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Book Review
Euro Modelismo #242
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by: Rick Cooper [ CLOVIS899 ]


Originally published on:
Armorama

Introduction

Accion Press fronts so many different modeling magazines nowadays that I doubt they ever have much of a down day in the offices. I would imagine that putting your imprint on Panzer Aces, Model Laboratory, and Euro Modelismo which must be the original product, can keep your very busy. With that much going on it is a wonder that more things don’t slip through the cracks. The recent publication of Euro Modelismo #242 sure seems like one of those unfortunate slips to me.

Contents

A beautifully produced (A4 size) glossy magazine on very nice paper of 64 total pages that features lavish color photography throughout should be something for Accion Press to be proud of. All of the text is in Spanish but that detracts little if any from the value of the magazine. And it is beautiful; a wondrous article on a 1/32 Spitfire IXc (sorry, it does include their standard one airplane article!) by Juan Castro that is superbly weathered.

The photographs, also by Castro, are a lesson in weathering. Even if you would never allow a wingy thing to grace your workspace you can still learn something from his work. Prolific modeler Rodrigo Cabos presents the second part of an article showing how to make snowy terrain using micro-balloons, aluminum powder, and ‘Still Water’ from Vallejo. He also includes a nice selection of reference photos for inspiration.

The issue finishes up with a show report from Montijo, Portugal, a short single page rundown of a few new items and an article by Jorge del Corral on the building and weathering of a 1/35 Alan Panzer IIJ (a brave man). Corral dolls it up with a good selection of aftermarket goodies and then walks us slowly through the finishing process which is well done. I appreciate how the actual paint or pigment used is displayed, makes it easier to shop for the same.

The only thing I have left out is the feature article, 15 pages in length; a diorama of the Warsaw ghetto. The diorama was built by a team of three builders, and photographed by all three of the builders plus an additional gentleman. The diorama features lots of figures doing lots of things several vehicles, scratch built buildings complete with interiors. Everything is first rate. If you are looking for tips on the construction of buildings, brick walls, or interiors this article will fit the bill nicely. The focus is on such and in fact never even touches on the figures or vehicles.

Conclusion

I said in the beginning that I felt it was an error for Accion Press to lead with this feature, I felt it is a very well done diorama but may cause offence. That is because the main article on the Warsaw Ghetto features some gruesome work; an older wheelchair bound gentlemen being pitched headlong from the third floor out into the street in what I would consider the focal point of the diorama. Other poor souls are depicted being rounded up while another lies prone on the street in the process of having his head bashed in by the butt of a German rifle. Did incidents like this happen? Surely and sadly they did. Should we forget? Surely, not. But; this does not seem to me to be the best possible feature for the cover. As modelers we already fight something of a battle in the eyes of the general public concerning our chosen subject matter and things like this make it hard to defend. When modeling the harsh realities of what we model I chose the maxim that “Less is More”, I only wish the publishers of Euro Modelismo had done the same.
SUMMARY
Highs: Great photography, superb step by step approach to every article.
Lows: Subject matter was a problem for me. Text is in Spanish without any English translation so some modelers may have some difficulty following along.
Verdict: Nice effort, great tutorial on construction of buildings, but the focal point of the cover and the diorama of the main article was hard to stomach.
Percentage Rating
75%
  Scale: N/A
  Mfg. ID: 242
  Suggested Retail: 8 Euros
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Mar 17, 2014
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 88.73%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 88.41%

Our Thanks to Acción Press!
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About Rick Cooper (clovis899)
FROM: CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES

I have been modeling for about 30 years now. Once upon a time in another century I owned my own hobby shop; way more work than it was worth. I tip my opti-visor to those who make a real living at it. Mainly build armor these days but I keep working at figures, planes and the occasional ship.

Copyright ©2017 text by Rick Cooper [ CLOVIS899 ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of TankRat's. All rights reserved.


