Who are these people?

There have been some requests to know a bit about the folks who contribute to Modeling Madness. Having mulled it over, the usual suspects were contacted and some profiles have started rolling in. Here they are in order of receipt.

Fred Krause: 
     My name is Fred Krause. I am a 35 year old locomotive engineer for a regional Utah railroad. I currently live near Ogden, just a few miles west of Hill AFB, with my fiancee Lori, and stepson Tyler.
     I started modeling when I was about 8 years old. I still remember the first one.... it was a Monogram car... "Easy Money" I think. I hated it! I have never built another car since!
     I got interested in planes, and never looked back. As my age increased, so did my skills. In high school I met a guy named Tony Quartaro, and we became fast friends. He was big into modeling, and taught me 80% of what I know about building. 20 years later, and we're still buds!
     I also got into photography, and pointed my camera toward military aircraft every chance I got. A tour of Topgun one day forever hooked me on the allure of USN adversary aircraft, and their mission.
    In 1985 I joined the USAF as a weapons loader on A-10s. I was stationed at Eielson AFB Alaska, then got out, with a very sour taste of the military fresh in my memory. The military totally burned me out of wanting anything to do with it, including aircraft, and my modeling, and aircraft photography came to an abrupt halt for 10 years.
    In 1998 I was visiting my brother, and my nephew had just gotten Monograms well known B-17 kit, and he asked me for help. As I was helping him, it really dawned on me how much I enjoyed the hobby, and how I missed it.
    As soon as I got home that night, I dug through my basement for the box of kits I'd had stashed for a decade. I opened up Monograms 48th scale F-5F kit, and proceeded to built my "first" kit. I loved it! The next day I had a workbench set up, and was building like fury.
    I got hooked up on the internet, and great sites like Modeling Madness, and continue to learn new techniques. I've also done a lot of trading, and met some great people! Its good to be back ;0)

Dr. Frank Spahr:

Im 38, work as a dentist, started styrene modeling at age 7 with Airfix 1/72nd planes, later on also ships and armour in a first childish, then a little more advanced way in that I used paint and found out how to put the thing together with no parts remaining. 
There was some hiatus during dental school and the first years of my practice, in which I only built very few kits, amongst them one of my favorites, Revells CSS Alabama. A friend of mine with very great modeling skills kind of rekindled the fire in me, and since 95, Im back with planes, first in 1:72, then 1:48. Ive completed about 40 kit during that time. The internet has been crucial for me for getting in touch with fellow modelers (somehow, were a bit like dinosaurs or anyhow an endangered species), finding references, hints n tips.

Two interesting figures (that would be interesting for you other guys, too, I deem): I own a mere 26 unbuilt kits (bought the Revell 1:48 F-15 E last week on account of the recent review), and Im completing 5 or 6 in a year. My unbuilt pile (if you could call it that ;-) has lessened a bit over the last year, in fact.

Les Dorr Jr:

Les has been an unabashed airplane-head and space cadet for most of his  life, and is fortunate to incorporate that interest in his professional  career. Since 1995, he has served as a Public Affairs Officer at FAA  Headquarters in Washington, D.C. Past gigs include speechwriter to NASA chief Dan Goldin, five years doing public affairs for NASA Aeronautics, a  two-year stint as associate editor of Final Frontier magazine and a  substantial body of freelance aerospace articles and NASA radio shows.

Les' modeling interests are eclectic. Focusing on 1/72, he builds  X-planes, aircraft from demo teams, pre-WWII USN and USAAC aircraft, post-war USN/USAF aircraft and helicopters. Les also bashes plastic and resin to construct a wide range of spacecraft and launch vehicles, 1/144 and 1/72 airliners and even a ship or two! 

Les tries to model 30-45 minutes each night, a little longer on weekends, when possible. He typically buys only one of each subject, but does have three F-4 Phantoms (Blue Angels, T-Birds and Marine RF-4C) in the ever expanding "to do" pile. Les lives in Frederick, Md., about 40 miles northwest of Washington.

