Meet the staff behind the scenes at FineScale Modeler magazine.
Mark Savage, Publisher
As a kid Mark made car and aircraft models; his first kit he can remember was an F-101 Voodoo. He liked the name! Since then he has added die-cast models, slot car racing, and snowmobiling to his “favorites” list. Mark joined Kalmbach Publishing after 25 years as a daily newspaper journalist, where he became an auto review columnist (“Savage on Wheels”), something he continues as a side interest. At KPC Mark first was editor of Model Retailer, the hobby trade magazine, before becoming editor of American Snowmobiler. He happily rejoins the hobby world as Finescale’s associate publisher and hopes to get some airbrush training to enhance his modeling skills.
Matthew Usher, Editor
A lifelong modeler, Matthew Usher joined FineScale Modeler in the mid-1990s and was named editor in 2006. Matthew is also a regular contributor to FSM's sister publication, Scale Auto, and has edited magazines in the full-size automotive world for Subaru and Porsche. While his building interests cover most of the modeling spectrum, Matthew is an avid car and aircraft modeler, and he showcased his science-fiction modeling skills in his first book, Kalmbach Publishing's A Galaxy Far Away: Building Star Wars Models.
Mark Hembree, Associate Editor
Mark’s first term as FineScale Modeler associate editor, 1989-1996, marked his return to a hobby he abandoned back when Revell’s Gemini was a current topic. (If you're a longtime FSM reader, see if you can find Mark's Hobbycraft P-36 or his review of the AMT/Ertl "Back to the Future" DeLorean.) After a 10-year hiatus, during which he wrote and edited for various marketing companies and freelanced for several newspapers and magazines, Mark returned to FSM in 2006. Before beginning his editorial career in the early '80s at Athlon Sports in Nashville, Tennessee, he was a musician who toured and recorded with Bill Monroe, the Nashville Bluegrass Band, and several other "Americana" music luminaries. (“When they rolled the music credits for ‘O Brother, Where Art Thou?’ it looked like my old address book,” he says.) Mark's diverse modeling interests include aircraft, armor, and spacecraft, although he has also volunteered to build comic-book and movie characters for review.
Timothy Kidwell, Associate Editor
Tim Kidwell received his first model kit, a 1/72 F-16 Falcon with Thunderbird markings, when he was six. He has spent many hours at the workbench in the years since, modeling all sorts of subjects, but enjoys most building wooden sailing ships and painting figures. Before moving to FineScale Modeler in 2011, Tim worked at FSM's sister publication, Model Retailer, for almost five years. While there, he reported on the business side of the hobby industry. Tim also authors short stories, novels, and plays, which doesn't leave him very much spare time.
Aaron Skinner, Associate Editor
Aaron has been making models of one kind or another since he was six and built his first model -- a race car of some sort put together with help from his grandfather. He grew up in Australia and graduated from the University of Queensland in Brisbane with a degree in journalism and history. After moving back to the United States in 1994, Aaron worked as a reporter and photographer for newspapers in Texas and Arkansas, before joining the FSM staff in August 2006. He will build anything that grabs his fancy, particularly commercial airliners, Russian armor, and anything science fiction.
Monica Freitag, Editorial Associate
Monica has been a member of the FineScale editorial staff since 1982. Aside from keeping the operations of the magazine office running smoothly, she is also responsible for the magazine's New Product coverage. Monica lives in the Milwaukee area with her two teenage children, and a large cat named Zion. When she can find some free time, she enjoys weekends in northern Wisconsin, boating, entertaining, and gardening.
Tom Ford, Art Director
Tom has worked on more than a dozen magazines over the past 20 years, including Art Muscle, Astronomy, Bird Watching, Earth, and Mercury. He has also designed books for Little Golden Books and, of course, Kalmbach Publishing Co. While he's primarily a print designer, Tom also dabbles in Flash and web design. Wired into the Internet since nearly the beginning, Tom spent many long nights dialing up his mother's school's PDP-11 miniframe computer at 300 baud. He's been (unsuccessfully) trying to keep up with technology ever since.
Mike Soliday, Managing Art Director
Since joining Kalmbach Publishing Co. in 1996, Mike has art directed several of the company’s titles, including FineScale Modeler. In his current role as Managing Art Director, he oversees the design of FSM by working closely with the editorial and design staffs. Mike built his first model kit, a P-38, when he was about ten with help from his older brother–who then talked him into blowing it up with a firecracker. Although his current passion is for auto modeling (he builds review models for FSM’s sister publication, Scale Auto), he admits he still loves anything that rolls, floats or flies and has gun barrels sticking out of it.