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MSW Artist Profile~Christer Johansson

  • Christer
"The Model Shipwrights (http://modelshipwrights.kitmaker.net/) Artist Q&A is a monthly site feature. Basically, it’s an interview with artists and modelers of the ship modelling world. Whoever they may be, the artists featured in Model Shipwrights Artist Q&A are all highly respected members of our worldwide community; people who have greatly influenced the hobby overall, all in their own unique way. As we spotlight these artists with this Q&A and photo feature, they return the favor to us by sharing a piece of their own private world."

Join me in a One-to-One conversation with crew-mate Christer Johansson, as we pick his brain, and enjoy his builds, in the next "MSW Artist Profile"!

Q. Christer, please tell us a little about yourself?...

A. “I’m 42, live in Linköping with my 4-years old daughter Alma, and our cat Sophie. I am a PhD-student in Sociology, at the University of Linköping, SWEDEN.

My daughter is the major ingredient of the leisure time, with her interests in focus. The rest of my interests, outside the “dark” styrene- and resin stuffed hobby, include self-perceiving exercise and a bit of socializing with close friends. I have to confess that I never watch sports on TV or listen to sports on radio.

Though I tend to stick mainly to figure painting, but I am very interested in ship modelling.”

Q. Please tell us about both, Christer, your very first modeling experience, and also about your first ship modeling experience?...

A. “It was Christmas eve - 1970, I was five years old. The object was AIRFIX: H.M.S. Fearless. The ship was built with no-time of patience, mixed with half a tube of Britfix and just one dark grey colour! The rest of the glue was stuck on the working table or absorbed by the clothes.”

Q. When was the first time ship modeling subjects appealed to you?

A. “It was the H.M.S. Fearless that got me hooked twice, first at the age of five years and then at the age of 35 years.”

Q. Christer, Where do you get most of your ship building inspiration from?

A. “I consume a lot of books, and information on the Internet helps (disturbs) the inspiration.”

Q. Now, Tell us what, in your opinion, is the very best thing about ship modeling?

A. “Ship modelling, in contrast to figure painting, demands a mix of different skills. The skills concerns material such as plastic, resin, and photo-etch (PE) and the painting procedure. On top of that, you have to take care of the ship and position it in an artificial ocean.”

Q. OK, now, on the opposite side of the question, tell us about what, in your opinion, is the worst thing about ship modelling.

A.. “That my cat jumps on the working table!”

Q. Now, what is your all time favorite modeling era/period and why is it so appealing to you?

A. “Modern era! Honestly, I don’t know why! More recently I have developed an interest for WWII models. The Japanese naval vessels appeal me more and more.”

Q. Christer, do you attend and enter model shows/contests? Have you earned or won any awards, and if so, which is the most important?

A. “My adult ship phase was refurbished with the H.M.S. Fearless, again. I entered a local contest and won first price with my precious AIRFIX model. This was the booster for my “wet” dreams that been sleeping for some 30 years.”

Q.Let's take some time now and talk about some of your favorite modeling "things"...tools, reference materials, a particular ship or ship model kits...your choice!

A. “Amphibious assault ships! The mix with the boat, the airplanes, and the men-crew offer you a great possibility to create a non-static scene.”

Q. Ok now, mate, what is your all time most prized ship modeling aquisition, or your most favorite ship kit ever?

A. “LHA-1 USS Tarawa.”

Q. Christer, what's your best or most recent ship kit purchase?

A. “My recent purchase is the H.M.S. Illustrious 1/700 scale from Aoshima! I wanted to pimp-up the carrier for the Taranto-raid 1940, so I got a number of Swordfish planes and some PE from White Ensign Models.”

Q. Ok mate, time to get a little deep...What are your thoughts, opinions, and overall evaluation(s) of the ship kit industry today?

A. “I like the concept with Premium Edition kits from Dragon. You can at least build a respectable ship without having to buy the so needed PE railings and radars. A ship without a proper level of details is nothing more than a toy for me, so the PE is needed. In the short run, I think that the concept with detail enhancement by including PE in the kit is a necessity for all ship manufacturers. Another possibility for the manufacturers is to take ship modelling a step further. Take a look at the armour “Smart kit” series, less PE and more plastic details…”

Q. Christer, If you could build just one ship, any ship, what would it be (May or may not be available in kit form presently) And why this one?

A. “My flat is not that huge, so I always build my ships in 1/700 scale. Large house – large storage = large ship scale. With the storage solved, I would absolutely choose a PE and resin pimped out USS Enterprise, in 1/350 scale from Tamiya.”

Q. What, in your opinion, would be one (or more) of an overall, general modeling "don't do"(s)?...

A. “Any modelling is just a hobby! Don’t take yourself too seriously, it’s just a hobby.”

Q. OK,Christer, last question, mate... now tell us one (or more) of your own modeling secrets?…

A. “Ship modelling is a time consuming hobby and it requires a good mood and a lot of concentration. If you are aware of this, then you are able to enjoy a very creative moment. Ship modelling under a stressful atmosphere is unpleasant.

I think that my interest for other modelling branches such as armour, aircraft and figure has helped my ship modelling technique. I gave each branch a “decent chance” in the beginning of my adult modelling phase, and they gave me perspective on other modelling techniques.
As for now, I try to develop my skills and knowledge “within” the ship modelling branch.”

Edit. note- Thanks Christer!

  • No Guns Allowed Campaign Wrap-up
  • No Guns Allowed Campaign Wrap-up
  • No Guns Allowed Campaign Wrap-up
  • HMS_Fearless_LCU
  • HMS_Liverpool111
  • HMS_Fearless_main
  • HMS_Fearless_center
  • USS_Tarawa_top_front
  • USS_Tarawa_top_back
  • USS_Tarawa_main
  • USS_Tarawa_front
  • SLC_flash_right
  • SLC_flash_main
  • Shimokita_main
  • Shimokita_loading_ramp
  • Shimokita_front
  • Shimokita_bridge
  • Shimokita_back
  • SLC_flash_left
  • SLC_dark_left
  • SLC_dark_front
  • HMS_Liverpool21
  • Mogami_flightdeck1
  • Mogami_bridge1
  • HMS_Liverpool31

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...


Hey Christer Thanks for sharing a little bit of you Nice to know more about you and your interest in Amphibs - just what Kenny is expecting for is GatorNavy Campaign Also, I found your approach to the Maiale Diorama a very interesting one - just when other members are making a similar way, I found your shadowbox very good - Congratulations!! Cheers, Rui PS: The Fearless is also a good one, and even if it is an "older" model, I would like to have a MOD on it
JUN 18, 2008 - 06:09 AM
How true, how true. Thanks for sharing Christer.
JUN 18, 2008 - 06:33 AM
Thanks to Christer for sharing and to Gunny for bringing us this great article. Loved reading it like all the others thus far. Cheers Sean
JUN 18, 2008 - 08:44 AM
It is always nice to see the other side of people. Thank you for sharing a little more with us.
JUN 18, 2008 - 10:15 AM
Thank you Christer for the peek into your dark side! You have a great talent and we're greatful that you choose to share it with us. thanks, Frank
JUN 18, 2008 - 01:43 PM
Thanks guys! It's a nice hobby and it's an honour to be presented in this way. Cheers, Christer
JUN 19, 2008 - 08:32 PM
Thank you Christer, very well done, great modelling philosophy! Cheers
JUN 20, 2008 - 12:13 PM
Nice to meet you Christer. Really like the detail level in your dios, and the layout and presentation, all very well done. And as someone said, great philosophy too! Work towards that "Big E" model!
JUN 20, 2008 - 09:07 PM