Members Name: Al
Tell us a little bit about yourself: age, occupation,
where you live, family (nothing too personal but a
(but donít feel it) and retired last year from the
Commonwealthís Department of Disabilities Services,
formerly known as the Department of Mental Retardation
after it split from the Department of Mental Health,
after almost 32 years service. I grew up in Southbridge,
just east of Old Sturbridge Village before moving to
Worcester, Oxford and Ware in the 70ís. I settled in
West Springfield in 1982. Iíve been married to Judy 39
years as of August 2011.
Modeling Interest: (Planes, Cars, Ships, Figures, etc.)
years, Iíve modeled everything from figures to ships.
Well, except for railroad subjects, unless HO scale
buildings count. Over the last few years, Iíve been
specializing in figures.
How long have you been interested in modeling? How did
believe I built my first model sometime around 1955,
possibly a Revell P-39 with my father. That would have
been the only one we built together. My maternal
grandfather worked on a number of other models with me,
including a Disney based clear plastic rocket ship, an
Indian chief in battle Barbie scale. The first major
solo project I remember was the nuclear sub, George
Washington (Renwal?) which had a firing Polaris in one
of the tubes and a full interior, including raised
detail pinups on the walls: rather provocative for an 8
year old! Fortunately, I didnít try to paint them,
otherwise, it would never been on display in the living
room. Other subjects were several life sized birds
(Scientific Models?) which included paint as little
tablets to which you added a solvent to liquefy. Who
knows how toxic those were! I also built numerous AMT/SMP
3 in 1 annual cars. As with most of us, college drew me
away from the hobby, but as Michael Corleone said, ďEvery
time I try to get out,
they pull me back in!!" I was in the now defunct
Worcester Galleria Mall one day in 1975 and found a
discarded bag with kits of a Cobra helicopter and a
Helldiver in it. That was all she wrote.
How long a member of Wings and Wheels?
I was one of
the refugees and the deposed president of Connecticut
Valley Scale Modelers, in the beginning, along with a
few other of the original and still current members.
Who in the hobby world has
influenced you and why?
In 1976, I
was working in a Kay-Bee Toy and Hobby when Shep Paine
was doing his Monogram dioramas. I was amazed at what
could be done with a model kit and would attempt several
much less artful dioramas myself. Along these lines, the
late Jim Jones of the defunct Worcester club, was super
detailing kits and dioramas. It was he who taught me to
stretch sprue. Some of you whoíve been around a long
time, may remember his Japanese carrier, the Shinano,
which was featured in a Fine Scale Modeler around 1990.
The clubís figure guys have been both mentors and
inspirations bringing me back to the figures I was
fascinated by in the late 70ís. At my first Long Island
Show, I saw the work of Christian Petit on Indian
subjects and was inspired to move from the Civil War to
Indian and western subjects.
What is your favorite historical period and why?
and 19th century US history...my degree was
in history and these subjects provide a good palette for
creative painting and dramatic scenery.
than a book, some of my favorite authors include Steven
Pressman, Jeff Shaara, Steven King.,
Favorite Movie: Top choices
include Last of the Mohicans, Alien/Aliens, Terminator,
What is your next project?
in the middle of a bust and Iím not sure what the next
project will be on the bench.
What do you enjoy most and least about modeling and why?
lines and filling seams. So much tedium before the
artistic part begins.
Besides (possibly!) what you model, do you collect
anything? If so, what, for how long, and how did you
collected stamps as a kid and Judy says Iím collecting
bicycling clothes since my return to the sport a couple
Is there something in modeling you have always wanted to
do but never tried?
fascinated by sculptors who can take a bit of putty and
turn it into a stunning figure. Iím sure my attempts
would look like Gumby or Mr. Bill after an encounter
with Mr. Sluggo!
What type of paints, brushes or other modeling equipment
do you use and why?
Vallejo acrylics almost exclusively for the ease of
application, economy and huge color palette. I have
Paasche VL and a Badger 150 airbrushes powered by a
Sears air compressor. For regular brushes, Iíve been
slowly replacing all my old ones with Kolinsky sable.
What other outside interests do
you have (music, food, auto racing, sailing, etc)?
years, I ran for exercise and competition (okay, I
entered road races) until a knee injury sidelined me. In
the last couple years I returned to cycling, another
interest that Iíve had since my early years. The only
sports I enjoy watching are sports car racing and Le
Tour de France. NASCAR is a soporific for me, however.
Hot and spicy food is the best; remember, too hot is
just about right!
Parting Modeling tip:
Hiatt wrote these lines in his song HANDS
do with your hands
You must do
with all your heart.Ē