Modelers Alliance Logon

Modelersalliance Tip Jar



List of the Masters

Masters Class

The Staff of Modelers Alliance proudly presents the Masterclasses.
These are simple modeling classes conducted by a selection of true Masters of  the scale modeling world.

Exhaustive Treatment


Exhaustive treatment




By terry barrow

This is just a little how-to on painting and weathering exhaust systems. There are many types of exhaust materials, for our purposes the material used most is steel which rusts quickly when exposed to heat and the elements. So let’s begin!

Read more: Exhaustive Treatment

Discuss this article in the forums (27 replies).

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).

Master Luc Klinkers

Modelers' Alliance Master Luc Klinkers


Luc klinkers was born in 1960. He lives in the Netherlands with his wife, son and daughter, working with the Dutch police as Crime Scene Investigator.

I wouldn't be surpized to see Luc starring in a would be television version of CSI Holland.

Besides being a great 1:35 scale armor modeler, Luc's even greater talent is sculpting figures. With a bit of help from resin aftermarket heads, he creates some very unique figures. He uses mostly acrylics in painting them currently.


DSC 1318

He ocassionally finds scale figures from the 1970's from a well known Japanese company that are not really up to date,he simply removes the surface details of the figures and re-sculpts them!

Luc isn't limited to 1:35 scale, he seems to have no problem with figures in larger scales as well, and they have resulted in awards from larger European modelshows in addition to his "usual" work in the Low Countries!

Over the years Luc's work has been published in several model magazines such as the British magazine Military Modeling as well as others.

Also the superb book "Made in Holland", about models from the finest Dutch modelers, features his amazing Sd.Kfz 251 diorama including his self sculpted figures on the cover.

It's my pleasure to introduce another true master to this site!



Ladies and Gentlemen,please welcome master Luc to Modelers' Alliance!




Discuss this article in the forums (16 replies).

Master Eddy Janssens

Modelers' Alliance Master Eddy Janssens


Eddy Janssens was born in Lier Belgium on November 11, 1943. He has spent most of his life in the small village of Olen, about 20 miles northeast of Lier . He finished High School and College, then acquired a private pilots licence for gliders and light engined aircraft in 1962 and 1963. He was in the Belgian military service, ending in 1966 as a 2nd Lieutenant. Because he had been hospitaled after coming down with meningitis in 1965, he was still able to finish his military service. However, the memingitis was the reason he was unable to continue on as a professional Pilot. Afterwards, he got an office job at General Motors Continental in Antwerp, Belgium, promoted to supervisor in 1983, and retired in 2008. Eddy married his wife Madeleine in 1967 and they had 3 sons; Luc in 1968; Kim in 1971 and Kurt in 1974.


Eddy built his first plastic model in 1956. It was a tiny model of the HMS Victory sailing ship from Airfix. Soon after, some other model manufaturers became available there, such as Aurora and Revell. He built a ship model of the USS Missouri and a Grumman Cougar jet. He also built a Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress. In fact, he had finished 200 models by 1971 when he met François Verlinden and started building military models.

I met Eddy in 1985, on my first trip to Lier to sign the contracts with Verlinden and Jos Stok to form the partnership/corporation that eventually would come to be known as The VLS Corporation. In those days, we were doing a lot of planning for the future of both VLS and Verlinden Productions. Eddy was there frequently and we got to know each other. Back then, he was building some of the models that François painted and weathered and were featured in the series of books, The Verlinden Way, volumes one through six.

Years later, his oldest son, Luc, went to work for Verlinden, and was assigned to work for Verlinden’s son, Wim. They eventually had some misunderstandings, resulting in Eddy and Luc parting ways with the Verlindens. In 1999, after the split between VLS and VP, Eddy’s son, Luc, began visiting Susan and I in St. Louis. We got to know Luc very well and began emailing Eddy and his wife Madeleine. We have kept in touch ever since. We try to keep up with each other’s modelmaking, many of his works are on the visitor’s gallery of my website. I have the honor to introduce one of the best scratchbuilders I have ever known as the latest member of the Modeler’s Alliance Master’s Forum, Eddy Janssens.

Bob Letterman

Discuss this article in the forums (9 replies).

Master Randy Ditton

Master Randy Ditton


Randy rod

Randy Ditton was Born in Miles City, Montana in 1956.   Raised on a ranch outside Bozeman , Montana, he married  Susie, who he met his first year of college,  and has managed to convince her to keep him around for the last 38 years.   Three wonderful kids who have blessed them with four grandchildren so far.


Randy Ditton

Randy started modeling at the age of twelve for something to do during long Montana winters as he had a habit of breaking bones attempting to be a ski racer.  Model trains became his passion  and  soldering together brass train engine kits led to a fondness for metal work in his modeling.  He managed to win three first place awards at the only major competition  he has ever entered,  the 1994 National Narrow Guage Convention.

He still has a large basement train layout but these last few years he has tried to build a little of everything.

I have been watching Randy's builds on our website, and have been amazed at his work. It is truly inspiring!

I am proud to introduce the newest member of the Masters Forum, Randy Ditton!

