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This week I got a new Forge World painting guide book The Horus Heresy Model Master Class Volume 1. I already own two of the previous Forge World painting books Imperial Armour volume 1 and II, which are great. So it was a no brainer for me to get the new book, I didn’t even read the reviews, relying on the usual high level of quality.

And the first half of the book definitely didn’t disappoint my high expectations. The book starts by doing a step by step for a Questoris Knight and it really goes into a lot of details and features clear instructions. I especially liked the base they’ve created for the model, great tips!

It continues with a step by steps for two vehicles: Imperial Fists Legion Falchion and Solar Auxilia Dravosan Armoured Trasport. Both vehicles are painted to a pretty amazing level and have lots of weathering. The tutorials make use of both manual brushed and airbrush. I have a small criticism on their paint choice, as they tend to stick only to citadel and fw paints. Citadel paints are awful to use via airbrush which the book much covers, but hey I understand why they would push the brand.  In the Imperial Armour painting guides, I liked it that they always chose the best paint for the job making advantage of many different brands out there.

The downside if that there are only these three step by step painting tutorials in the book, compared to at least five in each of the 2 issues of Imperial Armour.

Then there are two good scenery building tutorials, with one of them involving quite serious construction. Although I don’t work with large scenery, but I know there are many modelers out there that would find this really interesting. And it is always great to check this out, as they are many clever tips to find, which could be applied to basing of the models.

I was looking forward to seeing some tips on some of their character models, especially seeing that Horus is featuring on the cover. Alas it came as a disappointment that there was almost no painting tips for the characters, apart from a page for painting Ferrus Manus’s steel arms and some tips for getting the face of Vulkan charcoal black . Fulgrim, Horus and Vulkan only feature as images with no painting information outlined whatsoever. Their advice for Horus is to take time to paint the model as cleanly and neatly as possible! I feel that this is a massive let down, since those character models were really what I mainly wanted to check out when deciding to purchase the book.

So while flipping through the book, especially towards the second half of it I did feel a bit cheated by lack of painting content. From 114 pages in the book, at least 46 pages have no painting information of them and are taken up by photographs of models, which are nice to see, but many of them I can access on their website free of charge.

Having said that, there are some photographs of quite great looking scenery, but somehow I feel that the photos are not taking full advantage of it. This is because some of the angles and close ups are quite repetitive and some of the images are actually a bit blurry. Even in one of the step by step guides there is much less writing that I am used to, with some of the pages featuring two or three lines of text. This really was not the case with the Imperial Armour books, in which there are more pages with very extensive painting guidance and the pages that showed scenery were more clear, as well as close ups were actually really detailed.

So overall I feel that it could have been better seeing how good the painters at FW are and they are always helpful by sending painting scheme pdfs if you ask for them. One may argue, that it’s great to see images of the models, but I would say that it is a painting guide after all, so if there are images of the model, include the painting tips on how to get your models looking like this! I like this book a lot but feel it could have easily been more. If you are to buy one of the books, go for the first one as it’s very detailed.

Anyone else picked this up, and how do you feel?

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