Note: This feature is in the January TT&C 2013 issue.
Keith Hopkins, artist, modeler and collector enjoys preserving models for the future hobbyists.
Commissioned by KTL Trucking, this 36-inch-by-60-inch acrylic painting of a W900 Kenworth roaring down I-80 outside Sacramento, Calif., was done by Keith Hopkins.
Chevrolet stake truck made from a Revell kit and set with an authentic store display that was an advertising tool in the 1950s.
Other stories in the Jan. TT&C 2013 are:
• Don Grimes the truck and trailer man by Cindy Ladage
* Fred Stute A Bull Haulin’ Man by Larry LeMasters
* Mack Trucks Puts on an Extravaganza by Mark Macreading
• Collector Update Checklist by Ray Crilley
Modelers, at times, try to be artists as they paint special models or layout displays. But truly special things happen in modeling when the collector is an actual artist. Take for example Keith Hopkins of Sacramento, Calif.
Hopkins, retired from an earlier furniture career, now earns a living as a fine artist, working in both acrylics and watercolors.
Of his art, Hopkins said, “Through my paintings, I try to evoke a scene of memory that goes beyond the scope of everyday life. If I can touch someone by the means of painting something that at one time enriched their soul, then I have accomplished my giving back to life which may have been lost with time.”
His giving back to life is especially apparent in his commissioned paintings. Hopkins is often commissioned to paint trucks or cars for owners.
A good example of his work is the W900 Kenworth tractor pulling a 53-foot reefer trailer that Hopkins painted for KTL Transportation Corporation of Sacramento. This 36-inch-by-60-inch beautiful acrylic of a KTL truck roaring down I-80 just at dusk now hangs prominently in KTL’s conference room.
Hopkins does more than paint trucks though; he is also a model truck collector. “My collection now numbers about 150 pieces,” he said. “But, at one time, it was almost 800 pieces with about half, or 400, of the pieces being trucks. I felt that the collection was getting out of hand, and since I didn’t own a warehouse to store it in, I sold off quite a bit of it over time.”
Several pieces of his collection are scratch built, including one of his favorite models. “I have a needlenose Kenworth model, valued at about $800, which is set up for hauling hay. This model was scratch built and signed on the bottom by Lou Krock, who is truly a famous modeler.
“I have been fortunate to buy several scratch-built models at different shows, including a couple of tankers that I really like. I also have a hay hauler built by Erick Oehme, another famous modeler.”
Using both his artistic and modeling talents, Hopkins has also scratch built model trucks for other people.
“I’ve been a hobbyist for well over 35 years and have been asked to build several trucks on consignment. I’ve always been interested in customizing trucks. Sometimes the customizing is as simple as making loads for trailers, while other customizing projects involve fully customizing trucks.”
Want to read the rest of the story? It's available in the Jan. TT&C 2013 magazine!
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