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MSW Artist Profile~Jim Baumann

  • "Hard At It"
This months MSW Artist Profile features UK modeler Jim Baumann,join us as he shares his thoughts, and fantastic model subjects with us!

The Model Shipwrights (http://modelshipwrights.kitmaker.net/) Artist Q&A is a monthly site feature. Basically, it’s an interview with artists and modelers of the ship modelling world. Whoever they may be, the artists featured in Model Shipwrights Artist Q&A are all highly respected members of our worldwide community; people who have greatly influenced the hobby overall, all in their own unique way. As we spotlight these artists with this Q&A and photo feature, they return the favor to us by sharing a piece of their own private world."

Q. Jim, tell us a little about yourself, please...

A. "I live on the South-coast of England, halfway between Southampton and Portsmouth; plenty of maritime inspiration right on the doorstep!"

"I am the proprietor of a small business manufacturing canvas covers and canopies for motorboats and sailing yachts-with the assistance of five sewing machinists and a fitter. I live with my better half Katrin and our 13-month-old daughter, sharing our household with three cats and 100 plus model ships in glass cases…."

"In my spare time-other than making model ships- I enjoy Kite buggying along the hard sand beaches of Wales in the UK. I own two classic cars which live in a dehumidified garage which I drive whenever the weather and the model boatbuilding schedule permits!"

Q. Tell us about both your first modeling experience, and your first ship modeling experience...

A. "It all started with the Kontiki—balsa raft—replicated in a primitive way-scratch built!-by me a as an eight year old child-moving on to models of racing yachts and paddle-steamers copied of the real thing found on the lake,- at my then home-Zurich in Switzerland."

"Discovered bi-planes—but before the days of CA and adult patience it was a fraught experience…--many an Airfix 1/72 Tiger Moth and Sopwith Camel ended with very flat wings… First model ship in plastic was Airfix HMS Shannon—mini sailing ship-followed by 1/600 HMS Iron Duke—my love of the ram bow was born!"

Q. Now Jim, when was the first time ship subjects as a preferred genre appealed to you?

A. "After the Airfix Iron Duke inevitably came the Airfix Warspite, followed closely by Cutty Sark and HMS Victory in a variety of scales and manufacturers—I vividly recall building the Aurora Seawitch Clipper kit—I recently re-purchased the same kit from e-bay-for purely Nostalgic reasons!

Q. Where do you draw your ship building inspirations from, Jim?

A. "I always strive to make my model look like the old photographs I so enjoy looking at in old postcards and those great books by RA Burt"

Q. Tell us about what, in your opinion, is the very best thing about ship modeling in general...

A. "I derive the greatest pleasure not so much from the building-though that is an essential component—but from the HAVING—I enjoy being surrounded by my models—and enjoy making comparisons with the various eras and designs of ships of which I have built models."

"In the actual model making side I enjoy the rigging aspect most of all!"

Q. OK Jim, now tell us about what, in your opinion, is the worst thing about ship modeling?

A. "I loathe the actual initial construction stage—the stage at which one realizes how much has to be cut away before one is able to make tangible progress."

Q. What is your all time favorite modeling era/period, Jim, and why?

A. "Most definitely the period of experimentation—the mix of sail and steam is wonderful, followed very closely by Pre-dreadnoughts of all nations..."

Q. Of all of the modeling related awards that you have won, which one of these is the most important to you?

A. "Probably being able to scoop the top prize of senior national Champion at Telford Scaleworld this year-it was great to have the aviation, AFV and figure judges et al being unanimous that my ship model deserved the honor."

Q. Jim, please take some time now and tell us about some of your favorite modeling "things"...tools, reference materials, a particular ship or ship model kits.

A. "Having a second PC on my model workbench-linked up by a wireless router to the main PC- is invaluable for zooming in and out of old pictures to glean the last tiny detail. This is followed closely by my Optivisor-it has vastly sharpened up my model making-in conjunction with daylight bulbs—plenty of them!"

Q. What is your all time, number one, modeling acquisition, or most favorite ship kit that you've built?

A. "My most favorite ship kit so far has to be White Ensign Models 1/700 HMS Queen Elizabeth 1918...Beautifully mastered-and a real pleasure to build!

Q. What's your best or most recent ship kit purchase?

A. "Some more of the obscure French pre-Dreadnoughts—Charles Martel, Carnot etc...Along with a rather snazzy Kellogs Cornflakes model of the SRn4 Hovercraft…"

Q. OK, mate, time to get a little deep...What are your thoughts, opinions, and overall evaluation(s) of the ship kit industry?

A. "I think the ‘youth of today’ will come full circle—and join the hobby as adults—as newcomers rather than people having a renaissance of their old hobby."

"This will be good news for the smaller producers of resin kits—adults have more money to spend-the larger plastic manufacturers will continue to chase the bigger sales-US carriers, IJN Battleships etc..."

Q. Jim, if you could build one ship model, any ship, what would it be (May or may not be available in kit form!) And why?

