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List Your Modeling Heroes...

Guest rick r

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Guest rick r

I TALKED TO A FRIEND this morning, a major figure in the model car surge of the early 80s, subject turned to people who inspired our involvement in the hobby. Since both of us go back to that era and before, our lists included two 'legends', Budd Anderson and Don Emmons. I added a friend in Portland, Oregon, an amazing builder who got me back into the hobby, Bob Robinson, and the ever-present Tim Boyd, for the sheer quantity of work he's done in the rreal car and model media. My anonymous friend named Phil Jensen.

Since the topic has brought comments from others, and may result in a magazine article at some point, I need to know 'Who are your inspirations or heroes in the model car hobby?'

I'd like to see three or four names from each respondent, to see if there are any that show up a lot.


Rick Rothermel

Edited by rick r
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1. My uncle Dan, he got me into this hobby ( of course my wife has a few other choice words for him :lol: )

2. Tim Boyd

3. Drew Heirwarter

4. Marc Nellis ( simply because he builds some bad-ass Pro-Touring cars that I would love to build).

tough to narrow it down to just 4, as I could easily add Bill Geary, Ismael Gonzalez, Mark D. Jones, David Thibideau(sp??), and others to this list.

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Rick, having had the pleasure of living in Portland for six years up until a year ago I had the pleasure to get to know Bob Robinson and he is one the great people that I have met in my life. Not only is he a tremendously talented and creative builder but he is one of the nicest people that I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.

As well, I would have to include Augie Hiscano and Ricky Couch as two of the greatest ambassadors that this hobby has ever seen. They left us far too soon. Two of the most amazingly talented builders but moreover than that the fact that they would be more than willing to share any of their talents with anyone.

One additional name would have to be Roger Yu. Again, one of the most talented and creative builders that I have had the pleasure of meeting. I have only met him once, a number of years ago in Salt Lake, but he sat and talked to me about many topics, for hours, as if he had known me for years.

These names above, and many others, have taught me how to be a better builder, as well as how to be a better person.

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:D My Big Brudder,Art,he used to build KILLER models way back when he still built them.Bill Geary,His attention to/execution of detail is no less than AMAZING! Personally, he is in a class all by himself! I WISHI could be THAT good! and Raul Perez,his builds,paint work and Imagination for style and flow always amaze me.Never saw a bad or uninteresting build from any of these guys!
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I don't know if I'd call him a hero...but the most well-known modeler that I know personally and also one of the nicest guys you'd ever meet...Bill Geary. Not sure how long it's been...I'm thinking 5 or 6 years now, I was on some message board and Dan Peterson talked me into joining the CPMCC. A couple weeks before my first meeting I had been e-mailing back and forth with Bill Geary and looked forward to meeting him. Meeting day...if any one here has ever seen Bill at a meeting or show you'll know he commands quite a crowd ( and rightfully so). At this particular meeting Bill had his '69 Daytona Charger along and was surrounded by a dozen or so members looking it over. When my son and I walked in Bill excused himself from the crowd and came over and introduced himself to me and my son. He introduced me to a few of the other members and really made us feel welcomed. He's always had nice things to say about my builds, is always willing to discuss in detail what goes into the amazing builds he does and will give advice if asked but doesn't push it onto people like a know-it-all.

Everyone here is familiar with Bills models...and though I know I'll never be anywhere near that level I still get inspired to make my next model just a little bit better than the last one.

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First off I would have to list my Father he was never an avid builder but I. like many others here built my very first model with my Father and that first build lit a fire in me that could not be put out, that is until I got a drivers license discovered girls real cars etc etc. Now i know my father wouldn't be in a vote like this but I felt kinda weird not listing him first because he was the very first to introduce me to the hobby and showed me how to build some really cool models.

Tom Anderson: He reintroduced me to the hobby around 1993 after my almost 10 year break from building. He showed me alot of the advances in techniques, tools and alot of other cool stuff that had happened during my absence. He built phenomenal NASCAR models and was always around to give a helping hand or suggestion on my builds even though I never built Nascar. He intrduced me to my very first model show and I was lucky enogh in my very first show to have Pat Covert Photgraph my build. Although I have lost all contact with him I hae tons of respect for his skills as well as his sharing/spreading of the hobby.

