The title of this German DVD means 'Model World', and it is the second in a series from Mabo Pictures. The main feature is a 48 minute look at how well-known figure painter Thomas Willers paints his figures - in this case Italeri Napoleonic French Dragoons. The camera focuses on the piece as he carefully applies the various colours to produce an excellently painted 1/72 scale miniature. The commentary, which is only in German, describes the various stages and how each effect is achieved, but it is only present when there is something worth saying and is unobtrusive. For most of the time we watch as the artist skilfully goes about his work.
At 48 minutes we are watching in something not too far off real-time, so there is an opportunity to see all the techniques and tricks used by the artist. Both man and horse are painted, and for the most part tinned enamels are used. The camera gets very close to the piece, as can be seen by the screen shots, so everything is clear and easy to see.
As well as the main feature, there are several extras included on this disc. First there is a program similar to the main feature, where the artist paints an Italeri Confederate infantryman. Since all the techniques are the same, however, this film lasts less than 10 minutes and is more of an admiration of the artist’s work than a tutorial, although seeing such work is always instructive. Next there is a short (3:26 minutes) look at the collection of Thomas Willers, with again lots of very close shots of some superbly painted figures, both plastic and metal, but all 1/72 scale. Finally a trailer for the first programme in the series is included.
The programme is very professionally put together, with high quality picture and sound, and a good use of music to fill the gaps in what is after all a usually silent occupation. The camerawork means we get a much better view of the work than if we were actually there, peering over the shoulder of the artist. It is hard to imagine how a film such as this could have been done any better, and it should appeal both to painters looking to improve and those who appreciate a craftsman at work. It certainly inspires you to reach for your own brushes!
Region: 0 (all regions)
DVD is available from several outlets including KF 1/72