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Louis Carabott

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Q. Tell us about yourself. Your age, where do you live, Married, Kids, Occupation, Other hobbies and interests?

I am 63 years old married to my lovely wife Rina. I am retired and used to work as a senior ground operations manager with our National airline Air Malta. I have two grown up sons Ivan, who is married with kids and Michael (incidentally) my hobby didn’t rub off me on them, pity. One is an IT project manager and the other is a newspaper editor. I have two adorable granddaughters, Maria and Sarah who I simply adore, again no chance of my hobby rubbing off there! There’s also Jessie my small cat and I spoil her rotten .I am a dedicated animal lover and will take up arms with anyone who tries to harm any type of creature


Q. Tell us about both your first modeling experience, and your first ship modeling experience.

I was 10 years old. I was introduced to this passion of mine by my beloved Uncle Paul, God bless him. I spent hours in awe watching him create his fantastic models. I started ship modeling about 8 years ago. My first ship was The King George V. I enjoyed that and never looked back.

Q. Where do you draw your ship building inspirations?

I love flat tops, but my goal is to build as many well renowned ships from different countries. I have to live twice over to do that, so many beautiful ships. You see one and forget the other. So, in a nutshell any ship that takes my fancy.

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

A ship is a man made marvel and modeling that gives me such a sense of achievement. The detailing of a ship model is without limit. One can go on and on and that is something. My ship models are in my den and study and I think they really grace the room.

Q. OK, now tell us about what, in your opinion, is the worst thing about ship modeling.

The escalating prices, I am a pensioner and I think most ship models are way over priced. Transporting the models, they are so fragile.

Q. Tell us about your all time favorite modeling era/period and why?

Any era. A ship is a ship it’s an awesome man made creation…present flat tops are awesome and past great battleships are awesome as well.

Q. Of any and all of the modeling related awards that you have won or earned, which one of these is the most important to you?

I won Best in Show twice at the IPMS Nationals in the United Kingdom way back in 95 and 98 and I am very proud of that. They weren’t ship models though…they were aircraft 1/72 scale dioramas with Wartime Malta as a theme. Have only competed once with ships in Sicily and got gold.

Q. Please take a bit of time now and tell us some of your favorite modeling "things"...tools, reference materials, or a particular ship or ship model kits.

I do a lot of research before I start a project which includes reference books, the internet, modelling friends on forums and even sometimes from people who were on the actual ship. I am a hoarder so I never throw anything away! It might come handy someday, so I use any material that is suited for the job. I even use small components from spent motherboards that sometimes do me nicely for extra detail in the model.

I try to get any tool that’s related to modelling but I do have quite a few simple tools which I made myself which are very adapt for ship modelling

Q. What is your all time, number one, modeling acquisition, or most favorite ship kit ever?

Undoubtedly the USS Enterprise, I was given that by my colleagues in a dinner party when I retired, so it’s very special to me. I really went overboard with the detail and reshaping the inaccuracies in the model. It took me two and a half years to complete it.

Q. What's your best or most recent ship kit purchase? Details please!

Airfix HMS illustrious which I am now converting to HMS Invincible during the Falklands conflict in 1982. Tough nut but very rewarding. Apart from the conversion, the kit required a lot of reworking as it is very basic, but that’s the challenge isn’t it? Good value for money though.

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

The prices…they are so expensive and that’s a spoke in the wheel for ship modelling. I really think twice before I buy a kit. That in my opinion doesn’t improve sales. They have really refined the offerings but again way overpriced. They are really shooting themselves in their own feet!

Q. If you could model one ship, any ship, what would it be (May or may not be available in kit form!) And why?

HMS Warspite, no doubt, used to see the old beautiful lady gracing our natural harbor in Malta when I was a kid. She was a real fine lady. One day, One day, I will have a go. My dream is to build it from scratch.

Q. What, in your opinions, would be the all-time modeling “no no’s" ?

I really cannot answer that question. Different modellers like to represent their projects in different ways and I do respect that. So really there’s no ‘no’s’ for me. I appreciate every single model that I see.

Q. OK, mate, now tell us one (or more!) of your own modeling secrets...

I always like to give a bit of make up to my models. It makes the model spring to life. I like a lot of action and activity in my models, more lifelike. Weathering which is totally different to a model’s make up comes later. There is a difference between the two.

Every model that I built has its own story so I use different methods which are applied usually by trial and error. Any a time I airbrushed a model twice and three times over till I got the required shade and highs and lows.

Before I start a model I plan ahead I build and paint my models in different sections…so I can airbrush, shade with ease the nooks and crannies of the whole ship.

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About the Author

About Jim Adams (goldenpony)


A very nice resurfacing of these features! I like them and Louis was (is!!!) a very good ship modeler to be interviewed Thank you Louis for sharing your thoughts with us! Thank you Jim, for airing it! Cheers Rui
MAY 23, 2011 - 03:55 AM
I can only agree 100% with Skipper - good work! Cheers/Jan
MAY 23, 2011 - 03:58 AM
For those who do not Louis, check out the featurs under his profile. He is a very good aviation builder as well.
MAY 23, 2011 - 05:52 AM
Terrific work Louis and thanks for sharing your thoughts. Al
MAY 23, 2011 - 08:22 AM
A great interview! Louis is a great modeler and a nice person also! Anyone who loves animals is good people as far as I'm concerned!
MAY 23, 2011 - 12:31 PM
Are you sure you're 63 my friend, you look much younger, I keep meaning to go back to Malta for a holiday, just haven't got round to it yet. The last time, we stayed at the Sea Bank Hotel, and just over the road was the beach, we did the Blue Lagoon where you take a (very small) boat ride through the cave and out into the sea on the other side, I can't swim, and brown trouser time I kid you not. Many thanks for sharing those question and answers, look forward to seeing more of your ship building.
MAY 24, 2011 - 09:46 PM