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Modeling Airliners
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Written by Aaron Skinner, associate editor of Fine Scale Modeling magazine, this is the definitive guide for commercial aviation enthusiasts. From simple, out-of-the-box construction to conversions, painting, and decaling, each chapter focuses on a specific technique. Modelers will learn about masking, detailing, using aftermarket parts, seamless part construction, and much more.

• Features historical and current airliners from around the world
• Provides sources for paint, decals, kits, and manufacturers
80 pages • 200 color photos
Price: $19.95
Product Number: 12470
ISBN: 9780890248447
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I was delighted to hear of a new book being released on airliner modeling. After all, to my knowledge, it has been about 25 years or so since the last one was released. I don’t recall who was the author, or publisher, but I do remember it had a yellow cover and of course a picture of a model airliner on it. I remember seeing it at a hobby shop in the mall and drooling over all the pictures of built-up models, as well as many models I had never seen or heard of before. This book reminds me a lot of that book, but in a much better and modern version. Aaron Skinner is no stranger to modeling airliners, and who better than him to write a book about our favorite subject.

The book covers the entire process of building a model from start to finish, divided into several chapters from choosing a kit, building it, and the final finishing steps. At the end is a great gallery of different models built by the author and other modelers from around the world.

The Construction chapter starts with the basics of removing the plastic from the sprue, getting the parts ready for gluing, and eventual filling and sanding. Several models are highlighted in the process, showing the different methods of joining the parts, dealing with the seams and imperfections, clear windows, panel lines, engines, mating the wings, and so on. Many techniques are covered here with several detailed photos showing the steps along the way. I definitely picked up a few tips here.

Painting continues the detailed steps of outlining the different tools needed, deciding on which kinds of paints to use, dealing with whites, metallics, spray cans, air-brushing, as well as masking. Several dozen photos with captions cover the process very well and demonstrate all the tips and techniques offered by Aaron.

The detailed chapters continue with Applying Decals. Again, the entire decaling process is covered in great detail with many photos showing the steps discussed. There’s also some great advice on dealing with problematic decals as well as the most common issues.

Conversions and Detailing and Improving Kits chapters are quite lengthy and comprehensive. Just about anything you can think of is covered from lowering the flaps to vacuum-formed kits, to detailing the engines, dealing with photoetched-metal parts, and everything else in between.

Several techniques and processes are covered in the Weathering section to help you make your model as realistic as possible.

I enjoyed reading this book immensely and would recommend it for the beginner to the expert. It would also make a great gift for anyone thinking of getting into airliner modeling.

-AirlinerCafe, Ahmed Orgunwall

FineScale Modeler and Kalmbach are well known for their excellent collection of publications covering a wide variety of hobby-related subjects. This publication continues that tradition of excellence.

Modeling airliners requires a set of modeling skills that, while not unique to airliners, are critical to the completion of the project at a high level of quality. Thus, Scale Modeler’s How-to-Guide spotlights those skills and provides the modeler with suggestions on mastery of those skills.

Organized into 7 chapters, this publication covers:

1.Basic construction


3.Applying decals


5.Detailing and improving kits


7.Airliner Gallery

Keep in mind that this publication is a “How-To-Guide”. The author describes and demonstrates various skills and techniques through the use of full color images, descriptions of tools and supplies, and well-ordered “step-by-step” instructions.

The images contained in the book are full color pictures, of very high quality, and are, by themselves, highly instructive and useful. They “tell the story”. The images form a major part of the book, consuming about ½ of the space on each page. In fact, it is easy for an experienced modeler to learn something new by simply looking at the images. As an example of this, I learned a new technique for filling fuselage windows by filling them with putty by pushing it through the windows from the inside of the fuselage outward. It’s a simple thing but I never considered that particular approach before.

Every “How-to-Guide” should include information about the basic tools and supplies that should be on the workbench. Aaron’s “How-to-Guide” accomplishes this goal. Some of the tools shown may be unfamiliar to the novice but those with more experience and disposable income will recognize them. Some of these tools are UMM’s wooden-handled saw/engraver, Tamiya Liquid glue, Alumilite, and Westley’s Blech-Wite cleaner. One also sees the ubiquitous Xacto knives, sanding sticks, and paints from a number of manufacturers.

A good “How-to-Guide” should augment the images with clear and precise text that enhances the associated images. In many ways, the text is more significant for the novice modeler than are the images. The author, an experienced and knowledgeable builder, can offer an explanation to the novice which images simply cannot communicate. For example, on page 67, the author clearly defines a “wash”. I have seen questions about “what is a wash?” on many forums and discussion boards, and the author provides an excellent definition in one very short sentence. He states, “A wash is nothing more than very thin paint.” A simple, elegant, and informative description is always helpful to the novice. In another example that appears on that same page, the author expresses an opinion as to the choice between “oil washes or enamel/acrylic washes”. This question can vex novices. The author states, “I favor artist’s oil washes because I find the paint flows better than enamel or acrylic.” Now, how simple is that!

This “How-to-Guide” is highly recommended. It provides an excellent guide to basic tools and supplies as well as including some of those items that are familiar to the more experienced builder. The images are numerous and instructive. The text is well written, simple, and precise. Congratulations to author Aaron Skinner, and thanks to Kalmbach for providing this item to IPMS for review.