Interview: Adam Wilder

Our Studio had a lucky opportunity to ask a couple of questions to a living legend in th world of scal modelling, an American modeler Adam Wilder, one of creators of a Color Modulation technique.

Hello Adam! Thanks a lot for your time to answer our questions!

Thank you Vladimir for asking me to give this discussion.

We know that some time ago you’ve been in Russia, was this trip for MIG Productions or on your own initiative?

My trip to Russia was more personal. I had wanted to visit Russia since I was in college. I was lucky enough to be invited over by a friend in the industry. Having the opportunity to give seminars and speak with the Russian modelers was more then I could have imagined.

What kind of experience you’ve got here, what was the greatest impression?

That is a difficult question. Russia was closed to my part of the world for many years. All that I knew up into the 90s was what I saw on the American News. I think the pride felt by the people in Russia for Russia is what humbled me the most. This is evident in the different museums and architecture. The different art and military museums are, withoв топut doubt, some of the best that I have ever seen anywhere. The people of both the US and Russia have much in common in regards to their faith in their countries.

Meeting Russian modellers – was that interesting?

The Russian modelers were great. They ask a lot of questions during the seminars. This made it much more enjoyable for me. In other countries the viewers are much more silent. They smile a lot as well.

Adam Wilder meets Russian modelers

We know that you visited Moscow and St.Petersburg – did you like these cities?

I enjoyed spending time walking the streets of Moscow. Moscow by night is one of the most beautiful cities that I have ever seen. Again, the architecture is beautiful when it is light up at night. Conversely, St.Petersburg is just epic by day. It was so cold but I have always wanted to visit Russian during the winter. I remember seeing the large governmental buildings on the river Neva. This was testament to Russia’s greatness.

How often you have to travel for different events worldwide? Is that wearisome for you?

I have now been in about 14 different countries. I have felt nervous throughout different times during my travels. I think landing in Russia was the first time that I ever felt nervous landing in the airport. I really cannot explain why.

A couple of very friendly and hospitable exhibitions are traditionally take place here in Siberia annually. Would it be interesting for you to visit one of these?

I would love to have the opportunity to visit Siberia. I wanted to visit Russia again this summer but have already been out of work too much this year.

Speaking on your creative path – when you finished your first model? How that happened that you became an 1:35 armor modeller?

The first models I ever did where American Tanks. I have also done civilian cars and planes. But I always go back to armor.

For many years you are the worldknown trendsetter of armor painting and wathering, and allways find some new technologies and innovations. What makes you search for such questions and answers?

I think that there have been many trendsetters in the recent years. I have been lucky enough to live here in Europe around modelers whom have broadened my awareness of art in general. I did not receive much of an art education when I was younger. There is also much more of an appreciation for art here in Europe. I have been able to apply what I have learnt about art into the model I construct.

Have you been studing as a painter somedays? Or, in other words, do you call yourself a professional painter?

I am not a professional painter. I know what I need to know to quickly finish good models. It is my job. I am a professional modeler.

Color modulation – is one of the most picturesque technique, and you brougth it in an everyday practice for a lots of modellers. Can you raise a curtain on the birth of this idea? What modulation actually is in a short word?

Spanish modeler MIG Jimenez was the first whom started showing me photos of paintings from the famous classical artists and recommended that I somehow try to apply these techniques on armor models. It took me about four models to really make it work. I experienced some trials and errors. Color Modulation means shifting the tones of colors to add volumes while also bringing the attention to certain parts of a model that you feel are important.

The rain drops technique

Some modellers concern that modulation lead them away from reality, making model to be just a fine picture – what do you think about it?

That is always the argument. The trick to Color modulation is to not make it look obvious. This takes practice and an understanding of how the different techniques work together.

Which model you are currently working on? Would it have some brand new techniques?

I am currently painting a King Tiger with a factory camouflage for a collector/author. On this model I am using different types of Tamiya clear to add shadows over the camouflage.

