|PERISCOPIO - Advanced Figure Modelling|
If you are into your figures - then this one might be for you!
Advanced Figure Modelling
The Essential Reference for the Figure Modeller
Publisher: Periscopio Publications
Supplier: Casemate Publishing
Softcover; A4 Portrait format, 178 pages
Periscopio Publications of Greece were established in 1977 and in addition to publishing a range of military and historically themed magazine titles, also produce a series of well presented books aimed squarely at modellers from different genres.
Lavishly produced in full colour, the book purports to provide an essential reference guide for figure modellers of all levels, and from the front cover and preface one would also certainly get this impression. It's only when you delve a little deeper that you realise this isn't quite what most modellers' would immediately think of when asked to define a modeller's reference.
The contents list at the beginning of the book lists thirty-three different 'items', and that's an average of just over five pages per feature....and given that some are a lot longer than that you should be able to see where this is headed. That's right...a lot are quite a bit less than five pages.
I have to admit firstly, that I am not a figure modeller. I'm an armour modeller that occasionally builds and paints a figure or tow to put with my armour models. A lot of armour modellers are the same. Some of them are figure modellers too. Figure modelling in terms of what this book is aimed at is a different genre to armour modelling, although of course there is some cross-over.
When I first opened the book the first feature 'The Infantry of the Medean Wars 490B.C. to 480 B.C. seemed to have little relevance to figure modelling. It's a twelve page feature, beautifully illustrated showing the various uniforms and garb that would have been worn be the various factions involved in the Medean Wars. Each is described in some detail. This is followed by a fourteen page feature on a diorama showing a battle scene involving seven figures from
This seems to be a common theme as we work our way through the book. On page forty-four and forty-five we're given a two-page article on painting faces with Acrylic colours, and then it's back to more articles showing mainly finished figures, and describing how they were finished in the text.
There are exceptions of course, but they're few and far between. Some of the articles have lists in boxes of various colour mixes used for various items on the figures, and some don't. There's a useful article on how one particular figure was sculpted, plus a short section on how the vegetation and ground was produced for the same figure, but in the main nearly every figure is shown in the finished form only, with it's painting being covered in text, and it's construction even less covered.
For WWII figure modellers, there are four figures at the end of the book, three of which are German, plus a 'how to' on painting an SS Panzergrenadier in 'Italian Camouflage'.
Although as I said, I'm not a figure modeller, I can appreciate the beauty and attractiveness of this title for figure modellers. It really is well-presented. All the photographs are large, exceptionally clear, and there are plenty of them. I have a little trouble with the lack of step by step illustrations of the various techniques it encompasses.
There were times when I was reading it, that it occurred to me that the publishers must have felt it essential to include as many figures as possible, hence most of the different figures only having two or three pages devoted to each, and then only including photographs of the finished figures.
Whatever the reason, the book suffers through a lack of this sort of content. Although not a figure painter, if I was, and was trying to improve my figures, then the title of this book would be what I was looking for. The contents however, wouldn't be, since the vital step-by-steps and detailed explanations of techniques coupled with in-progress illustrations are just missing. For this reason, I would recommend this book only to the serious, advanced historical figure modeller for browsing not reference, and before anybody tells me that's who it's aimed at...the introduction contained within the book itself begs to differ.
My thanks to CASEMATE PUBLISHING for the review sample.