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My Inspirational Model Car

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#1 Romell R

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Posted 13 September 2011 - 11:31 AM

In the April 2011 issue of Model Car Magazine (#158) There is an article written by Dennis Doty it's the story of how he was inspired to build better model cars. I want to make this thread a continuation of that article. Simply tell us what model or what builder inspired you to build to the best of your ability.

I'll start by telling you all my story. early in my model building career I was influenced by a of couple great guys that worked at Pegasus Hobby's in the late 80'to mid 90's , Mike Flynn and Rick Hicks both great builders in there own right and both taught me the ins and outs of building a good contest model. And i had a room full of trophies and a few magazine articles to back up the claims that I was a pretty good builder. Then i had the accident that took away my ability to walk temporarily , so to keep my mind off the pain I decided to build a model to get me back on my feet. So i worked on my new project a 280zx which i was going to enter into the import class at an up coming contest in Ontario CA.

Fast forward to the day of the contest I put my finest work on the table made sure it wasn't dusty and positioned just right. Then I proceeded to gather my walker (yes I was on a walker cause of the broken hip) and made my way around the table to see the other entry's when I ran into the most beautiful Black Toyota Supra I had ever seen (in 1/25th scale that is) the paint was flawless the interior was detailed and clean, the engine compartment had everything but oil stains, There was even a photo book there with the progress of the build all documented. "Who built this?" is what I asked myself. So I was so impressed by this model I quickly removed my entry, then i set out to find the builder of this Great model. The builder turned out to be none other than Steve Keck. Steve was kind enough to answer some questions for me ( I think maybe he felt sorry for this big guy standing behind a walker) But from that moment on I decided I would build to or surpass that standard of building. Thank you Steve and your Tsunami build.

Let me not leave out Dave Smith Dave's builds are incredible and again I have been inspired to build better. Thx Dave there many of you here who are inspiring to me so keep up the good work fellas.

#2 Junkman

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Posted 13 September 2011 - 12:13 PM

One of my Gurus is actually Dennis Doty. The other is Peter Ziegenthaler. Albeit the latter only ever built curbsides, he has a superb 'feel' for colours. He is only intrested in shape and colour, not the oily bits. So Dennis is the one who wanted me to become a better builder and Peter is the one who opened my eyes to the world of colours.

Edited by Junkman, 13 September 2011 - 12:14 PM.


#3 Harry P.

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Posted 13 September 2011 - 12:32 PM

When I was a little kid I couldn't wait until the latest issue of "Car Model" came out. And my two favorite builders by far were Hank Borger and Jim Keeler.

To this day, even though the old magazines were tossed in the trash many, many years ago, I still remember Jim Keeler's "Dodge Fever" dragster, with the operating pistons in the engine. I had never seen such a detailed model before in my entire life! And I still remember some of Hank Borger's many features, including his "Angry Man" Maverick, his yellow Corvette street rod, his version of Oscar Koveleski's McLaren race car, and his "Swirladelic" paint technique.

Although I never really got into model trucks, I also loved reading Phil Jensen's "Tidewater Trucker" column.

Some great modeling memories there... B) I sure wish I would have saved those magazines! :(

#4 Sixx

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Posted 13 September 2011 - 01:00 PM

I don't have just one...It's guy's like you Rom, and everyone here that makes me try harder, work cleaner ( no glue marks etc...) just to build a really nice model...whatever it is, car, truck, a model figure, this is such a cool hobby! I guess the first real cool model that did get my back into it deeper was Don Fahrni's pink & white 87? T-Bird that I saw in SAE mag. years ago, dont remember the issue number...I've got it stashed around here somewhere!! LOL!! Thanks to everyone and Gregg for such a cool forum!! Sixx

#5 Romell R

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Posted 13 September 2011 - 03:06 PM

I don't have just one...It's guy's like you Rom, and everyone here that makes me try harder, work cleaner ( no glue marks etc...) just to build a really nice model...whatever it is, car, truck, a model figure, this is such a cool hobby! I guess the first real cool model that did get my back into it deeper was Don Fahrni's pink & white 87? T-Bird that I saw in SAE mag. years ago, dont remember the issue number...I've got it stashed around here somewhere!! LOL!! Thanks to everyone and Gregg for such a cool forum!! Sixx

<------(Blushing ) Awww thx

#6 jeff ewaskey

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Posted 13 September 2011 - 03:22 PM

I would have to 2nd what Sixx has to say. Finding this forum almost a year ago has certainly inspired me to want to take my models to a higher level. I also agree that Romell, John Teresi, Dr. Cranky and countless others here have made a serious impression on me. Although life circumstances, both good and bad, have kept me from building since I joined here, it hasn't prevented me from adding many new tools and detail supplies as well as numerous new kits for the stash. Thank you Gregg for such an awesome place to learn so much about the hobby I have enjoyed since childhood. As soon as time and life permit it I will be building again and will surely post them up here. Once I figure out the photographic part.

Edited by nhrafan, 13 September 2011 - 03:25 PM.


