This week I have the great pleasure to have interviewed Kenji Yanai. Kenji is a professional modeller with years of experience in scale modelling under his belt. He has his own Instagram, Facebook and YouTube account. Kenji also regularly writes and publishes his works in magazines like Model-Art and Scale Aviation.
Please welcome Kenji Yanai
How old are you Kenji?
I’m 49 years old.
I am older than I look lol.
Where are you from?
I’m from Osaka Japan
How long have you been scale modelling?
I don’t remember exactly, but I think it was about 40 years or so.
When did you start to get involved in modeling as a professional model builder?
I started working professionally in April 2016, but my relationship with Japanese model magazines began in 2011.
What is your favorite subject on scale modelling?
My most favorite thing is the modern fighter jet.
I also like cars and motorcycles.
I love motorsports, so I also build racing cars, sports cars, and sports type bikes
Can you give a piece of advice to all young modelers out there that looks at your work and are inspired by them? Perhaps an absolute don’t too?
I’ll start by telling you what you shouldn’t do.
- If you fail in the process, don’t stop building.
- Don’t want to learn a skill in a short period of time.
- Do not place drinks by the bottle of lacquer thinner at side.
And what you need to do is this.
- See some great work in exhibitions and contests and talk to the author.
- Let’s try to emulate the work that impressed you.
- Every time we build, let’s have a theme.
For example, build with an emphasis on painting, or build with an emphasis on detail.
- Don’t let information fool you.
What is your opinion about social media and sites like this one that helps bring modelers together to share their work and techniques?
I think it’s beneficial to have a place like this, regardless of the modeler’s skills
Many modelers go back and forth between various websites when a reference is needed.
It’s cumbersome and time-consuming.
It should be concise, and everyone should be able to easy get to the desired reference quickly.
How much time do you spend at your bench a week?
I haven’t measured it properly, but I think it’s probably about 60 hours.
What part of scale modelling you think it could improve?
Nowadays, it is possible to create beautiful molds from using 3D data.
However, I think the process before that, i.e., research on the actual object at the design stage, is important.
I think the key to scale models is how to correctly scale the real thing down and make it easy to assemble.
No matter how good details are in the parts, the appeal disappears if is difficult to assemble.
And your all-time favorite kit?
MIG-21 series from Eduard is my favorite.
Also, the Kinetic F-104 series are great!
Thank you very much Kenji!
Interview done by: @Rafael_estudio
Some amazing work from Kenji: