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New Review: Building the Revell 1/32nd Scale Bell AH-1G in a Vietnam Vignette

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Review Author: 
Floyd S. Werner Jr.
Richard Marmo

This is my first time reviewing a PDF book. The author, Richard Marmo, is a long time IPMS member. His IPMS/USA number is #2 so that means he has been modeling for years. So he may know a thing or two about modeling and being an author.

Richard has taken this 52-year old kit and enhanced it with some Cobra Company (now Lonestar Models) upgrades and placed it into a neat vignette. He describes how to build the model and the entire vignette, including a cover for it. As a former Cobra pilot, I couldn't wait to see what he had to say.

Utilizing the 1967 release of the Revell Bell AH-1G, Richard puts a unique camoflage scheme on the model, but first he tells you how to build it. There are plenty of pictures of how to build it included. There are 47 photos interspersed throughout the 49 page 'book'. Because it is in PDF format you can enhance and blow up the photos to see them on your computer and print them out should you want or need to.

The writing style of 12,000 or so words is very conversational, which makes readability quite easy. Think of the first part of this book as an in depth build review of the kit and aftermarket products. This isn't his first time building this model or even this particular vignette. His experience will prove invaluable to the modeler. While he uses an old kit and some old updates sets, both are still available. Lonestar Models bought out Cobra Company molds and products so they are still available and the model is readily available at most model shows.

Besides building up the model, which is expertly done, he shows you how to display it. OK shameless plug, I wish he had used the Werner's Wings vacuformed canopy. The finished model is quite nice and the unique four tone camoflage pattern found on these early AH-1Gs makes for an attractive scheme.

So after finishing up the model, Richard continues to make it more realistic by explaining how to design the revetment and ground work. This is of particular interest to me, as I don't do it enough to be proficient at it. He explains the techniques for everything including the sandbags, groundwork and grasses.

As if that weren't enough information, he also explains how to design a plexiglass cover to put over top of the model to protect if from young hands and puts a very professional touch to the finished presentation. I've never done this before but after reading the explanation I don't feel intimidated by doing this.Working with acrylic cases is not something many modeler get to deal with by Richard explains how to do it and takes the mystery out of it. This section alone makes it worth the price of admission.

When it is all said and done, the camoflaged Cobra looks perfectly at home in its dust free environment. A real professional looking finished product that would look perfectly at home on an executive's desk.

Let's review, professional built model with great tips on how to build it. Then how to design a vignette. Followed by how to execute it flawlessly and finally how to protect it. All of this for $3.99 and a simple download. You will be hard pressed to find a better bargain. Learning to work the groundwork will prove invaluable as will working with the acrylic cover. You can't go wrong, even if you don't like the model (how can you not love the Cobra) the techniques are universal. An excellent resource that would rank right up there with a Shep Paine book.

Highly recommended

Thanks to Scale Publications and IPMS/USA for the review copy. You can obtain Purchase your copy at http://scalepublications.freeyellow.com or if you are lucky enough to see Richard at a show you can pick up a hard copy of it direct from him.

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