Hobby and Craft Guide to Air Brushing
I wish I could start this review with something less trite than "this book is worthless to the modeler" but I can't. This book is indeed worthless to the modeler. Hobby and Craft Guide to Air Brushing

The airbrush remains a kind of holy grail for many; we are all aware of how great a finish you can lay down with an airbrush while simultaneously well aware that decent equipment is expensive, and the learning curve is fairly steep. It is natural then to look to a good guide books to get you started.

This, however, is not that book.

What's Inside
The book was first published in 1978, and does not appear to have been substantially updated since then. Acrylic paints, for example, are mentioned only in tube form and as automotive "acrylic" lacquers. None of this is very useful for the modeler armed with Tamiya, Gunze or one of the other popular brands.

The "how to buy and airbrush" section does, to be fair, mention the differences between single and double action brushes, but otherwise is mostly a plug for Badger products that you can most likely find only at yard sales anymore. There are also short sections that touch on weathering and air brushing onto brass, but each is only one page of limited text and a few pictures. You can learn much more about these topics online than you can from this book.

The biggest drawback for modelers however is the abundance of non-modeling material. You get (and I am not making this up) two-page "chapters" on air brushing onto velvet, creating drift wood murals, collages, fish taxidermy, fishing lures, dinner plates and ceramic owls. The best I can say here is that at least the fish stuff has something to do with things that move in the water. On the other hand, perhaps the accomplished air brushers out there can pick up some extra money by moving from resin warships into fish taxidermy (the rumors that Trumpeter will be bringing out 1/350 scale fish models with their carriers are unsubstantiated).

Your Suggestions
This all said, I am still looking for an air brushing how- to book that is useful to both total beginners as well offering some tips for mediocre air brushers who yearn to be great. Please Email me please with your suggestions.

The book is published by Badger, who do make decent airbrushes despite being associated with this book. If you insist on having a copy, take mine (please!). Otherwise, you can order it from Micromark for about US$7.00.

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Questions about these reviews? Want to recommend a book for review? Want to send us a book you publish for review? Email peter@modelwarships.com

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All models are my own; click on any picture for an enlarged version. Shown are JAG's 1/700 Austin and Raleigh and their Newport.