Q. [Tell us about yourself. Your age, Where do you live, Married, Kids, Occupation, Other hobbies and interests?]
Late 50s, Winnipeg Manitoba CANADA, that’s north of North Dakota for my American friends, and 1500 miles from any salt water port! I am self supporting Commercial Photographer
Q. [Tell us about both your first modeling experience, and your first ship modeling experience.]
R Actually as a kid I built everything, the Aurora tanks and airplanes, lots of car models, and period stuff like John F Kennedy office rocking chair and PT 109, some monster kits..... First ship model was the Arizona and I was hooked. After that it was trips to the libraries to find out more about the ships I had built and wanted to build.
Q. [When was the first time ship subjects as a preferred genre appealed to you?]
R. The Revell Picture Fleet of the 1950s.....after the ARIZONA kit , it was the big MIDWAYs, and then the big Aurora ENTERPRISE. Even got a huge YAMATO for Christmas it was a monster kit for me back then....
Q. [Where do you draw your ship building inspirations?]
R. No idea, while the other guys were building tanks and airplanes I was leaning to the ships. Nothing clicked one day that said this stops here and ships begin there...
Q. [Tell us about what, in your opinion, is the very best thing about ship modeling in general]
R. A model ship will look good in a living room decor. A Panther tank wont.
Q. [OK, now tell us about what, in your opinion, is the worst thing about ship modeling.]
R. The bad instruction sheets. Plastic and Resin. Never believe what the arrow paint color says. Do the research first. My biggest biggest pet peeve in the aircraft carrier modeling world is, “the life rafts are NOT white!” I have seen many beautiful ENTERPRISE CVN 65 kits on finished shelves...and the raft canisters painted bright white...why? Because the instructions said so. Never were and never will be white.
Q. [Tell us about your all time favorite modeling era/period and why?]
R. Cold War Vietnam era. Transitional period for all USN ships. The WWII US Navy was still evident in all the hulls, but they were rebuilt with missile gun combinations, or angled decks with jets that spanned decades.
Q. [Of any and all of the modeling related awards that you have won or earned, which one of these is the most important to you?]
R. nothing particular. I grew up with IPMS, and in the 70s at the meetings I was totally ignored and many times I won the award simply because mine was the only one on the table, so that became pretty hollow. I have no interest in building and winning for a National Contest....I build for me now.
Q. [Please take a bit of time now and tell us some of your favorite modeling "things"...tools, reference materials, or a particular ship or ship model kits.]
R. I am glad that years ago I spent hard earned drinking money on reference books...the Sumralls, the Friedmans, the USNIP books which are high value now. These also serve as valued references for my photo DVD projects.
Q. [What is your all time, number one, modeling acquisition, or most favorite ship kit ever?]
R. There is none. In resin...probably any of the JAG kits. The Jim Shirley angled deck ESSEX, now extinct or rare, in 700 scale was my pride and joy and completed build. The CG ALBANY class ships intrigued me...
Q. [What's your best or most recent ship kit purchase? Details please!]
R. Working with Dragon as a consult has netted me some nice kits for the stash (which is about 100 kits) Working on the latest, the 350th CVL kit, which is going slow.
Q. [Time to get a little deep...What are your thoughts, opinions, and overall evaluation(s) of the ship kit industry?]
R. The cottage industry resin folks are getting kicked now because what they produced in resin is now happening in plastic, and faster now too. Some of the PE Brass companies overseas seem to want you to build an entire ship on their brass frets one set at a time and now there is much duplications...how many sets can you find of Railings, Doors and Hatches now?---any scale?
Q. [If you could model one ship, any ship, what would it be (May or may not be available in kit form!) And why?]
R. I would love to do the ENTERPRISE all over again. I built mine in 88, it won its awards, statuettes and ribbons, got its magazine covers, and went back and forth to so many displays and got damaged and repaired over and over. Eventually, it just got tossed, literally. I really wish that Tamiya would re tool that kit to 2010 standards, I would buy that one in a heartbeat. To do that kit again and re work it, well, a whole bunch of other guys have done it well and I just don't have the energy to fix it all over again.
Q. [What, in your opinions, would be the all-time modeling “no no’s" ?...]
R. Painting the Aircraft Carrier Floatation Capsules white, instead of just hull color.
Q. [OK, mate, now tell us one (or more!) of your own modeling secrets...]
R. Do your research...there’s lots out there now. The market is full of material that wasn’t there in the 70s when I started out.