All posts by Steve

Live Clay Modeling Extravaganza in LA

If you are a budding designer and have your own views on what a car should look like, then maybe this is the sort of design assignment you are looking for. The Mazda Design Challenge has been launched and they are looking for members of “Facebook” to bring a whole new freshness to the 2018 Mazda3. This competition which is already running, is open only to residents of the United States and will conclude on November 7th 2007. Continue reading Live Clay Modeling Extravaganza in LA

Reduce your Calories with Coke Zero!

If you want to be trendy then get on the “Coke Zero” bandwagon, don’t worry about saying your on a diet, you don’t even have to publicize it by having “Diet” written on the can. The beauty of this new drink is it has “zero sugar” and the same “real taste” as the regular drink, with its own cool graphic to match.

Remember life is short, live it to the fullest and enjoy life as it should be, without all the extra calories.

Stay fit! Drink Coke Zero

Modeling Tools, Make Them or Buy Them?

During the many years that I have been modeling there is always the same question asked especially from newcomers of should I buy the modeling tools or should I make them. The first answer that I would give is are you confident in your ability to do the necessary metal work especially if you are going to make rakes, wire tools and to some extent steels. The other question that I would ask is, where are you situated in the world for buying the raw materials. If you are fortunate to live in the United States as I do then there is virtually an endless supply of companies who can supply the necessary materials to make these tools at a fraction of the price of buying them. The only trade off is, your time and possible the aesthetic look of the tool after you have made it compared to the purchased ones but there again you have the added knowledge of knowing that they are purpose built for your style of modeling.

For this purpose let’s look at modeling steels, these flat spring steel plates are the difference between a rough surface and a smooth surface in the hands of a competent modeler. With this particular tool in its various thicknesses and shapes, it will transform the sketched in model to a finished, smooth ready to go model for paint or Dinoc. As far as the overall look compared to the manufactured steel there is little difference, so for the purpose of making them there is plenty to gain. Continue reading Modeling Tools, Make Them or Buy Them?

Contract Clay Modeling Positions for July

As most clay modelers have probably noticed through their own networking, job opportunities have been picking up over the last couple of months. With this in mind I will condense this information into one post and will try and create an overview of this months offerings so as to give everyone an indication on how bouyant the industry is at the moment.

Most of this information has been gathered by my own contacts and frequenting notice boards such as ClayChat for regular updates.

  • Clay positions available in Holland, offered by Assystem UK (formerly known as International Automotive Design IAD) please contact Nicola, Tel: +44 (0) 1903-703221
  • Southern California clay modeling positions offered by Phoenix USA. All candidates should submit their Curriculum Vitae to or

    Ideally people with 10 years experience would be preferred. Point of contact Norman Astbury.

  • Allegro requires experienced clay modelers for Southern California, immediate openings for the right person, short based contracts in the Long Beach/Torrance, Los Angeles and Orange County. Point of contact John Grafman, please send supporting resume to

Continue reading Contract Clay Modeling Positions for July

Finding Equalibrium

Most major OEM studios suppliment their work force with some type of paid mercenary when the work load is greater than the permanent staff can handle but there comes a time when the percentage of contractors verses permanent staff can sometimes get out of wack. This type of situation not only jeopardizes the programs that are in progress but can also jeopardizes cadencing of future projects due to inconsistent manning levels.

You may be asking yourself, “What the hell is he talking about.” Just picture this situation where the logic behind the plan is to have just key personnel to manage the contract staff, a direct hire, be it a design director, model manager, workshop manager or personnel officer who receives a benefit package such as salary, health care, paid vacation etc, etc. As far as the company is concerned that equates to a reasonable compensation package and a safe seat, a person keeping reasonable contol of the day to day activities.

Now in this scenario the guys that are paid to do the work are employed contract staff, they become the employees of the agency, that is the company that they are vested in not the company that they are presently working for. Therefore at times when the work slackens off the hiring company can terminate contract staff by informing the agency that there is to be a staff reduction and X amount of workers will be let go on a certain date. This you may be saying is callous, unfeeling towards your work force but this doesn’t really come into it, contract workers are for the convenience of the hiring company, an easy way to control a work force without the additional headache of severance pay. That is why the extra premium is paid for a contract worker, mercenary or hired gun, call it what you will.

