by: Mario Matijasic [ ]
After releasing 4th volume of his TankArt book series and firmly securing the position of a top player in the business, Mike Rinaldi of Rinaldi Studio Press did not wait long to expand the company's portfolio, this time by starting a new series of modeling books - Single Model. Each volume of Single Model series is dedicated to a single subject, regardless of era or scale, showing the modeling process from start to finish, with an emphasis on painting and finishing techniques.
The first volume in Single Model series deals with modeling Fish Submarine, an incredibly imaginative piece from Industria Mechanika.
The book is packed in a hard cardboard box, additionally protected with a bubble wrap. Here are the basics:
Title: Single Model 01 - Fish Submarine
Publisher: Rinaldi Studio Press, LLC
Format: paperbound (16.5x18 cm)
Color: full color
Retail Price: $25
The first glance clearly shows Single Model books are designed to follow a new, more compact format. The linen cover and eco-friendly paper present a slightly different experience than that of TankArt books, with non-reflective nature of the paper providing matte color finish to the images. The book is well structured with pages packed full of large images, featuring the "how & why" dual-text format Mike introduced in TankArt series. The dual-text format is one of the key elements in all RSP publications, as it explains both the details of technique application and the reasoning behind applying the technique, with the text paragraphs visually separated using "H" (how) and "W" (why).
The book starts with a short introduction and Mike's explanation of the idea behind the new Single Model book series: to illustrate the painting and weathering of a single scale model to its fullest potential. Mike's goal is to produce a book series across a wide variety of subjects and scales, and the model that launches the Single Model series is a very interesting Fantastical Fish-Shaped Submersible concept from Industria Mechanika in 1/35 scale.
After a very concise description of products used in creating the model, Mike briefly outlines his modeling philosophy: the goal of every project should be telling the story of a particular vehicle with the weathering techniques of utmost importance in conveying that story to the audience. In-scale realism is achieved by layering each weathering step, one on top of another, and repeating them as often as necessary to achieve the final result. The cornerstone of Mike's work are two very powerful finishing techniques, hairspray technique (HS) and oil paint rendering (OPR), and these techniques are explained on the next couple of pages.
The assembly of the model is tackled next, with some tips on working with resin and photoetch parts. The real magic starts with the chapter on painting the model. Mike first shares his thoughts on the Fish Submarine kit and his ideas on how to best depict an old combat unit from an undersea naval squadron. After a short description of priming process and interior painting, the hull exterior receives 7 layers of paint with hairspray chipping after each painting step and some rust tones to finalize the job. The large step-by-step photos show the painting process in detail, with the accompanying text thoroughly explaining both the "how" and the "why" of each step.
The completed paint work serves as a roadmap for the final and the most important step of making this model come to life... weathering. The weathering is done exclusively using oil paint rendering, the technique developed by Mike Rinaldi himself. In Mike's hands the OPR is a real game changer and can replace all the other, more traditional weathering techniques. A lot of tips for working with oil paints are given in this chapter, from the basics of applying the paint, blending and stippling to creating balance and visual effect, and finally achieving the desired effect. Mike is definitely showcasing the technique to its full potential.
Although Mike usually refrains from constructing bases for displaying his models, this was too good of an opportunity to miss. Creating the simple, yet very effective dry-dock base is shown in detail, with really helpful tips on painting and weathering wood, as well as finishing fuel drums and other base accessories.
The book closes with displaying the finished model in model gallery and a quick reference SBS images sequence.
Instead of playing it safe and continuing with the already established TankArt books, Mike Rinaldi decided to take quite a risk starting the new Single Model book series. Not only because the idea behind the series is that each book deals with only a single subject, but also because the model that launches the series is far from being a mainstream subject.
However, thinking outside the box paid off and the first volume of Single Model series initiates a turning point in how we perceive modeling books. With an extremely attractive layout combining large images illustrating perfectly each step in the modeling process and the dual format text providing wealth of information in simple language, the Single Model book incorporates all the best features of TankArt and also tells a complete story of a subject, from start to finish, in a more compact format.
The era of Single Model books has just begun and I really canít wait to see what Mike has planned for the future titles. A big thanks to RPS for this review sample.