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MSW Artist Profile~Rui Matos

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MSW Senior Editor, Rui Matos, is the focus of this months "MSW Artist Profile", join us for some interesting conversation!

The Model Shipwrights (http://modelshipwrights.kitmaker.net/) Artist Profile is an interview with artists of the ship modelling world. These artists may include sculptors and painters; commercial and private modellers; well-known and lesser-known artists. Whoever they may be, the artists featured in Model Shipwrights Artist Profile are highly respected members of our global community; people who have greatly influenced our world in their own way. As we honour these artists with this humble Q&A and photo feature, they honour us by sharing a piece of their world.

Q & A. . .

About me…
Q. Tell us a bit about yourself. Your age? Where do you live? Married? Kids? Your job? Your other hobbies and interests?

A. "Well, as most of you know, I am 40 years, former Fire Control Radar Operator in the Portuguese Navy (1986-1991), today a Graphic Designer, married with no kids but with two cats, and live in Junqueiro (Carcavelos, Lisbon, Portugal), about 200 meters straight from the Atlantic Ocean.
Apart from modelling, I also like to read (most ship modelling related, but also what you Americans call Graphic Novels, mainly Francophone ones), music (not playing any instrument), to travel and to enjoy the beach and the Ocean, especially during winter."
Modeling speaking, apart from what you know from MSW, I am also the Vice-President and Public Relations of AMA (Almada's Modeling Association), one of the members of the Naval Juri for ModelTroia Contest and active in the modeling events around the Lisbon area. Also use a little of my knowledge in the Graphic Area to make the posters for these two annual events, another way of promoting scale modelbuilding in this country.

Earliest modelling moment
Q. Tell us about both your earliest modelling moment, and your earliest ship modelling moment.

A. "This is easy! My first model ever was (blasphemy) a plastic bagged Airfix 1/72 Westland Lysander, “built” at the age of 5 and with an impressive amount of parts that wouldn’t be needed!
A couple of years later, with much "more experience", one of those blister card Airfix Cutty Sark – and I must say that it was the first time I really got proud of one model."

Do you remember the first time ship subjects appealed to you?
Q. Tell us about when ship modelling in general, starting appealing to you above other modelling genres.

A. "The father of one of my friends (Paulo Candeias), who happen to live on the building next to mine, got a cabinet in the living room with his ship models built, painted and in a seascape. For me, at the age of 8 or 9, those were absolutely marvellous ship models. Airfix, Frog, Revell and Heller models made my delight. So we both build tanks to make our wars and ships, mainly "Heller Cadet" and the Airfix Blister boxed Historical Ships to make our best display models!
It was also the first time in my life that I saw more ships still in the boxes, than those already built without being on a model shop! Without Paulo’s father knowledge we investigated time and time again those boxes with strange letterings and with huge ships with motors (they were either Fujimi’s or Arii’s Yamato and Musashi big boxes!).
This, introduce me to the concept of “Model Stash”."

Who or what inspires your ship modelling?
Q. Tell us who, what or where do you draw your ship modelling inspiration from? This may include reference books, other artists, etc.

A.Apart from my main interest of Midget Submarines and Manned Torpedoes, and there it can be one photo, one book or one trip (read Naval Museum) or a new release, on the other naval models, can be one MSW Campaign, other modellers or a recent buy.
Of those projects that are accumulating, although all documented, is making all the ships that I have made NATO exercises with, or suffered with, like surveillance on a trio of Soviet ships, during the Cold War days. I tend to be very graphical, or visual, on my choices, not necessarily the ships history…"
Before the Midget Submarine and Manned Torpedoes, were the Torpedo Boats in 1/72, than submarines in 1/72 and now I catch the 1/700 scale fever! The problem is that I got "sequels" from the previous "fevers" and my stash is... hmm... a little on the big size!

The best thing about ship modelling
Q. Tell us about what, in your opinion, is the best thing about ship modelling.

A. "The ship modelling area is rather small when compared with the other branches… this is good and bad, but allows you to have the feeling that you belong to a family of friends, that happen to build ship models. Very similar to the spirit I have felt while aboard a ship."

