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MSW Artist Profile~Rob Kernaghan

UK Artist/Modeler Mr. Rob Kernaghan is the focus on a new MSW feature, the "MSW Artist Profile"

The Model Shipwrights (http://modelshipwrights.kitmaker.net/) Artist Profile is an interview with artists of the ship modelling world. These artists may include sculptors and painters; commercial and private modellers; well-known and lesser-known artists. Whoever they may be, the artists featured in Model Shipwrights Artist Profile are highly respected members of our global community; people who have greatly influenced our world in their own way. As we honour these artists with this humble Q&A and photo feature, they honour us by sharing a piece of their world.

About me…

Q. [Tell us a bit about yourself. Your age? Where do you live? Married? Kids? Your job? Your other hobbies and interests?]

A. "I am 35, been married for 8 years (no kids) and live in Sussex. Job-wise I am a financial trader. Other interests include football, music and visiting historic places."

More Q&A

Earliest modelling moment
Q. [Tell us about both your earliest modelling moment, and your earliest ship modelling moment.]

A. "I first remember “helping” my older brother make a model aircraft when I was about 5.
My first ship was possibly a Heller Arromanches when I was about 8. Can’t remember much about it other than it was absolutely tiny."

Do you remember the first time ship subjects appealed to you?
Q. [Tell us about when ship modelling in general, starting appealing to you above other modelling genres.]

A. "From when I was about 15, I would occasionally build one of the big Airfix or Revell sailing ships. I started building ships and nothing but ships after seeing the film Pearl Harbor at the cinema. Before that I built either 1/35 armour or 54mm Napoleonic figures. I have not built an aircraft in about 14 years and never built a truck or car kit."

Who or what inspires your ship modelling?
Q. [Tell us who, what or where do you draw your ship modelling inspiration from? This may include reference books, other artists, etc.]

A. Conway’s Fighting Ships. I look through it until I find a subject I like the look of. As regards other artists, I follow the work of Messrs Baumann, Fulgoney, Cicconi, McCabe and Potter who are all friends of mine."

The best thing about ship modelling
Q. [Tell us about what, in your opinion, is the best thing about ship modelling.]

A."A great way of relaxing and (I hope this doesn’t sound pretentious) of expressing yourself."

The worst thing about ship modelling
Q. [Tell us about what, in your opinion, is the worst thing about ship modelling.]

A. "Modelling disasters, such as dropping a nearly-finished piece of work and having to rebuild it."

Favourite modelling era/period
Q. [Tell us about your all time favourite modelling era/period. Why do you prefer this period above others?]

A. "Probably late 19th/early 20th Century as ships seemed to have more character to them back then."

Favourite modelling competition to enter
Q. [Over the years, which has been your favourite competition to have entered? And why?]

A. "None. Why compete with my hobby? Ultimately I build for my sake only and have enough to compete with in real life."

Most prized award ever won
Q. [Which has been the most prized, or precious, award you have won? Note that this need not be the most prestigious award you have won.]

A. "Would not want an award. The hobby itself is reward enough."

Favourite modelling things
Q. [Tell us about your all time favourite modelling things. Examples of these may include tools, reference materials, or particular ship or ship model kits. Basically anything related to ship modelling.]

A. "In terms of tools, I tend to use a fairly basic toolkit of scissors, side cutters, steel ruler, scalpel, pinvice, tweezers and sandpaper. One thing I have found is that you can spend a lot of money on an elaborate tool kit then hardly use more than the basic stuff.

I am a great fan of using artists’ paints so make great use of gouache, oils and heavy-body acrylics along with the more conventional modelling paints.

I also have a fairly extensive library of nautical books."

Favourite modelling purchase/ship kit
Q. [Tell us about your all-time favourite modelling purchase or ship model.]

