The first time I was actively modeling, it was the late 80s. Back then, access to information and tutorials and talented people was a whole different world. I went to a lot of model contests, mostly to meet other people and see other people’s work. That tiny Reader Gallery section of each Fine Scale Modeler magazine didn’t do it! Every once in a while, I’d come across a book or a magazine that had some helpful tips, but most of them at that time weren’t really written for the purposes of teaching, or at least not by “teachers”. Or there simply wasn’t that much content.
One book, however, was an absolute godsend when it was released. It was written for the unskilled masses… i.e. me. It was clear, covered the key issues, and was generally fun to read. (All things that modeling book authors could stand to learn a thing or two from today!) This is the one:
A short time after the book came out, I was at a model contest in Southern California and met the author of this awesome book in person. I don’t remember much about this encounter, but I remember how cool I thought it was.
Flash forward to today.
As I’ve gotten back into modeling so many years after I stopped, this book was one of the first things I dug out. I hadn’t saved much of anything from my first modeling go round, but this book was still in an honored spot on my bookshelf. It has survived countless moves, and even more attempts to downsize my stuff.
Recently, Shep Paine joined Facebook (Check out his Facebook page). He’s been posting a bunch of photos of his work and it’s been awesome to get access to more awesomeness. I noticed from his profile that he lives in Chicago. I travel there regularly, so I dropped a note and before you knew it, we had a lunch meeting scheduled. Man, we live in awesome times.
Needless to say, I was excited. Nerdy, I know, but hey. I mean, what modeler doesn’t want to meet the guy who created this diorama??
I mean seriously, this diorama is amazing. He created a production line diorama by building one model and putting a mirror on one side to endlessly replicate the plane. Genius.
I met Shep at his house, a virtual museum of historical uniforms and artifacts. We had a great lunch and great conversation. Shep is a great guy, and hopefully I will find myself in Chicago again soon!