The worst thing about ship modelling
Q. Tell us about what, in your opinion, is the worst thing about ship modelling.

A. "Not one, but three: Break, drop or cat attack! I have suffered them all and my words at those moments are not allowed in this kind of publications!"

Favourite modelling era/period
Q. Tell us about your all time favourite modelling era/period. Why do you prefer this period above others?

A. "I will have to say WWII, even if I have some models from the last quarter of the XIX Century and some very modern."

Favourite modelling competition to enter
Q. Over the years, which has been your favourite competition to have entered? And why?

A. "At this time I have only entered in two entities competitions:
- At one of our LHS (now extinct) where I showed my models for the first time to someone other than family and close friends;
- At ModelTroia Contest – and now I am part of the Naval Jury.
These are small contests, compared with my experience this year, which is going to be Telford. The point at entering contests, is to participate and help the team that had all the trouble in having that show put together to have a return.
I have been at Telford last year and I must say that it was the friendliest, most relaxed and fun modelling event I ever attended. As a newcomer, I was received by the already established ship model community as a pair, not as a outsider – so the least I can do is to help, bringing some models to enter the contest and also to fill the SIG stand. This and the fact that I will meet friends again, is a driver for a years work!

Most prized award ever won
Q. Which has been the most prized, or precious, award you have won? Note that this need not be the most prestigious award you have won.

A. "A “Museu de Marinha” award, given at ModelTroia Contest (2003). The fact that a known Naval Museum recognizes your work, makes you feel good."

Favourite modelling things
Q. Tell us about your all time favourite modelling things. Examples of these may include tools, reference materials, or particular ship or ship model kits. Basically anything related to ship modelling.

A. "In two phases:
1 - Internet and Credit Card;
2 – EtchMate and Superglue

I'll explain: The internet and the credit card, because it allows you to buy those weird things that a dozen of years ago you would not even heard about - very powerfull tools that you need to use with a powerfull brain. Models, books, tools and supplies are just a step away from your home.
The EtchMate really helped my difficulties with PE Parts and the Superglue a blessing to someone used to use Britfix and Humbrol and Revell cements and when a resin model apeared home as a birthday present, problems and issues occured - it was my double discovery period: resin models and cyanoacrilate glue - a very powerfull tool, if used with moderation.

Favourite modelling purchase/ship kit
Q. Tell us about your all-time favourite modelling purchase or ship model.

A.It is a difficult choice, they are all favourites, they are all needed!

Best recent modelling/ship kit purchase
Q. Tell us about the best modelling or ship kit purchase you have made recently.

A. "Kombrig’s 1/700 Proj 1134 Admiral Makarov (Kresta II) – one of those that will be in the cabinet “My Navy Days”.

How do you evaluate the present situation of the ship kit and its future?
Q. What is your assessment of the current state of the ship kit industry and its future?

A. "Ship modellers should be happy! At no time we had such offer, by big companies (injection) and by small companies (resin). If there was one of those, there will be certainly a model of it – and if not, it’s a question of time. And it’s not only the quantity of the offering, is the quality!
More and more the way of surviving in this difficult world of ship models is to have products with outstanding quality, and the ship modeller is getting that! Another sign that this area is going at full speed ahead is that some of the smaller navies ships are being produced and at last, I have a Portuguese Navy Frigate from my days to make."

Q. If you were allowed to paint or build a ship kit of any naval vessel, any time frame, nationality, etc., what would it would be? And why?

A. "Some of the late 30’s and 40’s Portuguese Navy Destroyers and smaller vessels – they are unique and also beautiful ships!"

Q.If you were allowed to build and paint only one ship for the next year; which one it would be? And why?

A. "Tough question, and a tough answer:
I’ll tell you on December 31st 2008"

Ship modelling “no no’s”
Q. Tell us about what you consider being the all-time modelling “no no’s”. In other words what no respectable ship modeller should ever do.

A."To ignore or not to answer to other ship modeller question, and also as bad, to criticise for the pleasure of poiting errors, not to be constructive."

Ship Modelling secret
Q.Go on, tell us one (or two) of your modelling secrets.

