I was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta Canada, initially near RCAF Station Lincoln Park, where my parents rented out their basement suite to several RCAF pilots that flew out of this base, and would often fly over our house waving their wings back and forth as a greeting to their families below. My father and four of his brothers also served for the RCAF in WWII, and thankfully all of them made it home safe and sound and would tell me many stories about the war and the aircraft they flew or worked on. These early experiences cemented my interest in all aircraft as a kid, particularly fighters of any kind, and my ultimate desire to build models of most of them.
Surprisingly in hindsight from where I find myself today, I didn’t model very much in my early years, making the odd WWII fighter and a few hot rod cars. Tube glue, spray cans of paint and no putty or sanding was the norm in those days and I’m sure my models were terrible, but I still had fun building them. In my mid-teens, my interests changed to real cars and of course girls, so my modelling came to an abrupt end. I eventually got a degree in Geophysics, got married and had two children, so there was no extra time for hobbies like modelling.
In my early fifties with my children grown and independent, I finally started to have some free time on my hands, so I started to make a few models of fighter jets, like a Revell F-14 and F-15, both at 1/32 scale. I was still using tube glue and spray cans of paint and my models continued to be terrible, but by then on-line modelling forums were becoming popular, where I could see what expert modellers could create and exactly how they did it. Slowly, over a long period of time, my modelling skills improved with each and every model, especially when I eventually posted my own build threads in these forums for all to see my work, flaws and all. These build threads put extra pressure on me to improve my work and I am always learning new techniques as the hobby grows with new products to both improve our models and make them easier to build.
About 10 years ago I submitted my first article to FineScale Modeler magazine of a 1/48 Tamiya Lancaster I had built for an uncle who flew in one during the war, and was thrilled that they accepted it and published it in a special edition, “How to Build Better Aircraft”. I have since been a regular contributor to FineScale Modeler and my models have been featured on the front cover of many issues. I can’t tell you how thrilling it is to go by a magazine stand and see my work on the front cover of a magazine and think of how fortunate I am to have such a rewarding hobby.
My models are still far from perfect and I’m certain I will never build a perfect one, but I keep trying to get better with each and every new model I assemble and paint. I hope my work here at KLP Publishing will help you with your next model, just as the work of others helped me in the past and continues to do so today.