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Comments

Dear Mr. Cooper, Having read your review, I would like to thank you due to your will in reviewing Euromodelismo 242. It is not easy to analyze the diorama about "The Pianist" because the scene recreates a gruesome piece of history. We certainly share with you the maxim that “Less is More”. To be honest, I would never make a diorama like this. But I think that the art of making dioramas is the art of telling stories and this is a great story. The scene represents a frame of the film titled "The Pianist" directed by Roman Polanski. There is a style of modelling focused on harsh realities which is expanding day by day. No doubt, this diorama is a thought-provoking piece of work. I would like to apologize if we have caused you offence with this diorama because it is not our proposal. It is a matter of inviting the audience to think about our history. Thank you very much. Best regards, Rodrigo Hernández Chacón
MAR 19, 2014 - 02:36 PM
Rodrigo, thank you for your kind reply. I appreciate very much your willingness to explain the thought process behind the editorial decision of using the diorama in question. It was not so much that I was offended by the content but more that I fear that a certain segment of the modeling public may overlook the story and simply be attracted to the 'wow' factor of the gruesome scenes in the diorama. I understand what you say about the increase of dioramas that depict harsh realities and there is surely a place for this type of thought provoking work. My only disagreement may be that I am not convinced that the place for this type of artwork is on the cover of such a fine publication. All the Best, Rick
MAR 19, 2014 - 11:34 PM
Very occasionally do I actually buy Euro Modelismo. Not becaus of its lack of quality (the contrary), but in fact due to the difficulty of actually getting hold of it here. Now that said, it is a magazine with some superb articles but doesn't always have enough to capture my personal interests. Now, my dos centimos regarding the controversy over this feature piece. At the outset, it's not something i'd personally tackle unless it was part of a collaborative Project and part of some educational intenThe closest i've come have been some vignettes based on the Warsaw Uprising. Simply put, I wouldn't feel comfortable tackling this or, as an example, a diorama based around the liberation of one of the concentration camps. Do I defend this kind of diorama? Yes, 100%. Would I, if I was editing a magazine, put it on the front page? Probably not. Would I if I was editing Armorama run a feature on it? By now, i'd be chasing down the modelers responsable and inviting them to publish here. I share the viewpont of Rodrigo. Dioramas ARE about telling stories. War is not some kind of sanitized game. For a long time now, i've been pretty hacked-off at the portrayal of Axis subjects in a form which would be understood by the Nazi propagandists themselves. Particularly alarming is the peculiar material coming out of Japan with what looks like fetishism regarding German uniforms and rock-jawed comic book nazis. Far more alarming IMO. It's easy to shock, it's more difficult to present a snapshot of the horror and reality of war. I haven't done it yet, but I am considering a vignette of the 'reception' given to collaborators by members of the FFI in 1944. Not pretty, but a part of the story of the liberation of France. So, in conclusión, i'd suggest that the modelers involved in this Project are invited to submit their photos so people can judge for themselves. Hell, if you need a translator for the Project, i'm available!
MAR 20, 2014 - 05:19 AM
Not to be tilting at windmills here but; I think we are all in some kind of basic agreement. Rodrigo says he wouldn't personally build a diorama like this one, Jim says the same (although he is thinking about it), nor would I. My only quibble, which if I read Jim's reply above correctly is somewhat in agreement with me, is that I did not think that the piece in question should have been chosen for the cover or the feature article. Jim, I agree about some of the deification of the German military in the Far East is more disturbing. I appreciate the thoughtful comments from all.
MAR 20, 2014 - 06:11 PM
@Rick, I was checking the Acción Press Website yesterday, and it seems this is a 3-part feature. No, I don't think there is any real disagreement whatsoever but I woud go further by saying that perhaps people should (VERY carefully) considrworing working outside their confort zone a little? It's not a lack of technical ability per se, just sometimes, i'd like to see things a bit 'edgier'...
MAR 21, 2014 - 04:57 AM
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