- Published on Sunday, 01 April 2012 00:02 James Hatch
Super Model International No.1
Softback, 78 pages, Colour Photogtaphs/Illustration
Available from Kagero for €15,75
Nope, no Claudia Schiffer or Kate Moss here. Super Model International is the new magazine title from the good people at Kagero. If you've ever seen the likes of Air Modeller, or perhaps Military Illustrated Modeller, then you are perhaps on the right road with regard to quality. One immediate comparison that can be drawn to MIM is the fact that this magazine, whilst published every month, alternates between armour and aircraft modelling.
Now, having been an Air Modeller subscriber until only recently, I have to say that I quite like the more model-orientated manner of SMI, as this first issue is pretty devoid of walk around material that Air Modeller likes to publish. Don't forget, reviews are indeed subjective and I do indeed still like Air Modeller very much. Some modellers like the reference material, but I would rather just look at model builds. If I want reference, I can find it online, in most cases. I would say that SMI more leans towards MIM in regard to its approach. Anyway, forget MIM and AM, let's take a look at the new kid on the block.
Super Model International is a Polish magazine, published in a soft-cover format, akin to books such as the Fokker Dr.1 book I just reviewed. The soft cover is quite thick and certainly advantageous in protecting the pages within. Don't let the fact that this is a Polish magazine put you off if your Polish isn't very good. SMI is written in ENGLISH! This first issue contains 78 pages of high grade satin finish paper, properly bound and not stapled. Then again, this is quite an expensive magazine, so you would expect that.
As this first issue is 'Aircraft', there are three cover models' two Bf 109's and a Mk.VIII Spitfire. The rear cover has a mix of Bf 109, Albatros D.V, Spitfire and Mitsubishi Zero. This volume's two builders are profiled on the rear.
Opening the magazine immediately reveals a sheet of plywood texture decals, inserted as a free bonus. Four distinctly different finishes/colours of plywood are printed on a single sheet, approximately A5 in size, and the printing is by Cartograf. These appear to need no base colour coat below them and can be affixed to a primed and glossed surface.
Onto the magazine. The models shown within this issue are:
- 1:32 Albatros D.V, Wingnut Wings, by Tomek Wajnkaim
- 1:32 Messerschmitt Bf 109E-3, Eduard, by Feliks Sztarbała
- 1:32 Messerschmitt Bf 109G-6, Hasegawa, by Feliks Sztarbała
- 1:32 Spitfire Mk.VIII, Tamiya, by Tomek Wajnkaim
- 1:32 Mitsubishi A6M5, Tamiya, Tomek Wajnkaim
I'm not going to chronicle every build, but instead I'll give a general synopsis on how the magazine is formatted with these different model builds, and an idea of the layout.
Now I know what I like in a magazine, and this one supplies it in bundles. I like to see detailed constructional photographs, coupled with informative text that does actually tell you how the modeller achieved the results seen. Each of these builds has exactly that, and not just in annotated photographs either. There is plenty of reading material and information to be gleaned from every one of these builds, and plenty to learn, written in a clear and informative way. The 'English' writing is very good, and where perhaps the terminology isn't what you would normally see, the meaning of the writing is clear and understandable.
Where this magazine does differ is the sheer number of tips and techniques given as standard, from using shading techniques, the use of different brands of paint with various thinners, removing ejector pin marks, and also how to rig turnbuckles for biplanes. The latter example is even illustrated with drawn images and not simply photographs. Indeed, there are so many techniques given that this is like a manual as well as a magazine. Dry-brushing, ideal dilution of paint for airbrushing, masking camo demarcation, reinstating panel lines, use of washes, decal application....it's all here, and beautifully illustrated.
The spaces between the various builds are punctuated with a number of small adverts, and these are mostly Kagero ones, showing the various applicable publications and decal sheets available which relate to either the subject or the era.
So what do we think?
With Kagero's Fokker Dr.1 book, I said that it was probably the best illustrated and informative book of its type, and the quality of it was unsurpassed. With this magazine, I would pretty much have to echo those remarks. Everything about this publication exudes quality, and if this first issue is anything to go by, I simply can't wait to see further issues of this. I can't say where this magazine is aimed at as I would say that everyone from the novice through to the more serious modeller will find it equally as informative and inspirational. Roll on issue #2!!
Very highly recommended, without any doubt!
Our sincere thanks to Kagero for the review issue used here. To purchase this directly, click THIS link.
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