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Mat's Marvellous Model Museum

Mat's Marvellous Model Museum

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Mat's Marvellous Model Museum

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Lançado em:
Jun 1, 2015


MAT’S MARVELLOUS MODEL MUSEUM takes you on a guided tour through Mat Irvine’s incredible treasure-trove of scale models. His detailed knowledge has been gathered over a lifetime working with models and miniatures. 

Mat spent many years with the BBC Visual Effects Department, where he worked on world-famous TV shows such as Doctor Who, Blake’s Seven, The Sky at Night, and many more. 

He was a producer/director of Future Fantastic, and co-creator of Robot Wars. More recently, he has operated the robot dog K-9 (Mat is its 'keeper’) for new Doctor Who episodes, and also for The Sarah-Jane Adventures.

Mat gives talks, lectures widely, and is a guest at science-fiction conventions. He writes books, and makes regular contributions to the online maga-blog, Scale Model News.

MAT’S MARVELLOUS MODEL MUSEUM focuses on his huge collection of scale miniatures, which he discusses in fascinating detail.

A highly recommended must-read, and read again, for all model enthusiasts.

Lançado em:
Jun 1, 2015

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Mat's Marvellous Model Museum - Mat Irvine

Mat's Marvellous

Model Museum

Mat Irvine

A Scale Model News Book

Mat’s Marvellous Model Museum

Copyright 2015 © Mat Irvine/Scale Model News

ISBN 978-1-909692-01-5

The right of Mat Irvine to be identified as the Author of this work has been asserted by him in accordance with the Copyrights, Designs and Patents Act 1988.

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or be transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior permission of the publisher.



eBook production by Oxford eBooks Ltd.



The Inner Sanctum: core of my model collection

Annual treat: car kits that came round every year

As seen on the screen: Star Cars of cinema and TV

Showtime: custom cars, hot rods, and concept creations

Into the unknown: X-planes

The collectible collection

Journey to the stars: worlds of science-fiction

Spaceships of the mind: factual-futuristic designs from the 1950s

Into space with RMS: rockets, missiles, and spacecraft

Is anybody there? Aliens and UFOs

Postscript: is model-making an ‘odd’ interest?

About the author



Before I take you into my world of scale models, a few words about me.

In my life of model-making, I’ve covered a panorama of miniature creations. I worked for many years at the BBC, and still find I’m referred to as ‘a BBC model-maker’, even occasionally, and embarrassingly, as ‘the’ BBC model-maker.

In reality, that description is incorrect. I was actually employed as a Visual Effects Designer, or what would be termed these days as a Special Effects Supervisor, and yes, it included model-making, but only in part. Other aspects of the job included building special-effects props, and creating floor-effects: the sort of events that happened ‘on the floor’, such as rain, snow, explosions and collapsing things.

However, I accept that I didn’t exactly help my own cause by appearing on such children's TV shows as Multi-Coloured Swap Shop and Saturday Superstore talking - mostly - about models!

But this book is centred not on the BBC, but on my headquarters, the mine of models that that has been dubbed Mat’s Marvellous Model Museum. In these pages you can feast your eyes on decades of kits and collectibles.

Mat Irvine


The Inner Sanctum: core of my model collection

My ‘marvellous models’ are housed in an old stone barn, its original uses long in the past.

Today I use the building both for working on current model-making projects, and as storage for the thousands of models of all kinds I have acquired over the years.

The main area is divided into two, an outer storage area, and what I deem the ‘Inner Sanctum’ in that it’s somewhat cleaner and warmer than the outer area. It has occurred to me that it’s really a microcosm of what I’ve dealt with most of my life, especially when it comes to the world of model-making.

Work bench and table

There’s my modelling work bench, and an old table that I got from a church jumble sale many, many years ago, and which has accompanied me ever since, through several house moves. The Formica top is a bit chipped now, and the single drawer sticks, but... a table is a work surface, is a modelling bench.

On the work surface will almost always be a model, or more likely several, in various stages of construction. These can range from new kits being built for a magazine article, to an older model that needs repair. There might even be yet another model that, frankly, I’ve forgotten exactly why it is there - so it should be stored elsewhere, as it’s taking up space!


Here are also what can be called ‘the more collectible of model kits’, though trying to work out what exactly makes one kit more collectible than another - and by default I suppose, more valuable - is something to strain the brain, and give ‘the experts’ something to discuss endlessly over a pint.

The Inner Sanctum has full photographic facilities,

complete with a permanent lighting setup.

Here also are shelves of cardboard storage bins, designed initially for warehouse use to stock small parts, but now adapted to store my ‘bits and pieces’, those miscellaneous parts left over from kits where you can’t possibly build all the options. You can’t throw them away - heaven forbid, they might come in useful - but meanwhile they need to be stored somewhere convenient, which is where the bins come in very useful. Each has an evocative description scrawled on the end - ‘spheres’, ‘girders’, ‘dishes’ and so on.

Watching paint dry

I also have a home-made drying cupboard that has been attached to the wall for many a year. Perhaps ‘cupboard’ is a bit too grandiose a description: it certainly doesn’t have doors and is really just a frame with some adapted coat-hanger rails on which to hang parts while drying. To this end, an old tubular airing cupboard heater sits at the bottom, temperature set on ‘low’, and which is a decent bit of recycling - it comes from the family home of, hmm, 50-plus years ago - and, although it’s not likely to be very energy-efficient, it does still work.

To hand are kits that I suppose could be called ‘accessories’, ready for adaptation as required - maybe some permanent diorama, or perhaps something tacked together temporarily for photographic purposes. There are car and garage parts here, but also odd buildings in various scales. Some can be used with 1:25 scale cars, while smaller ones suit 1:48 or 1:72 scale rockets and missiles. The perennial problem is that I never know exactly what I am going to want, so the motto has to be, Never throw anything away!

Photo zone

This room also features the photography area, with yet more diorama accessories and boxed figures stored underneath. Since I started to write modelling articles - August 1974 was the first I ever wrote, for Scale Models (pre ‘International’) magazine - photos have been needed. A dedicated area is easier and more efficient than having to shift stuff off the modelling bench, or any other surface, to set up temporary backing and lighting. So here in the photo zone hang four big rolls of Colorama backdrop paper in black, buff, dark blue, and what I mostly use, a pale

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