Spencer Pollard (the editor of Military In Scale magazine) recently raised the awareness of the 'Spanish School' of modelling, largely through his amazing builds of the 1:32 Revell Ju 88, and the Dragon 1:32 Bf 110.
This Spanish school refers to a style of painting / finishing models which originates from a group of Spanish modellers; The most famous probably being Mig Jimenez of Mig Productions, which produce and sell resin kits, pigments, oil paints and other modelling stuff.
In his builds, Spencer gave a nod to a couple of Spanish modellers as influencing his work, and mentioned that one of them had recently had a book published which he rated highly. This book being ...
F.A.Q. Frequently Asked Questions About Techniques Used For Constructing and Painting Aircraft
By J.M. Villalba, Published by Andrea Press, ISBN: 978-84-96658-18-9
It's a large 159 page soft-back book, which does a lot more than just detail the Spanish painting style. The book is a comprehensive guide to the whole process of building model aircraft, from setting out your workspace and the selection of kits, to the construction, painting, detailing, weathering and even presentation of your work. It uses the familiar format of captioned step-by-step photos in a logical sequence, which can be dipped in and out of. Finally, it concludes with a gallery of builds by Villalba, which are really inspiring stuff.
One of the most obvious differences with the Spanish style and a more traditional painting style, is in the interior painting of aircraft. Whereas the traditional style tends to use drybrushing and washes to bring out detail, the Spanish style uses a combination of airbrushed shadows and highlights and brush-painted highlighted edges. It also advocates the use of black-lining to add artificial shadows. Those of you who read White Dwarf (the Games Workshop publication) will be familiar with some of these methods, as very similar techniques are used by their painting staff for the featured minature painting. To those that have mastered the technique, the result is a very crisp cockpit without the often dusty or chalky look that drybrushing leaves or the overly dark and dirty look that over-zealous washes produce.
The book isn't cheap, it's listed as 40.00 Euros + P&P on the publisher's website, which currently equates to � 35.50. In the US, it is available through Squadron for $60.26 + P&P and in the UK through Historex for £31.35 + P&P. That is a lot of cash for a book, but I would say that it's worth the money, as I feel sure that there will be something new in there for even the more experienced modellers. For a beginner, I would say it's a must-have item, as Villalba covers the fundamentals techniques of construction e.g. glue selection and use, seam filling, sanding etc, as well as the essentials of brush painting and airbrushing before getting stuck into the more advanced stuff. Obviously, the 'Spanish style' isn't going to be to everyone's taste, but if it's your thing and you're really not sure how to do it, I highly recommend giving this book a whirl. In fact the only fault I can find with the book is that some of the translations from Spanish into English are a little clunky. But that's just being fussy!
All images and contents C 2008 Andrea Press.