February 03, 2014

Links & Web Gems: Sheperd Paine American Master Modeler

Sheperd Paine American Master Modeler 
I stumbled across this website of classic dioramas and figures highlighting the work of Sheperd Paine. Shep was one the very first 'artists ' I discovered that helped me get started in the modeling hobby through his series of how-to books. Anyone with an interest or involvement in modeling should give this site a go through as Shep Paine was pioneer in the hobby. 

From the website
Sheperd Paine is arguably the best-known military miniaturist in the world, and he has done more than anyone else to elevate modeling to the level of an art form—one that includes elements of painting, sculpting, historical research, and vivid storytelling. 

Over the years, excellent modelers have emerged in the fields of armor, aircraft, ships, figure painting, scratchbuilt figures.  What makes Shep unique is that he has excelled in all of these areas. With an impressively broad scope of interest ranging from the Napoleonic era to World War II, and from creating a three-dimensional rendition of a work by Rembrandt to crafting fantasy scenes that do Frank Frazetta and J.R.R. Tolkien proud, Paine created incredibly detailed and masterfully rendered figures, vignettes, and dioramas that were eagerly sought by prestigious collectors such as Malcolm Forbes and Andrew Wyeth. And in the process, he has inspired thousands of others to try their hand.

In 1972  Shep was contacted by Monogram Models, who wanted some dioramas for their military vehicle series. This gave birth to a group of about 20 scenes, which eventually incorporated aircraft models as well. The diorama tip sheets that were included in the kits were very popular, and many modelers today claim that they were inspired to get back into the hobby as adults by reading the sheets when they were kids.  Today, the Monogram tip sheets have become collectors' items.


Sheperd Paine is also known for his modeling books all of which are considered classics. I still have my original well worn copies that inspired me year after year.

How to Build Dioramas
Long regarded as the definitive book on the subject, this classic has been in print for over 25 years, and is still a gold mine of information for modelers.  A revised and updated edition was published in 1999. And is still imprint today. Order Here

Modeling Tanks and Military Vehicles
Considered by some to be the companion to How to build Dioramas, this book covers every aspect of  the subject: assembly, painting, weathering, conversions, and building from scratch. Recently out of print.  

Building and Painting Scale Figures
Shep has always considered himself a figure painter first, and this book covers all the techniques he has learned over the years.  Out of print, but still available.

How to Photograph Scale Models
Written with Time-Life photographer Lane Stewart before the advent of digital photography, the setup and lighting techniques work just as well today as they did when this book was written.  Out of print and sometimes hard to find.  

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