#7 peekay

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Posted 13 September 2011 - 10:52 PM

In 1981 I was 31 and hadn't built a model for 15 years. I was in the London Toy Museum and in the shop was a copy of Dennis Doty's then new book, The Complete Book Of Model Car Building.

That book, with it's nostalgic look at 60s kits and clear, do-able how-to's was what got me started again. Particularly the section on BMF, which I'd never heard of, intrigued me. Since he provided their address, I ordered a bunch immediately and I've never looked back.

#8 Scale-Master

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Posted 14 September 2011 - 10:14 AM

Nice story, and I even remember being there (Steve and I drove to that show together in fact), but why is this story "Pinned"? Just curious...

#9 Romell R

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Posted 14 September 2011 - 10:35 AM

Nice story, and I even remember being there (Steve and I drove to that show together in fact), but why is this story "Pinned"? Just curious...

Its pinned because I wanted to make it a continuation of the magazine article and give everyone the opportunity to add their story. B)

#10 Steve Keck

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Posted 14 September 2011 - 01:28 PM

Thanks, Romell! It's good to know I've inspired one modeler.

For me my inspiration hasn't come from particular models but from the modelers themselves. It would be their dedication to accuracy and perfection that has inspired me. They would be Mark Jones and David Morton. Without associating the perpetrator with the crime I know of one that stripped and repainted a hood seven times and the other that stripped and repainted a complete car 21 (that's twenty-one) times. Now that's dedication!

#11 Chuck Most

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Posted 14 September 2011 - 01:32 PM

I've drawn inspiration from too many to list, but as a guy who prefers building weathered models, I have to say the 'big three' for me are Pat Covert,Ken Hamilton, and Virgil Suarez- their techniques and models have provided more motivation than I can put into words over the years.

#12 charlie8575

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Posted 14 September 2011 - 07:24 PM

The people who build well inspire me, regardless of subject matter.

The people who can scratchbuild an entire (or close) model, like Art Anderson is doing with his 1904 Knox, is an inspiration. The Knox is a wonderful piece of building.

People like Charlie Rowley, who builds beautiful trucks and Doug Estabrook, who just builds a nice, clean, accurate build that looks good on the table.

And I find many of the people here an inspiration- those like Virgil Suarez, Romell, Mike Newport and Chuck Most for their commitment to excellence and creativity.

Charlie Larkin

#13 Jantrix

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Posted 15 September 2011 - 01:19 AM

I'd like to echo Chuck and Charlie. This forum and the usual suspects that frequent it, have been the biggest influence on my building.

#14 Junkman

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Posted 15 September 2011 - 06:36 AM

I should also mention my father, who, albeit only doing railways, is a very good modeller. He got me going in the first place, when my aunt gave me the Revell Robert E. Lee Mississippi steamer as a Christmas gift. I must have been eight or nine.

#15 Dragracer

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Posted 15 September 2011 - 06:37 AM

I've been building models pretty much since '63/'64,my older brother got me out of the monster models & into the ships & planes, then into cars, where I've been ever since. He showed me how to glue without using the entire tube for 1 part (LOL), how to paint etc., so my "big" brother (I put big in "", because he's 5-7, I'm 6-0),is the main reason. My going into the Pro-Mod building & trying to do the detailing all came about from an old issue of SA, #97 (June 1995), & Anthony Cairo's P/M Firebird that was on the cover & featured inside, it made me go in that direction. Now, I'd have to say, the people that have moved me to do (try) even more of the detailing (scratch-building chassis's engine parts etc.)are the great builders I discovered here, trying to name them all would take too long, so here are my top 7. Romell Robinson,Chris Sobak,Tyrone Price,Wayne Stevens Jr.Robert Quimby,Brett Tynum & Daryl Raper. All these people really inspire me to try to push myself farther, not to give up when I run into problems, & to try & get things right before moving on. Thanks to all the guys listed & to all those that I didn't list on this site that inspire me, thanks also to Gregg & Harry for putting out a great magazine (I'll renew my subscription & get the back issues that I've missed hopefully soon)& a fantastic Forum.

#16 SuperStockAndy

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Posted 15 September 2011 - 06:51 AM

I started when I was about 7. Built the AMT 71 Charger. What a glue bomb! :lol:

Much of my inspiration comes from Romell, Tyrone Price, Wayne Stevens Jr., Brett, and Rob (Thumper86). As most of you know, I'm real big into drag racing.


Even though I don't build as much as I used to, I'm getting more into the detailing part of it.
I also forgot to mention something. My dad built a bunch of models when he was a kid. Before I was born, he built the AMT USA 1 monster truck. Yup, I ended up breaking that. Maybe for his birthday I should build him one eh?


So, thanks to all that have inspired me, and all the admins and mods of the forum!!! :D

#17 Darin Bastedo

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Posted 15 September 2011 - 02:28 PM

While there are many modellers whose models excite me, I have to say my inspiration always seems to be the 1:1 world. There are modelers I admire for their ecellents builds but when I'm working at my bench I'm not thinking of them I'm thinking of the real car and what could be done with it.

#18 Gregg

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Posted 15 September 2011 - 08:05 PM

Thanks, Romell. Yes, this is to be an ongoing feature in MCM in print, and thanks for putting this on the forum for everyone's personal inspirational model and/or modeler.

