Rinaldi TankArt 4

The first thing I always do with a book is look at the table of contents to see what’s inside. So, here’s the contents of TankArt 4:

  • Introduction
  • Technique Proficiency
  • Winter Whitewash
  • SdKfz 182 Tiger II
  • SdKfz 164 Nashorn
  • SdKfz 138/1 Grille Ausf. M
  • Sturminfantriegeshutz 33B
  • Merio Eens PzKpfw B2 740(f)

TankArt 4 is the 4th book in the series and the second one German armour of WW2. If you’re like me, then you will have been wondering how this book relates to TankArt 1, which was also on German armour. The first thing to notice is that this book has 5 builds in it whereas TankArt 1 had 6. The number of pages is almost identical in both books, and after reading the book from cover to cover I can say the main difference is that TankArt 4 goes into more depth, a lot more depth, than TankArt 1. Each build has its own main technique focus, so each build has a different idea or technique for you to learn.  I used the word ‘learn’ there to indicate that this is a book you can definitely learn from, in fact it feels more like an instructional book than the previous volumes. However, Michael does not just tell you what to do and how to do it, he encourages you to make your own steps and go beyond what he is telling you, to do things in a way that works for you or to achieve a final result that you like. There are several different styles out there these days and he makes a point of inviting you to find your own path, while hoping that his techniques will help you get to the place you want to be.

Now let’s go through each chapter and see what they’re all about.

The book starts with a 2 page introduction where Michael basically lets you know what this book is about. It’s pretty much what I wrote in the previous paragraph, but in more detail with more insight.

The Technique Proficiency chapter is 18 pages long and covers how to do 12 different techniques, with particular emphasis on the do’s and don’ts These will come in useful in most of your own builds. It ends with some helpful hints and ideas about building in general, including some thoughts on ‘shelf queens’, which I particularly liked. These techniques are used throughout the builds that follow, and if you’ve read any of the preceding TankArt books from Rinaldi, you will be familiar with them. The big ones are using the hairspray technique and oil paint rendering and those 2 are used on almost every build that follows.

Next we have 26 pages covering various ways to do winter whitewash. There are sections for each of the main three scales and for 1/72 and 1/35 you’re shown more than one way to achieve a realistic whitewash finish. These short guides are in fact complete painting, whitewash and weathering guides and each one goes into probably as much detail as you would normally find in a magazine. There are 7 complete whitewash finishes explained in this section.

Up to this point in the book you will have noticed a few green text boxes where Michael gives overall thoughts on something, and indeed these boxes continue throughout the book. They usually appear at the start and finish of a build. What also appears in the builds are orange text boxes. The orange boxes are Michael’s thoughts and tips on the process at hand. I find these orange boxes to be an invaluable part of each build. In a magazine you might see an article that says the spare tracks were painted a certain colour. In this book, in all the TankArt books in fact, the orange boxes might explain why something was done a certain way. The orange boxes let you into Michael’s thoughts and ideas as he was coming to a decision on why to do something a certain way and not another. In my opinion these orange boxes are a strong point of these books and make them stand out form the crowd.

Then follows the first of the main builds, the Tiger II over 30 pages. The main thing about this build is the fact that the final camouflage scheme you see on the cover of the book, is actually the third one applied to the kit. Michael applied 2 previous camouflage schemes and wasn’t happy with either of them. He talks you through why he wasn’t happy and why they were redone. After that it’s a step by step build, highly detailed as usual, leading to a faded whitewash finish.

The next chapter covers the Nashorn over 38 pages. This one is longer since it is an open top vehicle and Michael carefully explains the extra building steps needed to achieve a realistic interior. It’s nice to see for once that someone explains how to blend the building and weathering processes to achieve a natural final result on parts of a kit that are visible, but tough to reach once built. The differences between interior weathering and exterior weathering are also highlighted. This build has a normally complicated hard edge disc camouflage scheme, but Michael pulls it off nicely using masks. He also tells you where he got the masks and why he preferred those particular ones. Once the interior is complete and weathered and the exterior is painted, the build moves onto the usual weathering step-by-step.

The next build is the Grille Ausf. M, which at 40 pages is the most detailed build in the book. Again this is an open topped vehicle and the way the building process is adjusted to allow for the weathering of the interior is fully explained. As in the previous build the differences between interior weathering and exterior weathering are highlighted. On this build Michael used oils almost exclusively for the weathering instead of the usual filters and washes. There are some handy hints about working with photo-etch included.

The last building the book by Michael is the Sturminfantriegeshutz 33B  which covers 30 pages. The big difference with this build is that it is a kitbash, the top half of the model is by Dragon and the suspension is by Tamiya. There’s a bit more construction going on in this build too, with the addition of photo-etch. In this build Michael is trying to get the finished result as close to a particular photographic reference of the vehicle as possible.

The last build by Mario Eens is a PzKpfw B2 740(f) over 30 pages. Mario does things a little differently to Michael and it’s nice to see a different style and it also reinforces a note that Michael made earlier in the book that it’s all about trying things out for yourself and finding your own style. Mario does things a little like the Grille Ausf. M, with an emphasis on using oils.

  • Author: Michael Rinaldi
  • Publisher: Rinaldi Studio Press
  • Language: English
  • Release date: Sept 8, 2015
  • ISBN: 978-0-9883363-4-6
  • Size: soft cover, dimensions
  • Weight: ca. 0.5 kg
  • Pages: 223
  • Paper: semi glossy
  • Photos: 500+ all in colour
  • Further Information:: 27 coloured maps, index of locations and names
  • Price: $37 + shipping


TankArt 4 is an invaluable addition to your shelf, even if you have any of the previous TankArt books. It goes into great detail about how to achieve realistic weathering finishes, especially winter schemes.

If you want to get a copy of the book, now would be a good time as stock is running low and Rinaldi Studios has a 20% off sale for all TankArt books from Nov 11 to 15, 2015. Get them while you can!

Many thanks to Rinaldi Stuido Press for the review sample of TankArt 4.

Paul Tosney – Editor
ModelBuilder International


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