In very short order AK Interactive has produced and released 4 DVD’s designed to help the average modeler achieve stunning results. One of the issues with the first three DVD’s, and indeed any of the how-to DVD’s that I am familiar with, has been the difficulty in gaining a good perspective in how much time has elapsed between different ‘takes’ or shots (and their attendant techniques), and whether or not some subtle changes were being made to the subject off camera.
To address these concerns our old friend Mig Jimenez has created this DVD, the fourth in their techniques series, “Weathering in 1 Hour”. The concept behind the DVD is that the model, in this case a Sdkfz. 222, is completely weathered in a single, roughly one hour, setting with the DVD shot in one long, continuous recording without any breaks. I believe this is the first time anyone has attempted anything quite like this.
The DVD is packaged in a nice movie style plastic case and includes, besides the disk, a small 6 page booklet in English and Spanish with the text of the introduction and a brief piece on the background to the 'how and the why' of shooting the DVD. The booklet also includes 11 full color side views of different Sdkfz. 222’s, although it does not list which unit or the time frame for any of them.
The DVD is shot in PAL format but any computer should be able to play it, I have a cheap DVD player I picked up at a big box department store here in California that plays it fine, your mileage may vary.
The DVD is divided into 7 ‘chapters’ plus the introduction. But remember that the DVD is shot in one continuous take, so there is no clear break between sections. The DVD has no narration, in the introduction it is explained that the process does not really need it. I think at least a brief narration would have been of benefit, seeing and hearing an explanation of the process usually works best. Much of the video is set at a slightly higher than actual speed which doesn’t necessarily detract from the finished product. Of course I could be wrong, and it may be that Mig just moves at a quicker pace than us mere mortals! One thing that AK does to help is show very clearly just what products are being used, often, but not always, with accompanying text. As you can imagine most of the products used are produced by AK Interactive (bet that didn’t really surprise you!) so it does feel, at least a bit, like a one hour commercial for AK.
The DVD uses the 7 sections to show; washes, chipping, streaking, highlight, rust, dry mud, fresh mud, and fuel stains. You get your money’s worth for sure. One nice addition is the inclusion of insets, or screen in screen sections in which they show the technique in a slower, less frenetic pace. Some of the inset material is of the 222 in a finished state; most of it is from the finishing of different vehicles. While I like the DVD it was the inset material that I found was my favorite part of the overall production.
The model that Mig uses to show his techniques is already base painted and camouflaged, and has had decals applied and sealed. The techniques are demonstrated on the vehicle hull and upper turret piece only as well as a brief bit of work with the wheels. The gun, the anti-grenade screens, and the interior are not included in the process, a bit of a letdown if you are building and weathering a 222, but otherwise you should find everything is very relevant to whatever vehicle you are modeling.
I really like the DVD; it was helpful for me to see some of the steps in what is essentially real time. I have tried to avoid a blow by blow description of the techniques; you’ll need to buy the DVD for that! None of the techniques used are necessarily new, instead what AK has done is present them to you in a unique way that can really help, particularly the intermediate level modeler. All in all, another top notch effort by the folks at AK Interactive.
Highs: Real time modeling. Picture in picture details were especially helpful.Lows: No narration and nothing on the interior or gun.Verdict: I like the concept of one shot, one take, real time. I would recommend, especially to the intermediate modeler.
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.