Name: Michael Ludwig
Current Homebase: Franken, Germany
Infected since: 1997
Fields of Action: Build up & Paint, Repaint
Quote: "You get talent when you discover the ground of your pain." (H.R. Giger)
8 Questions to Michael Ludwig (Nov. 2018)
1. Let's go back in time - it is the year 1997. What lead you to start building up and painting model kits?
My first encounter with a "garage kit" came in 1997, when I discovered a vinyl model of Pinhead in a video library. As a big fan of Hellraiser, I really wanted to own that model. However, since the finished figure was quite expensive and I already had a little experience with brush and paint, I acquired the kit, built it up and painted the model myself. The result was not bad at all and my interest in the hobby was aroused.
2. What are your sources of inspiration - then and now ?
Nature is something that greatly inspires me. Especially insects and reptiles / amphibians. Furthemore of course artists such as H.R. Giger, Takayuki Takeya and Frank Frazetta. Their works still inspire me and were a true source of inspiration from the start. Music also plays a big role in my life and therefore definitely has an influence on my work, too.
3. Tell us about your creative process when you receive a new model kit! How do you prepare, what are your techniques? Do you already have the result in mind or does every step guide you to the next one?
To me not only the figure itself, but also the base plays an important role. That being said, when I get a new kit, I'll check first if there's a base included, or if I have to build one on my own. I also consider possible changes in the pose of the model or other improvements to not only optimize it, but give it more of an unique overall presentation. Then, if given, I will think about the color scheme.
When it comes to techniques, almost every kind can be useful to me. So there are the basic techniques, like dry brush and washing, or e.g. from glazing up to different spraying techniques with the airbrush machine. It just depends on what effect I want to achieve, yet in the end, all used techniques should compliment each other.
I mostly work with acrylic paints, occasionally I also use oil paints or pastels. So my approach to painting has various facettes and of course depends on whether there is an iconic, specific template or if there is enough room for some creative scope. In consequence, sometimes there is a plan that is followed and sometimes it just comes right out of the gut. But in most cases, I do have a pretty accurate picture in mind already.
4. From your experience, what are the most important abilities to become a requested model kit builder and painter?
That is kinda hard to say. The most important thing is to have just fun with it. In addition to that, a good sense for colors, imagination, a steady hand and focused eyes. Ambition, endless patience and a little talent are certainly also very helpful.
5. What is your most beloved item in your own collection? What´s the Story behind it?
This is a DevilMan modeled by Yasushi Nirasawa (note: you can find some images in the gallery below), who has unfortunately passed away. It was my first "original design" resin kit and unlike anything I had seen from the field so far. This kit was my real introduction to the garage kit model scene and led me to other works, e.g. by Takayuki Takeya and other great artists in the field. By this kit, I was truely "fixed".
6. In your opinion, where is the scene heading in 10 years from now on? Will you still be part of it?
The scene of course will progress and grow more and more, also by the rise of the new techniques. People can render their modeling ideas on the computer and having their renderedkit printed in 3D parts. Of course 3D-modeling on the computer is also an art and i certainly do have respect for it, but in my opinion the soul and the charm of the handmade kits get lost. Most likely, there will be fewer kit builders who are interested in the original art. I've been practicing the hobby for over 20 years now and can well imagine being in the scene in 10 years, too.
7. What are you currently working on, what are your future projects?
At the moment I am working on a Predator kit, as so often. Future projects will be the further evolvement of my own collection and some requests of fellow collectors are in the pipeline aswell. In addition, I am looking forward to get back on canvas, which I lead unattended lately.
8. Anything else you want to share with us?
First of all many thanks for the interview and the opportunity to be part of it. What I always care about in regard to model kits: Support the artists and help preserve the art by purchasing original kits. And if you feel up to it, just grab yourself to glue and brush. The passion needs offsprings.