Augie Hiscano as already stated above one of the greatest ambassadors this Hobby could have ever hoped to have had. His building and machining skills were out of this world. I remember the first time I saw one of his builds in person set up at a sherline booth where he was promoting their lathes and mills I don't think I've ever been as awestruck over a build as I was his. A super nice gentleman who was always willing to share tips and techniques to anyone who asked.

And tons of others on here (and elsewhere) who provide almost daily motivation to me to improve my building skills I mean how can you not be impressed with builders like Tim Boyd, Drew H., 1320 Wayne, Alex Kustov , Tim K (not going to destroy his last name trying to spell it,besides he's an Alabama guy LOL)Cody Grayland and lots and lots of others who have unreal building skills and contribute more to this hobby than they ever realize I know I've left out lots of builders whom I respect and admire who seem to have endless talent but I've taken up enough room with this long response already.

Chris White

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That is tough to nail them down.

I haven't met many in person and really don't remember names.

But I'd know somebody by the car.

One name that does stick out to me is a person that has really gotten me to step up

my game in Scratch building.

A man that can build anything from anything.

Built models b-4 there was any.

Bob Robinson..

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Mark Gustavson. His "Mercari" articles were in the first model car mags I ever bought. This was 1988 and back in those days, SAE didn't make it to newsstands in small towns. I discovered it when I moved to Houston just after high school. I was fascinated by his techniques. He is very knowledgeable and articulate in his writing. I also love lead sleds, so that plays a big part in being a fan of his work.

Gerald Wingrove. I've always been fascinated by panelbeating, and this guy did it in miniature. I read his books because the same techniques can be used for street rods and lead sleds, but he got me interested in the pre-war classics.

Don Fahrni. I also like drag cars, especially Top Fuel. He's the Gerald Wingrove of drag car builders.

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Too many to list them all, but I have a few that come to mine at the moment: Bob, proprietor of House Of Hobbies(AKA "House Of Horrors") in Clearwater, FL. The creations displayed in his shop window planted the seed many years ago. Terry Jessee and George Bojaciuk get me interested in the craft again with the builds shown in their SAE articles - "Requiem For A Hemiweight" and "Cowboy Cadillac" hooked me DEEP. The models of Don Emmons hold a special place in my heart, especially his Parnelli Jones Mercury - STILL a knockout in my eyes. I would be remiss if I omitted Mr. Obsessive Himself, Bill Geary, for his beautiful and ingenious creations that always amaze me and occasionally give me migraines trying to emulate!!

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I would have to mention Hank Borger. Many of his builds in the old Model Car Science and Car Model inspired me to try different things. Ira Dahm as well. I have to add Gary Schmidt, I think without his generosity (giving me back issues of SAE to replace those I lost in a fire) I would not have had as much research and study material. Mark Gustavson for his nice comments on my gentle fun poking of his models in "Model Behavior" funnies. Juha Airo and Gerald Wingrove for showing me the high levels one can ascribe to in this hobby as well as bill Geary.

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1st. Juha Airio - Undoubtedly the finest modeler in the world. He has created some of the most beautiful

models ever and always with the highest degree of ingenuity, imagination, detail, creativity and accuracy. As

if his prototype models (which require the highest level of modeling skill) weren't enough, he has built many

gorgeous customs that demonstrate sensitivity and great aesthetic taste. The standard-bearer of the model

car hobby!

2nd. Uwe (Oldstyle) from Germany - Like Juha Airio his attention to even the smallest detail is unsurpassed.

3rd. Bill Geary - Again, his ingenuity and attention to detail can't be understated. His approach and dedication

to the hobby are to be both admired and emulated.

4th. Dean Milano - Some of the most outstanding paint jobs ever seen on scale models. Again, a fellow with

the ability to create something fantastic from seemingly nothing. Also, in addition to being a great builder, he

is one of the true ambassadors and perpetuators of our hobby...and a great guy.

