand-held weapons such as pistols, assault rifles, rifles and any metal weapon with wooden furniture such as an RPG or bayonet. Inside the box are the following colours: A.MIG192 Polished Metal A.MIG045 Gun Metal A.MIG032 Satin Black A.MIG912 Red Brown Shadow A.MIG913 Red Brown Base A.MIG923 Red Brown Shine Again, there are example weapons printed all over both the front and back of the box, with some suggested uses and mixtures of colours. The three Red Brown shades can be used to weather and texture wood furniture, while the satin black and two shades of metallic can be used to paint the metal parts, adding various shades for wear-marks and so forth. Review sample courtesy of
  21. Black & White Paint Set AMMO of Mig Jimenez I've deliberately left the title vague to draw in the unwary, as if it were called "pre-shading" set, some might switch off, as pre-shading is considered "so last season dahling" by some. This isn't pre-shading per se, but more of a development and refining of the technique by Jose Luis Lopez, to achieve very similar effects to the more recent colour modulation, which attempts to mimic the fall of light on vehicles in a manner to fool the eye as to the scale. This is a pack of six acrylic colours (my art teachers would disagree about black and white being colours) in a handy box set, all of which have a useful ball-bearing inside to help with mixing what is a bit of a tricky bottle shape to mix paint in otherwise – believe me when I say it helps enormously. Also included is an instruction guide to teach you the basics of the technique in eight illustrated steps. In the box are the following colours: A.MIG2016 Transpirator A.MIG024 Washable White A.MIG104 Washable Black A.MIG090 Satin Varnish A.MIG046 Matt Black A.MIG050 Matt White Without going into too much detail, the technique involves apply mixtures from the darkest greys to white over your model after priming, mimicking direct overhead light from dark in the shadows to light on the upper panels and sides, which you then seal in with a coat of the satin varnish provided. After that you "fool around" with the washable black and white to adapt the shading, and add in paint effects such as weather streaking, chipping and so forth. As implied by the washable part, these paints can be removed or adjusted after application by a brush or cotton bud soaked in water, allowing you to control the effect to a high degree. Although it isn't mentioned, I'd add another coat of satin to lock this delicate layer in before continuing, but that's just my opinion. The final step in the process is to mix your AMMO base colour with the transpirator at around 50% of each in your mixing cup. This turns any AMMO paint into a translucent colour, which after spraying will leave an element of the underlying shading visible. You can alter your shading by applying more paint to hide areas you feel you overdid in hindsight, so again the level of control is good. The result should be a highly detailed and shade-rich colour scheme that should draw the eye even before you continue with whatever else you feel appropriate to finalise the weathering – the world is your oyster in that respect, as you can choose what state of distress or otherwise your model will be presented in. Conclusion Although I'm yet to use this set, I feel there are merits to it over the traditional pre-shading, which can appear a little stark if the overlying paint isn't thick enough to cover it, but can just as easily be lost under too much paint. The addition of white to any colour cannot help but change its hue, so the modulation technique can leave you with a chalky looking finish if you aren't adept at varying your mixes, or using a handy set of tones pre-prepared for you. Sure, this set uses white and black to create the shading, but it will all be covered by a translucent layer of paint that should leave you with a non-chalky and highly adaptable paint finish, with no blacks or whites visible, which would please my art teachers. I'll try to remember to post my feelings once I've had a chance to use the technique myself. Recommended as an interesting new take on paint finishing AFVs. Review sample courtesy of
  22. Hart's Tongue & Dry Fern Foliage Sheets 1:48, 1:35, 1:32 AMMO These two boxes of pre-cut paper plants are part of a collaboration between Model Scene and Mig Jiminez's AMMO to bring their products to a wider audience. Creating a realistic looking backdrop involves adding various types of vegetation, otherwise you run the risk of your diorama looking artificial and too structured. Adding in different plants will go a long way to addressing this concern if they are done realistically. Each set arrives in a shallow clamshell box, with two sheets of extremely thin coloured paper inside, one which the patterns for the plants have been laser cut so that they are just barely attached to the backing. They are suitable for use in a variety of scales, but anything below 1:48 would begin to look like your diorama was set in the Land That Time Forgot. There are no instructions with the package, but if you aim for the cover picture as your goal, it's not rocket science to get them posed and ready for action. Hart's Tongue (A.MIG-8455) The Hart's Tongue had three sheets, which I can imagine is easy to do given the thickness of the paper, with each sheet holding six arrangements of six leaves each as the basis of a clump. A few sections of paper need to be cut away to release the arrangement, and once free it is incredibly susceptible to draughts and even your exhalations. For my test picture, I grabbed each leaf in turn with a tweezer, and applied light pressure with my fingertip to the free edge to give the leaf a v-groove, then arranged and distorted the tips to mimic the effects of gravity and passing people/animals. There is a pale green centreline "cut into" the middle of each leaf, but with some