Modeler's Guide to the 1/35th Scale Universe -
A nearly comprehensive compilation of the world's 1/35th armor products"
Edited by Pat Stansell, John Small and Pete Harlem
Ampersand Publishing Company Inc.
|Review Type:||Book Review|
S u m m a r y
|Advantages:||One-Stop Shop for almost every 1/35 scale armour kit or accessory on the planet.|
|Disadvantages:||Search only by manufacturer|
|Recommendation:||Highly recommended for all armour modellers and collectors|
T h e B o o k
"Military Miniatures In Review" has become a darling of the armour-modelling world since its first issue a few years ago. It features balanced reviews, plenty of news on forthcoming releases and a stack of meaty "how-to" articles in every magazine. It is, in my opinion, the best mainstream armour-modelling magazine in the English language. Its writing style is also quite quirky and hip, which some readers ("armor geeks" in MMIR parlance) may find "way cool", but in any case is very distinctive.
MMIR have brought these qualities to its new publication "Armor Modeler's Guide to the 1/35 Scale Universe - A nearly comprehensive compilation of the world's 1/35th armor products". The title is a mouthful, but it says it all. If you are looking for 1/72 or 1/25 this is not for you. And don't expect any crossover into aircraft - these guys shudder any time a winged reference is made (although a few choppers have made it into the listings).
The definition is even so narrow as to exclude figures. This book covers armor kits and accessories in 1/35 scale only. I think that part is now clear. So what do you get?
The book is in a magazine format with a soft cover and 126 glossy pages in black and white.
It contains 4,500 product listings with descriptions, availability and approximate pricing. All products are listed by manufacturer only in alphabetical order. Its all covered in here - styrene, brass accessories, resin, white metal, vacuform, decals and multi-media. Each manufacturer receives a short editorial description (except Tamiya which gets a long editorial description) outlining the history of the company, quality of their offerings, contact details and any other handy tips. The descriptions of the products themselves are quite objective and very brief - "just the facts ma'am".
The bottom quarter of each page is taken up with photographs of some of the products - either box-art, unassembled, under construction or fully assembled. These are helpful in determining the quality of the offerings.
This handy book of lists also details some of MMIR's favourite videos, book publishers, on-line hobby-related shops and armour web sites (HyperScale didn't get a mention - but HyperScale didn't exist when this book went to press!).
I found myself leafing through the book drooling at many rare, expensive and out-of-production items. My wish list has just grown considerably!
There is only one trap when using this publication. Listing of manufacturers' names is in strict alphabetical order of the full company name. Dont look for "Testors" under "Testors" (like I did). It is actually listed as "The Testors Corporation". This is a little unusual as many lists and directories ignore "The", "A" etc. It might have been nice to see a listing of manufacturers on one page as a table of contents so that manufacturers' full names could be found at a glance.
This book is as good as it is possible for it to be in this format. However, there are a few limitations of the hard-copy format. Firstly, updates can't be reflected in the book without a new issue. This is a big problem as the armour modelling industry is so fluid. Secondly, it doesn't allow the modeller to search by vehicle, medium, price etc.
What I'd really like to see is an online database with all this information searchable by different criteria, and updated on a regular basis. I'd happily pay to subscribe to such a service.
Until this happens, the book is a must-have reference for all armour modellers and collectors (and there is a little collector in us all, isn't there).
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