AMPS is all about armor modeling and the preservation of armor and mechanized heritage.

Guideline Publications - Military Modelcraft International June 2023

ISBN Number: Volume 27, Issue 08 Publisher: Guideline Publications, UK
Published: Tuesday, June 6, 2023 Retail Price: $15.00
Reviewed By: Joseph McDaniel

Guideline Publications - Military Modelcraft International June 2023

I don't know if there is another model magazine devoted to AFVs that gives you this much bang for your buck, but it would be hard to surpass the quality of this terrific magazine. You don't need an Optivisor to check out the high quality, glossy photos, and the articles are always full of tips, techniques, and helpful comments about problems with kits or steps encountered by the builder which I personally find very helpful. In fact, in this month's issue, by happy circumstance, there are two articles about kits in my stash that I plan on building this summer, and a third article that deals with another tank similar to one in my stash.

 

Table of contents for October's 98-page issue.

As always, the managing editor, David Grummitt (who also writes some of the articles and occasionally a build article), provides some interesting news about the hobby show in Moson, Hungary this past April where there were about 3,500 models! David also mentions the upcoming SMC show in the Netherlands this October. I don't think any of the hobby shows here in the States come anywhere close to that number.

In the section News At The Front, David writes a glowing review of several Vespid 1/72 scale kits, as shown in the photo above. Then he goes on to describe a 1/35 ICM figure kit Sappers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (35753), Tru-Color lacquer paints, two Plus Model 1/35 aftermarket sets of a service ramp and food, followed by reviews of various scale kits, both vehicles and figures from Miniart and Masterbox.

For some reason, the section On the Bench, is usually stuck in between the pages of News At The Front, but it's more of a build review then just a quick look. This month, Thomas Jankowsky builds the 1/35 scale Border Model AEV 3 Kodiak Swiss Series/German Demonstrator AEV-3 Pionierpanzer (2 in 1), BT-011. Thomas points out the major components of the kit and alerts the builder that there are variations between the two versions, so you have to decide before beginning the build. Continuing along, he points out some omissions in the instructions, warns about fragile parts that should be installed later in the build, parts that should be left off that isn't clear from the instructions. Although he doesn't come out and say it, this kit is probably not suitabe for a basic builder, and might be a challenge for an intermediate level builder. His tips and warnings are very helpful, so if you plan on building this brute, buy this month's magazine!

The next section, Quartermasters Stores, is four pages of mouth-watering thumbnail photos of AFVs, figures, paints, aftermarket, even bases ranging from 1/72 to 1/16. There's even a 1/35 US Rangers Landing Craft Assault w/grappling hook launchers (see left page above).

Kreangkrai Paojinda describes his process of building, painting, and weathering the Tiger Model 1/35 T-90M MBT 2017-2021, #4614. He provides a nice summary of the history of the T-90 up to this kit version. He starts out the build section noting that the builder will have to do some surgery on the side skirts, the ball and chain armor on the turret might need "bulking out", and the markings are limited to St. George's Ribbon parade stripes and a demonstration tank. Most of the article is priming, painting, chipping, weathering using pigments, oils, and dry brushing. He ends by saying it is a beautiful and first-rate kit, and ends with a brief comment about a composite camouflage net specially developed by the Russian Iron and Steel Research Institute, supposedly reducing IR and radar signature. There will probably be an aftermarket kit of that camo net in the next issue's Quartermaster Stores!

Water buffalo, rice paddies, M113 ACAV in 1/72 scale? Stefan Szymanski must have perfect vision to be able to build a diorama like this - it is incredible work! I don't build in this scale due to age and poor eyesight, but those AMPS-ters who do build in this scale will love this article. After yet a great summary of the M113 in Vietnam, Stefan describes the pluses and minuses of the 1/72 Trumpeter US M113 ACAV Armored Car #07237. He continues the article describing using an OOP Eduard PE set (in 1/72 scale? Yikes!). Stefan really likes the kit, and describes building the interior, moving to the exterior (such as don't use Part B30, the CIP panel - that's post-Vietnam), then painting and weathering, Stefan wraps up the build with a brief description, with accompanying photos, of building the base, to include planting rice in the paddies, and painting the figures. Another great article, well worth the price of admission, and the techniques could easily be applied to 1/35 scale kits and dioramas.

This article applies to one of my stash kits, so I got quite a few helpful tips from Ramon Segarra's article on building the 1/35 Tamiya German Tank Destroyer Marder III #35248. Although he didn't use it, he does reference a Voyager Model AM set that could be useful, and does use an AM set of tracks from Trumpeter to replace the kit's rubber band tracks. He comments that this is a good kit for a beginner looking to try something a little more challenging. There are no building tips other than removing a few ejector pin marks. The bulk of the article's remaining three pages are photos and step-by-step painting, applying markings, and weathering. All very helpful for my (and hopefully others') build of this kit.