Bob Letterman

Discuss this article in the forums (19 replies).


  • Bob Letterman
    Bob Letterman

    I think as a modeler you would have to be living under a rock, not to know who Bob Letterman is. People will know him as the Businessman behind the giant VLS Empire, more people will know him for his amazing dioramas.

    We here on TnT know Bob for his easy going approachable manner, I know that there are people that are great modelers, well I can tell you that Bob is one of those modelers who are great people.

    Bob is legendary for his achievements as a modeler, a businessman, a highly decorated police officer, but for me the greatest thing for me is that both he & his wife Susan are my friends.

    To have Bob, demonstrating hints and techniques he uses, is going to be amazing, as masters go, they do not get much better than Bob.

    Article Count:
  • Joe Hudson
    I met Joe Hudson at a Mastercon way back when! Sorry Joe, I can't remember which one. Chalk it up to senility! Joe was an ex-policeman as I was and that meant we had several things in common. Joe, from the beginning, had an obsession with models. At the time, he was an armor guy. Later, he began experimenting with figures. He had a great mentor, Bill Chillstrom, who, in my opinion, is one of the very best sculptors in the business. After a time, he asked to sculpt for Warriors, Custom Dioramics or the new company just launched, The Streets of Laredo. As I remember, the first professional piece he did was an old west miner figure that was great! Thus began his professional career. Since then, his skills have continued to improve year after year. His current work needs no Kudos from me, it speaks for itself! BTW, Joe sculpted a figure for Susan's birthday, Elvis Presley. It is in a place of honor in Susan's office! Here is Joe, Susan and I am honored to call him a friend! Joe, show them how!!!!

    Bob Letterman

    Article Count:
  • 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!

    Article Count:
  • Yasuyuki Watanabe
    Yasuyuki Watanabe

    some say he is a ghost, some say he is a wizard, some say he comes from outer space but in reality Yasuyuki Watanabe comes from Amagasaki City in Hyogo prefecture, Japan!

    48 year old Yasuyuki Watanabe married and having two adult children - a daughter and a son - started modelling when he was at the age of 30 and specialized on WW1 and WW2 armor. With this hobby increasingly fascinating him it became his main hobby and since about 5 years Watanabe-San focuses on brass and copper scratchbuilding his vehicles!

    watanabeWatanabe-San has his own blogpage that can be visited here:

    On his page you find some older works of him where he actually used plastic kits and enhanced them in his unique style. Also you find his fascinating Panzerwerfer42 completely build from scratch in brass and copper Check out his page - you won't regret it!

    Article Count:
  • Anthony Reeves

    Anthony had stopped smoking and while trying to relieve his urge to smoke at work one night he took some wire and started to twist it into a tree like shape.

    Night after night he would cut himself a few lenghts of wire to try to improve on the "tree" he had made the night before. He had previously grown Bonsai trees for many years so had studied tree growth patterns and habits so had a pretty sound knowledge of how individual species would grow depending on the enviroment they were growing in. Over a period of weeks he played around with various materials to find a medium which would result in a realistic and durable bark to cover the bare wires.

    After a chance meeting with a member of the Manchester Model Railway Society, he was given the opportunity to visit Pete Watermans massive 7mm (o gauge) where he worked on the trees and scenics for a couple of years. It was around this time Anthony also started attending various trade shows as a trader. It soon became apparent that not all modellers wished to pay the premium of buying ready made trees. It seemed to him that most modellers wanted to make their own trees . This is where he got the idea for a Tree Kit. All the materials required to make truely realistic trees in a bag with full instructions. This original approach has now seen a large range of scenic modelling materials being produced by TREEMENDUS and also includes Scenic Kits, Scatters, Earth powders and Scenic Glue etc.

    TREEMENDUS is growing from strength to strength. New products are being introduced at affordable prices and he hopes he can continue to supply modellers all over the world with the materials they need to produce wonderfully realistic models.

    Hopefully this will be the first of many SBS's as we all would like to see the whole range of TREEMENDUS products and show us some of their uses and the effects that can be achieved using them.


    Article Count:
  • Per Olav Lund

    I would like to introduce Per Olav Lund to the Tanks and Things members. I have only recently met Per Olav, but have been an admirer of his incredible works of art for years.

    Actually, he is one of those modelers who doesn't need an intro from anybody, so this is more or less a formality.

    Per Olav has agreed to enter into our Masterclass and give us some step by steps on how he does some of his unbelievable dioramas!

    Bob Letterman

    Article Count:
  • John Steinman
    John Steinman

    It was many years ago when I met John Steinman on the Internet. At first I confused him with his brother who has been published in MMiR but it became obvious the incredible talent he had. Over the years, he has published many articles in MMiR as well as posting gallery entries on various web sites. Recently, he completed an online build log on Track-Link and before that he showed his diverse skills by tackling a modern subject, an AFV Club YPR-765.

    It has been my pleasure in providing what little reference support I could. His efforts have garnished him numerous awards and he competes at the National Advanced level in AMPS. Yet, he remains humble and willing to share his techniques. On that note, I introduce to you; John F. Steinman.

