Air Modeller #34, February/March 2011

Published: April 6th, 2011     
Front cover
Front cover
Reviewed by: 
Roger Rasor, IPMS# 34117
Company: Air Modeller
ISBN #: ISSN 1747-177X
Other Publication Information: Soft cover, 64-pp. plus front and back covers
Price: $14.95
Product / Stock #: No. 34, February/March 2011

Contents:

  • Protecting the Motherland's Airspace - modeling a 1/48 Chinese MiG-19s
  • Boulton Paul Defiant Mk.1 - building and detailing a 1/48 Classic Airframes kit
  • Vickers Wellington Mk.X Coastal Command - building and detailing the Trumpeter 1/48 kit
  • Scale Modelworld 2010 - photo feature
  • Fw 189A-2  - building the new Great Wall Hobby 1/48 kit
  • Air Born - New Product/Publication Releases
  • B-17G  - building Revell of Germany's 1/72 kit

This publication has become a premier showplace for some wonderful model aircraft. The publication's cover banner "SHOWCASING THE VERY BEST IN SCALE AIRCRAFT MODELLING" is an accurate promise. Everything David Goudie said in his review of Issue Number 32 can be said of Issue Number 34. It is Quality...I'd go so far to declare it as High Quality.

At $14.95, the price may cause some model builders to blink. But, looking through this, or any past, issue of AIR MODELLER will show why it is priced a few dollars more than most of the other commercial modeling magazines on the rack. It really is not commercial...there are no product or retail advertisements. The only advertisement is on the back cover and it is a mail-in subscription form promoting the publication itself. Aside from that there are no advertisements. After an inside front cover table of contents page, the rest of the 65 pages are devoted to in-depth aircraft modeling projects, outstanding finished models, photo coverage of actual aircraft, photo reviews of significant model shows and a number of excellent product reviews. In other words, it is only about model building, with no obligation to keep advertisers happy (so they will continue subsidizing the publication).

The entire publication is printed in full color on high quality paper and the photo reproduction is of equally high quality. The modeling articles are well written and provide a wealth of photos to illustrate the steps involved. Most of the photos include specific captions that relate to the text. Some of the photos are almost too good to be true. They make one wonder if mere mortals will be able to match what the article's author/modeler is capable of doing. That's my backhanded way of saying they are very, very good and the finished models could be called masterpieces.

The lengthy lead article about building the Trumpeter MiGs in Chinese markings includes an "X-treme Detail" walk-around photo study of an actual aircraft and a great sidebar article with seven photos about the author's visit with the pilot of the aircraft he modeled. The Scale Modelworld feature is ten pages of photos taken at the 2010 event and includes forty-six photos of the big show. Some of the photos provide overall views of models and some are close-ups, showing the well-detailed areas. The photos are exquisite, but they do lack one important detail...none of them includes a photo caption with the name of the builder. So, those deserving of credit don't get it in this publication. Their outstanding work is featured, but they remain anonymous. It is the only criticism I have of the otherwise excellent coverage of Scale Modelworld.

Emmanuel Pernes' article about building a 1:48 scale Boulton Paul Defiant Mk.I guides modelers through the construction of a true Classic Airframes classic. The 10-page feature explains how the author built and finished the model in a very weathered night scheme that indicates Pernes knows much about the subject. And, in the next eight pages, Daniel Zamarbide describes the techniques he used to build his1/48 Trumpeter Vickers Wellington Mk.X as a Coastal Command bomber, complete with its crew at their stations. Both of the articles that follow about building the Great Wall Hobby 1/48 Fw 189A-2 kit and the Revell of Germany 1/72 B-17G kit will be of great value to those model builders who have recently acquired either of these new kits.

If you aspire to build models at the level of those featured in AIR MODELLER or just enjoy viewing outstanding models and learning about how the author/modelers went about building them, you will enjoy this issue. The featured models are worthy of the way they are presented in AIR MODELLER. And, because only a select number of subjects are covered in each issue, they can be covered in depth with enough detailed photos to educate others building similar subjects, direct attention to potential problems and adequately show off the museum-quality results.

Issue 34 does all of this quite well. I highly recommend it.

My thanks to Air Modeller and IPMS/USA for the opportunity to review this issue.

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