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List of the Masters

Ian Hill

I first met Ian Hill back in 1993, at the second Mastercon show. He was quite young as I remember him then, and I also immediately recognized a budding talent that was beyond the norm. Everybody was so busy back then, I didn't get the time I would have liked to talk to him. At the end of the show, he had to go home to Australia and didn't want to carry his gold medal winning diorama all that way back on the plane. To my surprise, he gave it to me! After that we lost contact but I recall hearing about him from others. I placed that diorama in the Miniature World Museum. Now that I have retired, it sets in my private museum and is one of my most prized possessions.

Since Ian and I were reunited on T&T, he has told me he originally got into modelling because of WW II movies, and a great love of technical art and realistic miniatures. He had started drawing his own war comics and sci-fi spaceships when he discovered that he could buy models of them. This led to airbrushing, poster painting and then to landscapes. He did a stint at University in Industrial Design at the beginning of the 1980's, mainly because that's what all the ILM guys did (star wars effects section). He left before completing the course, but gained a lot of techniques that he applied to his 3D ART - Models. He had started building dioramas about 1978 but they where not that good, he loved them regardless. A couple of years later He saw Francois Verlinden's models and immediately discovered the possibilities. About that same time he came across Shepard Paine's work as well, and was blown away by the battle damage and weathering.

From there he developed, practiced and by the late 1980's felt confident to go to the Australian Open Model Expo and entered competition for the first time in 1989. He surprised himself and won 4 trophies and his first People's Choice Award, (which, coincidentally was also the first time the award was given ). Between 1989 and 2008 he competed on a irregular basis in that event, and won in various categories. He has won a best of show award with his Dragon Wagon diorama, (see below) as well as the Peoples Choice award 8 times out of 8 entries.

In 1993 he travelled to the USA and competed in Mastercon II, where he was awarded a Gold Medal for his diorama, (the one he gave me). He remembers that trip as being quite special because he met all of his diorama Gurus, Francois Verlinden, Lewis Pruneau and me. (His words, not mine) Embarassed Embarassed

Over the years he has managed to have articles and pictures published in the Verlinden Productions Magazine, Fine scale modeller, Australian Plastics Modeller, Models and Hobbies as well as a win in the Fine scale gallery photo of the year (1996). He landed a place in the AFV modeller Digital Imagination Competition in 2006 . He has been selling his work to private collectors since 1989 and has also completed displays for Hobby companies as well.

He was invited to be among the first to post his work on Missing Lynx website in 2000. He also did some work for the Custom Dioramics Catalog, but this never went to press as they sold their company to me/VLS shortly afterwards. (BTW, If I had been aware of that, I would have contacted him and went ahead with it!) The same year he attended Mastercon, he was selected by Dragon Models to create diorama commissions for their 1994 catalog however, fate stepped in and he did not have the spare time to complete what they required, (Two new children, one a baby - with a short deadline), and he had to decline. He also organized some portfolio design and sketchings for Universal studios in Florida on his 1993 Mastercon trip. That was for Universal's "Star Wars Exhibition", resulting in his Avatar on T&T. Recently, he has been selling his work on EBAY as a Hobby business. In conclusion, Ian says it has been quite a ride and he has enjoyed every minute of it! He loves modeling and the Internet has only enhanced his experiences. I think we can all learn from Ian and I am proud to introduce him to the Masterclass!

Bob Letterman

Here is a shot of Ian with some of his work!

And this is his favorite diorama he has built so far!

Kinetic M-ATV Build Review

This will be a build review the Kinetic M-ATV vehicle - a modern 1/35 scale mine resistant recon vehicle.


Hello all,
I have been working on the chassis and the associated front and rear sub assemblies.
I have found the detail to be OK and the fit mediocre. Some parts such as the front cross-member had to be majorly modified in length to fit between the cross members.
The overall fit of all parts so far has been very ordinary with gaps a plenty - the instructions don't always show the place to fit the piece clearly and I have been going forward a few pages to find another instruction dwg angle that shows hoe the part was fitted.
Follow the forum post for next installment.
Discuss this article in the forums (3 replies).

Using a Weathering Sponge to Enhance Your Wash Effects

Hello everyone,
Here is a simple process that can enhance you wash effects and give you a great deal more control. I use weathering sponges....alt
At the risk of advertising for TAMIYA, which is not what I am intending, these weathering sponges (which come in Medium and Fine) are excellent for controlling the shape and extent of your washes. I have used a TAMIYA but you can also go to a ladies make up retailing shop and get all kinds of sizes there (and the embarrassment to go with it) but they might well be cheaper there.

Read more: Using a Weathering Sponge to Enhance Your Wash Effects

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How to do an effective small base for your model

I put this step by step together in 2005 but I think it still works. I still do my bases the same way.
A lot of modellers tend to have trouble with making their bases look as good as their vehicles and so steer away from creating a small base for their latest work. A base can be as much fun to create as the model itself and if done properly, will allow the model to come to life without overpowering it. I always add a base as it puts the model and it's weathering in context.
The next stage up is the vignette diorama which then expands the scene to a small story. The diffrerence being, a display is just that, and does not try to do anything but place the model in a setting and enhance it.
The following is a step by step guide that can be used as a ref. for anyone frustrated with their display bases and wish's to set their model in an urban setting. The principles are the same for any scenary.

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How to do an effective larger base with a building PART 3, 4, 5 and final


Now it's time to add some variation to the base color. This will be the platform from which the interest and realism is brought to the scene. Choose your colors carefully, making them darker and richer versions of the actual colors that you want to end up with.


Read more: How to do an effective larger base with a building PART 3, 4, 5 and final

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How to do an effective larger base with a building PART1 AND 2


Pick a building that you would like to place with your vehicle, keeping in mind that if it is to big it will overpower the scene and be unbalanced. If it is to small it will fall victim to the vehicle and you will have the same result in reverse. Sad
The building I chose for this particular scene was the old VP kit of the ruined church. SEE BOX PHOTO BELOW.


Read more: How to do an effective larger base with a building PART1 AND 2

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