very careful brushwork, you could add flecks and variegation as per the box lid. Adding more bunches of leaved would improve the look, but how you arrange your shrubbery is up to you. Dry Fern (A.MIG-8457) The two sheets of fern material are a red brown shade as you'd expect, and each sheet contains around 30 separate pieces of fern of varying sizes, shapes and density of leaves. They are tricky to cut free without tearing, but once out, holding the "stem" between thumb and forefinger while you tousle the loose leaves gives a good effect, although I think I may have squashed mine whilst handling them, looking back at the photos. Again, you could vary the tone by airbrushing parts very lightly, and a nice tangle will give a more realistic effect of the decaying ferns. Conclusion The detail is super on these handy little plants, and with some care and careful application they will add a spot of colour and visual interest to any diorama, but take care to place them only in a suitable environment where they occur naturally, or they could look silly. Best not handled while you have a blocked nose or hayfever! Review sample courtesy of
  23. Cockpit Paint & Finishing Sets AMMO of Mig Jimenez Painting a cockpit is an art, and this includes choosing colours, deciding on how well-used you want it to be, and achieving a level of detail that draws the viewer's eye, giving the impression of depth and size that is only hinted at. These new sets from Mig's new(ish) company AMMO offer the modeller a one-stop pack of paints and finishing powder that takes away at least one of the variables from the equation. Each set includes the basic colour for the backdrop on which either washes, filters or pigments are laid to give the finished look. There are seven sets initially, and I'm sure that the range will grow as time goes by. Each set arrives in a clear clamshell package with package details stuck to the front, and a list of contents under a suitably themed photo of the real thing. Further than that there are no instructions on how to use the system, but detailed information is in the new Encyclopaedia of Aircraft Vol.1, which if it is as informative as Vol.2, will be well worth having. It's not rocket science to take an educated guess at how to use the sets though, and if you're familiar with modern painting techniques you'll already have a fair idea. Each set has a bottle of paint that has been matched to the subject matter, containing 17ml of acrylic paint in a dropper-style plastic bottle, with a helpful ball-bearing inside to assist in agitating the contents. Depending on which set you are looking at, there is also a wash to create depth effects, a panel line wash (PLW) to accentuate gaps, a filter to adjust the colour of the initial paint finish in a subtle manner, or a bottle of pigment to create a realistic accumulation of dust and dirt on the surface. These bottles are all 35ml, and have screw-top lids and wide mouth to ease getting to the contents. The sets are as follows: Early Luftwaffe Cockpits (7430) RLM02 Grau (217), Brown wash for German dark yellow (1000), Rubble pigment (3013). Late Luftwaffe Cockpits (7431) RLM66 Schwartzgrau (218), PLW Deep Grey (1602), Blue for dark grey filter (1509). WWII British Cockpits (7432) FS34226/BS283 Interior Green (219), Interior Wash (1003), Europe Earth pigment (3004). WWII USA Cockpits (7433) FS34151 Zinc Chromate Green (220), Dark Brown Wash for Green Vehicles (1005), Streaking Grime (1203). WWII USA Interiors (7434) FS33481 Zinc Chromate Yellow (221), PLW Orange Brown (1616), Engine Grime (1407). Modern Russian Cockpits (7435) Interior Turquoise Green (223), Grey for Yellow Sand Filter (1505), (dark) NATO Camouflages Wash (1008) US Modern Cockpits (7436) FS36231 (205), US Modern Vehicles Wash (1007), PLW Blue Grey (1613). Mig's washes have been around in many forms over the years, and are an accepted staple of many a modeller's arsenal, myself included. These, filters and panel line washes are all enamel based, so require an acrylic base to avoid any unwanted interaction with each other. You will notice that some of the colour names don't relate to the subject matter, but a rose by any other name smells as sweet, and even though it might say (for example) US Modern Vehicle Wash on the bottle, it will work very well with the base coat. Everything needs agitating before use, as you'd expect, but AMMO have thoughtfully included a ball-bearing in the dropper bottles, which makes mixing much easier. The washes and filters don't have this luxury, and would benefit from the addition because they do settle heavily to the bottom of the thinners over time. You could get yourself a bag of 6mm ball bearings from eBay for under £4 at time of writing, which are impervious to any of the chemicals within the bottles. Of course you'll still need your usual colours for detailing the cockpit, and it would be wise to invest in some additional colours from the AMMO range such as white, yellow, black etc., so that if you feel like modulating the basic colour with your airbrush, you can mix lighter or darker shades at will, further enhancing the effects that you will apply later. Some pigment fixer wouldn't go amiss while you've got your wallet open. Conclusion Handy sets that will fall easy to hand for most mainstream country's cockpit colours and save you searching high and low for the components each time. A brief description of the product's use on the pack would have been more helpful, but the Encyclopaedia of Aircraft Vol.1 will be good to have on hand. Add a couple of ball-bearings to the 35ml jars and they should last you a good few models. Filters and washes do benefit from a good shake from time to time, so you can add that to your exercise diary. Review sample courtesy of
  24. Julien

    AMMO by Mig Jimenez

    Seems Mig Jimenez is now going it alone. http://www.migjimenez.com/en/?dontshowhmw=yes