5th. Bill Clouser - Not as much for model cars but he stood for what all of the above mentioned fellows do in

the model railroading hobby...as a matter of fact, set the standard for it...truly one of my all-time heros.

6th. Eric Bronsky - Like Bill Clouser, Bronsky is a leader, if not the vanguard, of model railroading and

architectual modeling.


Edited by forwardlook60
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Let's see....

In no particular order,

Bill Geary

Raul Perez

Curt Raitz

And thats just to name a few, these guys go into so much detail that I am slowly but surely starting to go into detail.

Thanks, Clay, but Curt and I need a pretty tall ladder just to kiss Bill's a** when it comes to model detailing! Bill's work is exceptional! Period.

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Thanks, Clay, but Curt and I need a pretty tall ladder just to kiss Bill's a** when it comes to model detailing! Bill's work is exceptional! Period.

Yes Bill's detail is amazing, but your custom work is outstanding and your detail is great.






And Curts is amazing as well.






So just because Bill can make working windows doesnt mean you and Curt don't do outstanding work.

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Bill Coulter, Pat Covert and Terry Jessee get my votes.

Rick, perhaps you will give some thought to putting together a "Modeling Hero's" story in book form? Would make a wonderful addition to any modeler's library and bring to light names, faces and accomplishments under one cover.

Edited by rhoadapple
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coming on the heels of the "my eyesight is going and my hands hurt" thread, i have to say that Dave Shuklis stands out as a very inspirational modeler from my early days. i remember the first few issues of Car Modeler Magazine - in digest size - that showcased a number of his works. there was one issue which described how to make operating windows using a piece of coping saw blade as the rack of the rack & pinion mechanism and another showing how to make an operating convertible top on an AMT '49 Ford using brass strips & rivets too small.

more about him here: http://www.themodelcarmuseum.org/Models/Shuklis/shuklis.html

and everyone mentioned above certainly has added something to the hobby.


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That's even tougher to answer than the "what's your favorite car of all time?" question.

There are so many I fear I may leave many important names out but let's see: Narrowing down to only 4 would not be fair, so I will take the liberty of mentioning more than 4. Actually, even separating them in categories.

Gerald Wingrove, Augie Hiscano: Paved the way and set the standard for all of us to aspire.

Tom Carter: When the internet appeared, people thought it was a nail in the coffin of the hobby. I credit Tom Carter to have taken it and convert it into the most important allied this hobby has ever seen.

Bill Geary, Juha Airio, Alex Kustov:Out of this world creations.

Art Anderson, Felice Ferriello, Dean Milano, Brian Fishburn, Ken Krawiec, Bob Downie: Great builders, great company and always welcome me and make me feel at home whenever we meet.

Carlos Rocafort: My mentor. He showed me what it was and how to use an airbrush, the virtues of flat vs gloss paint, about colors, but most importantly: an example of a true friend.

Robert Wheeler: My best e-friend and co-founder of ScaleCorvettes.com. A true friend. The 3000+ miles between us are nothing.

Gary Schmidt, Gregg Hutchings: For taking our hobby into a publication and spreading the word.

Jairus: Great artist, great builder, great friend.

Leon Tefft:Setting the standard and raising the bar on customer care and personalized service. Friend first, then seller.

But there is a special category: My favorite builders: Not only they do outstanding work, but also build subjects close to my heart: Jim Drew, David Thibodeau, Brendan Howden, Gary McNutt among many others

And of course everybody else I haven't mentioned. If you've ever been inloved in this hobby, you are a hero to me :)


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That is an easy one to list. I have 3, first is Mike flynn then Jack Davis and last but not least the late Rick Hicks.

But if I had to choose 1 out of these 3 great builder's it would have to be my mentor and teacher Mike Flynn who got me to this level of building where I am today, and put me in this spot to be able to help other's. He told me to share all that he has shared with me. And to teach other's and to never turn a fellow modeler away no matter how much they ask as long as they are willing to learn.