Scott Van Aken:

Scott's interest in aviation started when he was abducted by aliens at a very young age. Upon his return to this planet, he has been interested in anything that flies. His first plastic model kit was an Airfix Hurricane that his dad bought him when he lived in Harrow in the UK around 1955/56. After that it was a slow but steady stream of Revell, Aurora, Comet and SMP kits.

Taking a break from modeling to involve himself in autos and females, he  returned to modeling many years into his Navy career around 1974 or so when he found the beer machines at Infamous Barracks 50 at NAS Atsugi, Japan were empty. He found it helped wile away the long hours when he had nearly zilch to do after work. Starting slowly with 1/700 ships, modeling soon took on a life of its own. Retiring from too many years as an Avionics Tech, he discovered that he has some how amassed a huge collection of several thousand unbuilt, pristine models. A return to college on the GI Bill (thanks taxpayers!) got him his degree from Southern Illinois University, but was insufficient to stop his kit collecting. 

Realizing he had a problem, he turned himself into 'Styrene Anonymous' for treatment and after many minutes of intense therapy is now a born again non- kit collector. He has also discovered the one true scale of 1/48 though does admit to delving into the dark side to build 1/72 from time to time. Thanks to this on-line magazine, Scott finds that he can build about 3-5 models a month and still get out each daily edition. Modeling time is usually around 1-1.5 hours a day on the average. 

Thanks to Scott's worldly travels and cosmopolitan attitude about most things, he likes to build just about anything that grabs his fancy. As a result, he has built subjects ranging from sci-fi, to ships, to cars, to figures, to armor,  and  fantasy items, while still building mostly aircraft. He has no specific favorite subject, though a look at his kit log will show that there are a few types that he has built over 50 of in the last 30 years. Those are the F-4 Phantom II, P-51 Mustang, P-40, and Bf-109. In order to keep having kits ready for review, there are always a half dozen or more underway at any one time and a rather large pile of kits waiting!

Scott currently resides in the garden spot of Cetti Alpha VI, (a.k.a. Lebanon, Illinois),  just a few miles outside of St. Louis, Missouri. Fortunately, his house has a nice, dry basement to hold his stash of kits!

Tom Cleaver:

I have, apparently, been an aeronut since birth. My mother used to love telling people that the first word I ever said came out when a P-38 (the only airplane she could ever identify) flew over the park we were in; I pointed at it and said "o-pane!" It's been an obsession ever since, aided and abetted by my father, who was involved in aviation during the 1930s (hence my interest in two wings, open cockpits and the wind in the wires) and was a pretty good modeler himself. (Those of you with children should pay attention to that story.)

My modeling began by watching my father build Strombecker solid wood models for me, which generally managed to last (sans propellers, etc.) for a considerable time before being broken. As I recall, the first plastic model I ever had was either the (original issue) Hawk F-84 or the Lindberg F-80, and the first model I ever built myself was the Strombecker P-80. Once I was off on my own, dad let me make my own mistakes, for which he would point out the solution only when asked. We had a well-equipped basement workshop, which I learned to operate safely during my school years; my modeling was split between buying a kit and building it, or taking a block of balsa and turning it into something resembling any airplane I couldn't find a kit of. This is likely why I have never had any trouble taking a razor saw to a kit for a kit-bashing session, and why vacuforms haven't scared me since the days of the original Rareplanes kits. I was very happy when the Airfix kits showed up, allowing one to build models that were all correct relative to each other, rather than the "box scale" kits that had been all there was previously. I also loved the Monogram releases in 1/48 that began with their Me-109 kit.

My level of production nowadays is due to being a (underemployed) screenwriter, i.e., an obsessive personality with too much time on its hands. For any of you out there having trouble justifying your modeling to those you share your personal life with, let me assure you that an addictive personality is going to latch onto something, and an addiction to plastic modeling is far superior to most of the available alternatives. Point that out to her (or him)! Believe it or not, it is also cheaper than those alternatives. 

Since I have spent more than a few years working around The Real Ones, my goal in my model building is to create as accurate a representation of the real item as I have skill to accomplish. To that, I am not a fan of the "IPMS style" of modeling: the over-stylized, super-shadow-shaded item that looks nothing like any Real One ever seen anywhere and screams at the viewer "I'm a plastic model!" This is not to say that I do not believe in faded paint jobs and a weathered appearance, but rather that I agree with Aristotle: "all things in moderation" (though I am known on occasion to express that belief very immoderately).

