Airbrushing for Scale Modelers

Published: December 14th, 2015     
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Author: Aaron Skinner
Reviewed by: 
Dick Montgomery, IPMS# 14003
Company: Kalmbach Publishing Company
ISBN #: ISBN 978-0-89024-957-4
Other Publication Information: Softcover, 127 pages, color images throughout
Price: $22.99
Product / Stock #: 12485

Walk into any modeler's hobby room and you will find a library. Scan through the publications and titles on the shelves and you will find a book or publication on "airbrushing". Airbrushing is an essential skill for almost all modelers and those modelers need to develop a high level of competency to use and master this basic tool.

Kalmbach has released a new publication by Aaron Skinner entitled, "Airbrushing for Scale Modelers" that provides a comprehensive guide to airbrushing from "basic" to "advanced".

You probably recognize Aaron's name as he is the senior editor for FineScale Modeler and also a very well-known modeler. In this publication Aaron guides the reader through airbrushing basics and then uses "project models" to demonstrate airbrushing techniques.

The "Intro" portion of this publication covers the selection process in deciding which airbrush best fits a modeler, and then a discussion of how to use the airbrush. The Table of Contents for this section of the publication includes:

  • Choosing an airbrush
  • Understanding the basics
  • Mastering the tool
  • Masking
  • Maintenance and troubleshooting

The Introductory content is followed by 14 "Project" chapters in which techniques associated with airbrushing are described and illustrated with captioned color images using a particular subject kit. The Table of Contents for this part of the publication includes:

  • Armor painting basics using a M4A1 Sherman
  • Airbrushing single-color aircraft using a Brewster Buffalo
  • Post-shading for a dramatic result using a Grizzly AVGP
  • Pre-shading monochromatic finishes using a MiG-23M
  • Masking straight lines with tape using a Ju-87B-1
  • Painting small-scale ships using the Katakami
  • Achieving perfect gloss for cars using a Ferrari 308
  • Cutting tape masks using a Spitfire Mk.Vb
  • Creating soft edges with raised masks using an SBD-5
  • Silly Putty produces sharp-edged camo using a T-90A
  • Poster Putty leaves soft edges using an F-4C Phantom II
  • Free-handing camouflage on armor using a Marder IIIM
  • Mottling a Luftwaffe fighter using a Bf-109E-07/Trop
  • Airbrushing big-scale figure using "Bride of Frankenstein"

As an "instructor" of an Adult Build Course (a class teaching basic modeling skills to beginners) I found that this publication would have a significant role in the development of future "lessons" for the ABC rookie modelers. The images and captions are clear, succinct, and easy to understand. As an experienced modeler I found myself immediately being drawn Chapter 9, Creating soft edges with raised masks. I am currently working on a monster 1/24th scale aircraft model and found the tips and suggestions found in this chapter to be just what I've been looking for. Whether you are a novice or a more experienced modeler you'll find this book to be an excellent resource.

Mr. Skinner has done an outstanding job explaining what can be a very intimidating subject. Kalmbach has done well publishing this excellent resource at a very reasonable price. This publication is highly recommended due to the high quality of the images, the well-written captions, and the thorough coverage of the subject matter.

You can order your copy of "Airbrushing for Scale Modelers" by calling (800) 533-6644 or by going online at

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