Stu Fone, Basic Guide to Modelling (Key Publishing, 2023)
Books are dead trees, and their days are done, right? So, you have a model kit to build, you jump onto your laptop and search for all the stuff and knowledge you need to build it; then you download what you have found into a folder from which you can retrieve what you need. Or you can buy a book written by an expert that knows everything you need to know. Sometimes, old school is the right school.
This book is a collection of twelve articles from Airfix Model World magazine. It begins with the tools you will need for every aspect of completing your kit. Then you have to cut the pieces from their sprues and tidy them up, or you can paint first and then clip. Gluing and painting occupy much of your time and are adequately covered. Applying decals follows, and Fone points out that these can make or break your finished model, so be careful here. But as with everything in this book, Fone walks you through that process assisted on each step by simple colour photographs. He moves onto some more advanced techniques with weathering and other environmental effects. Once you think you are done, you are not; next comes the tricky wee problem of applying the right varnish in the right way. If you are feeling really confident, Fone discusses some of the aftermarket extras you can add to your model. You might even want to have a go at scratch-building, which Tone covers in his penultimate chapter. Finally, you will want to know more, and Fone points you in various directions for techniques and inspiration.
A basic guide is judged on the clarity of instructions and a common sense approach to process. Fone’s guide to modelling passes both of those with flying colours. This is a book that will surely sit on your modelling desk and will be well-thumbed before too long.