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Small Subjects

Author: Jim and Barry

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Small Subjects is a podcast devoted to discussing big topics in the worlds of scale modeling, diorama-building, and sculpting and painting miniature figures, as well as presenting interviews with some of the top artists in the field, including every era, and ranging from historical to fantasy subjects. Co-hosts Barry Biediger, who is based in Salt Lake City, and Jim DeRogatis, who lives in Chicago, are the editors of the Web site boxdioramas.com. Both have decades of experience as modelers, though they maintain that they are always curious and always learning. They are dedicated members of the Military Miniature Society of Illinois, where they considered the great Sheperd Paine a friend and mentor. Barry is also a member of his local chapter of the Armor Modeling and Preservation Society, while DeRogatis has written, co-written, or edited ten books about popular music and two about miniatures and modeling (Sheperd Paine: The Life and Work of a Master Modeler and Military Historian and Shep Paine’s Armor Modelers Guide). You can contact the hosts at smallsubjectspodcast@gmail.com. Thanks for listening!

48 Episodes
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Episode 48: Natalia Oracz

Episode 48: Natalia Oracz

2024-07-1101:17:35

Jim and Barry chat with another of their favorite painters from the fantasy realm, and one who’s been on their wish list of guests for quite some time: Natalia Oracz.They also talk about the inaugural Rocky Mountain Hobby Expo in Salt Lake City, an open show which was held on June 22.For photos of what we discuss in each episode, visit the Small Subjects blog on boxdioramas.com: http://www.boxdioramas.com/smallsubjectsJoin one of our group builds:Historex:https://www.facebook.com/groups/small...
Jim and Barry talk with Joan about her extraordinary box diorama “Algorithm As Art,” a gold-medal winner at MFCA 2024. Jim calls it one of the most important boxes in the history of the form—for its imagination, its execution, the ideas it raises, and the discussions it prompts. (Be sure to read his piece about it here.)For photos of what we discuss in each episode, visit the Small Subjects blog on boxdioramas.com: http://www.boxdioramas.com/smallsubjectsJoin one of our group builds:Historex:...
Episode 46: Verko's Vault

Episode 46: Verko's Vault

2024-04-2501:13:14

Your hosts have been hustling to get the scoop on Verko’s Vault for some time. In this episode, they finally got the full run-down on the exciting plans for what will be one of the largest museums of miniatures yet opened to the public.We also have another of Jim’s ongoing Questions for Barry, this one involving how to effectively fade colors with an airbrush.For photos of what we discuss in each episode, visit the Small Subjects blog on boxdioramas.com: http://www.boxdioramas.com/smallsubjec...
Episode 45: Erik Swinson

Episode 45: Erik Swinson

2024-03-2101:30:07

In this episode, your hosts talk with Virginia Beach-based professional miniatures painter Erik Swinson, one of the most stunning talents on the scene today.Erik streams on Twitch most Wednesday evenings: https://www.twitch.tv/erik_swinsonIf you can't make those live streams, you can watch them later on his Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/@erik_swinsonFollow Erik on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/erik_swinson/and Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/erikswinsonWe also talk to Den...
On this episode, your hosts tackle two big ideas they’ve been thinking and talking about a lot lately. First up: The notion of throwing away all the “rules” and thinking more abstractly. They also talk about digital modeling and 3D printing in terms of it's advantages and disadvantages versus traditional scratch building. For photos of what we discuss in each episode, visit the Small Subjects blog on boxdioramas.com: http://www.boxdioramas.com/smallsubjectsJoin one of our group builds:Hi...
Episode 43: Jon Harbuck

Episode 43: Jon Harbuck

2024-01-1801:39:36

We chat with Alabama-based modeler Jon Harbuck, an attorney, a true Southern gentleman, and a favorite for the powerful storytelling in his work.We also talk about Barry and Joan's recent trip to Las Vegas for a painting workshop taught by Matteo di Diomede held at Verko's Vault, the exciting new miniatures museum.For photos of what we discuss in each episode, visit the Small Subjects blog on boxdioramas.com: http://www.boxdioramas.com/smallsubjectsJoin one of our group builds:Historex:https:...
In this episode, your hosts talk about what’s been happening at their work benches, and (as usual) a few other things, including a movie they’d been eagerly anticipating but which, alas, let Jim down.Barry gives an update on his restoration of the classic Shep Paine box diorama “A King of Shreds and Patches (Hamlet Sees the Ghost of His Father),” and Jim talks about two box dioramas he is working on. For photos of what we discuss in each episode, visit the Small Subjects blog on boxdior...
Episode 41: Bob Sarnowski

Episode 41: Bob Sarnowski

2023-11-1602:09:11

Warning: Unlike most of our episodes, this one has some profanity.We talk to veteran MMSI member and expert painter Bob Sarnowski. We also recap MMSI 2023. Listen to find out why there will be one less thing Jim can tease Barry about.For photos of what we discuss in each episode, visit the Small Subjects blog on boxdioramas.com: http://www.boxdioramas.com/smallsubjectsJoin one of our group builds:Historex:https://www.facebook.com/groups/smallsubjectshistorexFlats:https://www.facebook.co...
Another illuminating chat with Marijn, this time on the subject of the open system of judging miniatures and models. We also answer a listener voice message from Grant Mayberry about what to expect at your first open miniature and modelling show.You can find photos and links to information discussed in each episode at our podcast blog on boxdioramas.comJoin us on Facebook:Historex group buildFantasy bust group build or hang out in the Small Subjects Hospitality Suite. C...
Jim and Barry talk to Dave Youngquist of the ace online hobby shop Last Cavalry. They also chat about Barry's recent trip to the IPMS/USA National Convention. Photos of the pieces we discuss can be found on our blog on Boxdioramas.com
In this episode, your hosts have a fascinating chat with British native, now San Diego-based painter and modeler Gary Baker. In addition to being big fans of his work, and agreeing that he’s one of the finest gents we’ve met in the hobby in recent years, we were eager to hear Gary’s thoughts about sculpting and painting hair—he’s a professional stylist and the creative director at UNITE Hair—and he made us think even more about how much character hair adds to a figure, as well as paying atten...
Episode 36: Mike Hilleary

Episode 36: Mike Hilleary

2023-06-2201:37:05

Barry and Jim had a splendid chat with Mike Hilleary, the Connecticut-based modeler they consider one of the best painters in America today. The boys also used the opportunity of a question left on the show’s voice mail to discuss that recent editorial in the IPMS Journal by the group’s president David Lockhart, which effectively claimed that there would be no modeling shows in the U.S. without the group, and that people who come to and exhibit at its shows without being active members of the...
Episode 35: MFCA 2023

Episode 35: MFCA 2023

2023-05-2501:30:50

On May 5 and 6, your hosts once again traveled to the outskirts of Philadelphia for the 80th Annual Show sponsored by the Miniature Figure Collectors of America, one of the premier exhibitions of miniature arts in the U.S. In this episode, Barry and Jim offer some thoughts on the show recorded after the fact, as well as some live recordings amidst all of the fun on Saturday morning—an audio vérité first for Small Subjects! You can find photos and links to information discussed in ...
Episode 34: Joe Berton

Episode 34: Joe Berton

2023-04-2002:32:11

Joe has been an active modeler since his teens in the early 1970s, and he is one of the most acclaimed artists and well-loved friend-to-all in the miniatures hobby. A retired art teacher, he’s a man with a million stories (and a rather famous alter ego, at least among baseball fans). We enjoyed every minute of talking with him, and feel like we’ve only scratched the surface, so we may well have to consider a recurring segment. (We do love the idea he floated of “Travels with Shep.”) You can f...
Episode 33: Ingvild Eiring

Episode 33: Ingvild Eiring

2023-03-1602:13:44

Your hosts have been big fans of Ingvild Eiring’s box dioramas since she first made us aware of them by emailing this Web site and asking if we thought it would make sense to add a gallery for her. Heck yes!, we said, and what’s more, we thought we could learn a lot by chatting with this extraordinary artist, since she straddles the worlds of our pursuit, the dollhouse hobby, and fine art. (She has had several gallery exhibitions, and her work is much sought-after by collectors.)You can find ...
On this episode, we talk with one of Barry’s fellow modelers from Utah, Travis Haussener, who, despite the shared passion for miniatures and modeling, differs from him and co-host Jim in two pretty significant ways: Athleticism (you won’t find either of us getting buried in an avalanche, mainly because you’d never find either of us on skis), and, um, he holds a PhD in organic chemistry. We thought we could glean some insights into a lot of stuff we use on the workbench all the time without ha...
Tools (And Other Stuff) We Hate (according to Jim), or Tools (And Other Stuff) That Just Haven’t Worked for Him (according to Barry, who is overall a kinder person).You can find photos and links to information discussed in each episode at our podcast blog on boxdioramas.comCheck out some other great modeling podcasts on modelpodcasts.comWe want to hear from you! CLICK HERE to leave us a message about anything in any of our episodes, or to pose a question you’d like to hear us addr...
Episode 30: Will Pattison

Episode 30: Will Pattison

2022-12-1501:37:39

One of our favorite and most outspoken voices in the hobby, we thought it was long overdue for us to chat with Will Pattison, especially since Jim needed some advice on chipping, and Will is the master! Will frequently posts to the Scale Modelers Critique Group on Facebook, shares his knowledge on his YouTube Channel, and talks modeling and other things with co-hosts Tracy Hancock and Chris Meddings on the Sprue Cutters Union podcast, and he’s written for several hobby magazines. He is ...
Episode 29: Mike Good

Episode 29: Mike Good

2022-11-1701:50:06

The name of California-based miniature sculptor Mike Good should be familiar to many in our hobby. We talk with him about his work, his interests, and his methodology. You can find photos and links to information discussed in each episode at our podcast blog on boxdioramas.comCheck out some other great modeling podcasts on modelpodcasts.comWe want to hear from you! CLICK HERE to leave us a message about anything in any of our episodes, or to pose a question you’d like to hear us address...
Episode 28: Greg Cihlar

Episode 28: Greg Cihlar

2022-10-2001:14:22

Barry and Jim talk with Chicago-area modeler Greg Cihlar, a consistently gold-medal maker of striking dioramas and vignettes in the historical world (World War II a specialty) who’s also branched out to do some stunning work in the fantasy realm. You can find photos and links to information discussed in each episode at our podcast blog on boxdioramas.com Check out some other great modeling podcasts on modelpodcasts.comWe want to hear from you! CLICK HERE to leave us a message about...
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