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MSW Artist Profile~T. Garth Connelly

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"Join me in a one-on-one conversation with Author/Naval Historian (and MSW member!) T. Garth Connelly (TGarthConnelly) in this installment of our "Artist Profile" series."

"The Model Shipwrights (http://modelshipwrights.kitmaker.net/) Artist Q&A is a monthly feature. It’s an interview with various artists of the ship modelling world. These artists may include sculptors and painters; commercial and private modellers; well-known and lesser-known artists.

Whomever they may be, the artists featured in Model Shipwrights Artist Q&A are highly respected members of our global community; people who have greatly influenced our world in their own way. As we honor these artists with this Q&A and photo feature, they in turn, honor us by sharing a piece of their own world."

Q. Hi Garth, please tell us about yourself, mate...Your age, where do you live, Married, Kids, Occupation, Other hobbies and interests?

A. "Well, I’m 48, I was born and raised and still live in Ellington, CT. I’m not married and I don’t have any children, except for three Siamese cats named Yo Ming, Kato and Kekko.

Right now, I am between jobs as they say, I was a Senior Claim Analyst with a large insurance company. I’d like to return to that job or find a similar position elsewhere. So, for the moment, I say that I’m a Naval Historian and author whenever I’m asked what I do. Collecting scale models and writing books and poetry are my hobbies, as is boating; I own a 15 foot speedboat. Other interests are Star Trek, Star Gate: SG-1, Classic Rock from the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, NASCAR, investigating the Paranormal (ghosts)."

"I am a Naval Historian... I have written three books since 1994. They are PT BOATS IN ACTION, VOSPER MTBs IN ACTION, and I've co-authored SCHNELLBOOT IN ACTION. I have also written several articles that have appeared in MODEL SHIP BUILDER, SHIPS IN SCALE, MODEL SHIP JOURNAL and the International Plastic Modelers' Society's MODELERS JOURNAL since 1996. I was awarded the 2000 Clean Sweep Award by the Veterans Association known as PT BOATS, INCORPORATED because of my continuing effort to promote the history of PT boats in World War II."

"I am very pleased to announce that Squadron is having me revamp my PT BOATS IN ACTION book and the revamp will include rare color photos. Watch for more news on this as it develops."

If you building a model of a:
PT, MTB, MGB, SC, PTGB, Schnellboot, WPB, or a modern Fast Attack Craft (specifically the Vosper Thorneycroft designed PERESKA Class), I can help!

We can discuss costs. If I have the data which you desire at hand, I will happy to share it at no cost to you, however, if I need to acquire the data elsewhere, I will ask to be reimbursed for my out-of-pocket expenses and a small consulting fee.

Q. OK, now tell us about both your first modeling experience, and your first ship modeling experience?

A. "That’d be watching my older brother build me a Revell PT-109 and PT-73 as a small boy, and it was down hill since then."

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

A. "Photos, books … movies."

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

A. "The after-market goodies for sure!"

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

A. "No more PT boat kits in 1:72. Also, the rivet counter sect …"

Q. Please tell us about your all time favorite modeling era/period and why so?

A. "From 1939-45. For the PT boats, of course!"

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

A. "Well, that’d be when Bob Cicconi won Third at MOSQUITOCON with my Italeri PT-596 and took a Bronze at the 2008 IPMS Nationals with my Revell U-84 …"

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

A. "My favorite models are:
My USS Icefish converted from Revell’s USS Lionfish by Bob Cicconi.
My PT-171 built from Revell of Germany’s PT-117 by Alex Johnson.
My U-84 converted from Revell’s U-84 by Bob Cicconi.
My PT-556 built from Revell’s PT-109 complete with a totally scratch-built Elco “Thunderbolt” quad-20mm Mark 15 mount by Ernie Webber.
My Spitfire Mk.Vc in USAAF markings by Gary Barr.
My F-4E Phantom II with home-made nose-art decals and my name (as a ‘Major’) under the canopy by Brett Vecchirelli."

Q. Garth, what is your all time, number one, modeling acquisition, or most favorite ship kit ever?
A. "That’d be Revell’s PT-109. Why? Do you need to ask? C’mon!"

Q. What's your best or most recent ship kit purchase?
A. "My best? None stand out … My most recent? That’d be the USCGC Roger B. Taney that I made a trade with Keith Bender for. I’d like to have that model built up as the USCGC Campbell as she appeared in mid-1944."

Q. Time to get a little deep...What are your thoughts, opinions, and overall evaluation(s) of the ship kit industry?
A. "I think the prices are getting way too high and the companies are too focused on the big ships. Italeri did, however, released the PT boat and the Schnellboot, but did them in 1:35 scale, thereby because of the lengths of the real boats, making the models (a) a bit too big for shelves and (b) acquiring after-market stuff like extra 20mm guns and the like nearly impossible to find."
"Also, the PE frets offered for those kits cost almost as much as the kits. The companies wonder why sales are stale or declining? Maybe if they lower the prices, modelers would buy more."

Q. If you could model one ship, any ship, what would it be (May or may not be available in kit form!) And why?
A. "That’d be a Huckins PT-95 Class PT boat. Why? No one ever has."

Q. Good answer! Now, what, in your opinions, would be the all-time modeling “no no’s”
A. "Like Dr. Ross said; sloppy researching … and passing it on. Also, those ‘experten’ out there who are resistant to new information and who criticize the person bringing it forth."

Q. OK, mate, now tell us one (or more!) of your own modeling secrets...
A. "I COULD tell you, but then I’d have to kill you … sorry. They’re classified, eyes-only, need-to-know, hush-hush and all that."

Edit Note; Thanks Garth, great interview!

And for those that haven't had the pleasure, click here to visit Garth's comprehensive website, "PT Boat World, PT Consulting"!
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    U 84, Type VIIB Submarine
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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...


Thanks James - I'm sorry, I know you've told me, but I've forgot - where in CT are you from?
DEC 22, 2008 - 06:40 AM
Hey- I know that psycho! Great interview!
DEC 22, 2008 - 12:35 PM
Depress clutch, downshift Bobby.
DEC 23, 2008 - 03:00 AM
Nice read Garth, thats for participating. I have the Schnellboot book - like it alot, but never made the connection to you - must be getting old Cheers/Jan
DEC 23, 2008 - 06:55 AM
Thank you for the kind words Jan.
DEC 23, 2008 - 10:51 AM
Jan ... Your USS BARB is GORGEOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
DEC 24, 2008 - 02:30 AM
Hi Garth Sorry for the late reply, but the season is making me stay away from the computer! Thank you for sharing a bit of your life and let us know such interesting things about you! If you could only sign my books Thank you Rui
DEC 24, 2008 - 02:55 AM
Well, ... Rui, Tell ya what I'm a-goin' to do fer ya ........... I'll give ya my postal address ... you send me the book(s) and I'll sign it/them for you, OK? My email address is ... [email protected], email me and I'll give you my postal address, OK? That goes for anyone else here as well. Garth
DEC 24, 2008 - 06:01 AM
Southern CT, Fairfield county, about exit 7 on I95 ~ more "NY" than "new england"
DEC 30, 2008 - 06:00 AM
Ah, ... Went to college with girls from Greenwich, New Milford, Shelton and dated a girl from Ansonia ........................ Drop me an email - OK?
DEC 31, 2008 - 07:39 AM