Model Art Issue 60 is typical of other Model Art magazines in that it is written entirely in Japanese, with occasional English words, usually in article titles or in captions. The Vessel Model Special is a quarterly issue that focuses on naval subjects. Advertising comprises the inside covers (and back cover) along with another four pages showing what is available and new, always useful for building up that wish list. I counted nearly 600 photos (mostly in color) along over forty 1/700 scale drawings. Additionally there are a lot of color scrap drawings highlighting details in the Ship Construction series.
There is a lot of incredible models in this Summer edition as I was just amazed at what could be done in 1/700 scale. This issue’s feature is the Battle of Leyte Gulf. As you can see in the following Contents, the focus is primarily on Ozawa’s Task Force with the USS Lexington thrown in to represent the US side.
This issue leads off with either short articles on a finished build or an in depth step-by-step ‘how to’ on the build and painting. The finished model photographs are of high quality in brightness, color, and depth of focus. Check out the photograph of the IJN Hyuga to see the incorporation of photo-etch, rigging, and scratch build detail that can be done in a 1/700 scale ship model. The step-by-step builds include a considerable amount of scratch building to improve the kit parts. The article on the IJN Zuiho presents 56 color photos alone just on the painting of the complex camouflage of the aircraft carrier. To complete the feature on the Battle of Leyte Gulf is a series of three-view drawings in 1/700 of the previous IJN ships covered. You will find throughout this journal, period photographs of the real ships and aircraft involved in the battle.
My favorite section of the Model Art magazines is the Ship Construction series where color paintings are used to help expand on the black and white period photographs. This issue focuses on the ships bow with the large Imperial Seal of Japan, a large chrysanthemum, prominently leading the way. Anchors and bow shapes are covered as well with something new to me on how the anchor chains pivoted on the lower bow to clear properly.
I find the Model Art magazines useful, even though I don’t read Japanese. The pictures of the built up models, articles showing the build process, painting features, and historical photography all provide useful information. Model Art magazines are available from Dragon Models USA’s many retailers and from various overseas retailers, such as Hobby Link Japan, Hobby Search 1999 Models, and Lucky Model.
My thanks to Model Art and IPMS/USA for the chance to review this great issue.