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Open Book Scale Model Handbooks 7-9 from Mr Black Publications

Discussion in 'Reviews , Video Reviews and Open Book' started by Nap, Dec 31, 2013.

  1. Nap A Fixture

    Mr Black Publications is a company whose editor is a rather fine modeller in his own right and a PF member namely STELIOS DEMIRAS that publishes a series of books called Scale Model Handbook the aim is to provide modellers of all skill levels a book dedicated to one particular aspect , at the moment there are a total of 9 in the Figure Modelling series with more promised

    From No 1 to No 6 we had a riot of colour and amazing articles all packed full of tips and articles by names that read like a who's who of the modelling world so with excited anticipation I prepared myself to do this Review ..not so much open box's as open book's

    Quality , Passion and Cusomer Service are keywords in our hobby , not only in the figure releases but in the add ons we have available and belive me this is what has been the key to this series of books : Quality and Passion.

    As with the previous releases they are ALL:
    • Strongly recomended by Pegaso Models
    • All produced on top quality paper
    • Format A4
    • All with card covers , the finish being matt laminated
    • Colour representation in all is TOP class
    • All have a total of 50 pages plus the cover = 52
    • Typeset is easy to look at and read
    • Articles are all written by top class modellers
    • Not just painting subjects are covered
    • Various mediums are used by the contributors (Oils/Acrylics/Inks etc)
    • Top quality models are used from various manufacturers
    • All provide a joy and inspiration from the time you open the book up

    Lets look at the books now:

    No 7 :
    • Published in June 2013
    • Editor ; Stelios Demiras
    • Proof Editor: Ken Jones
    • Art Director: Maria Dimou
    Contribtions from : Javier Gonzalez, Man Jin Kim, Grigoris Marmatakis, Roman Navarro, Sergey Popovichenko, Ernesto Reyes Stalhuth, Cristos Stamatopoulos and last but not least Kazufumi Tomri .

    7 Cover.jpg 7 Coverback.jpg

    From the very first page we are treated to a amazing group of articles , all packed full of colour tips and mixes and fabulous picture , colour representation is as I said TOP class so all credit to the Art Director in reaching and maintaining this extremely high Quality in every single book.

    What articles are we being treated to:


    Claus von Stauffenberg - 90mm (ST Models)

    7.1.jpg 7.2.jpg 7.3.jpg
    In this article we are given step by steps on MJ's face and leather painting ...jaw dropping start!!!

    French Gentilhomme - 75mm (Pegaso Models)

    This article is great in that it covers painting red ...wonderful explanations and colour pictures using a very apt model .

    Heinz Guderian - “Panzer Leader” - 200mm (Pegaso Models)

    7.5.jpg 7.6.jpg 7.7.jpg

    For me this is the star in the book ( well its a bust!!!) , my favourite piece released this year...amazing work is demonstrated throughout by Ernesto

    Brünnhilde, Die Walküre - 75mm (Alexandros Models)


    The series covers all aspects this time we have a fantasy piece , great metallics are featured as well as that so hard to achieve female flesh tones ...nice one Kaz

    Creating Bases & Scenic Settings

    7.10.jpg 7.9.jpg

    This article covers an area so very important to the figure the basework and includes Sergey's techniques using various models to produce so effective finishes ..packed full of pictures ...Cheers Sergey

    Marshal Ney, Russia 1812 - 75mm (Alexandros Models)

    Napoleonics feature in this article ..the "Bravest of the Brave" Ney on the retreat from Moscow , written and painted by Christos , who not only shares the painting but the groundwork techniques all to great effect.

    U.S. 82nd Airborne in “Desert Shield” - 120mm (Verlinden Productions)


    Using a Verlinden model Roman proves that these still have a place in the cabinet ... covering the painting of camo as in Desert Shield and how he paints a negro soldier

    Nokjagerin - 54mm (Pegaso Models)

    Finally in this book we have a 54mm figure , fantasy again painted by Javier giving his techniques on female flesh , the completed model is a joy to look at , groundwork so well done

    So there you have it Book 7 in the series ....what can I say except I enjoyed every article , in the next post we will look at no 8

    All books are available from www.mrblackpublications.com or from either El Greco or Historex in the UK (the website has a full worldwide distributor details)

    Thanks for looking in .

