When did you start modelling?
I started modelling when I was about 12 years old. One day I was on my way back home after school. Suddenly I saw a broken Czechoslovakian airplane model, on top of the trash! I grabbed all the pieces and took them with me. Once home I started to fix the model, to the extent that was still possible. From that moment on I was hooked. Modelling is in my blood and there is no way back. In the early years I mainly built airplanes, but around my 15th birthday I got a 1/72 scale T-62 and since then my focus has been on AFVs.
What is your favourite subject?
Until a couple of years ago that answer would have been so easy for me: World War Two German armour, with a soft spot for the Panther. Nowadays my interests have turned towards modern armour, especially Russian steel! Actually, I have never really chosen the subject; the subject has chosen me! When I see a particular photo, I get interested and then I feel the need to build that model. For example, I like the Abrams tank. I have two kits in my stash, but until I fall in love with a photo of that particular type of Abrams, they will remain in my stash…
When it comes to painting and weathering, which paints do you prefer: acrylics, oils or enamels?
I’m very much an old school modeller. In my early days I only used enamel paints, as these were the only ones available. At that time I was still living behind the Iron Curtain… Luckily times have changed and I discovered ‘western’ paints. I started using Tamiya and Gunze acrylics. I have been using them for the last 15 years and I think I will continue using them, probably until the end of my career. As for the weathering, I love oil paints. Abteilung502 oils and Winsor&Newton are my favourites, but for mud and dirt I still go back to my enamel paints, mostly Humbrol.
What is your favourite technique?
I don’t really have a favourite technique, but I love to work with an airbrush. I hope that counts? I like the challenge of creating a nice and elaborate camouflage. As for techniques, I just try to use the techniques I feel my model needs. I certainly don’t like colour modulation; it just doesn’t work for me, but that is a personal choice. Recently I have been getting more and more familiar with the hairspray technique. I like to use it for chipping and it works fine for me.
When finishing a model does it have to be ultra realistic or can you appreciate some artistic freedom?
That’s a very hard question! I try get a realistic finish, but sometimes one needs to make a compromise to obtain a better result. So artistic freedom is OK. As a modeller who always works from an existing photo, artistic freedom is more or less limited. I just like to stay as close as possible to the original, but if need- ed I’ll use some artistic freedom. Like I said before I’m pretty old school!