Had you ever been thinking on how many models you had built in total? Which of them is the most beloved by you?

The model that I enjoyed painting the most is ironically an unpainted Hetzer in use with the Czech insurgents during 1945. I love painting steel.

Recently you had finished a model of T-72 with mine plough. What do you feel for Russian armour in general?

Russian Armor is what I enjoy the most. The KV and T-34 tanks are most enjoyable. One of the reasons that I wanted to visit Russia was the tank museums.

Whom can you call your teacher and tutor in moddelling? Is there anyone?

If we would ask you to name three of the world greatest modellers at all times – whom would you name?

Again, MIG Jimenez has really been a great help to me. I do not think that I would be here without him. Mokoto Takaishi from Japan was also a great inspiration. Lately, American modeler Michael Rinaldi has also been influential to my techniques.

I can only name three of my favorite modelers of all time but there are many more that have impacted different parts of the armor modeling hobby. I do not think that I can really answer that question.

Hundreds of Russian modellers will read this interview, what can you wish to them?

I think that I am fortunate to have found something in my life that I not only enjoy but has also opened the world to me. As I said above, I have wanted to visit Russia for many years and I hope to return soon. The Russian modelers demonstrated a great interest in scale modeling and a humble willingness to learn just what can be done this hobby. Being a professional modeler means occasionally spending many hours alone for sometimes very little money. I have been away from my family for almost five years now. Trips like the one I took to your country remind me why I chose this life. Russia is a great place that few Americans will ever have the opportunity to see and I was there. Thanks you for making me feel so welcomed.

Hetzer of the Chech Insurgents

Т-72 with mine plough

NATO wheel loader

Vladimir Yashin, Pavel Cherepanov

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Comments (12)

  1. Tankist says:

    Отличное интервью. Судя по всему ты хочешь пригласить его на слёт?

  2. Макс says:

    Да, Володь, давай его к нам в Сибирь:)

  3. Яшин Владимир says:

    Игорь, Макс! Я бы не стал исключать такой возможности :)

  4. Jesper says:

    Nice interview!

  5. Adam Wilder says:

    I apologize for some of the grammar errors in this interview. I have been very busy these past weeks and have had little time. Thank you again Vladimir.

  6. Вячеслав says:

    Отличное интервью!
    Впрочем, сама идея публикации таких интервью на Вашем сайте — необычная и превосходная идея!
    Удачи и дальнейших успехов! 😉

  7. Яшин Владимир says:

    Спасибо, Вячеслав!
    Постараемся порадовать и новыми идеями в скором времени!

  8. Андрей (andbend) says:

    Идея с интервью и само интервью очень понравились.Владимир,спасибо,что ведёте столь активную информационную поддержку новинок и событий в современном моделизме.
    Адаму отдельное спасибо,за его желание поделиться опытом и технологиями.

  9. Яшин Владимир says:

    Спасибо, Андрей!
    Стараемся! Без Павла я бы со всем не справился! кстати на очереди другие очень интересные интервью.

  10. Никита says:


  11. Александр Кашинский says:

    В итоге когда Адам еще раз приедет, всем же интересно…

  12. Алексей says:

    Поискал в Интернете и не смог найти полную биографию Адама Уайлдера.
    Отрывочные сведения с различных сайтов. Та же история с мастер-классами. В основном ссылки на видео о знаменитом видео о фототравлении на модели Т-34/85. А вот бы выпустить полноцветное издание в серии “секреты мастерства” (как у издательства “Цейхгауз”): с биографией и размышлениями на разных стадиях профессиональбного роста; и с богато иллюстрированными и подробно расписанными мастер-классами известного Гуру?!? С озарениями и неудачами в творческом поиске. Это, на мой взгляд, было бы весьма востребовано и полезно!
    Павел с Владимиром общаются ведь с Адамом? Пусть “подкинут” ему такую мысль….