    Joe55 likes this.
  2. Nap A Fixture

    Lets now look at the next in the series:

    No 8
    8 cover.jpg
    It goes without saying that the same Excellent Quality is present in Volume 8 (released in September 2013) in all area's of the publication again the colour is 1st rate , same number of pages , there is the same publishing teams of Messrs Demiras/Jones and Dimou ........

    with article contributions this time from :


    Articles covered:

    Viking Chief - 90mm (Pegaso Models)


    Written by Ernesto and using a great figure covering an amazing 12 pages of totally incredible work from opening the box to the finshed figure , covering how he deals with metals (chainmail , fleshwork , leathers and much more , the pictures do nothing but credit to the painting , the figure is almost alive ...brill stuff .

    Praetorian Guard - 75mm (Reality in Scale)


    The roman army is extremely popular and I can see why when you get figures like this , written by Manolis with great painting all through particularly the mosaic on the groundwork and what is a colour so hard to get right a purple cloak ....good reference mixes .

    Mamluke Officer - 90mm (Pegaso Models)


    Napoleonics are now the order of the day ...the very dashing Mamluke's , a 2 page article but despite this full of mixes and a lovely finish has been obtained by Grogoris particularly on the pants he wears (the model not Grogoris!!!;) )
    • SS Standartenfuhrer - 200mm (Pegaso Models)

    Its time for a bust now , a real classic IMO and again Ernesto shows us why he is one of the top painters , the article consists of 6 pages , amazing mixes , particularly like the way the blonde hair was treated , the NMM effect on the buttons and of course the colour pictures .
    • 28th Maori Bn - 300mm (Kharki Army)

    For me this is an amazing piece in a truely large scale , in the article Mike Butler concentrates on getting realistic textures and boy does he achieve this , I am amazed at what he has produced , sometimes such large figures can be so unforgiving but Mike is a true master at these larger figures , suffice to say thsi is so full of life , the flesh is incredible , just a great article packed full of mixes and techniques (have a look at the helmet cover in the article) , again all backed up by SBS pictures in a total of 10 colour packed pages.

    Finally in this edition we have:
    • WW1 Trench Section -54mm (Tommy's War)

    Using top quality figures this time a set from Tommy's War over a total of colour dominated 9 pages Alex again produces a gem of a diorama , great mixes of course are included the figures are set in truely wonderful groundwork , if this was a black and white picture it could have been taken on Ploegsteert Wood in 1915..a fitting end to another great addition to the series.

    Thanks for looking at No 8 with me

    gforceman and Mike - The Kiwi like this.
  3. Nap A Fixture

    Now to the final volume in this Review:

    No 9

    The same dedication to producing an exellent product is very evident when I opened up the book (planned publication Jan 2014 but obviously released prior ..a Christmas bonus to us all) .

    Again the same winning format and presentation is very much seen in this release ..so from the 1st to this the 9th the standard has been maintained in every aspect .WELL DONE to Mr Black Publishing and all the team.

    Contributors in this edition include:


    Only 4 contributor's in this book but no matter the range af articles are very wide ranging , articles include:

    • Knight of the Holy Sepulchre Order, 54mm (Pegaso Models 54-525)
    9-1.jpg 9-2.jpg 9-3.jpg 9-4.jpg

    This article uses almost half the content in the book an incredible 20 pages , , it could almost be a book on its own , superb information features on every page , what I think is a massive bonus is the way Ernesto paints whites and the weathering effects he gets on the figure , as always the article is packed full of colour and paint mixes what more can you ask for ....and the text is as always very readable.
    • “A Grey Beard, but Lusty Heart”, 75mm (Irbis Miniatures IM75-07)
    9-5.jpg 9-6.jpg

    This article over 9 packed pages by Igor is another wonderful article and a sculptors dream from concept to the final completed piece , Igor shares the materials he used , the techniques including making furniature (No flat pack stuff here !!!) the pictures (a staggering total of 78 in this article alone) almost talk you through the process very interesting indeed.
    • The Last Resistance Fighter, 200mm (Taurus Miniatures TAU-200-02) 9-7.jpg 9-8.jpg
    The bust lovers are not left out with this article by Sergey in more ways than 1 (just look at the model;)) , using and combining both Oils and Acrylics and putting it in a scenic setting ...a very unusual way of displaying busts ...and it works very well indeed . Covering a total of 10 pages rammed full of information from making the actual base , the detailing , the materials used , (I liked the way he produced the poster and weathered it on the base so effective in the setting) then moving on to the painting full of mixes as expected with a great mix for "blood" in particular.

    Finally but not least we have a great bonus in this book
    • Christos Katselos’ Masterpieces

    Christos is considerd a Master Modeller and quirte rightly so he has produced a lovely model of a mythological Greek : Zeus and friend (Periphas)


    Lots of information on how he approaches figure painting , lots of thought provoking words not only on his approach but also on tools and advice for the new figure painter , suffice to say the painting of Zeus is lovely , which I think is equalled if not bettered by "friend" he has ...amazing painting .This article covers a total of 4 pages , 2 of which are full pictures of the completed model ..awesome.

    Not only do we have the article from Christos but we also have another 7 colour packed pages of his work.
    9-10.jpg 9-11.jpg 9-12.jpg

    The gallery is indeed a bonus packed full of superb models of all types displaying work from a true star in the modelling community Christos Katselos , each model is on a single page allowing the viewer to trely enjoy the work ...I am drooling at the busts in particular ...a wonderful end to another great volume in the series .

    Look at the website and you will see other things from Mr Black including some rather tempting offers on the books and rather nice bases as well to finish off your latest piece .

    Website details again : www.mrblackpublications.com

    E mail: mrblackpublications@yahoo.com

    Facebook page: www.facebook.com/MrBlackPublications

    Final thoughts on these and the series :

    Stelios set himself a big challenge when the 1st was released in whatt he set out to achieve both in the production and from the contributors , all is TOP QUALITY in every single volume , packed with colour and with the promise of more to come I can hardly wait .

    Thanks again folks its been my pleasure

    Mike S., storm_zh and gforceman like this.
  4. swralph A Fixture

    great review's
    napoleonpeart likes this.
  5. Mike - The Kiwi A Fixture

    Darn kind things you've said here mate. Thanks!
    Glad you got value from this one.

    Have a Happy, healthy & prosperous 2014 with your significant others.

    napoleonpeart likes this.
  6. Nap A Fixture

    Mike - The Kiwi likes this.
  7. storm_zh Well-Known Member

    Hi Nap, thank you for posting the detailed review on the SMH No.9. I will order it online soon (already have the other 8 books :) )

    napoleonpeart likes this.
  8. Ron Tamburrini A Fixture

    Postage seems a bit high Nap
  9. Nap A Fixture

    Hi Ron ,

    You raise a good point with the postage , however Historex sell these as well as El Greco ...both obviously UK companys so that would certainly reduce it . Shipping from Greece always seems to be a lot from what I have seen ...something I think Stelios would agree with

    All great quality books wherever you get them from

  10. Ron Tamburrini A Fixture

    Your up early Kevin:)
  11. Nap A Fixture

    I look my best in the dark!!!!!!;)

    Have a good weekend

  12. Ron Tamburrini A Fixture

    :ROFLMAO: most modellers do:rolleyes:
    napoleonpeart likes this.
  13. Ron Tamburrini A Fixture

    Run out of Elm so going Burr hunting , in the east end of Glasgow !! you can buy anything there:D
  14. Stelios Demiras A Fixture

    Unfortunately the postage prices are a bit high in Greece, but keep in mind that we are talking about registered mail (you can trace your parcel anytime after 48 hours of the shipping date) and the packaging itself is very secure, as the books are first wrapped in bubbles and then placed in a very strong carton box, so as to reach you in perfect condition. You can also check out our combo offers for combined shipping, when purchasing more than 1 book.
    napoleonpeart likes this.

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