A."Patience and perseverance; when in doubt, ask!"
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    Verlinden's 1/32 Chariot Diorama
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    Verlinden's 1/35 Hecht Midget Submarine
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    Verlinden's 1/35 Hecht Midget Submarine
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    NewModelSystem 1/35 SLC 200 Maiale
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    Verlinden's 1/35 Molch Midget Submarine
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    Verlinden's 1/35 Molch Midget Submarine
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    Verlinden's 1/35 Molch Midget Submarine
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    Ironside 1/35 Neger Manned Torpedo with Accurate Armour Korveten Kapitan Figurine
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    Ironside 1/35 Neger Manned Torpedo with Accurate Armour KK Figurine (detail)
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    Verlinden's 1/35 Seehund Midget Submarine - my first midget sub and the beggining of a long story!
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    Verlinden's 1/35 Seehund Midget Submarine detail
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    Verlinden's 1/35 Seehund Midget Submarine
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    MidshipModels 1/700 USS Cassin DD372 (1943 fit)
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    MidshipModels 1/700 USS Cassin DD372 (1943 fit)
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    MidshipModels 1/700 USS Cassin DD372 (1943 fit) - one of my current projects and my entry for Leyte Gulf Campaign
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    Verlinden's 1/32 X-Craft Dio
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    Verlinden's 1/32 X-Craft Dio
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    Verlinden's 1/32 X-Craft Dio
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About the Author

About Mark R. Smith (Gunny)

I have been building models of all sorts all of my life, concentrating mainly on the coolest one's when I was younger, but now I focus directly on all military subjects, from armor to warships. After years of counting rivets, I put away the calipers, dial indicators, and micrometers and now just ha...


Very nice collection of midget subs. Also nice interview, insightful, and interesting. I like this feature in our forums, it gives us all a much better view of the person. Rui, it is nice to read more about you and to see your great work.
OCT 28, 2007 - 11:26 PM
Hi guys! You're all very kind And now for some points: To JBA: About the Kazsub and IJN subs, they are already published in MOD features, and since there's a limit in the number of photos To Sean: Yes, you need to finish some models! It's a great sensation to see one of our projects finished - go for it mate! (back to the bench) Rui (aka Skipper)
OCT 29, 2007 - 12:23 AM
Great stuff Skipper!! Love that Chariot dio...it looks so realistic.
OCT 30, 2007 - 03:16 AM
Thanks Martin The Chariot dio, you may have been photo "conditioned" because it was based on a known WWII photo, which is also the cover of Paul Kemp's Underwater Warriors. This and the X-Craft Dio's were some of the earliest Verlinden products, and also the first naval related items. They have some faults, are in 54mm scale (1/32nd) and the fact that they were made of resin/poliurethane foam made these models being widrawn from VLS catalog. Even with the issues they have, they were fun models to correct, built and paint And as a note for all: some already built Midgets were left off for this Feature: Caproni CB Ko-Hyoteki Pearl Harbour Attack Ko-Hyoteki Sidney Harbour Attack Of course there are more in the stash Thanks again, Martin and all mates Rui (aka skipper)
OCT 30, 2007 - 07:30 AM
Again another nice piece Mark, and an insight into your life and modelling achivements Rui. Thank you both Ciao Luciano
OCT 30, 2007 - 11:51 AM
Thanks Luciano Skipper
OCT 31, 2007 - 12:46 PM
Nice interview Skipper. The models look great.
NOV 01, 2007 - 04:13 AM
Rui I say old chap it appears that you are rather good at this ship modeling lark. Think that should get me first prize in the understatement of the year competition. Great stuff, nice to have the chance to see some of your early or posted before I joined models. Mark (Gunny) and a big thanks to you for putting these profiles together. PeteV
NOV 01, 2007 - 08:47 AM
Thanks Dave - part of the beauty pictured is owed to you! And Peter, allow me to disagree part of your comments - I only try to do my best, but still am away of the "rather good" But I am rather happy that you have enjoyed the models Cheers, Rui
NOV 01, 2007 - 10:28 AM
Hi Rui, Neat interview, your passion for the hobby comes across well. Great collecton of mini subs and excellent work on the kits, great stuff. Thanks for sharing and have fun. Al
NOV 16, 2007 - 09:02 PM