The Single Model series of books are very similar in layout and design to the Tank Art series. Large clear pictures and detail shots are present throughout. There is a brief section on the importance of looking at your surroundings and collecting references. A few pages of clear reference photos serve as an example.
The specific book I got was SM.02 about the S-65 Tractor. The book actually covers two models of the same subject. One of the main focuses of the book was on the “Windex Removal Technique” for chipping paint. Mike is quick to give credit to other modelers that came up with the technique. The author lets you tag along as he learns the ins and outs of a technique that he admittedly has little experience with. He shows you what worked and what didn’t as he experiments which could be a huge time saver for other modelers.
The balance of the book covers the OPR or Oil Paint Rendering technique, Chipping with Hairspray and using Pigments in a very controlled and precise fashion.
One thing I really loved about this book was it’s simplicity. With the Tank Art books there is a HUGE amount of information and theory to go along with every step. The SM books ratchet this back and concentrate on the Why and How of every step. Personally I feel like this is the perfect balance. Many, if not most, other publications completely skip the WHY and only tell you HOW… I believe that is a mistake but I also understand the need for brevity in a magazine article. So I really feel like the SM format hits the nail on the head. It gives you all of the information you need to successfully replicate a technique but also tells you why you’re doing it without being a long and tiring read.
I can whole heartedly recommend this book to both new and seasoned modelers. I look forward to more from this series!