    Saúl García

    Article Count:
  • Giovanni Azzara


    Please Welcome Giovanni Azzara as a "Modelers' Alliance Master"


    I only recently met Giovanni Azzara’


    I was looking through the figure forum and saw this incredibly well done. I began looking at all this figure painter’s work and was very impressed. I should have been. I contacted him and invited him to become a member of the masterclass.

    Here is his modeling biography!


    Born in Potenza, in southern Italy in 1975, his beginnings in modeling began with his set of “Legos”. He soon discovered modelling thanks to his dad who brought him a set of German figures from Italeri, which he soon transformed into an African-American basketball team, playing on a side street basketball court. Basketball was and still is one of his passions. Since then he has built planes, helicopters, cars and motorbikes (another of his great passions).

    In the early nineties, Giovanni attended university in Pavia, and it was there he learned about Milliput, He bought some and made his first scratch built model, "The Crow" from the famous comics and movie, and he still has it in his home collection. Later, he met many talented people who introduced me to the military figure world, and he started to enter competitions, winning a few prizes here and there.

    Then, Giovanni met his, at the time, partner in crime and still very good friend, Danilo Cartacci, with whom he started a collaboration that led him to win gold medals at some of the most important shows around the world. From the World Expo to the Euro Militaire, to SCHAMS, Chicago MMSI, Seillans ,and even a best of show in St.Vincent, to name a few.

    He was doing the sculpting while Danilo was doing the painting. All this lead him to meet some of the most amazing painters and sculptors around, and with some of them, he created various pieces that are now the hands of collectors all around the world.

    Then he took a break and decided to finish his university studies. He wanted to acquire an education that would enable him to earn a living at something maybe not as amusing as military miniatures , but necessary for survival! That also meant a moratorium in my modeling for about 5 years.

    Giovanni moved to London and then in July 2008 moved back to Milan, Italy.

    Last year he finally decided to get back to modelling and here he is again, painting figures mostly, also learning how to build AVF's and soon he'll begin getting into those! I have been communicating with him frequently. He is very modest and humble for someone with so large a talent.

    It is my pleasure to introduce Giovanni Azzara’ to the Master class forum!

    Bob Letterman

    Article Count:
  • Terry Barrow

    Terry Barrow Modelers' Alliance Master


    I first met Terry Barrow at Mastercon 6 in 1997. Then later in Moscow Mills, Missouri in the VLS conference room. He had came from his home town of Clinton, Missouri with his wife Mary for a meeting with the late David Harper who worked for me at the time. He returned several times and we had some joint ventures going. I have visited Terry and Mary in both Clinton as well as in Kansas City where we share the love of a restaurant called Jack’s Stax and their unbelievable Barbecued Burnt Ends.

    Terry was born on January 17, 1963. He built his first model at age seven. It was a P-36A by Monogram and Terry says it cost seventy five cents, that was three weeks allowance in those days, and he still has it. He has built models on and off ever since. He doesn’t really have a favorite kind of model, if it looks neat he may build it.

    He lean toward armor, but has done just about every type of model. He became serious about modeling in the 1990’s when he entered his first model contest at the local hobby shop (90 miles away in Kansas City, Missouri). He received a second place and has been addicted ever since. He is never really satisfied with his work, always thinking he could have been done better. (He has a lot of company there). He always seems to be amazed by the work of others I guess that’s what keeps pushing him to improve.

    Terry believes that if you stop trying to learn new modeling techniques you might as well stop modeling. He have learned a lot from the modelers he has been around and owe them a lot. To pay them forward he is always ready to help other modelers even though he’s always a little embarrassed when someone asks. He tells them “Oh it’s really not that hard or I couldn’t do it”. He has received quite a few awards, but he still has goals. He modestly says he is just a regular modeler that’s been lucky a few times.

    Some of his awards are as follows:
    Best figure Mastercon 11
    Best ship IPMS Region 5 (twice)
    Best ship Mastercon/Eaglequest
    Theme Award Eaglequest
    Best Military Vehicle Eaglequest (twice)
    Best Science Fiction Eaglequest
    Best Science Fiction IPMS Region 5
    Best Automotive IPMS Region 5

    He was elected Eaglequest Grand Marshal in 2013

    I am honored and pleased to introduce Terry Barrow into the Master’s Forum

    Bob Letterman

    Article Count:
  • Chuck Wojtkiewicz
    Article Count:
  • Andy Fettes
    Article Count:
  • Tony Lee
    Article Count:
  • Luiz Barroso
    Article Count:
  • Randy Ditton
    Article Count:
  • Luc Klinkers
    Article Count:
  • Eddy Janssens
    Article Count:
  • Jeff Matthes
    Article Count:
  • Abdin Santoni
    Article Count:
  • Mike Trent
    Article Count:
  • James O’Leary
    Article Count:
  • Michael Walsh
    Article Count:
  • Christian Lacroix
    Article Count:
  • JeffreyRiedesel
    Article Count:
  • Laurence Maftei
    Article Count: