As with any other modeler, I like to collect information and have a library of my own. The thing is, that back in the late 90s, I was already running out of space. In the same time new books never stopped appearing, each year giving more and more and becoming irresistible.
Then the computer era swallowed everything, and with the improvement of the website appearance in the early 2000s, some of my personal library was sold and substituted for digital formats that were available.
Then, what now appears to be the Golden Age of Modeling began and in the early 10s of this century, tons of info appeared about models and modelers around the web. Projects, tutorials, videos and what not. I had a decent collection of DVDs too. And luckily, with the pace that things improve in that sector, finally time has come for us to store all that we have on a flash drive and bring it with us wherever we go.
Long story short – I am a big fan of the digital format. I appreciate its qualities, the fact that it saves the environment and last, but not least – it gives me more spare space for built models.
The book that I want to share with you today is from KLP Publishing, a relatively small and somewhat new company from Australia. I know about them from one of the forums that I love to visit and I’ve known them since their very first project. There is a small controversy here: I got this book, because I kinda resent the project in it. Well, not the project itself, but Revell’s Mustang P-51D in 32nd scale. I was a strong opposer of the idea of having a Revell kit on a subject, that was already covered by Tamiya and Zoukei-Mura, undoubtedly the very best in the business. I found myself in a middle of more than enough feuds on the matter, upsetting a fellow modeler right to the brink of tears.
Yes, Revell is cheaper, and yes – it is inferior to Tamiya and Zoukei-Mura. That might satisfy many, but not me. I consider myself an old hound in modeling, my first attempts dating back in 1990. But this time I was wrong. And by a long shot. Surprisingly, it wasn’t the kit reviews or the modeler’s threads about comparing the kits that changed my mind, but this exact book. KLP Publishing made an ebook about building the P-51D from Revell, with one of their very talented guest authors. The book feature an introduction with a review of the kit, building process and many of the aftermarket goodies that you can get for it, all arranged and ready to be swallowed by the hungry-for-knowledge modelers.
The KLP Publishing books are very interesting, as each book is not alike. Every project that they have is tailored around the subject in the book and due to the electronic format, they can play with almost everything, without having worries.
KLP’s P-51D book is very smooth reading tool, at least to my perception. It introduces you slowly to the subject and then transfers you into the building process, with all the information embedded in text and pictures.
The pictures are high-res, quality measured and very satisfactory. Here is the time to add, that if you don’t own a good camera and at least decent photographic skills, your project most likely will have troubles entering one of KLP’s books.
It is nothing like a magazine, if this thought already crossed your mind. This is a proper book, solely dedicated to a single project, similar maybe to what Michael Rinaldi choose for a format after completing his Tank Art series. If you are not familiar with those because you are an Aircraft Scale Modeler, trust me, you should try and read through them. There is plenty to learn from tanker guys. A handful.
Information KLP Publishing P-51 book contains a lot of info aside from the building process itself. You can find a lot of ideas about the model itself and for the ways to complete it. However, the most interesting thing that I found is the aftermarket mentioned in the end. There are several pages with goodies and the best thing is that you don’t have to search the web for hours to find and combine them. Someone has already done that for you.
As every modern modeler, I tend to explore all the options when I start a project. I search about aftermarket, compare and discover. It is a journey, but in nowadays tempo of living it is hard to cope with everything. So I often miss things. Well, with this book, I trust that everything I need is already at hand. If this sounds like a paid promo? Just wait. We are not where I am going to yet.
There are references as well. Most of the famous and interesting books concerning the project embedded are already stated, in the same way as with the aftermarket. Arranged and properly presented, without any fears that this is some sort of a competition to KLP Publishing. Ths is generous from their end, but there is a reason behind that. KLP books don’t ever get old, compared to the ones that you can buy in paper. A little more about that below though.
Every other magazine features guiding material, I know. But not exactly like that. They usually put some references, but it is short and somewhat only outlining the idea. While here, you get the whole nine yards. And for me, this is precious.
Remember me mentioning that this book doesn’t get old? Let me tell you a secret: if you get it once, you get free updates. As far as I know – this will last forever. Well, forever is relevant for us, human beings, but as long as KLP Publishing are there, and there is something to add, they will add it.
Free of charge for those who already purchased the book and right from the get go from their new customers. Try that with a paper book. By the way mentioning Rinaldi’s books just shortly above, let me tell you – yesterday I saw one on Amazon for $400. Because they are hard to find. This will never happen with electronic book.
The other thing besides updates that is cool about KLP’s product is that they don’t need space and they can be used on your smartphone, tablet, modeling room PC or, as I’ve read it – on my TV. Try that with a magazine and wait for it to get updated.
Why this is not a pinch
By this time you probably think – this guy is getting paid to waste our time pinching about KLP Publishing. Let me tell you what is the case actually. I disliked Revell’s Mustang. And my sole reason to read this was to prove a point to people who argued with me.
KLP caught me unprepared for what’s coming my way. They changed my mind and I consider myself stubborn in general. Like many modelers are! Yet, somehow, with this product my opinion on Revell was reversed and now I am seriously considering one in my stash.
Its tricky how this works – you think you know something then someone gives you the info in the right way, and there you go. Your mind is changed. This is what good reading is. And no matter that I swear by Tamiya, thanx to KLP I am no longer limited to that.
My conclusion is, that if someone from Revell’s team is reading this: Hey guys, you should put this book as a link with a QR code on your boxes. Enough of the mediocre builds that you show on the small pictures on the side! You ruin the perception of your models. And I am serious. This should be on Revell’s box. It is the perfect reference. Because if it can convince me that Revell’s worth the money, while already in possession of Tamiya’s 32nd scale P-51, well…
The book is cheap by any standard. The prices in KLP website are in AUD. And I consider this perfect tool to get, before you get the model itself. Or the project, if you decide to choose alternative model. It will still bear enough info to make its worth. It is not limited in size because of the format. Guess who’s getting the updates if Eduard and Aires decide to release ton of aftermarket for next Revell re-issue which might cover Tom Cruise’s personal P-51 featured in Top Gun: Maverick.
So my conclusion is: for me this was a game changer. I don’t know about Revell fans, but I am pretty sure it will worth it for them too!
Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE.
Highs: Ebook, unlimited in size, constantly updated, greatly arranged, smoothly presenting the info. Featuring aftermarket and references in abundance.Lows: Too few books in KLP’s line. They are good, but there should be more. I haven’t seen any helicopters and possible armor. Maybe smaller scale projects can find their way into KLP’s hearts.Verdict: It is the perfect reference for building the Revell P-51D-5NA.
About Mitko Nikitov (dnikitov) FROM: NEVADA, UNITED STATES
Started modeling at age of 8 with three Czech made kits, but my first real completed model was F-15 Eagle in 72nd scale at age of 10. That was during 1990 and since then I am modeling addict. Changed my scale preferences over the years, now focusing on 32nd scale and some selected 48th scale kits. I...