"MSW Senior News Writer Kenny Loup, is the focus of this months "MSW Artist Profile", come join us for some interesting conversation!"
Q. OK Ken, tell us about yourself. Your age, Where do you live, Married, Kids, Occupation, Other hobbies and interests?
A." Iím 38 years old and live in Sulphur, Louisiana with my wonderful bride Renee and my very entertaining three year old son Ian. For my nine to five job, Iím the supervisor of the Calcasieu Parish Police Juryís Creative Services Department. My job letís me wear many hats, but overall Iím a visual problem solver. My crew is responsible for producing all the road signs for the unincorporated areas of the parish as well as all the signage for all the parish buildings. Iíve also done some desktop publishing, parade decorations and signage for the girls state high school softball tournament. When Iím not working for the parish (county), I own and operate Gatorís Paint Masks."
"Aside from model building, I enjoy a good football and baseball game as well as watching stock car racing. I love old war movies and big band music and doing carpentry work around the house. Most of all, Iím a history buff, which is why I build models. Iím fascinated with family and Louisiana history, especially Louisianaís roll in World War 2."
"When it comes to modeling, I prefer to build ships or figures. Iíll build a piece of armor or aircraft to change things up, but I always go back to ships and figures, mostly because both of them have a life and soul."
Q. Now, please tell us about both your first modeling experience, and your first ship modeling experience...
A. "I my first memory of modelling was building the old Revell USS Alabama kit as a child. It was a present from my parents, probably for my birthday. I was told that I need to wait so someone could help me, but I didnít. When my parents discovered me building the kit, they realized I didnít need any help and it snowballed from there. In my childhood, I built cars, aircraft, ships and armor. Anything I could get my hands on."
Q. When was the first time ship subjects as a preferred genre appeal to you?
A. "Well, thatís an easy one. When I was in elementary school, my sister married her boyfriend who had just finished serving on the USS Nimitz. From there, they were stationed at Key West and then Pensacola. I remember getting a USS Nimitz model kit from the Nimitz! I was hooked when we went to visit them in Pensacola and I got to see the old Lexington up close. Of course it helped that every time we went on vacation, we passed by and visited the USS Alabama."
Q. Where do you draw most of your ship building inspirations, Ken?
A. "I draw most my inspiration from history. I choose my kits based on what Iíve read or learned while reading about a specific moment in history."
Q. Tell us about what, in your opinion, is the very best thing about ship modeling in general...
A. "Itís been said before but it worth repeating. The best thing about ship modelling is the modelers. They are by far the friendliest and most helpful of all the modelling genres. Itís a real relaxed atmosphere with a lot of encouragement and little competition."
Q. OK, now, on the opposite side, tell us about what, in your opinion, is the worst thing about ship modelling?
A. "Way to many kits to build and not enough money!"
Q. What is your all time favorite modeling era/period, Ken, and why?
A. "I really enjoy World War II. Ships had a grace and elegance that is lost in the modern world. I also like the Civil War era because the area in which I live is steeped in itís history."
Q. Of any and all of the modelling related awards that you have won or earned, which one of these is the most important to you?
A. "I would have to say my awards from the 2007 Houston, Texas competition. The reason being that the Houston area has some unbelievable ship modelers and I was humbled by the fact that they enjoy and respect my work as much as I do theirs."
Q. Ken, now please take a little time now and tell us about some of your favorite modeling "things" if you would...tools, reference materials, or a particular ship, or ship model kits...
A. "My favourite modeling related thing would have to be Model Shipwrights. Help and encouragement from the awesome members here, have helped me improve my skills and techniques."
Q. What is your all time, number one, modeling aquisition, or most favorite ship kit ever?
A. "Truthfully, I havenít gotten it yet. Iím a big fan of Andrew Jackson Higgins, a Louisiana boy (by way of Nebraska). Iím really interested in getting Italeriís 1/35 LCVP as well as Millicastís complete line of 1/76 Higgins boats."
Q. What's your best or most recent ship kit purchase?
A. "I have a desire to build as many Higgins Industry craft as possible. I just recently picked up Trumpeterís 1/35 LCM(3) for $20 off of ebay. That was a big one off of my list."
Q. Time to get a little deep...What are your thoughts, opinions, and overall evaluation(s) of the model ship kit industry?
A. "The ship modelling genre is booming right now. Itís an exciting time in the hobby with new releases and upgraded kits on a constant new...Ship modelling is an untouched market and companies have just started scratching the surface."
Q.If you could model one ship, any ship, what would it be (May or may not be available in kit form!)... And why?
A."The Montana class USS Louisiana. Take the gracefulness of an Iowa class battleship and super-size it. Man, what a ship she would have been."
Q. What, in your opinions, would be the all-time modeling ďno no(ís)" ?...
A. "Always remember to have fun. Hobbies are supposed to be a way of relieving stress, not causing more. You will find you do your best work when youíre having fun. And, when cutting wood on the table saw, keep your fingers away from the spinning blade."
Q. OK, mate, now tell us one (or more!) of your own modeling secrets...
A."Two simple rules.
Rule No. 1 ~ Donít sweat the small stuff.
Rule No. 2 ~ Itís all small stuff."
"Also, the solution for a problem could be right under your nose, you just have to think outside of ďthe box.Ē "