I find myself in an unusual position. For the past several months, I have been working away from my computer, away from my “normal” job of graphic design. I have been following a path that I wanted to follow some years ago. Being much younger then, and not really having the contacts or the skills, frankly, I didn’t follow it up.
As you know, as regular readers, I am also a keen modeller. I love to make things, recreating the real world in miniature, but mainly concerning transport. For most of my life I have done this as purely a hobby, but a couple of years ago a chance discussion with a fellow modeller gave me the opportunity to build models for someone other than myself, and be paid for it.
Since that first discussion, I have built a total of seven 1/43rd scale model coaches for my friend (I can’t really call him a client, even though he offers money for my services), with the option of a further coach to come. I realise my friend is really using my services as a shortcut to acquire completed models much more quickly than he can do on his own—and he is no mean modeller in his own right, I have to say. However, the construction of the kits, with extra details and features as required, has been an enjoyable journey, filling in much knowledge of both the real thing and a period I don’t personally model. It also led to offering building services to the maker of the kits, which in turn has led to my first proper commission.
I am going to build three 1/43rd scale model coaches for a total stranger and be paid for it.
I find I am on the path to becoming a proper professional model maker. I find this prospect somewhat exciting, and not a little daunting. I realise this may never turn into a major source of income, so I shall have to continue to seek “proper” paid work, but it’s an interesting turn of events. I am currently working out a portfolio of model work I have done, and plan to design a web site to showcase my work. I didn’t expect to be heading off in this direction last year, I have to say.
The models above were all built by me, from kits supplied by my friend. They represent a selection of the seven coaches I have built so far. I painted the models to the required livery for the period (early 1980s), and my friend completes them by applying the transfers and a little weathering to his own tastes.