One of the best models I’ve ever seen — albeit, never in person — is Diego Quijano's 1/72 Fujimi F/A-18A Hornet. It’s one of the handful of models I’ve seen over the years that’s remained in the front of my mind and serveed as an example of the qualities that I try to incorporate into my own work. The model reflects Diego’s diverse talents, and I can think of few modelers who attain this level of excellence.
Here’s what inspires me about Diego's modeling.
Years ago an early mentor of mine pointed out that modelers tend to reside somewhere between engineer and artist. That is, we tend to be really good at building and detailing models, or we tend to be really good at painting and weathering them. Few modelers do both exceptionally well, but Diego is one of them.
Diego understands composition. He’s not always content to display his models on a flat base. He’s willing to take risks by displaying models in extreme vignettes, such as his Shades of Death, as only one example.
Diego builds science fiction. Check out his Jedi Fighter and you’ll see that it’s not hard to imagine him building models for a Hollywood studio.
Of course it’s with aircraft that Diego truly excels. In addition to the F-18, the natural metal finish of his 1/48 Fw-190, about as realistic as I've ever seen in scale, is further evidence of his skill.
And the best thing is, Diego doesn’t keep any of his techniques secret! He’s published five books that explain his techniques, an investment that’s probably worth everything that you’ll learn, particularly if you’re new to the hobby. He also has a Facebook page, but don't send him a friend request; he seems to have reached the software-imposed limit on maximum friends.
Someday I hope to meet him.
My thanks to Diego for allowing me to use one of the photo of his F-18.
Read more about other inspiring modelers.