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Hanging out with Gino

Earliest modelling moment

Well I must have been about 6 years old and you will never believe it, it was figures. I was at a local toy store looking to buy some figures to play with; you know the soft plastic type. I saw a beautiful box of 8th army figures, so I bought these. On the way home I opened them in the car (never had much patience!) and what a horror: all the legs, arms, torsos, etc were seperately. How was I going to play with that? Luckily my dad glued them together (while I watched). Later there were aeroplanes, boats and of course AFVs. I then have been an AFV and diorama modeller for a good couple of years. Then about ten years ago I “discovered” Aber update sets. I had only the skills to use about half of a set and got more frustrated about not being able to use the other set. I then discovered the joy of figure painting, first 6 years with oils and now for almost 3 years with acrylics.

Do you remember the first time miniatures appealed to you?

I remember when I was about ten years old I saw a picture of a diorama in an old Esci catalogue. I wanted to rebuild it using my toys, empty boxes for bunkers, etc. I then saw these dioramas in a box by Esci and I was addicted. Once I had to choose what I would buy with my pocket money: an outfit for the basketball team or a diorama. It was a diorama and I have been modelling ever since. Later I discovered the joy of building my own dioramas.

Who or what inspires your figure modelling

I think I'm inspired by the same people as others: Bill Horan, Mike Blank, Raul Latorre, etc. I also get a lot of inspiration from comic books. I don't mean those simple comics, but those were each drawing is almost like a painting. I learn a lot from it when it comes to highlighting and shading, colours combination, etc. But also about the composition of a base. A drawing is also in a square, just like our figures. Lately I look a lot on how they represent metal without using a metallic colour. Another man who influenced me a lot (and still is) is Marijn van Gils. He learned me how to exaggerate my light/shadows, he convinced me to start sculpting (I'm still no good at it, but I'm having heaps of fun) and I'm always having a good time talking about our idea's. Another man I would like to mention is Gilbert de Rudder. I guess nobody knows of him, as he died over twenty years ago, but this is the man who taught me how to drybrush, apply a wash etc. I might not be modelling now if it wasn't for him. Thanks Gilbert.

The best thing about figure modelling

The friends I've made. To be honest, almost all my friends are related to modelling. And now with the internet the friends I've made all over the world.

The worst thing about figure modelling

The “frustration” that I don't have the skills to get the ideas lurking in my head to become real. Who knows, maybe one day...

Favourite modelling era/period

I like all era's except Romans and Napoleonic. When you look at my work one might think its World War Two, but that's because these figures are the most popular with my clients. I also love to paint Celts, Vikings, knights, WWI and even fantasy and science fiction. I don't like to paint figures bigger then 120mm though.

"Young knight with horse", a 54mm Andrea Miniatures conversion

About the Author

About Rudi Richardson (Tarok)

I'm a former Managing Editor of the Historicus Forma historical figure modelling website. While my modelling and history interests are diverse, my main figure modelling focus lies in Sci-Fi, Pop-Culture, Fantasy, Roman and WW2 German subjects. I'm a firm believer that armour and vehicles accessorise...


I really enjoy getting to know a little bit about the "person behind the brush" Thanks to Gino and all involved with getting this article put together. Keep'em coming Craig
AUG 03, 2006 - 11:38 PM
What a great idea,Gino has been a flag flier for us all in the figure painting hobby,and its good to give honour where it is due,rock on Gino Arthur
AUG 03, 2006 - 11:50 PM
Perfect Q&A subject! Gino was one of the first figure painters I "met" via the web. Ever humble yet always on the cutting edge. He has always been in the top 10 of figure painters as far as I am concerned. Keep it up ViolentG. Your old hippie friend, Charles
AUG 04, 2006 - 12:24 AM
Couldn´t agree more. What a stunning figure. Ive been admiring this for quite a while when looking through the collage of pictures. Excellent. Thanks for stepping up and becoming the first "profile" Gino. Cheers. Great incentive Rudi. Top idea!
AUG 05, 2006 - 03:29 PM
Hello guys, Thank you all for the positive comment. I also would like to thank Rudi for taking the time to fit everything in one thread. Thanks a lot Rudi. I'm very honoured, and surprised to be picked, to be tha subject of the q&a. Hi Costas, The hair is "normal" now, but for how long... :-)8 Hi Joe, Thanks a lot. It's nice to hear that other people notice the improvement too. Still a long way to go though. I have just send an article on the King of Jeruzalem figure to Military Modelling, so I think it will be inone of the future issues. Hi Charles, Nice to hear from you again my hippiefriend. What are you working on? Thanks once again my friends, Gino
AUG 05, 2006 - 10:06 PM
Hello Gino, so long time we have heard from eachother....I´m so sorry about that. Did my last email reach you ? I love the "Artist Q&A" so much, because it seems to allow us to know a little bit more about the artist behind his works. And your work is really great !!! Best wishes my friend, Markus
AUG 06, 2006 - 12:37 AM
Hello Markus, How are you my friend? Lately I have beenhaving some healthproblems (again) and the heatwave we had didn't do any good either. At the moment I'm feeling better (knock on wood) so I'm painting again and will be more on the net also. I can't remember the e-mail. How long was it ago? What are you working on for the moment? I have seen some of your prizewinning models in the figuren kit journal on the Herzog von Bayeren show. Great stuff and well deserved awards too!!! Congrats my friend. Best wishes, Gino
AUG 06, 2006 - 01:13 PM
That was very nice to know Gino better and see his great works in a feature like this. Thanks Rudi for the feature and thanks Gino for sharing.
AUG 12, 2006 - 02:52 AM
Hi G! Mate, I'm hanging around with you all the time and I can't say enough what you mean for me. Not only in the world of figurepainting you've learned me a lot, also in life you thought some great stuff. You're life isn't the easiest you can have (with your healthproblems) and still you don't let your head hanging low. Not only your work's TOP CLASS, but so are you! Ciao from this little maggot :-) If you're going to Antwerp one of these days, just give me a call.
AUG 13, 2006 - 07:52 PM
Wonderful work. Gino, I have to comment that my favorites that were featured were of the child playing as a knight and soldier opening the gift. Both had that very human quality that separates them to a level that truly makes them an art form. Again, wonderful work and very inspiring. Best wishes Steve
SEP 08, 2006 - 09:17 PM