My father started me building models when I was eight years old with a 1/48 scale Aurora B-26 Martin Marauder bomber, along with a lot of supervision. I remember that I enjoyed the project, but wasn’t really hooked until Christmas of that year. Our next-door neighbors gave me a 1/8 scale Aurora horror figure model of The Mummy and that's when THE LIGHTS CAME ON! My interest in both the hobby and the horror genre began then, and continue unabated.
Although I continued with the hobby during my teen and college years, my skills improved only gradually. Then in the mid-1980, I started reading FineScale Modeler magazine. This publication opened up a whole new world of model building and finishing techniques for me. Thanks to FSM my model building skills became much stronger and more varied than they were. On the other hand, it now takes me a lot longer to finish a project than it used to.
I think this picture was taken at the annual SEMMEX show, hosted by the IPMS/Warren (MI) chapter.
FSM also made me aware of the International Plastic Modelers Society. I joined this group in 1996 and entered my first IPMS competition that year. This was another milestone for me as a modeler. I learned that these events can afford a modeler terrific chances to see the work of other hobbyists, which makes the hobby a much less solitary one. The other competitors that I’ve met have always been very friendly and more than happy to share tips and ideas - it's exhilarating to be able to talk about plastic modeling with people whose eyes don’t glaze over after a few seconds! Finally there’s the dealers’ rooms where it’s possible to get models, books, tools, etc. that one can’t always find in a local hobby shop - and at good prices, too.
It doesn't hurt one's modeling to have the love of a good woman. I found that out courtesy of my wife, Kathy, to whom I've been married for over 38 years. She's always been supportive of my pastime, which has been a blessing to me.
Ultimately, having won numerous awards in model competitions at the local, regional, and national levels, publishing articles on plastic modeling in several genre magazines and two books, and having been commissioned to build kits for manufacturers, I thought that maybe I would like to build models as a professional. But after a while, I found that I was spending all the time at my workbench building models for others and finishing none of my own. So, in 2020, I've cut back on commission work.
All that said, I hope that every visitor will be able to take some new idea away whenever he or she visits McGovern's Models.
Thanks for looking in!
Update May 2015 -
I have been honored by Rob Mattison and Chris Gierke, who publish Monster Model Review online, with a video that features me and my work. You can view Monster Model Review #165 by clicking here. My heartfelt thanks go to Rob and Chris!