Replicating reality

Replicating reality

Exciting avocation

Replicating reality

I BUILT IT!”- that squeal of joy upon completing a model, denoting an incredible sense of accomplishment, is what prompted Sunil Dev Prasanna to come up with the name of his professional model-making workshop, perhaps the first in the City. An architect by profession, Sunil, together with his wife Zoeya, gave wings to his passion for this unique hobby in May this year. “Model-making is replicating reality to scale, in detail.

It is a very popular hobby worldwide but not so much in India, mainly due to non-availability of supplies, expensive equipment and dearth of technical guidance. In fact, only about 150 people in the country are into it, with just about 20 doing it actively. As a child, I lacked the proper tools and expertise for it. However, now that I have everything available, I would like to share this engaging hobby with others who are equally passionate about it but face the same problems,” tells Sunil.

His fascination for model-making began at the age of 12 when he accidentally stumbled upon a US fighter jet ‘F-15 E Strike Eagle’ model at a toy shop in Brigade Road. He convinced his mother to purchase the set and put it together at home. From then on, his relatives abroad contributed to his pursuit by regularly bringing various kits. And with his dexterity, the 31-year-old now coaches individuals aged 10 to 60 years at his state-of-the-art workshop in Indiranagar. “Our workshop is equipped with airbrushes, powerful compressors, imported Japanese paints and supplies and a photo-station. All one needs to bring along is their enthusiasm,” says Sunil, who has finished mentoring one batch of 12 students.

The workshops are conducted on weekends and each person gets an individual workstation. “Zoeya and I are there to guide students through the entire five-step process of assembly, base painting, detailed painting, weathering and finishing. Often, they get so engrossed that we have to remind them to break for lunch,” details Sunil.

Miniature models of ‘Russian tank KV-1’, ‘Panavia Tornado’ (fighter aircraft) and ‘AH-64 D Apache Longbow’ (helicopter) adorn the workstations along with motorcycle and ship replicas. He shares that owing to Indians’ fixation for cars, they are also planning to bring assembly kits for beauties like the ‘Mercedes Benz’, ‘Ferrari’ and ‘Lamborghini’. “Many students have shown interest in constructing spacecraft models. We’re even opening up to people’s imagination and thinking of incorporating fantasy figures from Game of Thrones, The Lord of the Rings etc.”

However, building elaborate designs is not all that model-making is about. It also helps improve hand-eye coordination, motor skills, observation powers and serves as a great teaching aid whereby children can expand and retain knowledge longer, explains Sunil adding, “Model-making is an important skill to develop if one is looking to get into a creative profession like architecture or product design.”

Evidently, students seem to be enjoying every bit of it and they are all set to start another batch soon. 14-year-old Adithya Shripathy says, “The workshop was great fun and very interesting. My knowledge of history increased as did my skills at airbrush painting. I liked it so much that I have signed up for the entire year.” While Arun Swaminathan, 52, who taught Sunil at RV College of Architecture, is now happy to learn the nuances of the hobby from his student.

“One of our students is from Aurinko Academy, a school for dyslexic children. He required very little guidance and we were stunned with the final outcome. He had such a good experience that Aurinko has asked I BUILT IT to coordinate on some of their school projects,” shares Sunil, hoping to make model-making more accessible to Bengalureans.
For details, visit www.IBUILTIT.IN or call 9916939738.