I know for a fact that in the three years since I discovered Modeling Madness a week after getting on the net - and then all the other modeling sites out there - that my already-good modeling ability has expanded exponentially from my opportunity to learn from some *real* experts. I find a lot of pleasure in sharing what I've learned about how to avoid the minefields with the rest of you, and look forward to continuing to do so.

John Lester:

I grew up on a farm in Michigan 30-some odd years ago. Went to school at U Michigan on an ROTC scholarship, where I got a degree in Aerospace Engineering (which makes me a bona-fide, school-trained rocket scientist). Never used my degree for even a moment, though. Spent ten years on active duty as a Marine; had many adventures, none of which will ever be the subject of an ABC mini-series. Gave up the wild, hedonistic lifestyle of a single Marine officer to marry a gal I met via the internet (no, not a mail-order bride). Moved to Chicago and joined a consulting firm. Hated that and left to work with my wife in our own consulting firm, where I am now jack of all trades (and master of none, of course). I also run Starship Modeler - http://www.starshipmodeler.com

For as long as I can remember fascinated with things that fly, despite a crippling fear of heights. I built my first model - the Monogram Wildcat - at age 7. Stopped building when I left for college, and didn't start again until stuck on a ship bobbing off the coast of Somalia for six months. It wasn't until I moved to Chicago, though, that my building and buying really got in gear. I now have almost a thousand kits, all of which I plan to build before I die (which means I'll live forver). I build all types of things, even cars, but my favorite subjects are 1:48 aircraft and sci-fi and spacecraft.

Lee Kolosna:

Lee started his modeling career with a Revell Yak 25 that was given to him for his sixth birthday in 1964. After nearly destroying it with an overapplication of glue, Lee proceeded with a Revell F-94C and an Aurora B-36. From there, it was a steady stream of aircraft, ship, and car model kits that saw no letup for almost twelve years. It was at this point that
Lee suddenly realized that girls weren't poohey and that beer actually tasted pretty good. With that stunning epiphany, modeling sadly took a sabbatical for over a decade.

With degrees in Physics and Computer Science, a good job, a house with a big basement, and a beautiful and understanding wife, Lee felt the siren call of a 1/48 scale Monogram B-17G and started to to become interested in scale modeling again. The arrival of two sons kept the pace of construction at a very low rate, but as the years have gone by, Lee has had the
opportunity to expand his knowledge of the hobby through the introduction of Internet-based modeling web sites and daily reading of the rec.models.scale newsgroup. Being able to cruise the on-line world, especially at work, has been a wonderful way of keeping up with the latest goings on, while giving the illusion of actually doing something productive. Aren't computers wonderful?

Author of the monthly Modeler's Musings feature here on Modeling Madness, Lee has been able to dispense his wisdom and observations about our hobby to anyone silly enough to read it -- all for free! He genuinely believes that modelers owe it to each other to network and help each other out whenever possible. He is less enamored with the emphasis on competition in modeling and prefers a much-less serious approach to the hobby, although he feels that understanding the history behind the subject is of supreme importance. His interest lies mostly in aircraft models, but being a car fanatic in the heart of NASCAR country also leads him to a four-wheeled model on occasion.

He is currently a member and the president of the IPMS chapter in Raleigh/Durham North Carolina, where he enjoys living with his family, cheering on the Duke Blue Devils, freezing his buns off at night under the stars with his telescope, and tries like mad to prevent unbuilt kits from multiplying like Tribbles.

 Bob Laskodi:

I can crank out models and reviews with no problem whatsoever, but it sure is painful to write about myself, so Ill give it my best shot! Im a forty-something (dont even know for sure without doing the math and I sure dont want to!), receding hairline and expanding waistline, happily married with two children (high school and pre-school, what a mix!), and recently retired Engineering Manager. I am somewhat new to modeling, having started the hobby seriously about a year and a half ago when I took early retirement. My first remembrances of modeling was way back when I was a kid, when the local school used to have a carnival and one of the prizes were model kits. I remember building them as fast as possible for the sole purpose of blowing them up with firecrackers! No paint, no decals, glue barely dry, and then watch them burn! After I outgrew explosives for girls and partying, I eventually got too busy with a college degree, a career, and raising a family to model (I use that term loosely; I was really doing it for the explosives!).

