The complete guide for aircraft scale modelers.
Building. Weathering. Techniques.
I’m the type of modeler that is always looking to improve my technique and take models to the proverbial next level. I want every model I build to be better than the last (doesn’t always happen!). I’m also incredibly slow – I produce about four models a year – so an unintended consequence is that my skills aren’t always as sharp as I want them to be. I frequently have to relearn, so I look for better, quicker, easier, and more memorable ways to accomplish most tasks so that the knowledge will stick and I’ll hopefully start pumping out models at a faster pace. I follow many fantastic modelers on YouTube and find a lot of inspiration, such as ideas for new tools, techniques, and reference materials. It’s where I learn the most, to be honest, and it’s also a great way to see exactly how someone else built whatever it is I’m working on now. As with most things, there is no end to learning how to be a better modeler, and plenty of material exists to captivate modelers of any skill level.
On a YouTube escapade a few months ago, one of my favorite modelers highly recommended a book that covered all aspects of model airplane building. (Fear not you terrain-based modelers, most of the skills are transferable!) The book was full of helpful guidance with an emphasis on covering all aspects of a given discipline through graphic illustration rather than just words. Besides building and taking pictures of my own models, looking at pictures of other models and techniques is my third favorite part of the hobby, so I was immediately interested. When I first got back into the hobby about five years ago, I picked up a few technique books that set me on my quest to become the best modeler possible. The only downside was that these books were relatively small, didn’t cover the full build process, and what they did cover lacked sufficient detail to fully understand how to apply the knowledge. Since then, I’ve really wanted a comprehensive reference on advanced weathering and camouflage techniques. Not just certain techniques, ALL of them.
I hit pause on the YouTube video and quickly sought out the recommended book, Aircraft Scale Modelling F.A.Q., only to discover it was out of stock everywhere, and quite spendy (it’s about $90 through Amazon). Fast forward to last week and I received an in-stock alert and pulled the trigger on the purchase, and I’m glad I did!
The “FAQ” book didn’t disappoint. It’s a large, heavy, thick book bursting with helpful information and wonderful pictures. In all it’s 384-page glory, it covers everything from A-Z, more specifically from Assembly to SceneZ (can I use that as a “z”?). A picture of the Index is included below so you can see exactly what is covered. While my primary desire was to pickup some new weathering and camo techniques, I was thoroughly entertained, mesmerized, and refreshed by all the other content, and I haven’t even really had time to soak it all up yet.
Published in 2018, it contains modern guidance, tools, and techniques that I think would be helpful for any modeler. Yes, it’s expensive, but I’ve never come across a single book that contains this depth and breadth of information, so I highly recommend adding it your reference arsenal. Besides, who amongst us doesn’t spend more on new Tamiya kits anyway?!
I bought my copy of the FAQ book from Amazon, but it’s available elsewhere.
Aircraft Scale Modelling F.A.Q. – Amazon