City: South Pasadena
Year joined LAMS Club: 2007
Favorite Modeling Subjects: WWII aircraft, armor, figures and dioramas. Soviet cold war jets and armor. Fantastic deviations or events from reality.
How I got interested in building models: My mother was an avid aircraft modeler when she was young. One of her aircraft models decorated the stage for Amelia Earhart once. She was an art teacher, too. So we made lots of things together from toothpicks and paper when I was very young. My father made us toys out of wood sometimes, so perhaps it occurred to me that the best toys were ones you made yourself. I did not build models for a long time, other than occasional art projects, until about four years ago, I was reading about Soviet women fighter and bomber pilots in WWII. I got so interested in their stories, I wanted to visualize the planes they were flying. So I went out and bought a kit of a Yak, and I was hooked. Especially when I was confronted with a world of kits of so many of the things I had always wished they made when I was 8 years old.
First model I ever built: The Aurora “Blue Knight of Milan” comes to mind, but it might have been Billy Mitchell’s bomber or a car.
Most challenging model kit I ever built: That is a tough call. When I re-started my modeling hobby, I tried to build MPM’s Pe-2, and got about 57% done when I abandoned it, because my skill level was not up to the challenge.
The finished model kit I am most proud of: That is usually the most recent, since I think I am still improving and learning. But I admit that my sculpted Italian soldier represents a personal watermark that I would strive to exceed.
The worst project I ever did: What is this…a job interview???? There are many bad, but the worst in recent memory (and nobody has seen it) was a diorama of a Pz II going into a creek after breaking a wood bridge. I used resin and several other substances for the water and they took the paint off the tank, melted it, collected dust and debris and generally made my time miserable. A close second would maybe be the above-mentioned Pe-2.
Since joining the Club I have learned “how to” or “improved”: I can’t even begin to tell anyone how valuable the members of this club have been in sharing techniques and advice. Mainly, learning sculpting of miniatures, techniques and materials. Painting, weathering, landscaping…you name it, we have masters in this club.
Name something you would like to build or model that you’ve never attempted: I have had an interest in building wooden ship models, likely from scratch. It looks overwhelmingly difficult.
Did you ever destroy a model? Yes; If so, how did you do it? Well, many of my childhood models were balsa and tissue flying or supposed flying aircraft. Need I say more??? There was fire involved too. But, along that line of anecdote, I somehow ended up with a rather large model engine, from some neighbor. It was way too big for my smaller airplanes. I just kept it for years wondering at what huge plane would be required to mount it on. Then I got to wondering whether it would even work, after all, I got it for free. So I nailed it onto a 2×4 down in the basement, and tried to start it. I wasn’t very methodical about it, and not possessing much mechanical aptitude, I met with failure. But I am persistent. Every few days I would go down in the basement and spin the prop till I got tired presuming perhaps the motor was just not ready to go. Then one day, I doused the engine very thoroughly with model aviation fuel in an attempt to prime it, and spun the prop. Lo and Yikes! The entire 2×4, trailing flame, shot across the basement, taking out several projects before slamming into the concrete wall. It was my most successful flying model up to that time, but alas, like many of the rest, its final flight.
Have you ever entered any competitions? Yes
If yes, which ones? Valleycon, Orangecon.
Received any Awards or Recognition? Yes
Every modeler purchases more kits than they can build. How many kits are in the garage, closet, or storage waiting to be built? 174, not including figures.
What is the one kit that you’ve searched for that you still can’t find? Flying Machines Re 2005 in 1/48th scale, and somebody should make if there is not one: Fiat SPA TM 40 artillery tractor in 1/35th.
What is the best part of the club for you? Meeting enthusiastic and creative people who share the passion for modeling. It generates in me energy and patience to improve and love what I am doing.