I first knew of Alex Wence De leon, of Carrizo Springs, Texas, during the late eighties. I had seen his work in Verlinden publications. He had scratchbuilt an excellent 120mm scale Nebelwerfer diorama! I finally met him the first time in the late nineties when he paid a visit to VLS. As I had a career as a cop and Alex was a Border Patrol Officer, we had common ground both there and in modeling! He is one incredible modeler and scratchbuilder, (Hell, he can do anything in the field of modeling and figures), and will be a definite asset to our masterclass forum.------------------------------------
Alex is a "native Texan" that can trace back his family (five generations) living in Texas since 1823. He grew up heavily influenced by three older very talented brothers and (as far back as the early 1960s) can remember them building model kits. As soon as he could stand and hook his chin on the table edge, it was a matter of watching, studying learning the thrill of model kit building. A positive and constructive influence with all the respect and love brothers can have for each other.
Model kit building continued though adolescence onto young adulthood even with all the "distractions" of life until he found (in 1980) Sheperd Paine's book, "How To build DIORAMAS". With Sheperd Paine's "model-builder Bible" in hand and copies of, (now defunct) Scale/ Military Modeler magazine, he was ready to go beyond just building kits and letting them get dusty sitting on a self. He believes this was the true start of his model building career that he calls the "Holy Trinity" (1) Model Building, (2)Model Shows (3)Model Publications.
His personal 'Genesis' began with making scale military dioramas containing converted and scratch-built vehicles, figures and diorama accessories before such items were available for modelers as they are now (first Trinity).Around 1983 he discovered IPMS model contests being held in such Texas cities as San Antonio, Houston, Austin and he began to enter model competitions with good results (second Trinity). Further expanding his bounds, he traveled to the Military Miniature Figure Shows in Atlanta and Chicago. At those venues, he discovered scales beyond 1/35th and it was time to expand to the larger scales, converting/sculpting/painting figures, scratch-building vehicles and ordnance. The third Trinity was achieved in 1990 with the first of many magazine articles submitted and published with Military Modeler, Scale Modeler, FineScale Model magazine, Military Modelling magazine, Verlinden Publications and recently Military ModelCraft International magazine.
Now with retirement from a 21 year 'day job' career with the U.S. Government, he has devoted himself to continue scale model building and continue to learn and develop skills and techniques to always build a better model than the last one. He often reflects on those days so long ago of first learning the craft of model building and to this day, stays humble, stays hungry, stays young and builds models. Like then, like now, there is still plenty to learn for this "young" mind trapped in an old mans body....Enjoy life, build a model and share it with others.
Alex has garnered 3 Master’s at three major annual events. SCAHMS Master, AMPS Master and Mastercon Master. He has won two Judges Grand Awards from AMPS and IPMS, an IPMS presidents award, He has won both Best Master’s Division and Best Scratchbuilt entry from Mastercon.
He has won twelve Best of Shows from prestigious conventions around the country. Eight Best Aircrafts. Six Best Dioramas, Three Best Automotives, Three Best WW II subjects, Two Best Figures, and Three Best Displayers awards, Two most Popular Model Awards and a Best Softskin, Best Camouflage and Best Axis awards. All of these coming from the most prestigious shows in America and all since 1983! Pretty amazing, I would have to say!
Please help me give Alex De Leon a hearty welcome to the Masterclass Forum! He is gonna knock your socks off!