No matter what your current skill level is, In Combat – Painting Mechas is here to guide you step by step on how to raise your gunpla game. Kiss your Gundam Markers goodbye!
If you aren’t familiar with Ammo by Mig and their line of incredible paint and weathering products, allow me to make an introduction. Ammo by Mig are for me, the world’s top specialty manufacturer of tailor made paint and weathering supplies for modeling. We’re talking really specific, with paint colors names such as “Starship Filth” and weathering kits like “Chipping Sets for Mechas“, the company definitely knows how to cater to the sci/fi and gunpla building communities.
Which brings us to their book In Combat – Painting Mechas, now in its 2nd edition. Coming in at 92 full-colour pages, the first thing that hits you right away is the sensational photography. I suppose that’s what you want when you’re trying to illustrate extremely fine detail, isn’t it?
The bulk of the book is individual articles dedicated to specific kits, each with their own weathering style using a variety of techniques. The first is a classic RX-78-2, which has had its paint heavily chipped along with some rusty bits along the edges. It’s not the first thing I think of when I picture an RX-78-2 and may be more realistic than anime fans are used to, but it is spectacular.
The second chapter, which is the one that caught my attention, is a dust and earth covered RX-75 Guntank. The third is a cartoony meets realistic Z’Gok. Between these, it covers a wide variety of techniques you can try that will improve your weathering arsenal including pre-shading, dry sponging, streaking, paint chipping, rust effects, panel washes and more.
Each article is broken down into numbered steps you can follow along with. Every part of the process is explained clearly so that even a first timer, equipped with the proper tools can create astonishing effects.
To follow the techniques outlined in the book, you are going to need a few Mig Products which I recommend ordering along with your copy of In Combat. The first is the aforementioned “Chipping Set For Mechas“. This set contains an Engine and Oil Grime enamel as well as two types of chipping fluids.
The second thing you’ll need is the “Weathering Set for Mechas“. This set comes with a Brown for White filter, Streaking Grime, and some Dark Earth pigment. I love it this set. It’s all of the fun.
The sets come in at 9,50 Euros each but go a long way. It brings me a weird satisfaction to live in a world where someone created not one, but two sets of products solely for the purpose of making your plastic 70’s robot look like it’s been through hell.
Despite being 2nd edition, I still found some minor grammar issues sprinkled throughout. It’s not anything that should prevent you from nabbing a copy, but you do get the vibe it’s an English version of a book originally released in another language. Just something to be aware of. On a personal note, I myself get distracted with a letter s being used to pluralize the word mecha. A cursory search online tells me both pluralizations are correct.
Of course, the techniques contained within In Combat – Painting Mechas can be elsewhere online. Ammo by Mig themselves outline a number of them on their fantastic youtube channel. However, I wholeheartedly recommend picking up a copy of the book for the convenience of its step by step instructions you can take your time analyzing while taking in top notch photography. When your friends are looking at your kickass, war weathered, gunpla mildly bewildered how you made it look that way you’ll be stoked you did.
In Combat – Painting Mechas is available for $21.13 US on their website www.migjimenez.com along with both weathering kits, panel line washes and a ton of other great stuff you’ll love.