I have always been fascinated by history, especially involving the aviators of WWI, who actually took to the air in spindly kites without parachutes to fight (a fact that amazes me to this day), and modeling WWI aircraft remains my favorite subject. However, I do enjoy modeling anything that flies and recently expanded my modeling into "blowtorches" (jets) having completed the excellent Tamiya MiG-15bis (hey, my first blowtorch!).

Grenville Davies:


I began modelling at a fairly early age under the influence of my father; building 1:72 scale Airfix kits. All types were built although there was a strong leaning towards the WWII set, the Spitfire, Hurricane and their main foe, the dreaded Me 109. Initially my dad was the builder and I was the destructor, a phase that was to last up until my family emigrated from Wales, U.K. to Australia in 1967. Most of my models were left behind and the select few that came did not survive the journey all that well.

As I went through puberty I never seemed to lose interest in the modelling and still built 1:72 scale aircraft. A few high school friends were into the craft and were building ships and cars. I dabbled with the floating set but never really settled with it, preferring the smell of petrol fumes from either high octane aircraft fuel or racing cars. Girls were awaiting and we all know what happens to boys at that stage in our lives.

Attending University seemed to put the modelling on hold. I eventually became a geologist and found that I travelled quite a bit and this did nothing for my hobby. I did however, build two 1:12 scale Formula One cars by Mr Tamiya and the bug that held me for so long during my childhood, bit very savagely and broadened my horizons towards the large scale, well designed and expensive kits. Obviously this meant that fewer kits would be built or I would need to get a better paying job.
My initial models of aircraft were the bigger scale of those that I had built, and had been built for me, during my childhood. This led me to build aircraft from WWII and on into the jet era. I have built a variety of aircraft that have included those from WWII as well as British, American and Russian jets. I have also ended up building some sci-fi models, especially from the Star Trek and Star Wars series, the last item was the Robot from the Lost in Space TV series.

I do tend to concentrate on WWII aircraft, but am not averse to building large scale cars and bikes, although these tend to be Tamiya or Hasegawa and occasionally Fujimi. My modelling is generally for personal pleasure and relaxation (?), but I am gradually attending IPMS club meetings, writing reviews for this great website of Scott's and displaying models in one of my local hobby shops.

I have a number of projects going at some stage and have almost managed to finish a wooden 1:60 scale Endeavour - a ship out of Australian history. This is by far the longest most difficult project that I have undertaken, stretching my skill to the max and making me humble at every opportunity. I have also started to dabble in the "paper and string set ", WWI aircraft and have some of my fellow contributors to blame (thank?).

These days my modelling is in competition with my love for fast things and my need for solitude in the form of my music - a slowly rediscovery of a love for the Blues coupled with the classical guitar training of my youth. I am forever learning about most things and appreciate the quietest moments in a very busy life. My modelling is one simple way to indulge in a passion that helps me overcome the boredom of the goggle box (aka TV) and only plays second fiddle when there is a bike race or a sci-fi programme on said goggle box. The only person who has the ability to put all of this on hold is my lady and even she finds it very difficult at times!

Grenville now resides on Bribie Island just north of Brisbane, part of the Sunshine Coast of southeast Queensland.

Ian Sadler:

I am 53 and retired from active work . I stated building models at the tender age of 9 and have not stopped since. In my time I have tried all the usual subjects from Dinosaurs to Figures and even aircraft and cars. I settled on Armour about 20 years ago and now build or should I say scratch build and convert Armour and B vehicles mainly Russian but I do the odd German and British and American . I prefer to build odd ball B vehicles and ARV,s and gun tanks etc.
I won my first contest at the age of 11 with a skeleton Dinosaur kit ( Glenko)? 
Now after winning UK , European and World champions ship contests , I no longer enter. Instead I run demo workshops at model show around the UK 22 this year and in our local model shop. 
I am the IPMS UK Armour TAS leader and help out with information if I have it in my library. I am also involved in research into Military Uniforms and act as collator to a private military uniform museum. 
I also find time to review magazines and books both for use on the net and in the UK IPMS magazine. I attend most of the military vehicle shows in the UK and photograph as many as I can.
I have my own fully equipped workshop at the bottom of the garden and most mornings at about 9 am I am down there starting on a model or researching for one. 
How did I ever find time to work.

