Steel Masters has been publishing a high quality French language magazine for the military modeler since 1994. This issue, no. 102, continues in that same tradition.
The magazine is printed on state of the art slick type magazine paper of the same type that most of the other high quality hobby publishers use. It is 84 pages in length, although admittedly there are a goodly number of advertisements in the magazine.
This issue contains no less than nine different articles, seven of them photo features of different models and dioramas, one each in 1/72, and 1/48, and a further five 1/35 scale offerings. There is a short, 4 page photo study of the Eindhoven Scale Model Challenge 2010 hobby show with a good selection of some of the best work on display.
The Spanish Civil War provides the subject matter for an eight page historical study on the armor utilized by Franco’s Nationalist forces. The article provides plenty of period photography of the T-26, the Pz I, and CV-33 among others. The article is followed up with a 1/35 build article of a small diorama featuring a Panzer I Ausf A armed with a Breda 20 MM gun climbing an embankment accompanied by a Nationalist soldier. The Pz I started life as a Tristar kit before a Leadwarrior conversion was added to create the particular version.
The next article continues in the theme of the Spanish civil strife with a 1/72 scale diorama of a Nash Quad armored truck during the 1934 coal miners strike in Asturies in the north of Spain. Because no model producers make a Nash Quad the builders, Pedro Andrada and Arturo Granell, had to scratch build one and lucky for the readers of the magazine their scale plans for the rather ungainly vehicle are included. Even though there are no construction directions there are enough photos of the finished model that an experienced modeler should have little problem building one of their own.
The issue contains three lengthy photo heavy articles, the first a seven page feature for a diorama with the new Tamiya Matilda and a couple of Model Victoria Italians and a Gilera motorcycle. The second article is a ten page spread on the Heller AMX B2. And finally, Steve Zaloga works his magic with a nice build article and follow-up photo essay of the M-50 Ontos. The pictures are nice and clear throughout, giving plenty of detail shots as well as a step by step breakdown of the weathering process for each.
Besides the standard new product section, the magazine also has shorter articles on building the Sovereign Models Panzer III Ausf A and the 1/48 scale Gaso-Line Renault D2. The Renault article also contains a nice color profile page of 4 different vehicles.
Steel Masters strikes again with another great issue filled with clear images and step by step photos throughout. I like the fact that so much of the issue touches on the Spanish Civil War, an often overlooked historical period. The translation effort can be a bit daunting, but the pictures go a long way in clearing up any mysteries.
Highs: High quality photography combined with great modelers and models makes a winning combination in any language.Lows: An english language translation would be nice. Some may shy away due to the somewhat esoteric content.Verdict: Another winner, especially if any of the features cover your particular modeling interest.
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.