by: Rowan Baylis [ ]
Perhaps the most remarkable phenomenon in modelling in recent years has been the explosion of interest in WW1-era aircraft following the arrival of Wingnut Wings kits. These 1:32 beauties have inspired a whole new generation of modellers to try their hand at early aviation subjects, previously very much the preserve of a dedicated few. So, perhaps it should come as no surprise that even a nominally AFV publication should publish a Air Modeller's Wingnut Wings Special.
The 112 page softbound book covers seven top quality builds by a selection of modellers from around the world. The results are truly spectacular - made all the more so by the fact that not all the contributors are WW1 specialists - one even going so far as to say he's "never been a big fan of First World War aviation!". Notwithstanding the fact that it's his first sortie into the field, his build is jaw-droppingly good.
Each build is treated to a highly detailed step-by-step breakdown, accompanied by well-written and informative captions, profusely illustrated with excellent colour photographs.
Part of the beauty of each article being by a different author is the sheer variety of building and finishing techniques they bring to the table. For instance, you'll find a number of totally different ways of achieving a wood finish discussed, from oils to decals and pencils, all yielding impressive results and worth experimenting with.
The subjects covered are:
Hansa Brandenburg - Daniel Zamarbide Suarez
SE.5 - Richard Camoin
Roland D.IVa - Emmanuel Pernes
RE.8 - Jose Maria Martinez Fernandez
Albatros D.Va - David Parker
Sopwith Pup - John Korellis
Gotha G.IV - David Parker
Following the main build articles are two chapters of "Hints & Tips". The first covers rigging, the second dealing with wood-grain finishes. Both illustrate a variety of techniques, allowing you to experiment with what works best for you, and include a useful guide to some of available accessories such as turnbuckles and wood-grain decals.
The layout of the book is excellent. I really like the very clean and modern design, which showcases the builds in an attractive and uncluttered style that leads the reader through the construction sequence in an easy-to-follow way.
ConclusionAir Modeller's guide to Wingnut Wings is excellent. With seven different builds in so many styles, there is simply masses of inspiration here in a book that doubles as something of a generic early aviation modelling guide. Many of the techniques shown will be applicable far beyond the specific WNW subjects included, and of course will translate to other scales and eras too. If you're not already a Wingnut Wings fan, the chances are you will be after reading Air Modeller's book! Recommended.
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