Modeller's Profile

Carmel Attard

In this, the first of a series, we welcome Carmel Attard, of Malta, to describe himself and his modelling activities for the IPMS Canada readership. Carmel will be familiar to Web denizens, appearing regularly on Modeling Madness and ARC, among other regularly visited sites. His output is prodigious and eclectic. He is accomplished in a variety of modelling tecchniques, and his photography (under the brilliant Maltese sun) enhances our appreciation of his work.

Born at Marsa, Malta( a tiny island right in the middle of the Mediterranean with barely the population of a single town in Canada) on 15.9.46. Speaks Maltese, English and some Italian. Studied in Malta and in UK. Upon graduation spent most of my life as Material engineer ( Eur Ing Carmel J Attard C.Eng, FICME., MIMMM) and Departmental Manager at the Malta Dry-dock. Was in charge of the iron and bronze foundry, and for Propeller Repair Agency.Spent over 20 years as Visiting lecturer at the Department of Engineering at the university. I have been retired for the past 2 years and prior to that I served for the last 11 years as Laboratory Manager at the Materials Lab, University of Malta. .

Married with three children and 4 grand children. I am a member of the Association of Model Engineers (Malta), a member of the Aviation Museum, and a member of the Malta Aviation Society of which I served as the first President for the first 3 years.I won prices in various scale model competitions including IPMS in UK, Model Engineer Exhibition in Wembley, London,and twice Modeller of the year (Malta) and been a writer in various magazines local , UK, Germany, Greece and Turkey. Served as a member of a judging panel in Malta and Sicily.

Interest in aviation started with modeling and photography at the same time, frequent visits to Hal-Luqa airfield which was very busy from my early days of Meteors, Vampires, SAR Lancasters, Target Tug Beaufighters, SAR Lancasters, Shackletons, Valiants, Sea Vanom, Scimitars, Gannets, Sea Prince, all types of Canberras etc. My first model was the 1/58 scale F9F8 Cougar and the Chance Vought Cutlass by Revell when I was 8 years old. I still have the Cutlass.

Initially I was keen on RAF and RN aircraft and also USN aircraft as the 6th fleet used to call at our ports since its days of Skyrays, Crusaders and Skyraiders. I always preferred to take a flight whenever I go or was abroad and travelled in different passenger aircraft like the Vanguard, Herald, Viscount 801, Friendship F-27, Britannia, Comet 4, Tristar, Airbus, Boeing 747, Boeing 727, Boeing 720B, Caravelle and more recently in a Rockwell Commander and two flights in an ASK 21 Glider. Also made visits to most of the US 6th fleet carriers and RN carriers and more recently Spanish and Italian carriers too during visits to the Grand Harbour Valletta.

The scale modelling hobby is now open to anything that flies. More recently I discovered biplanes and gliders which were lacking in my collection, so that my modelling interest has spread to all branches of aviation aircraft.I developed my aptitude to build Vac-form kits and conversions after reading the early model magazines like the Airfix, Scale modeller then Scale Aircraft Modeller. Kit conversion articles used to fascinate me as it creates a different model in doing so. Unfortunately these are lacking in today's model magazines and the general hobby to the modeller of today has become more concerned with straight from the box type of kit build. I learned from my early use of talcum powder and dope before the modern putty appeared in shops. I also noted that vac form kits have survived a short time and disappeared before the keen modeller got to know that they were so easy to build of the unusual aircraft model. It is good to have resin kits around but the price of these on the market is almost prohibitive to the new to the hobby modeller and the likelihood is that he is put off if he goes for that type. Besides there are many ways to alienate the new modelleer enthusiasts. On the positive side there is today a huge amount of material that one can make reference to and make use of.

Today any lively colour scheme that attracts my attention makes me want to build a kit in that scheme. I have particular interest in aircraft of 1950-60 which offer the most attraction of camouflage and bright colours. Also aircraft in bright colour schemes like trainers, Transport aircraft are among my likes as are other types that operate in the arctic region.The internet certainly has broadened my reference library apart from getting me in touch with so many keen helpful modellers from around the world. I came to regard all modellers who want to spread the hobby to others as belonging to the same one family with my reservations to those who want to use the internet merely for the business aspect .

My present collection amounts to 677 scale models and on the increase all the time. I enjoy conversion modeling much more than having the best accurate available model and building and finishing it straight from the box. In fact my most dear kits are the scratch built ones like the Greyhound, Tracer etc and vac form kits as the Valetta and Hastings etc. I am today much impressed mainly with kits coming from the Czech Republic particularly those of Pavla Models, Kora, Valom, Special Hobby to mention a few and these are certainly giving a very good helping hand to the hobby with their continual outflow of accurate models.