Model Maker Story

Guillermo Rojas-Bazan & his Hand -Made

Exhibition Airplane Models in Aluminum

By Chuck Austin, Mike Knepper & Ann Cooper

At fifteen years of age, Guillermo´s father was the subject of newspaper stories in Buenos Aires, Argentina, describing his unusual pioneering hobby, building aircraft models of tin plate.

By the time Guillermo was born, his father´s hobby had evolved into a fine art.

Rojas Bazan senior never sold his tin plate aircraft and car models, he build them for the enjoyment of his sons and the children of friends in the community where they lived.

Greatly influenced by his father, Guillermo began building scratch models at a very young age.

When he was eight he decided to build a Martin B-10 which was not available as a kit. Undaunted, eight year-old Guillermo scratch-built the Martin of cardboard. As he grew older, he worked in wood, tin plate, and finally sheet aluminum. It was clear. He had inherited his father´s artistic talents and metal working craftsmanship.

He continued this tradition as a hobby until 1981 when he was hired by the Argentine Air Force and the Instituto Aeronaval (naval aviation) of Argentina where he worked as an aviation illustrator, a technical draftsman and a designer and builder of his unique sheet aluminum scale aircraft replicas for exhibition in the museums where they are still on display. Guillermo´s hobby had now become his profession.

In 1988 Guillermo Rojas Bazan moved to Spain where he produced his replicas for a London gallery of aviation art whose orders came from serious scale aircraft replica collectors in Europe and the United States.

In 1990 Guillermo met and married Argentine-born Clarisa. She lived in Israel where she was a social worker. Finally the couple moved to the United States.

Guillermo´s love of airplanes and his passion to build the finest scale aircraft reproductions grows in intensity with each passing year and is reflected in his work.


One former WWII P-51 pilot and collector remarked, ¨It´s like looking at the real aircraft through the wrong end of a pair of binoculars.

The details in this Rojas Bazan model are the best I´ve ever seen -the lighted and instrumented cockpit, guns and ammo belts in the wings, the fuselage, wing and tail panels, operating controls, navigation and landing lights, the prop, the details in the wheel wells. It s exactly as I remember the aircraft I flew. This model is incredible.¨


One aircraft museum curator in Washington D.C. expressed the opinion of many when he said, ¨These models far exceed typical museum quality. Their actual sheet-aluminum construction is the perfect medium. You can´t fake the look of real aluminum any other way. Where was Guillermo when we were asked to make a model for President Bush?¨

¨I am very impressed with the models in the photographs you sent,¨ a collector wrote. ¨I only hope the photographs are of your models and not the real thing.¨

In his article about Guillermo´s work, Mike Knepper wrote in Cigar Aficionado magazine (September 1995): ¨These models are fine art, requiring the same level of skill necessary to create a museum-quality painting or sculpture. Some might scoff that they´re ¨just model airplanes,¨ but that´s like saying Mozart´s strings quartets are ¨nice tunes.¨ We´re talking the Mozart of modeling here.¨

Guillermo lives with his wife Clarisa and their son Roy in Royal Oak, Michigan, USA.

 

Currently Rojas Bazan prefers to create reproductions of propeller aircraft from the      period 1925 through 1945.