A. "Can’t narrow it down to one. I would include the following amongst the list:

Khrabri (Combrig), HMS Roberts (HP), USS Newport (JAG), HMS Orion (Combrig), Avrora (Combrig), HMS Bluebell (WEM) etc "

Best recent modelling/ship kit purchase
Q. [Tell us about the best modelling or ship kit purchase you have made recently.]

A. "Possibly a 1931 Nagato (Waveline) "

How do you evaluate the present situation of the ship kit and its future?
Q. [What is your assessment of the current state of the ship kit industry and its future?]

A. " I think the situation looks healthy indeed, but we will always want more. Whilst there is a demand for more kits, we will see new releases for the foreseeable future. I think the key is to encourage more modellers to participate."

If you could paint or build a ship subject, what would it would be?
Q. [If you were allowed to paint or build a ship kit of any naval vessel, any time frame, nationality, etc., what would it would be? And why?]

A. "Something I have not seen or heard of anyone else doing before. I like originality."

If you were allowed to build only one ship for the next year, which one it would be?
Q. [If you were allowed to build and paint only one ship for the next year; which one it would be? And why?]

A. "Only one? Probably be Ark Royal IV. My Mum attended the launch of this ship."

Ship modelling “no no’s”
Q. [Tell us about what you consider being the all-time modelling “no no’s”. In other words what no respectable ship modeller should ever do.]

A. "Never stop learning and don’t take yourself too seriously."

Ship modelling secret...
Q. [Go on, tell us one (or two) of your modelling secrets.]

A. "I build what I want and how I want to build it. I don’t think there is a “wrong” way of doing anything. Above all, I build to relax and because I like building model ships."
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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...


Awesome interview Gunny.
JUL 06, 2007 - 09:39 AM
I didn't think I'ld like it, but not only did I enjoy the pictures, I really enjoyed reading the article. I especially like his opinions about competitions. I know here in Dallas, some of the competition classes get down right ugly when the results are announced. I'm glad I withdrew from doing that....not that i was any big prize winner, I did win a 3rd and a 2nd once, and to be honest, I am glad that so many like to compete as I get to look at their stuff.
JUL 06, 2007 - 10:30 AM
very good idea Mark ! one thing: italic letters are hard to read on a screen . As for Rob's stuff, beyond any comment i suppose Another of these great modelers that are building just the right period of history
JUL 07, 2007 - 12:13 AM
Hi Jean~Bernard! Take a look at the article again, mate...I do believe that I was in the midst of a re-edit, at the same time that you were straining your eyes to the italics!! ~Gunny
JUL 07, 2007 - 12:58 AM
Hi all, Ain`t you the lucky ones, I tried to read the article and all I got was the following message:- You are not authorised to view that article Some one trying to tell me some thing, if so just come out with it, I assume that in time some one will prove it was my mistake, and yes I was logged in. Think I`ll go back to modeling aircraft (LOL) PeteV
JUL 07, 2007 - 04:19 AM
Gunny, When I click on the link I get a message that I'm not authorized to view the article. Any idea why Tom
JUL 07, 2007 - 04:31 AM
Everything looks ok on this end, mates, give it another go...I gave the article a facelift this morning, maybe it was in the "upload" stage when you were trying to view it...
JUL 07, 2007 - 05:37 AM
So Mr. Smith, YOU admit it, it WAS all YOUR fault. You will never know how happy you have made me, for once some thing to do with a Bl***y computer screwed up and it WAS NOT MY FAULT, Diane pull the cork from that bottle of 22 year old single malt, Oh how happy you have made me. I`m H. A. P. P. Y, I`m H. A. P. P. Y, I know I am I`m sure I am I`m H. A. P. P. Y, PeteV
JUL 07, 2007 - 10:25 AM
Terrific idea Mark. Hope we'll more of these.
JUL 07, 2007 - 09:58 PM
Ahoy. Pat, Welcome to the salty side of KitMaker, mate! Thanks for the thumbs up, mate, I hope to make this a regular feature here at MSW... Cheers! ~Mark
JUL 07, 2007 - 10:14 PM