This is a bit strange, but I’m going to try it anyway. I’ve seen this interviewing technique done elsewhere and it always seemed fun. So here we go… Jake interviewing Jake.
1. How long have you been modeling and what got you into the hobby?
I started when I was in middle school, some 25+ years ago. I did most of my “first round” building in high school. I even entered (and placed, as a junior) in a number of shows. This was back when materials were mainly what you found or repurposed, after market kits almost all came from Verlinden and a small number of cottage industry companies.
My “dark ages” story is pretty typical: went to college, had a roommate, limited space, time, and interest in things other than girls and grades. In 2000, I went to work for LEGO doing Web development and fan relations. (I worked with the adult enthusiasts who build with LEGO bricks as their creative medium of choice) This was a form of modeling, with a community that was very similar to scale modeling.
2. What is your favorite part of the hobby: Research, Building or Paintwork/Finishing?
I love the whole process of digging in deep on a subject, and finding images, construction/design specs, and details about the vehicle and/or scene. As a history buff, understanding the history, whether how the engine was developed, or the equipment deployed, or the types of problems a particular group of people faced in the field is part of the fun.
When it comes to building vs. painting, I love both. If I have to chose, it’s the construction element I love the most, but that’s probably because I’ve been doing more of that lately. I’ve also spent most of the summer keeping my house staged for a sale, so I’ve had to keep the footprint of tools and workspace portable. That’s been a lot easier for the construction gear than the painting gear. (I have 8+ models completed and primed, awaiting paint at this point)
3. What, if any is your favorite genre and why?
I love Armor, but specifically the odd subjects. Give me a repair truck over a Tiger 1 tank any day. The “rear echelon” vehicles are the most fascinating to me. The radio trucks, the field kitchens, the Red Ball Express trucks… these are truly fascinating. The action packed parts of an army are certainly interesting, sure. But getting the army there, keeping them feed, keeping the troops entertained, these are areas of modeling, and history for that matter that never get much attention.
4. Which other modeler’s work do you admire?
There’s a ton of folks I follow on Facebook and see post in Facebook modeling groups. Here’s a few:
5. What, if any, skill do you feel you could improve on?
Painting, without a doubt. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still a novice at all of it, but painting is an area I have a long way to go. In fact, right now I have at least 3, maybe 4 vehicles waiting to go.
6. With the recent advances in the hobby what aspect excites you the most?
- The burst of new(ish) manufacturers like Meng, Takom, Miniart, Rye Fields, etc. that are bringing impressive models at (mostly) reasonable costs and are often focusing on subjects we’ve not seen before. I look forward to seeing more interesting, non-standard subjects!
- 3D printing. I’ve already used 3D printed parts on a model and it was really impressive. Not super cheap, but not super expensive either. I’ve talked to a designer on Shapeways about making one of his 1/24th scale designs in a 1/35th scale. In a matter of minutes, he had the new ones posted and I had posted. Billie Jean DeBekker has been working on a FAMO conversion that uses 3D printed parts making it faster (and more likely) to bring to market.
7. What model would be your dream subject for release?
I’d have to first say: WWII American Homefront anything. That period of time was fascinating in our country. From my grandparents telling me about the tents on the Washington, D.C. mall to the cities that I’ve read about being camouflaged from the air over miles and miles with people effectively living, working, and shopping under a huge tent. Factories in motion, women in action, home front soldiers patrolling. I’ve been watching the new show “Manhattan” about the secluded desert pop-up town where the atomic bomb was being developed. A mix of WWII military, 1940s civilian, and desert wild west imagery is fascinating. “The Pacific” mini-series touched a tiny bit on this aspect of the WWII story, but I want more. Purely from the vehicle standpoint, we have almost none of the cars, buses, semi trucks and trailers, and structures that the home front was made up of in kit form.
8. Everyone has a dream project that given the time, money and space they would love to build, what would yours be?
I have a few:
- 1/35 Dora railgun
- 1/32 B-17 superdetail
- Homefront factory diorama in large scale