Interview with Leon Ku

Leon ku, the winners of multi-awards in the Gundam modeling world is by nature a man of few words and hardly like to stood up into the limelight in person. I have the privilege to interview him and hopefully give everyone a more up close and personal with his fans.

*Leon Ku, the winner of Multi-award for Gundam Modelling from Singapore

Hi Leon Ku, when and how did you start your love for Gundam Modeling?
I took some interest after played some Playstation gundam game and further confirmed my love for Gundam after watched Wing Gundam tv series. I begin the model building when i first purchased the HG Gundam deathscythe H from Tampinese Isetan, completed the kit in 2 hrs and decided to go for more than my salary can afford.

Since 1998 you have started on model making. Is there anybody or inspiration that keep you going for making models all these years?
At first i took great interest on the display of a hobby shop and later i begin my regular purchase of hobby Japan magazine for a long 8years. Initially my minimum objective for any model kit was to do better than the box art and later part i want to do as good as those works posted on magazine. Now i want to try different presentation and way to improve the Gundam, it fun to create or redesign them or simply give the model kit a makeover.

3. Did you ever felt burned out on modeling or disheartening moment?
Yes, while i was sculpting the explosion base and realized all the dented marks from my finger nails and finger prints all for the 14 stems of flames! It took me 1hr plus to sand the first stem, by the time i go through half of them, I suffered from bristles on my fingers and thumb caused from abrasion and terrible sore aching neck and shoulder which last for weeks.

For the worst, that is just the first run. I need to go through sanding, putty and priming for several times. i asked myself...why am i doing this...can i sleep now..

What kept you going?
I want to try out new methods and ideas....hmm...just like a game play with 12 usable characters, i will try to beat game with all different characters.

Is there any of your work that you felt very attached to and why do you have that attachment?
I like most of my works..but the most attached maybe Destroy Gundam because he is the most tedious piece which I almost scratch built it from nothing.

Plus, it's the world first 1/144 scale Destroy Gundam.

You have a informal label known as "Gundam Factory" due to the time and the amount you done customized models for interesting parties. How do you think about that?
well.. when i'm excited about a particular idea, i will go non-stop. and also due to much experience i'm probably faster..

Do you train other modeler as well?
yes i would say advises fact quite a few. i'm proud of them..

Will you consider to conduct classes to teach Gundam model maker?
No, I don't conduct classes as I have a full time job. I find it hard to arrange a regular time to gather together. However I never say no to those need help or advice.

What do you think about Modeling making scene in Singapore and the future of this hobby?
The future looks bright at the moment.
- I am seeing more exposures for the younger generation
- We have Gundam Fiesta for the second year running and both have been successful
- And for the first time locally, we have private screening of Unicorn and Gundam 00, which seems impossible in the past.
- The local distributor and Bandai have been aggressive in promoting their products in recent years too.
- I am seeing more young people picking up this hobby which is a good thing as we need young blood.

What are the some of the basic technics you used all the time?
Post shading...give a 3D realistic feel to a small plastic models. minimum work to great effect.

Do you prefer hand paint or Airbrush?
Hand paint or air brush? it depends on situations, for detail painting like eyes, mini mechanism, weathering, damage paint and lens, i will go for handpaint. For generally painting on wide area, definitely airbrush, as it spread paint evenly thoroughly wide surface without a brush stroke mark on it, gradual shading to create a 3D feel can only achieved by airbrush.

You have won so many contest for such a long span of time, What does it take to win a model kit contest?
well..must be attractive enough to attract the judge.

Will there be a day you get tired of doing model kit or retire from it?
This idea never cross my head, and also i knew many of my best friends from doing model kits.

I understand you did model customize works on Gunpla, Cars and even transformers. Which of these you enjoy the most and why?
Gundams of color code to follow..customise weapons and armour as there are none in real world,.for cars will look like diecast to many after you have given details and painted(not worth), transformer: most of the transformer look like toylike even after mod and paint.

* Custom painted on Transformers by Leon Ku. Photo Credit to Toymaker.

I understand you do commission works. How would people get to contact you to do one?
Usually people know me from my works at Hobby Art Gallery, they contacted me via the shop, but they can also contact me at Prices remain unchanged

Thank you Leon Ku for having this interview. Now I hope everyone get a better understanding of who is Leon Ku the modeller behind all his masterpieces.

More of profile of Leon Ku can be found here or more of Leon Ku work over at Toymaker


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