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General Ship Modeling
Discuss modeling techniques, experiences, and ship modeling in general.
Artist Profile~Jean-Bernard Andre
Pennsylvania, United States
Joined: July 13, 2004
KitMaker: 6,705 posts
ModelGeek: 918 posts
Posted: Wednesday, February 13, 2008 - 03:25 PM UTC
Ahoy Mates!

I am pleased to present to you now, our next installment in the "MSW Artist Profile" series, this time, a one-to-one conversation with MSW crew-mate, contributor, and diorama artist extraordinaire, Jean-Bernard Andre!

Link to Item

If you have comments or questions please post them here.

North Carolina, United States
Joined: February 22, 2002
KitMaker: 11,718 posts
ModelGeek: 3,131 posts
Posted: Wednesday, February 13, 2008 - 04:05 PM UTC
Great to see JB featured. He's quite an inspiration and a great talent.
New Jersey, United States
Joined: January 05, 2005
KitMaker: 2,185 posts
ModelGeek: 219 posts
Posted: Wednesday, February 13, 2008 - 04:25 PM UTC
Well written and answered, Gunny and Jean.

What I like about all of Jeans work is his ability to present a scene in time as an artist would put on canvas. His ability to do this in 3D is just the first thing that allures me to his work.

The second thing is the scene that no photographer has ever taken a picture of. Things that happened in history that have no photographic record. The ghostly, sometimes eerie aspect of man, machines and the times.

All aspects of his work are always well represented, painting, color choice, terrain, figures, and subject matter. All blend and give proof that a picture is worth a thousand words.

All in all, I'm glad to have met Jean on this site. To have interacted with him in the forums and through pm's and to have Jean as a friend and fellow modeler.

The wedding is this September, l.o.l.
Jean, keep amazing and intriguing us with your work !!!!!
Aarhus, Denmark
Joined: July 18, 2003
KitMaker: 3,377 posts
ModelGeek: 409 posts
Posted: Wednesday, February 13, 2008 - 04:30 PM UTC
Nice reading, Im a huge fan of your work ! - i really like the allmost surrealistic use of colours and compositions to create a dreamlike mix of reality and sci-fi. Nice use of light settings for your photos too.

Joined: July 03, 2007
KitMaker: 3,529 posts
ModelGeek: 318 posts
Posted: Wednesday, February 13, 2008 - 05:33 PM UTC

JB is a definite artist, he even speaks like an artist. I love his description of pre-dreadnaught ships. To say I am impressed with his work is an understatement.

Glenn, you hit the nail on the head, JB makes those images a photographer never would or could take.

Gunny, thanks for the profile and JB thank you for your time and your beautiful work.

California, United States
Joined: February 09, 2002
KitMaker: 1,726 posts
ModelGeek: 285 posts
Posted: Wednesday, February 13, 2008 - 07:27 PM UTC
One of my all time favorite Diorama "Artists" if not thee favorite. Each new diorama is so unique and interesting it really establishes JBA's dioramas as works of art.
Kudos for a good interview and article

Ontario, Canada
Joined: September 15, 2005
KitMaker: 1,901 posts
ModelGeek: 242 posts
Posted: Wednesday, February 13, 2008 - 08:18 PM UTC
I'm absolutely speechless..., Jean-Bernard, your work is on a level of its own.

I have to second Jan's comments, his compositions, although based on history, border on sci-fi-gothic themes. JB's dreamy man-machine interactions convey a creativity that few top sci-fi writers achieve. To be able to conceive these masterpieces is talent,... to be able to sculpt and paint it, is priceless.

thank you Mark for presenting, and thank you Jean-Bernard for your many talents,

England - East Anglia, United Kingdom
Joined: August 12, 2005
KitMaker: 14,499 posts
ModelGeek: 374 posts
Posted: Wednesday, February 13, 2008 - 09:38 PM UTC
Hi JB,

I like you perspective and the standard of your work is beyond question. A great inspiration to all. You mention you cannot model smoke, fire and smell yet your dios evoke a real sense of reality, the sound and smell of the sea and of the realtionship between your figures and the elements, alowing the scene to tell the story to the viewer.

It's been a pleasure watching your dios develop, you're level of skill and imagination take shape, turning what can be viewed from as a hobby to an art form of extremely high and thoughtful quality.

It's also been a pleasure in getting to know you, always enjoy our conversations and the real feedback that you give.

The little fellow looks like he's getting to the stage where things might need moving higher!!! lol, lol. Good luck to you and you family an thanks for sharing a bit more about you.


Louisiana, United States
Joined: April 13, 2005
KitMaker: 5,422 posts
ModelGeek: 144 posts
Posted: Wednesday, February 13, 2008 - 10:09 PM UTC

Your work is some the best I have ever seen. When looking at it, it doesn't come off as a model or even a diorama but more like and illustration or a fine piece of artwork.

Thank you for sharing.
New Jersey, United States
Joined: January 19, 2005
KitMaker: 574 posts
ModelGeek: 6 posts
Posted: Wednesday, February 13, 2008 - 11:24 PM UTC
I think Gator put it best. Simply amazing work.
Lisboa, Portugal
Joined: February 28, 2002
KitMaker: 5,182 posts
ModelGeek: 219 posts
Posted: Wednesday, February 13, 2008 - 11:55 PM UTC
Well, this could start to look like a "here it goes again" and it is!
Jean-Bernard André's masterpieces are those kind of works that you can't stop looking at, and mainly, it transmit you feelings and sensations!
It could be despair, it can be madness, sadness or just some kind of rage... As have been said, these are like paintings in 3D, that you can see all around and discover new angles and new sensations.

