Interview: Miguel MIG Jimenez

Good day, Miguel!
Thank you for your willingness to answer the questions!

First of all, I would like to ask about new brand AK Interactive which was announced some time ago. Could you tell some more about this new company?

-One year ago I left my business Mig Productions because it was very tired of that situation. The whole day doing bureaucratic tasks or solving technical problems, and all the ideas that I had I took charge them to my employee Adam Wilder. While I suffered a boring work far from the modelling, Adam WIlder made all the interesting modelling projects. I decided to leave my factory and to begin a new life, centered in the modelling, as I had made many years ago.
Some months ago, a friend offered me to begin a new modelling company, very similar to Mig Productions, but where I would only work making scale models, DVDs or developing new ideas of products. I accepted and now I am very happy, making scale models the whole day or things that I like. Before, I didn’t have time to think of new ideas, but in AK-Interactive I enjoy the whole day thinking of new techniques or ideas.

Why the famous name of russian weapon was chosen? First it was the name of airplanes by Mikoyan-Guryevich, now Avtomat Kalashnikova. Do you think that brands associated with Russia or USSR have more chances to be spotted by the customer?

-The names that I use are not related with marketing strategies. Since I was a boy I always liked the Soviet Union, the Russian aesthetics, the Russian idoma and I dreamt of Yuri Gagarin. When I was 7 or 8 years, I looked at books of Russia and I liked to know like it was the Russian culture, the cities…
It is that time, I began to use the name of MIG instead of Miguel. Of course, I was influenced by the MIG fighters. In 1992 I learned how to read cyrillic with some small books, but Spain was very far from Russia and Russia continued being a threat for West. 5 years ago I had a son and I called him YURI in honour to Yuri Gagarin. And about AK Interactive, I have always liked this rifle and I have a great collection of AKs at the moment. I simply like everything of Russia, except the politics and the bureaucracy.

Russian SPEZNAZ Special forces had equipped Miguel this some stuff during his training )))

What is your part in this project?

-I just develop the ideas, paint the models, I made the DVDs and web page and I assist to other modellers to make books. But everything that I make is like a freelance. I don’t want to repeat the same mistakes than in Mig Produtions. The AK philosophy is mine, but not the company. I don’t want to be a slave of the business. I prefer to be a slave of the modellers.

Can you tell more about the further activity of the company? What are the plans for future?

-Yes, all goals of AK will be to find Solutions to many problems that the modellers are suffering nowadays. Many modellers need simple easy techniques to paint their models, but also good guides to teach them how to make this or that technique. We will develop tools for weathering, new paint products, books with ideas or specific tips. We don’t want to make resin kits. Just solutions for modellers. We will be a kind of Service Company for modellers. While other companies release many new plastic kits, the modeller are forced to collect them in the closet, but nobody is worry for the real necessities or lacks.

Lets talk about your disks which were released recently.
The first one is especially interesting because it shows the weathering made with acrylics only. What are the advantages of this method? Can it be called revolutionary?

-No, is not revolutionary, but is an alternative to enamels. I discovered that is really difficult to paint a whole model with acrylics. And this DVD help to those who want to paint only with acrylics. To me, the best way is a combination of acrylics and enamels, but some people cannot paint with enamels because health problems or just because they like acrylics. But I must say that to paint only with acrylics is very different.

And which secrets of weathering reveals the second Disk?

-The second DVD about enamel weathering techniques doesn’t contain many new techniques, except the STREAKING EFFECTS that for first time I explain it with a lot of detail. The rest of techniques, like washes, oils, filters, fading and many others are classic ones, but never was explained before in a movie like this one. I know that actually there are many modelers that don’t know how to apply these techniques.

Don`t you afraid that these disks wll be layed out in free access on the web? What can you say about piracy in common? Is it possible to deal with it?