#19 PatRedmond

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Posted 16 September 2011 - 02:42 AM

Bill Coulter. Great guy.

#20 Bernard Kron

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Posted 16 September 2011 - 04:41 AM

About 4 years ago I started thinking about modeling again after being away from the hobby for many decades. The inspirations for my return were really a testament to the power of the Internet. As a kid and into my late teens I only built cars, even though my best friend was a great airplane modeler. My heroes at the time were the great scratch built modelers of the 60’s, Michele Conti (see http://www.contimode...om/homepage.htm ) and Manuel Olive Sans ( see http://www.olivesans.com/ ), who, at the time, defined what could be achieved, and in many ways still do. So the first thing I did was search for these iconic names. Here is the image that clinched it for me – I had to start building again:

Posted Image

It’s the chassis from Olive Sans’ masterful replica in 1/10 scale of a Maserati Birdcage.

But scratch-building a Birdcage was hardly what I was about to do after so long! (Indeed, I doubt I'll ever build something like this...) So I began to wander the web and discovered a “new golden age” was emerging from what had become a far smaller hobby than when I was building, although one that was producing models to a much higher standard and with a far larger palate of techniques and approaches than in the original Golden Age.

Obviously, many of the great modern builders who work in the contemporary high-detail style who show their stuff on the MCM boards and in the magazines were among my influences as I wandered around the web so I won’t mention them again now. It’s inevitable that if they haven’t been mentioned here already, they will in due course I will just say Thanx! for being here and inspiriting me.

But I will mention one MCM-er in particular because he has mentored me as I develop my skills and has become a great friend – Raul Perez. Raul has had a bit of a builder’s block of late, but when I first “came back” Raul was quite prolific and was creating a wonderful series of contemporary street rod style cars that really showed me what could be done in plastic. He had posted a Revell Merc and I sent him a PM appreciating it. His support since has been invaluable. He has introduced me to many fine modelers and shown me their work by taking me to their homes and inviting me each year to stay at his house while we attend the NNL West (speaking of prolific, a shout out to that great auto modeling generalist Curt Raitz).

Outside the world of MCM there are some builders who are big influences and who, for whatever reason, don’t seem to show up here, so I’ll mention them now. One is Steve Boutte, very well known for his superb Traditional style customs and the simplicity and purity of his style. He has a web site that I discovered as I was starting up and was a strong initial influence. His work really defined for me the great change that had occurred over the years. (See http://www.sbkustoms.com/ ). Steve has begun showing his work again recently, and as a result has returned as an influence in my work.

Another great modeler of Traditional Hot Rods is an Australian name Bryce Michelmore who resides primarily on the TRaK board (see http://trakinscale.p...s.com/index.cgi? – and an extra-special Thanx to Bob Black, proprietor and creator of this marvelous site). Like Boutte, Michelmore has a relatively pure and simple style, but the harder you look at his models the better they look, and almost no other modeler I know captures the essence of the classic customs and hot rods of the postwar era through the early 60’s as well as Bryce. He is certainly one of my current inspirations.

A builder who has quite a reputation, and deservedly so, but whose work isn’t shown much is the great modeler of classic drag cars, Roger “Riceman” Lee. His models epitomize the style espoused by the hard-core crew at StraightLine Modeler (see http://www.straightlinemodeler.org/ ) and probably is as close was we get to Conti and Sans in the hot rod and drag racer vein. A great, great scratch builder working largely in brass, the Riceman’s work inspires me every day, even though I work in plastic and probably will never machine a part or solder a joint. Here is an example of his style: http://www.bigyohns....S-H-model.shtml . (BTW, speaking of brass, how can we not mention Jerry Cardinal? Raul introduced me to Jerry and the opportunity to see his work “in the metal” helped me understand what can be achieved.)

There are many, many other builders who inspire me as I move along through my builds. As I said before, lots of them are very well known and frequently participate here at MCM, but I feel I should mention a couple who might not get referred to, even though they are frequent contributors to the proceedings on the MCM board, For me they are real inspirations because of their abilities and the special character of their works. One is Dave Zinn (DoubleD). His work has a unique texture and patina that makes his models look especially “real” to me. I’ve never been able to determine how much of it is due to his obvious skill and the fine detail of his interiors and engine compartments, and how much of it is due to the unique flatness of natural light in his outdoor photographs of his models. More than anything it’s the “look” of his builds that inspires me. Dave's subject matter is ever-changing but never disappoints!

The other is Shane Gans (fuelcoupe), a superb scratch builder of traditional drag cars, working primarily in styrene. Shane too often refers to himself as a “mere hack” when compared to others here, but we all know nothing could be further from the truth. His focused and disciplined approach inspires many of us here both for the excellence of his technique and the wonderful subjects he comes up with.

The trouble with this discussion is that for all of us our list will change at any moment. So I’ll close by saying Thanx! to each and every one of you for being here, for showing and sharing, and for inspiring me at every turn. Sooner or later you all Make My List.

Edited by Bernard Kron, 16 September 2011 - 06:38 AM.