Don't talk about what you are going to do. Talk about what you have done.

Edited by MR BIGGS
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In no particular order:

Tim Boyd- I've been reading his articles since I was a kid.

Tim Kolankiewicz- his '61 Impala is my favorite model car of all time

George Bojaciuk- I've read all of his articles and his book over and over and over again...

Juha Airio- he's so good, he can convert a 1/72 scale F-14 Tomcat into a 1/25 Plymouth, and it will be the best replica of that car ever made.

Uwe Schützendorf- Some of the cleanest, most detailed models with the most flawless finishes I've ever seen (Where's he been? I wanted to see his 69 Camaro finished!)

Lyle Willits- I learned to like different genres of cars just because of seeing pictures of his models. His customs/hot rods are amazing.

David Thibodeau- I want to build a NASCAR car for no other reason than being inspired by his work.

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2 off the top of my head, that really got me back into the hobby, both with their amazing builds and ability to willingly share helpfull tips, advice, etc.

-Anthony Rios ^2 posts up (mr biggs)

-David Irwin (Minidreams, a.k.a David@minidreams)

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This is a great topic, like others have said it's tough to narrow the names down to three. This three are the ones who inspire me any time I see one of their builds. The names will show how long I have been in this hobby, about 40 years. Here they are, the order is only by who came before the others:

Don Emmons, the first I remember to make realistic builds and kit-bashing.

Hank Borger, for his imagination and stories behind the builds.

Tim Boyd, for his quantity and quality, and bringing models to mainstream publishing (Street Rodder)

I still read old magazine articles of theirs and it never fails to get the creative juices flowing!

Thanks for letting me voice my opinion.


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In no particular order and just off the top of my head these names come to mind I apologize but this could easily become a top 100 list 1)Mark Gustavson has taught me how to do all those things I thought I never would with his articles on customizing also he's pretty dedicated to the hobby 2)Ken Hamilton if I had a nickel for the helpful tips and inspiring builds,also he likes to poke fun at Gustavson.3)Juha Airio totally clean builds,where does he get his reference material?his builds are what I want mine to end up like.4)Terry Jessee his light commercial articles were always inspiring and informative 5)Tim Boyd 'nuff said 6)Dean Milano 7)Bill Geary he's like Elvis just arriving to the building(as opposed to having left the building)

Edited by randx0
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Wow! First I'd like to say thanks to those I've inspired! :huh:

One of my heroes me for getting into the super detailed stuff goes to non other than Larry Booth, who used to go to our MAMA meetings before he moved to Texas. When I joined MAMA in 1994, Larry had just finished his absolutely fantastic '57 T-Bird..................I was blown away as I had not seen such detail in a model before........especially in a factory stock car!

That's when I decided to really sharpen up my skills and it definitely reshaped my thinking towards model building. ;)

I have to also give a hats off to the late Augie Hiscano............I got to have a really good conversation with Augie at the '04 Birmingham show. I had first met him a few years earlier at Toledo, but it was so busy there that there was no time to have a lengthy conversation with him. I'll always remember that talk with Augie at Birmingham..................little did I know that would be the last time I would speak to him as he passed away just before the '05 GSL. :D While I'm not a street rod kinda guy, his builds have always really impressed me for no other reason than all the machining work that he had put into them.

If you're wondering who got me into figuring out working windows....................It was Ken Hamilton. Ken wrote an article about working windows back in the October '86 issue of SAE and I got to see the model in person when Ken showed up at a local show shortly thereafter. I was knocked out by the roll up windows-----but my skills were no where near the level to even think about something like that then! :P Thanks for inspiring me Ken!

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Well, I have been a guest on this forum for about 2 years and finally decided to join a few days ago. If I was to pick my heroes I would have to go with Juha Aero, Bill Geary, Augie Hiscano, Marcos Cruz, Tom Kren and a few others. What I like about a lot of these guys is that not only are they talented but they share all their ideas through photos and works in progress. What I admire most is their painting prowess which is something I am trying to perfect slowly but surely. To all of them a truly big thank you for all they share with us here.

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