– I am not worry about that. The people copy all HOLLYWOOD movies and they cannot avoid that problem, so…how can I solve that problem? The people can upload to internet if they want, but they never will have the original one , filmed and edited in High Resolution, with a internal booklet with extra information. Also, the retail price is not high. 13 Euros is a very cheap price for many of the main countries in the world. Other companies make DVDs for 24 or 25 Euros, and contain worse quality movies about modeling.

Can you tell what the new enamel weathering effects are? These are the brand new products or some analogues can be found on the market? Which are the nuances of their usage?

– I developed almost all new weathering products that exist in the market right now. Ok, many companies have copied it, but not with the same quality. The new AK products is totally new. There are two ranges: Dust, mud earth products effects and Streaking products. The Dust and Mud wash doesn’t exist right now under any company in the world, and it was a gap. The Streaking products are also very new. It is a kind of enamel paint with a ratio dilution that allows you to make very realistic streaking grime or rust. Also, the most important thing is the color. I was making mixes during many days until I found the right color for each case.

You can be named as a father of most modern weathering techniques. You have popularized numerous receipts, making them understandable for thousands of modelers all over the world. How do you feel yourself being the founder?

-In fact, the goal in my life is to help others with my ideas. I don’t want to be famous or popular because my models. When I develop something is because any modeller asked me someday how he can fix that problem, or how he can apply this products or how he can make a good wash or filter.
I was using filters since 1995, and when they become popular in 2004, I decided to produce it. The same with pigments or other effects. But I am happy when I see a modeller that is not worry anymore about how to make a wash or a filter. Then, this modeller can be worry just for his idea, and not about the technical problems.

I suppose that your knowledge initially was derived from other sources? Whom can you name among your mentors when you was on the beginning of own creative path? Whose works inspired you?

-I was inspired by paint artist more than from modelers. Due my studies of art, I was under the influence of great artist like Rembrand, Kandinsky, Goya, Caravaggio, Rubens, Degas, but also for modern artist. About modelers, Verlinden was one of my first idols and recently Marenj Van Gils, Mirko Bayerl, Mike Rinaldi, Per Olav. There are a wave of new Polish modelers that is catching my attention and also many Japanese ones, Korean or Swedes and Norwest.

Does the Russian armor impress you? Do you like to build the models of Russian tanks?

-Of course, Russian stuff is one of my main interests in my life. It Is what I like most, and T55 is my favourite subject. I think that Russian designs are superb and very attractive for modellers.

Can you remember any model which was especially difficult to build?

-Ahhh, I try to avoid any complex or difficult kit. Because my work, I must paint each model very fast, so…I cannot spend 1 month building a kit. But I remember the ICM T28…it was a night mare.

You are reputed to be idolized by many modellers, who imitate your style without demur. What is your attitude to this fact?

-I feel proud. Of them, I feel happy and I like when I see a modeller painting a tank like one of mines. This means that I made a good work and can be used as reference for other people. I also copied others when I was a beginner, and it is something good that help us to learn. This attitude is very positive, I think.

You`ve finished the unusal model of Panther II used by Allies against USSR in 1945. What inclined you to the alnernative history subject?

I wanted to do something different, without the typical red primer, without the classic things like hatches in different colors. I always imagined a hypnotic war between USA and Russia and it almost happened in the reality. So, I guessed the American forces using the old German Stuff after the IIWW. It just was a funny project of pre-Cold war.
Also, I wanted to experiment with Hairspray techniques and modulation over 3 tone camouflage.

And which model are you working on now?

– I just finished the new BT7 for a Japanese magazine, using only Japanese products, and now I must make the 5t DIANA from Bronco for another magazine, a winter Marder III for a new DVD and a SWS late for another magazine. All of this must be finished this summer without delay.

As I know you drive Harley Davidson? Is it onlly a hobby or you can name yourself a real biker?

