G'day guys, Macca here and I have for you a review for both Imperial Armour Modelling Masterclass books. Since the Horus Heresy Modelling Masterclass is supposedly at the printers, it seems like a good time to look back at these babies. (I actually only got two new copies of my own this week)
These books are simply fantastic! The contents are varied and interesting, covering a lot of different topics.
Starting with Book I, inside the book you get pages full of practical hobby advice. They not only showcase their own products, but many other products, which are used to achieve the high-level effects.
Some sections go from assembly right through to completion, such as my personal favourite, the Renegade Medusa. The sections include a lot on airbrushing (however there is no useful information on the operation and mixing of paint, rather that is taken for granted) namely using tape to create camouflage patterns and scorch marks. Weathering powders, oil paints, enamels and multiple varnishes also make an appearance, and they are more or less well enough explained.
I have to stress, that these books are aimed at a hobbyist with experience already and aiming to improve their skills. That doesn't mean that a new hobbyist won't get something out of them, however.
There are also sections focusing on the building and painting of dioramas. These sections are a cool inspiration for aspiring hobbyists. It's always cool to see how a large trench wall or gun emplacement is created.
Each book also contains a large battlefield display, with pictures and information on how they constructed the boards.
Book II, unlike Book I is more prone painting on fully built miniatures, and has a larger selection of miniatures painted up, but in a less in-depth way. Book II really relies on you having owned or at least read Book I already, and it is quicker to move on from subject to subject, sometimes only painting part of a miniature and asking you to fill in the rest by applying the same techniques, such as the Eldar Phantom Titan
The key feature in Book II is the Mymera display table, built from scratch. This table is a real gift, and something every hobbyist would want in their dream hobby-cave. I actually can't praise this table enough, and the construction article is one of the best and most complex I know of. The one down-side of these tables is that they again breeze through the paint process, and don't focus on the painting of the vehicles at all (however some do pop up later in the book, such as the Crassus).
The book ends with a less comprehensive look at how an Ork scrap-table was constructed, and whilst visually interesting, it is less in-depth and thus you get a little less out of it.
There is a brief section added at the end describing FW's weathering powders. I am pretty indifferent to this section, and it stands out more as product placement, but hey, that's what the whole book is I guess. As far as Games Workshop goes, that's amazingly good.
In summary, these books are just fantastic. I highly encourage any would-be hobbyist to purchase these books, as the ideas and techniques within can be invaluable and as with most Imperial Armour books, these are well worth their cost, with little-to-no superfluous junk tacked on.