Table war gaming is not something very appealing to me and many scale modellers consider it as toys not taking it seriously. However, in the last years there were some developments in that field including Zvezda with their table games and 1/100 kits, Italeri then started a new 1/56 series as well as more and more kits in 15 and 28 mm scales from various brands.
Classic war gaming is considered as collecting an army of vehicles and figures which are either already pre-painted or that can be painted with rather simple approaches. But some guys started to apply techniques that were developed for scale modelling to make bright and interesting vehicles including imitation of mud and chipping, highlights and so on. Ruben Torregrosa is one of the well-known wargame modellers that uses these effects extremely well on war gaming vehicles and figures and some time ago he teamed up with Mig Jimenez to make a book dedicated to war gaming painting. The result is quite interesting, however, there is not much new for those who have classic books and magazines about painting and weathering techniques. What is most important is that here the authors show what can be done for war gaming vehicles. Let's have a closer look.
The book has a softcover and features 90 pages. Print quality is exceptional and the paper is of a very good quality as well. The design has been approached in a way so that one can easily understand what is shown at every moment and I really like that simple educative approach.
After a compulsory introduction from both Ruben and Mig there is a chapter dedicated to paints and media used for the book. Obviously, it is mostly AMMO products that are depicted here, but one can easily substitute these products with similar ones. After all it is the described approach or technique that makes your model look good and not the brand by itself. This chapter not only shows the products, but also explains how to use enamels, pigments, acrylic paint and airbrush so that the reader understands the subsequent content.
The painting guide itself is divided into 2 parts - simple way and advanced way. The simple way shows a number of vehicles (Sherman, Stuart and Panther tanks) that are painted in a very robust sequence that allows painting several vehicles in a very short time. Highlighting, dust and simple chipping are described here. Of course one can say (and it is quite true) that chipping in that scale is something excessive and unrealistic, but I think this is where the artistic approach steps in. After all these are only tanks for a gaming, right? The Panther chapter here is the most advanced one, with camouflage, chipping and dirt. In addition there are some final tips and material suggestions like hair drying, make up sponges and so on.
The advanced way is where Ruben shows his magic tricks. There are 7 tanks here, 1 Soviet (T-34 of course) and 6 German (Tiger I, Panzer III, Panzer IV, Sd.Kfz.251, Panther and E-100 Jagdpanther). Here each model has a different camouflage and given the fact that they are super tiny it is astonishing to see colour modulation, advanced chipping and other effects performed on them. Of course you would easily notice that these are more attractive than models painted in a simple way and I think this is one of the main points of the book. To show what can be done with war gaming tanks and how you can enhance your collection of vehicles. Of course the book brings up the discussing between the result and time worth spending on it.
Altogether, I think it is a good book that is made specifically for war gamers. It has an educative narration and everything is explained in a way that even if you have zero experience you can take the simplest techniques and use them straight away. Many of the described approaches would work well with 1/72 and smaller scales (1/87, 1/100, 1/144, etc), however, for scale modellers in larger scales I recommend getting other books from AMMO, Weathering magazine or Rinaldi studio press.
Highs: Very educative, good design and quality.Lows: Mostly limited to wargamers.Verdict: Highly recommended for those interested in wargame vehicles.