By John Lester - images & text © 2004
There's never been a really good general introductory reference specifically intended for sci-fi model builders, at least one that covered a wide gamut of subjects and techniques. Paul Newitt's StarFleet Assembly Manuals came the closest, though they concentrated strictly on AMT Star Trek kits and were out of print for a very long time. Most of us picked up references for airplane or armor models and applied what we learned to sci-fi.
A year or so ago, I sat down to write that general introduction for sci-fi builders. I even got several chapters done. But Richard Marmo beat me to the punch - and his book is almost everything I wanted mine to be, so there's not much use in continuing that project.
Mr. Marmo is a professional model builder and a prolific author. He's built every kind of model and written hundreds of articles, and was a founding member of IPMS/USA. This book is filled with the experience of a lifetime building models. In it, he guides the reader through a number of step-by-step projects, well-illustrated with color photos, showing the tools and techniques necessary to build detailed, accurate spacecraft and vehicles from all the different media (plastic, resin, etc.). His writing style is direct, to the point and conversational (and thankfully never condescending or confrontational).
What You GetThe book is broken down into ten chapters, plus a brief opening biography of the author and an appendix listing some of his favorite manufacturers, retailers and publishers. The text is accompanied by 325 illustrations, mostly color photographs, and covers:
Clear, concise, and lavishly illustrated: what a how-to book should be. Mr. Marmo has written an excellent introductory reference. It's not always as detailed as I would (personally) like, but what's covered is more than a very good starting point. While it's most useful for folks just starting out, or returning to, the hobby even experienced builders will find useful information.
Many thanks to Specialty Press for providing the review sample. Manufacturers and retailers, interested in getting your wares reviewed and publicized on a site averaging 3500+ readers a day? Contact us!
This page copyright © 2004 Starship Modeler. First posted on 21 June 2004.