Interview with: Chris Jerret

AK-InteractiveWhen did you start modelling?
I started back in 1978, I was in a mall and a hobby shop was hosting a contest and show in the hall when I saw that I latched on to building plastic models. All growing up I had always been interested in miniature. When I as ve I turned my families back yard into a small village like a diorama for my dinky cars. The village had house tele- phone poles and roads

AK-InteractiveWhat is your favourite subject?
With the exception of my first couple of years of modelling, I have always been fascinated with doing dioramas. I always thought, and still think, that a model almost always looks better and cooler placed on a base within its natural environment. I also enjoy the way dioramas are a great method of telling a story or portraying a historical event in 3d. I don’t have an especially favourite subject at the moment; I do both World Wars, modern wars, civilian subjects and even sci-fi.
As long as I find an interesting and facinating story, with some challenging techniques involved, I go for it regardless the time period or if its on land, air or sea.

AK-InteractiveWhen it comes to painting and weathering, which paints do you prefer: acrylics, oils or enamels?
I think I have followed the evolution and main stream within the hobby. In my early years it was Humbrol, the one and only and also the only ones available in my local hobby shops in Norway, acrylics and oils were totally un- known. When I got a little older and starting to get the modelling magazines I suddenly saw what other modellers used and I slowly started to experiment using oils for both figure painting and some weathering but never found much comfort in using them, drying to slow and glossy was not cool and inspiring. Then in the nineties I went to EuroMilitaire and was introduced to some small strange looking bottles with acrylic paints from the Spanish company Andrea, they were tested and I found them very comfortable to use both with a brush and in my airbrush. From then on I have solely used acrylics for my paintwork with some oils for washing and weathering. I love the fast drying time and the myriad of different colours and manufacturers available in today’s market. My Humbrols are stowed away in a box and I’m afraid they will never see the light of day again.

AK-InteractiveWhat is your favourite technique?
Being a diorama builder with a heart for old and weary buildings I love doing crackling paint effects on the wood panels. A challenge doing this crackle/peeling paint effect is to get it in the right scale. A lot of the crackle paint products on the market tend to create too big an effect for my preferred scale of 1/35. I also enjoy making brick walls and concrete surfaces using Styrofoam blocks. Styrofoam is at the moment one of my favourite materials with a lot of different uses.

AK-InteractiveWhen finishing a model does it have to be ultra realistic or can you appreciate some artistic freedom?
Both! I always think some artistic freedom is ok but of course within a reasonable limit. As long as the first impression of your model is very good and it looks right, it’s not a problem if you have used some artistic freedom to get there. Since we are working in small scale, some artistic freedom may sometimes be necessary to obtain the desired finish and end result.
The best thing about using some artistic freedom is that you put some of your own personality and signature into the model, which is, in my opinion, very important. If we all did the same finish and obtained the same end results it would be a boring hobby!