ModelSpace Scale Modeller of the Month – March 2018
It’s never too early or too late to start scale model building. As long as you have the passion and time available, you can build anything from a famous sci-fi icon to an historic ship, plane, or train! Our March Scale Modeller of the Month, Alan Gill, may have started later than most, but has made excellent progress over the years and has built several impressive ship models to date! Read on below to see some of completed models, and to hear his scale modelling story and top build tips!
1) How did you get started building scale models?
Purely by accident really, entered the hobby very late in life. In late 2005 the wife became seriously ill and is now severely disabled leaving me as her primary carer. In the evenings when she is in bed I looked around for something to occupy my time rather than simply sitting and watching TV or being stuck in front of a computer. In 2012, I saw the advert on TV regarding the Sovereign of the Seas, loved what I saw with the detail in the kit and the fact it could be purchased weekly from the newsagents. Decided I would like to have a go at putting her together and subscribed, the rest as they say is history.
2) How many models have you built so far? Do you have any favourites?
Being a late starter to the hobby, obviously the amount of builds I’ve actually completed is very limited, especially as my preferred genre is plank on frame period ships. Working with plastic is not so very enjoyable for me, my preference is to work with wood. Large plank on frame period ships take a lot of time and effort to put together so this also limits the amount of completed builds. I have however, completed the HMS Victory and the Panart Victory Launch. The Sovereign of the Seas is close to completion and one day I will get her finished. Right now I have other priority builds that have to be dealt with first, plus a healthy stash waiting in the wings.
3) How much time do you typically spend during each build session?
Honestly, not as much time as I would like even though I’m retired. Caring responsibilities take up the vast majority of my time during the day but do try to get a little modelling time during this period, mainly doing something that I can leave should the wife need me. In the evenings I usually manage to get in an hour or two with music playing in the background. Very seldom am I sitting doing nothing, always find something to do that is model or forum related.
4) What are your top build tips for fellow scale modellers?
Good question, and when it comes to part works I have a few tips to give. Do some research into the subject being built. There is a vast amount of information on the internet and it’s always good to enhance your knowledge about the subject you’re taking on.
When issues are received, check off the contents against the instructions, checking to ensure you have all of the items stated and that none have been received damaged. Waiting until you actually need to use the parts before opening the package is never a good practice, especially if your progress is then suddenly halted while you arrange for missing or damaged items to be replaced.
Study the instructions closely, read them over several times and get a clear idea in your head as to what needs to be achieved during that particular stage or issue. Checking on the ModelSpace forum for possible Official Builds is also good as these will often highlight difficult areas of the build that need to be followed. Once you’ve done this then you can start the build process, remembering to measure twice and cut once.
Study the instructions closely, read them over several times and get a clear idea in your head as to what needs to be achieved
If you encounter a problem then use the search facility on the forum to see if the problem has been encountered by others and how it was resolved. I’ve lost count the amount of times we see questions on the forum being raised that could easily be answered through the use of this facility.
5) Which scale models do you have on your list of future builds, if any?
As I said earlier, I have a good stash of kits that should keep me going during my retirement years. I have the Santisima Trinidad, Soleil Royal, San Francisco II – my son started this one and decided it wasn’t for him so gave it to me to do. Also have the Yamato and the Cutty Sark, all these are from the ModelSpace website. Completing the list would be the HMS Hood partwork, Mantua’s RMS Titanic, Bismarck and finally the Italian RM Roma. Whether they all get built will remain to be seen but I’ll never be idle that’s for sure.
6) If you could build a model of anything in the world, what would you choose and why?
Right now the one that has caught my eye is the Swedish Warship Vasa. A stunning looking kit with incredible detail throughout. Lots of information on this one available through the Vasa museum and is a place I would love to visit if I ever got the chance. Also, with the vast array of information available it gives those experienced modellers the opportunity to enhance the build even further. Has to be number one on my wish list for now.
7) Are there any other scale modellers, or artists that inspire you and your work?
Yes there are. The ModelSpace forum has so many outstanding modellers within its membership, far too many for me mention them all here. Their willingness to share their knowledge and techniques with others has provided me with a great learning experience. If I had to mention any then it would have to be Mark Warren, whose scratch building and weathering techniques are purely inspirational. Andy Purchase would be another, a very experience modeller who sets his hand to such a wide variety of builds, all of which I’ve enjoyed following and learning from.
8) Do you have any other hobbies or interesting pastimes other than scale modelling?
The Forum keeps me busy and is something I thoroughly enjoy. Other interests are listening to music while in my workshop, and watching some sport as I’m a big armchair supporter. My tropical fish tank also gives me hours of pleasure, its a 600 litre 6ft behemoth and sits along one wall of my dining room. It’s a community tank and I find it very relaxing.
Are you our next scale modeller of the month? Or is there someone you’d like to recommend? Let us know in the comments section, or contact us via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ or Pinterest! We wish you all the best with your ongoing modelling projects, and can’t wait to see your finished builds!