A. "I reckon it would have to be the Italian Lepanto Pre-dreadnought—one has to love a giant of a ship with six funnels-no kit as yet… a close second would have to be the Victorian HMS Agincourt or Minotaur.. RN Black fleet sail and steam battleships—with five fully sail rigged masts…

Q. What, in your opinions, would be the all-time modeling “no no’s" ?...

A. "Cats and children unsupervised in my model room!!"

Q. OK, mate, now tell us one (or more!) of your own modeling secrets...

A. "No real secrets—just keep looking at photos—plans often tell partial untruths—always check photos. Establish a time period for your model- ships often changed in their careers—always verify the dates of photos—all to easy to end up building an amalgam of periods in a ship—which may well be decorative-but will be inviting commentary…"
  • Img_4636
  • Img_4677
  • Waterlining the Hull!
    Waterlining the Hull!
  • Russian navy Gunboat, Koreeitz
    Russian navy Gunboat, Koreeitz
  • YS Masterpieces USS BROOKLYN
    YS Masterpieces USS BROOKLYN
  • YS Masterpieces USS BROOKLYN
    YS Masterpieces USS BROOKLYN
  • 1/700 HMS Royal Oak (WSW)
    1/700 HMS Royal Oak (WSW)
  • The HogIslander Dio
    The HogIslander Dio
  • Imperial Russian Navy Gunboat Koreeitz
    Imperial Russian Navy Gunboat Koreeitz
  • Kolchida 1917
    Kolchida 1917
  • Saunders Roe 45
    Saunders Roe 45
  • HMS Repulse
    HMS Repulse
  • 1/600 Orient Lines SS Oriana (Revell)
    1/600 Orient Lines SS Oriana (Revell)
  • Saunders Roe 45
    Saunders Roe 45
  • The HogIslander Dio
    The HogIslander Dio
  • Model Maniac!
    Model Maniac!
  • The HogIslander Dio
    The HogIslander Dio
  • Russina Imperial Navy destroyer BOEVOI
    Russina Imperial Navy destroyer BOEVOI
  • HMS Renown
    HMS Renown
  • 1/700 USS Birmingham (Loose Cannon productions)  Portrayed launching Elys P
  • HMS Renown
  • boevoi-13
  • HMS Furious
  • HMS Furious
  • HMS Abercrombie
  • 1/700 HMS Royal Oak (WSW)
  • 1/700 Battleship Tsessaravitch (Kombrig)
  • 1/700 Italian Battleship Dante Alighieri (Delphis)
  • Ekranoplan
  • 1/350 HMS Sheffield (WEM)
  • 1/700 USS Birmingham (Loose Cannon)
  • Saunders Roe 45
  • 1/700 IJN Itsukushima (Modelkrak)
  • 1/700 Russian Armored Cruiser, Gromoboi (Kombrig)
  • Shearwater Hydrofoil

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...


Jim - nice to meet you... I especially loved your "surrounded by models" answer, and for tools, a 2nd PC in the model area - I agree. I am half there, but no wireless router or net connection. (I'm hoping to eventually hook up and camera-up, so my mate in the US and I can model together at the same time, like back in high-shool (around a card table!) Your comments on photos vs plans was excellent, a good lesson for us all. And speaking of photos, love your work. The Hog island dio especially, and the Imperial Russian, but really, all detailed, and alive and real... and excellent water!
MAR 11, 2008 - 11:12 PM
Jim, thank you for sharing with us. You projects are great. The WIG aircraft are something you don’t see very often, neither is a hydrofoil on its foils. I also agree with the photo over plan comment. Sometimes a little research can go a long way. Thank you again!
MAR 11, 2008 - 11:42 PM
What? no "Sinking of the Szent Istvan"? That's my prefered of Jim's works! Jim's boats were certainly missing from the Artists profile series, so thanks Mark for bringing that one out - What a great trip through 150 years of the History of the ship.. Alongside a few surprises like The Ekranoplane (is it the right way to write?) What's pretty good is that all those pics and this absolutely perfect work give an idea of the kind of infinite ship modelers can dream to reach..
MAR 12, 2008 - 02:07 AM
Yes it was fun and very enjoyable feature to read and especially to look! Knowing Jim in person, one thing that the reading don't show, is that Jim is a very good person (apart from being an excellent ship modeler)! Friendly, always helpful, open minded, he would go the extra mile for help others. Jim as also the credit of being a modeler that has united ship modelers from every corner of the world - see my tag line and you will understand how important this is to me!!! We should have no limit of photos in Artist Profiles Thanks Jim Thanks Mark Rui
MAR 12, 2008 - 04:01 AM
I love the historical diversity in Jim's collection. It's as if Jim is trying to recreate every step of naval development over the last 200 years. As far as the quality of the collection, it is beautiful and inspiring. I look forward to your future builds. Thank you Mark, and thank you Jim, Frank
MAR 12, 2008 - 10:44 AM
I've always admired Jim's work. He always shares his techniques with everyone and helps anyone who asks for his assistance. He's one of the best builders around, and also one of the nicest people around at the same time!
MAR 13, 2008 - 10:29 AM
hello Mark, Thank you for the profile on Jim Baumann.He is a true master of Ship Modeling.Loved all the models,it shows me what i can do if i keep at it. cheers, Bruce
MAR 13, 2008 - 11:19 AM
Thank you so much for sharing Jim. What a wonderful read and your models are truly inspiring.
MAR 13, 2008 - 11:27 AM
Most incredible work... not only construction of course, but just love that era.... thanks for sharing!
MAR 13, 2008 - 01:13 PM