-Well, my motorbike is a Suzuki Intruder M800, but very customized. HD is too expensive for me. But I am a real biker…I use it for everything’s and I like to make trips with it. I like ride slowly, feeling the air and watching the landscape. Spain is a good country for this passion because the good weather. I like to paint airbrush images in the fuel cell…like a hobby. But I cannot live without it.

Which music style do you prefer?

-Absolutely everything. I have also some Russian music that Vladimir Demtchenko give me long time ago. I like Spanish pop, latin music, but also Alternative music like Pixis, The smiths, Rammstein,…or classic ones like The doors, Queen, and others. Because I was working in a Dance and Techno Music Company, I like these kind of music too.

Some colleagues, viewing your pieces of art, believe they will never rich such level of skill. What should they start from in their attempt to become the guru as you?

-Everybody must know that they can achieve any skill working hard everyday. I work very hard always, painting without stop and this is the secret to make good models. Nobody get good results working only 1 hour each week. Also, is necessary practice, and make many mistakes. Only the mistakes help us to improve. Don’t be scared to destroy or damage your model trying to do this or that technique. Just try it, and if you are failed, try again. Also, don’t try to make very complex project in the beginning. Sometimes is better to do simple projects or ideas and the results can be better.
I am working hard since 1995 until now. 15 years of professional dedication, with no time even for my personal life or family. Is better don’t be a guru but to enjoy your life. I have missed many things in my life because I was too focusing in the modeling and now I feel unhappy for that. Now I try to keep a balance in my life.

What can you wish to all hobbyists of the world?

-Use the modelling like a tool to make your life easier, better and happiest. Don’t be worry for the competition or high goals or you will be unhappy because then the hobby will be not a hobby anymore.

Vladimir Yashin, Pavel Cherepanov

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What do you think about this work?

Comments (14)

  1. Вадим says:

    интересные вопросы, развернуты ответы.
    Очень интересно.
    Ждем новую продукцию

  2. Макс says:

    Отличное интервью. Молодцы ребята!

  3. Воробьев Роман says:

    Неожиданно видеть Мигеля на байке и в косухе.

  4. Мурат says:

    как бы посмотреть эти диски о технологиях, желательно в переводе на могучий-русский язык. Володя, как идея?, что-то вроде синхронного перевода. я думаю спрос должен быть.

  5. Андрей says:

    Интересное интервью.Новые DVD хотелось бы посмотреть. Модели классные. Только на БТ ступица первого катка вроде не так стоит. ИМХО.

  6. Дмитрий says:

    Интервью с легендарным MiGом – это просто подарок всем моделистам ) Спасибо!!! Не менее важна информация о его новом проекте. Поддерживаю Мурата – перевод на русский это тема!

    Всем благ

  7. John Murcutt says:

    Thank you for a very interesting and enlightening interview with MIG.
    I have enjoyed following his skills, which offer inspiration and then backed it up with some materials that were specifically designed for the model maker.

    To learn more about his life ethos, the personal side, is really interesting and I hope that his new projects, really work out well, following on from the first DVD and that he now has the time to make more of his inspirational builds.


  8. Mig Jimenez says:

    Большое спасибо за ваши комментарии. Цифры были сделаны Владимиром Володя.
    Мы планируем сделать русскую версию DVD.

    Mig Jimenez

  9. Олег says:

    С удовольствием прочёл.Вот уж где питать вдохновение.Спасибо за возможность услышать мэтров моделизма.

  10. Андрей (andbend) says:

    Владимир,Павел,MIG.Спасибо большое за отличное интервью.Прочитанное вдохновляет на новые проекты.

  11. Яшин Владимир says:

    Друзья, мы очень рады, что интервью вам понравилось! В ближайшее время появятся интервью с другими интересными людьми! следите за обновлениями!

  12. […] пробудило мой интерес к этому, так это статья MIGа Хименеса о постройке разбитого PzIII в одном германском […]

  13. Ювелл says:

    просто спасибо!…молодцы…ждал :)

  14. Дмитрий says:

    мигель брюс ли моделизма ))