These are some of the best diorama masterpieces that I have seen, with the bonus for the viewer of knowing that they are all scratchbuilt - just the cherry on top of the cake!

Congratulations Jean-Bernard and thank you so much for sharing your works with us
Thanks Mark

Cheers from a FAN of JBA
Rui (aka Skipper)
England - South West, United Kingdom
Joined: May 11, 2006
KitMaker: 172 posts
ModelGeek: 1 posts
Posted: Thursday, February 14, 2008 - 02:02 AM UTC
Well Jean-Bernard André,

What can I add to the already well deserved accolades, unfortunately very little, every thing that I would have thought about saying or wish I could have thought to say has already been put down by the other fellows.

I can only say that I agree with all the above comments. We have spoken, if that is the correct term, on many occasions and I think you know how much I admire your work, in particular you must know how highly I hold your ability to model what I believe is the hardest element WATER, you my friend do it so well that I often think one could wiggle ones finger in it and create ripples or if I looked hard enought I would see fish swim pass.

Well done


Wales, United Kingdom
Joined: December 31, 2004
KitMaker: 219 posts
ModelGeek: 0 posts
Posted: Thursday, February 14, 2008 - 03:16 AM UTC
Quite simply Jean-Bernard, you just come across as a nice guy. very imaginative models too, I like the way you find an element of the hobby to suit your own needs and budget.

Pennsylvania, United States
Joined: April 25, 2007
KitMaker: 157 posts
ModelGeek: 0 posts
Posted: Thursday, February 14, 2008 - 03:59 AM UTC
Thanks for sharing your excellent craftsmanship with us! I especially like your perspective on the pre-dreadnoughts!
England - South East, United Kingdom
Joined: November 23, 2007
KitMaker: 426 posts
ModelGeek: 0 posts
Posted: Thursday, February 14, 2008 - 01:00 PM UTC
Certainly a portrait of the artist as a genius, and a very interesting set of suggestions (not rules) to follow. There's a lot to learn and J-B A can certainly teach by example of his work.

Peter F
Rhone, France
Joined: November 04, 2005
KitMaker: 1,845 posts
ModelGeek: 114 posts
Posted: Thursday, February 14, 2008 - 04:18 PM UTC
Oh wow, my friends, so much compliments! i ain't dead yet!!
Glenn no problem for the wedding if you do the Cajun food!
About SF and stuff.. I think I stopped doing some regular military dioramas or even regular SF stuff (the games workshop stuff) when i realized that it didn't mean anything about my life.
I'm a not an ex soldier nor I am an orc or a dwarf. So as I needed a way to express myself with those bits of plastic, I choose to be totally uncompromising about my ideas and tried to force-enter my own little history into History if I may say so. I like the idea that my stuff is completely borderline, not real history, certainly not well mapped Science Fiction.
What i really want is that guys who like an accurate XIXth century torpedo boat could like what they see, because whatever the way i mess with the stuff, I always use the best sources thanks to all my friends in forums. I'd like the guys into SF to see the eerie atmosphere i try to create -and finally I'd like the girls to like the stuff because in most of my dioramas, because I try there could be some romantic edge to the stuff.
Of course by trying to play on all those points, i may be able to please to no-one, but not yet it seems

for the Pre-dreadnought fans. What incredible years of experimentation! here's a postcard of the Charles Martel of Bob's fame i have been buying, it *does* look like the engineer was supercharged when he designed her!

Al, indeed most of my dioramas are in the garden shed these days
thanks once more my friends
New Jersey, United States
Joined: January 05, 2005
KitMaker: 2,185 posts
ModelGeek: 219 posts
Posted: Friday, February 15, 2008 - 04:20 PM UTC
To laugh at ones embarrassment through their faults or handicaps,........... is a sin.

To laugh at ones embarrassment from well deserved praise and recognition on their hard work and achievements, ............. well , now that's pretty dam funny.

These sentiments were not given lightly, we love your work and ideas - keep them coming.

Edit: Ahh speaking of the garden shed. I've just been elected to give up my modeling room and have been given the smallest room in the house.
My daughter just recently turned 13 and decided she wants her room back. Since my last post on the freighter, nothing has been accomplished - I've been switching rooms !!!!!!!
New Jersey, United States
Joined: October 18, 2007
KitMaker: 1,698 posts
ModelGeek: 9 posts
Posted: Friday, February 15, 2008 - 11:00 PM UTC
Ditto all that was said above..this is not modelling, but art... his grasp of 3D space is simple outstanding.. bookmarked for future enjoyment!
South Australia, Australia
Joined: March 28, 2005
KitMaker: 353 posts
ModelGeek: 6 posts
Posted: Saturday, February 16, 2008 - 11:56 AM UTC
It's all been said so well here - your work is emotional, interesting, and 3D...real scenes, whether real or hyper-real/surrealistic. Stunning on so many levels...truly "artist" and not modeler. Superb!

Also enjoyed "meeting" you, a pleasure.

Rhone, France
Joined: November 04, 2005
KitMaker: 1,845 posts
ModelGeek: 114 posts
Posted: Sunday, February 17, 2008 - 03:52 PM UTC
James and Wink, thanks for the additional comments
i think i am going to print all these and pin them in duh, my garden shed actually. I can't sniff glue inside the house anymore
Glenn as long as your new modelling room is bigger than your dioramas all is well!

*edit* all the pic on the interview thing are from dioramas done between 1992 (the guy with the balloons) and 2007 (the Sokol). So that's quite a great span of time!

thanks again all of your
California, United States
Joined: December 19, 2004
KitMaker: 2,870 posts
ModelGeek: 673 posts
Posted: Sunday, February 17, 2008 - 08:44 PM UTC
Thank you, Jean-Bernard. I look forward to being amazed by your works for a long time to come.