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"Modellwelten "

Modellwelten ('Model World') is a series of films on various aspects of the world of model making. This is the first programme, and is made up of four separate films on subjects of interest to the modeller. The overall length of the programme is about one hour, and is made up of the following four films.

'16 October 1813'  (20 minutes approx.)

This film follows a group of friends as they put together a large diorama of the battle of Leipzig for a show. We watch them bring in all the parts (the model is far too large to move as one piece), assemble everything and add the finishing touches. What might sound like a very dull 20 minutes is in fact very interesting and punctuated by short films in which we see something of the enormous amount of work that was put in to create this exhibit. The 'flashbacks' include watching the base terrain being constructed, painting the background round the edge of the model and painting the figures themselves. The footage from the show lets us see what a lot of effort was put in, as we watch carefully pre-labelled parts being put together and the efforts to ensure the separate base units merge seamlessly. There is no commentary as such, but the participants talk through what they are doing, which is clearly a labour of love. Certainly the end result is very impressive, and anyone interested in dioramas will find this interesting, with plenty of useful tips for those with large-scale projects in mind.

'Longbow'  (17 minutes approx.)

'Longbow' is a film in which we watch as a long bit of wood is turned into an English longbow using only medieval tools and techniques. A commentary tells us what is happening, and it is intriguing to watch as a beautiful longbow emerges from a very ordinary-looking piece of wood. However whether this constitutes entertainment very much depends on whether you enjoy watching woodworking, or if you are planning on making your own bow. At the end the bow is tested to show its effectiveness, and there is a brief look at some 1/72 plastic bowmen courtesy of Airfix's Robin Hood and so on, but in our view making a 1:1 scale model of a longbow using the correct wood is not making a model, it's making a longbow! One for longbow fans only perhaps.

'La Belle Alliance'  (16 minutes approx.)

With 'La Belle Alliance' we return to firmer modelling territory. This shows the construction of a 1/72 scale model of this famous building, which was a farmhouse and inn that found itself in the centre of the French position at Waterloo and was used as a makeshift hospital. The walls are made of plaster, which is poured into moulds until set. Then the parts are assembled, gaps filled, the model painted and finally presented as the centrepiece of a very attractive diorama. Once again a commentary describes what is being done each step of the way, and as with all such instructive videos it all looks deceptively easy. Certainly the end result is very good, and there are many useful tips to be had, but we felt that using pre-made moulds was a bit like cheating and we would have liked to have seen the model completely built from scratch.

'Slow Motion'  (12 minutes approx.)

The title of this film really tells you nothing about the subject, yet this is an extremely useful video. It begins by looking at some of the many horses that have been produced in 1/72 scale plastic, and contrasts the different styles and gaits that can be found. The obvious question is who has got it right, and the film allows us to answer that by analysing the real thing. Two horses of different breeds are brought out and each is asked to stand, walk, trot etc. As they do this a camera follows them alongside and their action is scrutinised to understand something of the way they move. This is done in slow motion, with some classic gaits being frozen to see exactly what leg should be where. It then goes on to compare these perfect poses with some of the horses already made, and to no one's great surprise finds some are much more natural than others. Italeri and Revell seem to score well, while HaT are more of a mixed bag, although it is pointed out that HaT have made the happiest horse (you’ll have to watch the film to find out why). While this is of some interest to general modellers it is absolutely vital for any sculptor or illustrator of horses (or for anyone foolish enough to review such models), so with such excellent reference material available there is no excuse for unnatural horse poses!

So quite a mixed bag of items, with something to interest many modellers. At present this programme is only available with a German commentary, so those who do not understand that language will miss out on much of the information it contains. However all the programmes are very professionally made and if local television is just not showing enough model-related programming one evening then this is a very worthy substitute.

Region:  0 (all regions)

Format:  PAL

DVD is available from several outlets including KF 1/72

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