Mark Jacques

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1) How long have you been modeling?

Like many of the guys, I began model building as a kid back in the early 60’s when my Dad built a Jaguar Saloon car model with me – I can’t remember the brand, but it was blue plastic that turned kind of green where the glue reacted with it.. 

How long have you been a TCAH member? 

Since 2006. 

2) What was the first model that you built? What do you remember most about it? 

My first model that I was actually allowed to build and paint without “adult supervision” was the Revel B-26 “Flak-Bait” kit that I got for a Christmas present, from my uncle in the USAF, when it first came out.  If I remember correctly, I painted it with Pactra paints, and they “almost” matched the box art colors.

3) What was the last model that you built? What do you remember most about it? 

The most recent model I built (and finished) is the re-pop of Tamiya’s Sd.Kfz. 222 German Leichter Panzerspahwagen that I completed as a week-end challenge build for the 2012 Hope It Doesn’t Snow Show in Rochester.  For a brush painted “speed” build, it turned out quite well – I thought.

4) Do you have a theme (or themes) to your modeling collection? 

As most people have guessed my current focus is WWII N.W. Europe armor – mainly Shermans and Panthers.  I got really interested in Armor while I was in the Army.  Our company commander in late 1983 offered a 3-day pass for each realistic 1/35th scale model of any vehicle listed in the Soldier’s Manual of Common Tasks for tank identification purposes.  Remember, there was a limited selection of modern armor in that, or any other, scale at the time so some degree of kit-bashing/conversion, much research was required; again, with the limited resources of the time (there was no internet yet).

5) What's your favorite aircraft and why? 

I would have to say the A-10 Warthog.  What’s not to love about a plane designed around the baddest gun flying for the sole purpose of providing true close air support to us grunts by taking out any tank or other hard target in our way?  I have always maintained an interest in tactical aviation: technology, history and modeling.  This has always been important to me in the service: since the units I was assigned to were transported in UH-1’s, CH-47’s, C-130’s and C141’s, and provided close air support by A-6’s, A-7’s, A-10’s, AC-130’s, AH-1’s, F-4’s and F-16’s.

6) What has been your favorite kit or model that you've built? Why? 

Like a lot of guys, it has to be one of the most recent, successful builds.  I would have to say the Tasca Sherman Vc Firefly is my current favorite; I learned some new techniques that seem to have gone over pretty well.  That, and Tasca Sherman kits are actual assemblies that involve structural parts vs. complex detail bits common to Bronco and AFV Club.  The H-K Models B25-J is right up there; even with the flawed propellers that are easily remedied by replacement blades from Roll Models.  Now if somebody would come out with a COMPLETE machine gun barrels set, and maybe flight crew figures to man this big birdie.

7) How many kits have you built? 

If my wife sees this – I plead the fifth.  Not quite as many as some of our more senior members, I would have to guess about 250 - 300 built with about 85 or 90 completed 1:35th scale armor kits in the cases in my den.  That does not include the 2 dozen I donated to the Battalion S-2 shop back at Fort Lewis in 1984 for the Tank recognition training component from the Army’s Soldier’s Common Task Training Manual.

8) Is there anything else you'd like us to know? 

I guess, unofficially, I am a “Modelaholic” with memberships in (much to my long suffering wife’s chagrin) four local clubs (including one Bernie talked me into starting 3 -1/2 years ago), plus IMPS-USA.  After several abortive attempts at modeling some aircraft (and a few cars) with mixed results, I came to the conclusion that I could not build these (or cars or ships for that matter) to the same level as I can with armor.  Don’t get me wrong; I still try every now and then – usually with same mixed results.  So when I see the quality work from builders like Frank Cuden, Steve Hustad, Steve Macey, Merrill Anderson, Bernie Kugel, Sean Brzozowski, Bob Maderich and many others I am awestruck with the levels of detail and realism, regardless of the subject matter modeled; let alone the amount of effort/fabrication required to get the desired result.  Thank you all for sharing – I for one appreciate it greatly.  That’s probably why you will see me buying BIG multi-engine aircraft models.  Hey I may have to age chronologically; but there is no way, not a chance that I plan on growing up!

9) What other hobbies do you have? 

I am a military history buff.  So, along with collecting models, I collect reference material for military subjects (aircraft, armor, weapons and systems).  As my Uncle Sam trained me as an armorer, I have maintained a slight fascination with tactical firearms and have collected a few from several eras – mid-19th Century black powder and modern metallic cartridge from the Inter-war years, the Cold War and current decade.

10) How many kits do you have on your shelf of doom? 

On this matter I am a mere novice: I only have (again, if SWMBO sees this I plead the fifth) a bit over 100 kits and a “few” accessory packs.  As some visitors may notice, there are a growing number of aircraft (1:32nd scale) accumulating, as well as a few (dare I say it) cars.  Unfortunately, there are far too many “shelf queens” among the collection.

 workbench  collection  finished
My workbench and my two “helpers” Some of the growing collection of aircraft kits and a “few” of my completed armor kits Some more finished armor kits
 reference  distractions  
Some of the collection of armor kits and reference library Distractions aplenty!