Kyle Bodily

 I don't know when I got interested in model building I guess It was just inborn. I grew up in a small town and was the only kid, other than my brother who built models other than casually. I have always had a fascination with world war one, the personalities, equipment, tactics but was always hampered by my isolation from groups of people with the same interests as myself. So after joining the Army I got interested in Armor and that became my focus WWII and modern, than I saw the movie 'Apocalypse Now' and wanted a Branch Transfer to Aviation. I was successful and flew as a observer in the old OH-6As. A Colonel asked me if I wanted to get a commission and I accepted. After OCS (Officer Candidate School) I went to Flight School at Ft. Rucker Alabama, my second home. Next my interests were modern Aircraft with a heavy emphasis on late war luftwaffe. After some time off for family and career, I got interested again in WWI. If you like WWI Aircraft, we are having somewhat of a renaissance at this time with all the awesome kits that are coming in from the former Eastern Block Countries.

Brian R. Baker

I was born in Michigan in 1938,  and my first logbook entry is a flight in an Aeronca K in 1939.  I grew up around airplanes,  as my father was an aircraft dealer (Aeronca, later Stinson and Cessna) and had the restaurant at the Detroit City Airport.  

I built some of the first plastic kits (Hawk Curtiss Racer,  Gee-Bee, Howard Ike, etc.,) in the late forties,  but by high school,  had switched to l/72 scale when I appropriated all of the Navy BuAer recognition model templates and  plans from the school library,  and have built and thought in 1/72 scale ever since.

In junior high, I got the idea of taking pictures of airplanes, and I've done this actively since about 1951,  first on 616  BW film and later 35 mm color.  I trade with anyone I can,  and am primarily interested in antiques,  warbirds, classics, and agplanes.  I have a huge collection of airplane photos, books, magazines,  three-views, and anything related to airplanes.

I moved to Arizona in 1957, got my BA degree and my Commercial and CFI, but I've taught school most of my life.  I did run a small flight school for a while in the 90's, and have owned two Luscombe 8A "Silvaire" airplanes,  the current one for the past 14 years.  Somehow, my wonderful wife tolerates all of this nonsense,  as it does keep me out of bars  on occasion.

I got back into serious 1/72 scale modeling in the middle sixties,  and took quite a while building up the skills I have today,  and amassing a huge collection of spare parts from scrapped kits. I build only 1/72 scale models of airplanes I think I could conceivably get into the air and back on the ground again without killing myself,  which excludes most modern jets and airliners. My specialties include old military and civilian types, old rotorcraft, biplanes, and agplanes.  I especially  like Luftwaffe and British types,  but will build generally anything from the World War II period and before.  Lately,  I've been doing serious conversions,  which seem to be more fun than the standard models.  I've also done a few "funnies" (See FW-190J/Z Article in the Special Features section)

I was active in the Phoenix IPMS chapter a few years back,  and contributed to Dirty Plastic when it was published.  That group has dissolved,  and new people have carried on the tradition in Phoenix. I moved to Farmington, NM, in 1992, and teach high school and college classes here.  I do some flight instructing in the Luscombe, and build models in the winter when it's too cold to fly.

I'm active in AOPA, EAA, and QB's,  all serious aviation organizations.  I really should rejoin IPMS one of these days.  I have a son,  Jim,  who is active in IPMS Phoenix.  He's a lot better at modeling than I am.

Today,  I have about 850 1/72 scale models displayed in my den,  with about 2000 unbuilt kits stored in the garage and in the hangar with the Luscombe. I've recently done an article on FW-190 kits in 1/72 scale, and am currently doing a similar project on Hawker Hurricanes.  I'd be happy to be in contact with anyone with similar interests,  as I do a bit of kit trading on occasion.