01/03/2012. Contributed by Geoff Willmetts
pub: Titan Books/Design Studio Press. 175 page illustrated softcover. Price: GBP 24.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-78116-098-5).
check out websites:www.titanbooks.com, www.designstudiopress.com and www.Kallamity.com
I wasn’t quite sure what to make of ‘Abakan 2288: Kallamity’s World Of Mecha Design Book One’ by Kallamity aka Luca Zampriolo. It was less about telling a story but the design and construction of the machines and spacecraft for the Abakan reality. Reading the book, you discover a potpourri of illustrations before Zampriolo shows how to scratch-builds the models and how this was re-enforced by Alberto Longo with a spaceship design and other people later. His biography also points out that his models are in great demand and looking at the work here you can understand why. If you’re interesting in scratch-building models or already do so, other than showing how to cannibalise model kit parts into new shapes but showing the end stage of that part of building, this book is actually an interesting learning curve.
Some of these models are nearly a foot high and it would have been useful to have seen something normal size to give a better idea of scale. Saying that, you have to respect the work here and attention to detail, even to the point of using distorted transfers for local colour.
You can see the ‘Aliens’ Surocco influence on page 148. There are elements of the Macross line as well as other influences. From Zampriolo’s biography, he has a wide interest in visual SF so it would be little hard to avoid.
I’m not too sure about the reality here, mostly because other than a history of what leads to these machines, it works better if I see a story using this background. After all, anyone writing series stories has to do a back-story and some don’t get beyond doing that. The real step is using it to create stories. As this is book one, maybe more will be revealed in the next book and there is a story in the works.
I suspect Zampriolo already has a big fan base, especially when I checked the Internet, and I suspect it will grow larger with those who see this book and get a taste for his work.
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