|The book’s cover|
fresh into 2020, I am back with another review of a modeling-related book. This time, I will be talking about the booklet Mastering Vegetation in Modeling by AK Interactive. This is the tenth in AK’s Learning Series, a range of small, booklet-type treatises on a number of specific topics and techniques in scale modeling, figure painting and diorama-construction. Inter alia, the series includes books on how to paint realistic wood effects, metallics, and skin-tones, as well as on how to use photo-etched parts in scale modeling and reconstructing realistic buildings in dioramas.
|The table of contents|
|Introducing different materials: glues …|
|… and spices and feathers for leaves, hemp ropes for grass, and 3D plants.|
|First part of the massive fifth chapter: how to make rushes and dry grass.|
As all contributions to the Learning Series, Mastering Vegetation is a small book, measuring 24 by 17 cm and containing 84 full-colored pages. As such, it not only fits in the smallest hobby-library; it also is an excellent traveling companion – e.g., when you’re on the road to a painters’ meeting. The relatively small size means that most pictures are relatively small as well, and the accompanying texts are rather brief. This does not impinge on the quality and usefulness of the illustrations and explanations; but at times, I would have preferred a little more extensive descriptions. The small size also limits a bit the range of topics that can be covered. The book does not provide much insights on the composition of vegetation, that is, how to achieve natural-looking and convincing scenes by positioning and grouping plants in certain ways. Also, besides a few lines and a useful table on page 5, there is no discussion of the impact of different scales on the modeling materials. Finally, and as a minor issue, the copy-editing could have been a bit better.
|How to make corn fields!|
|How to make palm trees!|
Beginners and intermediate modelers are likely to make most of the book’s presentation of materials and their use. But I would be surprised if advanced hobbyists wouldn’t also benefit from the book, for instance from the fresh techniques to create different types of trees from scratch. Finally, with a suggested retail price of below 10 Euros, this book is not only a useful, but also an economically sensible contribution to any hobby library!
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