Rinaldi Studio Press SM.01

This is the first in a new series of books from Rinaldi studio press. The subject of this book is the completion of a single model, the 1/35 FichtenFoo’s Fantastical Fish-shaped Submersible from Industria Mechanika. The book covers the entire process but pays particular attention to the painting, and weathering. If you are familiar with the Tank Art books from Rinaldi then this book is somewhat similar except obviously it only covers one model, but also goes into more detail on that one model. The subject of this book is different to those Michael Rinaldi has published before. The next two books have been announced, SM.02 S-65 Tractor and SM.03 Sazabi Custom (Gundam), and only the tractor is of a similar subject to the Tank Art books.

First, let’s list the basic details of this book:

  • Author: Michael Rinaldi
  • Publisher: Rinaldi Studio Press
  • Language: English
  • Release date: January 2016
  • ISBN: 978-0-9883363-0-8
  • Size: soft cover, 20 cm x 16 cm approx (6.5″ x 7.5″)
  • Weight: ca. 0.5 kg
  • Pages: 96
  • Paper: The cover is made from partially recycled paper and the interior pages are semi-glossy (see description).
  • Photos: 123 colour photos, approx
  • Price: $25, with free shipping inside the US and $5 shipping everywhere else. Pre-order price is $20.

Table of contents:

  • Introduction, four pages
  • products, two pages
  • weathering philosophy, two pages
  • technique proficiency, six pages
  • assembly, eight pages
  • painting, 24 pages
  • weathering, 24 pages
  • support base, 12 pages
  • model gallery, eight pages
  • step-by-step quick reference, four pages

The book arrived safely in a cardboard envelope. The cover of the book has a very distinct texture to it, unlike any other modelling books in my collection. After reading the Rinaldi studio press website I see it is a special linen stock, which does indeed make it unique. The pages inside the book also a little different in that they are made from 30% recycled materials and again they have a texture to them. It’s nice to see a publisher promoting the use of recycled materials.

I read the book in two or three sittings in a single day. The introduction explains the concept behind this series of books. The key things to take from the book are the how and the why of what we do to finish our models. The products section mentions some of the excellent products that are available to us these days. It’s in this section that I found only spelling mistake that I saw in the book, Uschi van der Rosten’s name. This section also mentions the ideas behind how things are done and also why things are done a certain way. Michael explains that you are telling a story when you are painting and weathering your model and the story you want to tell dictates how you do things and why. The technique proficiency section explains the hairspray technique and oil paint rendering. If you have read any of the tank art series books you will be familiar with these techniques. These two techniques are at the core of this book.

Next we move on to the section covers the assembly of this resin and photo etch kit. This section is pretty short, since this is not the main subject of the book but there are some good techniques described here for dealing with photo etch and resin and indeed construction in general. Next we move on to painting. Starting with a good quality primer, we move through painting the interior, and then the exterior with seven different layers of paint, all with a layer of hairspray underneath them. After each layer of paint that was over a layer of hairspray the top layer is chipped and worn away. Throughout this section the paragraphs of text either have a large W in front, to explain why something is done, or a large H, to explain how something was done. These come back to the main concept of this book of telling the story of this submersible, and choosing which techniques to apply and how to apply them to meet that end. Slowly but surely the chipped and faded paint of the model is built up over seven layers of paint.

The next section the book is the other large section, and this one covers weathering using oil paint rendering. This technique replicates all the different types of weathering, from fading to rust, by just using oils in various ways. Again we continue to tell a story with the oil paint rendering and the text paragraphs explain the why’s and the hows of the technique. Throughout this section of the book, and the previous one there are many photographs explaining the techniques used and most of them have circles shown on them to highlight the point that is being made.

The next section covers making a base to present the model. Michael explains the things to look for in choosing how to display your model and for this model he explains how to turn raw wood into weathered support beams that hold the submersible upright. Then, with the addition of a few extra pieces we have a base for the model that matches the painting weathering and story of the model. The final section of the book is a quick step-by-step reference of what was done at each of the 24 steps of completing the model.


This is a new and interesting direction for any publication, covering the painting and weathering of just one model, essentially using just 2 techniques. The price of the book is right and the shipping cost is very reasonable too. The key concepts are very well explained and will set you off in the right direction to practice and learn the necessary techniques. If you’ve not had a chance to read one of the Tank Art books then this is an easy way to see what they are all about as well. If this book sells like the Tank Art books, then it will soon be hard to find. The subjects of the next 2 books have been announced, with book 2 shipping in the very near future.

The book is available from the publisher’s website.

Paul Tosney – Editor
ModelBuilder International


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