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Hobbyist wins best of show with model

A local man has a hobby that not only passes the time, but takes him across the province to compete

A local man has a lifelong hobby that not only passes the time, but takes him across the province to compete.

Warren Kostick built his first model at the age of 12, and it has been a part of his life ever since.

Now 52-years-old, Kostick took his Caterpillar face shovel model to Vancouver’s annual Auto Modelrama March 25, where it won best of show.

“‘It was surprising, because the competition was quite good,” said Kostick.

“(The judges) see the amount of work that goes into Cat models,” he said, noting that the judges are comprised of participants.

With over 500 hours of work over two winters put into the face shovel, it’s the largest and most complicated model he has built.

“I don’t know that I’ll ever do one that complex (again,)” he said.

The model was built from scratch on a 1/125th scale with over 600 nuts and bolts, 165 hydraulic pieces, and over 1360 individual parts, largely made up of styrene plastic, brass, and aluminum.

“My models are built to be as functional as the real thing,” said Kostick, with some of his models utilizing working lights and audio to produce engine noises.

“These aren’t models you can go buy off a shelf. I never take my builds for granted.”

But the Auto Modelrama was home to tough competition.

“There was a fellow there with a large Lamborghini,” said Kostick. “I thought he was going to get best of show.”

Over the years, Kostick has taken his scratch built models to various different shows with his first in the late 90s, but since moving to Vernon from Kamloops in 2003, he has only competed in the Vancouver show, winning a total of five best of show awards over his past three visits.

Even though his area of competition has been restricted to Vancouver by the move, he and his wife are happy to have come to Vernon.

“Coming from Kamloops was a nice change,” he said. “Everything is so lush and green, we really enjoy it here.”

And, in their new home in Vernon, Kostick was able to turn his basement into a showroom for his models, the perimeter full of plexiglass-covered cabinets showcasing Kostick’s elaborate collection of over 200 models, comprised mostly of cars.

Kostick started building scratch models in the 90s, and it has become a multifaceted hobby for him.

“When you’re scratch building a model, there are so many different aspects,” said Kostick, who spends between 300 and 500 hours on each scratch built model. “You have to be a draftsman and an engineer.”

While building his first Caterpillar model, Kostick emailed another hobbyist in Europe to find parts, who suggested he submit articles to Truck Model World, a European model building magazine.

“Now when I’m doing models, I’m thinking about the article and the pieces I need,” he said.

Despite the success he has seen, Kostick continues to build models simply because he loves it.

“I like the challenge of designing and building these complex models,” said Kostick. “And when they’re finished I have and a real sense of satisfaction and accomplishment at creating a one of a kind model.

“It helps to occupy my time because my mind is always going. I can’t sit in front of the TV and watch sports for eight hours a day,” he laughs. “It’s more gratifying than getting a beer belly.”

To avoid becoming burnt out from the meticulous building, Kostick spends more time on his models during the winter while his work as a heavy equipment operator with LB Chapman Construction slows down.

“(That way) by the time winter rolls around, I’m anxious to get back in there,” he said.

When he isn’t working or building models, Kostick spends his time playing guitar and working on his muscle car, but model building will always remain part of his life.

“Once I retire, I hope to spend even more time dedicated to it,” said Kostick.

“It’s going to be a lifelong thing for me. I don’t see it fading out anytime soon.”