For the hiring company this is an ideal situation, control of the outgoing monies, flexible head count and the ability to shut an operation with minimal relocation issues. A few directs to pay severance to or offer relocation in the worst case and sell equipment for a penny on the dollar. Continue reading Finding Equalibrium

Bloggerwave, Blog Posts that Pay

Whooooohooo!! Check it out, not only do you get to do what you enjoy most (blogging of course!) but you can also get paid by producing candid reviews on related products or services in your chosen niche.

These guys at Bloggerwave provide the service for the small fry like you and me to be able to earn a few dollars writing about subject matter that fits nicely in our specialty field. It works simply like this, open an account and sign up your blog then wait for approval, that’s it. Within 72 hours they will let you know via your dashboard whether your blog has been accepted, for me it was done within 12 hours. After that you just checkout the “opportunities” as they are called and voilà, select and start writing with authority on those suitable subjects.

Now, we all know that we can’t be an authority on every given subject so spread the wealth, get your buddies in on the act, introduce them to Bloggerwave. Use integrity in your choice of assignments, show the customer you are an authority and with that more customers will join in knowing they will receive a quality service. So what do we get? We get to strut our stuff and get paid to boot.

Sulphur Free Clay Comparison

The debate still rages on with regards to the best sulphur free clay on the market today. What we have to realize is that every manufacturer of this type of material will be continually developing their product to prevent any loss of business, afterall, most auto manufacturers use this material to develop their future products. Modelers of all nationalities have their own opinions on what material should be used especially with sulphur free but the unfortunate reality is in most circumstances, the company policy where they work dictates the material to be used.

I’ve been in the position to have used or witnessed the offering in sulphur free clay from three of the main players, Chavant, Eberhard Faber and Kolb. To give you a more detailed description of how these clays face-off against each other, here is a more in depth review. Continue reading Sulphur Free Clay Comparison

My Best 5 from the Top 5

Now that the group writing project has finished on Darren Rowse weblog a total of 893 participants managed to submit their top 5 list for the chance of winning the prize of $1001.00. When you consider that this tripled the number of participants from his previous high, money is oviously the controlling factor. After wading through this immense amount of information and yes it’s all good information the random draw winner was Nancy Callahan with her entry “Baby names from video games.” Continue reading My Best 5 from the Top 5

Car/Brand Spotting, Burbank to Huntington Beach

Top 5 image supplied by

Darren Rowse of fame launches his latest group writing project this week and as usual there are a multitude of fellow bloggers eagerly pecking at their keyboards in the hope of being the lucky one drawn out of the hat for this weeks mega prize, $1001.00 cash, kindly donated by Chitika eMinimalls.

With this type of incentive how many of his regular 20,000+ readers are going to storm his inbox, or should I say 20,000+1 after I get this puppy sent out. Anyway for my participation I’m going to give an insight to the brand of vehicle that Southern Californians gravitate towards.

To try and give a somewhat true perspective I have jotted down on a pad the brands that are regularly seen on my daily 48 mile commute from Huntington Beach to Burbank. I’ve decided to allow two round trips to give a fairly comprehensive result, considering I’m marking each brand of vehicle that passes me against the name on the pad. As you can imagine a certain amount of dexterity is involved therefore I’ve kept my driving to the number two and three lane so as not to “upset” too many of my fellow commuters. Continue reading Car/Brand Spotting, Burbank to Huntington Beach

Déjà vu

The saying déjà vu is French for “already seen” or describes an experience or feeling that one has witnessed or experienced. In this case I am referring to the demise of the British car industry in which I was fully entrenched and experienced from the mid 80’s to the mid 90’s.

During those years I was working for small independent companies that took on the overspill from the major OEMs, commisioned properties to compete against their in-house models or show vehicles that had to be completed in a short time frame. Years of working long hours with great satisfaction to a sudden uncertainty, then nothing. That was the experience that many tradesmen suffered, being told in no uncertain terms to “get on your bike” to secure work.

During those troubled years, British Leyland, created in 1968 as a nationalized company which incorporated most of the British owned car industry, British Motor Holdings and Leyland Motor Corporation would undergo numerous name changes such as the Rover Group in 1986, then the MG Rover Group, which would eventually go bankrupt in 2005. This essentially ended the reign of mass produced automobiles by a British owned manufacturer. You may well ask, why did this happened and the long and the short of it is, competing against itself at all levels in the same market, badge engineering and craftsmanship that could not compete with other manufacturers. Continue reading Déjà vu