The section Armour in Profile is my favorite part of the magazine, because it gives a really good background and details of a particular AFV, in this case, the Bradley Fighting Vehicle (which is the other kits in my stash - Tamiya's M2 IFV and M3 CFV versions). This issues 12-page article by the editor has photos galore of just about every type of Bradley in the US, various European countries, Iraq, and Ukraine. There's a two-page spread with color side profiles of various Bradley's painted with Vallejo Model Air Acrylics. The article touches on modernization efforts going on and includes a photo of a new Bradley-based Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle. This section is followed by two build articles.

Diego Bruzzone builds the 1/35 Meng M2A3 BUSK and he really likes the kit. But, he does have a few complaints, like reworking the side skirts, scratchbuilding missing parts like the fire-fighting system, hatch padding, piston rods on the transmission compartment hatch, handles in various locations, and wiring for lights. Not exactly a terminal case of AMS, but getting close. He really goes to town on the interior, adding details from the seat belts to the hydraulic and electrical system pipes and conduits, etc. His articles on interior and exterior painting and weathering is clear, concise, and comprehensive. The accompanying photos really help with certain techniques.

In this too brief article, the editor corrects some mistakes in part placement, laments that some omitted parts just can't be found in the aftermarket, and that some areas need extensive surgery. It's a shame that he couldn't spend more time and pages on the kit, but what he does provide is going to be a big help in my upcoming build.

Andrea Ricciardi builds the peacekeeping diorama highlighted on the cover, depicting some Italian Redlegs on IFOR Peacekeeping duty in the Balkans manning AFV's M109A2 Howitzer. The set has been modified with aftermarket sets from Black Dog and Friulmodel and scratchbuilding. Andrea describes cleaning up some disappointing mould-flow lines and pin-ejection marks, but persevered with brief descriptions of painting, applying markings, weathering, building the base, and adding the figures, which are built from several different sources.

Ilya Yut is a regular contributor to MMI and this interview describes his introduction to the hobby growing up in the former Soviet Union and continuing on to his new home in Israel. He talks about his interest in civilian, military, and sci-fi subjects, and how he chooses a project. The accompanying photos of vehicles he's built, such as the BMR in Ukrainian service and African Union T-55 demonstrate his reach and artistic ability. 

Ivan Momcha Momcilovic builds the 1/35 Takom M3 Grant, #2086, in the "Queen of the Desert" diorama. After a brief history and description of where the Grant served, Ivan describes the build and some of the minor issues he ran into and the fixes. Like most of the articles, the bulk of the article is devoted to painting and weathering, and the diorama base gets a huge share of the article with in-depth descriptions of how he built the cobblestone road and ancient ruins, added vegetation, and finally, converted the figures from Bronco and Gecko sets together with AM heads. A really nice job, and gives me some ideas for my build of an Airfix Grant lurking in my stash.

The one-page Armour in Scale section provides a brief listing of mostly 1/35 and very few 1/72 kits of both the Grant and the Lee.

The next section, eight pages of models from the 2023 Moson, Hungary show, depicts some very impressive AFV models and dioramas. The Armour Best of Show went to the diorama on the bottom of the left-hand page, Witold Socha's "A Road to Kherson". I still cannot imagine what 3,500 models must look like - whew!

The issue concludes with Words and Pictures, two pages of reviews of books such as shown above, as well as a nice dual volume collection entitled GI Collector's Guide Volumes 1 and 2, by Casemate Publishers, which look very interesting for both collectors and figure painters.

 PROS: Articles are accompanied by glossy, large photos which show painting, weathering, AM detailing clearly. All articles provide some background on the AFV subject which can help in researching the users, conflicts, time frames, etc. Many of the AFVs are shown in dioramas with figures which should give some builders ideas on their own dioramas.

CONS: Most articles do not have detailed build logs, or step-by-step builds, but the magazine, IMHO, is geared to the intermediate to advanced builder and feels it can skip those types of detailed build descriptions. It is still an invaluable resource for the beginner modeler, as the article authors do describe some of the challenges with parts, instructions, or other issues, and the painting and weathering is geared to every level.

 As always, here is a link to the Guideline Publications website: www.guidelinepublications.co.uk and US customers can subscribe to MMI and pay in US dollars at www.guidelinepublicationsusa.com

Highly Recommended for Beginner to Advanced builders.

Thanks goes out to Guideline Publications for this review magazine.

Reviewed by Joseph "Mac" McDaniel

 

If you liked this review, consider joining AMPS. Your annual membership
includes six copies of AMPS's magazine, Boresight,
and helps to support our ongoing reviews.

Click here for more information about joining AMPS