Ian was born in Newcastle, Australia and educated, or at least regularly turned up to Primary and High School in the northern Sydney suburb of St Ives.
Upon being given his HSC out of pity he started work in 1979 as an apprentice model maker at Arcmod Models. After completing his apprenticeship he moved to Adelaide and worked in-house for Woods Bagot Architects. After only 18 months Sydney’s waterways beckoned and he returned in 1985 to establish Austek Models.
Having made exclusively architectural models for 10 years the recession of the late 80’s saw Ian looking at other types of model making ventures and he soon found himself building maritime and industrial models as well.
Austek Models has, over the years, employed and trained many model makers. However Ian found himself managing people and not enjoying his first love of model making, so he now works pretty much on his own. This gives him complete control over quality and service.
If he is not in his workshop in Manly Vale Ian can be found on a yacht sailing somewhere in Sydney or off Australia’s east coast.
Thanks for visiting the Austek Model making website.
The guy developing this website (Neil) says I have to say something about myself and the business so it will get seen more, I tend to like hiding in the shed and making cool stuff, not talking myself up on Google but here goes 😊 he also says I need to say lots…… Sorry.
Why consider Ian & Austek Models.
I started professional model making in 1979 and except for a few months during the late 80’s financial meltdown have been fully booked with work ever since.
Web Developer (Neil) is asking these questions. I guess since 1979 I have made around 2500 models. Some of which you have already seen, everything from small timber gifts for friends to 3 meter long, fully detailed helicopters. Some of the work I do is confidential and unfortunately can’t be seen but the previous pages hopefully give you an indication of what can be done. As an early starter in modelmaking everything had to be handmade, now days 3D printing, computers and CGI are the tools of the trade and hopefully I can add a bit of old school craftsmanship as well.
To say model making is a passion for me would probably undersell it. I consider myself extremely lucky, both professionally and personally, to have worked with talented people in every field to provide models. I’ve delivered projects for leading architects, representing some of Australia's largest Architectural firms to One Man Bands who needed a theatre set, or help with their school assignments.
I've designed and built model yachts for Naval Architects, provided models of all shapes and sizes to military suppliers and worked with any type of engineer you've met. I've taken my models, large and small, to addresses within Sydney and around Australia. I've even quoted and delivered models to customers around the world. I’m happy to look at any model for delivery anywhere you like.
Every model I start takes me in a new direction. Whenever I think I've made them all, one of my customers comes up with a unique, never before seen request which makes me progress my thinking.
There's usually a period of head scratching involved but I always seem to get there. I've used pretty much every material you could think of from plastic to titanium and everything in between. I've cut and glued components of every description made with any tool and machine you can bring to mind to create my customers' models. What the customer needs is always evolving which means my use of materials and techniques must evolve as well.
Trends in Modelmaking – and how they help you
More recently, 3D printing has taken over the basic aspects of the models I make. These days, most models I make require consideration of how this relatively new technology can be used to speed up the creation of the simpler, more repetitive elements involved in construction, as well this 3D printing has the ability to create models that were just not possible 5 years ago. The degree of detail and the complexity of shapes is endless so long as you have the drawings. Currently in the workshop I have 2 FDM printers and 4 resin printers capable of printing up to 320 mm x 300 mm x 250 mm in a single print. Sections can be printed and glued to create even larger models.
3D printing has made models simpler to provide, cheaper to fabricate and it helps me deliver work to my partners much faster than ever while providing never before achievable detail.
What I can provide customers - who need models
On top of the 3D printed components I use, I can add:
What makes a good model?
The key to providing you a good model is making clear your requirements. The better you can describe what it is you need (I can help you through this process) the better the results we'll get.
If you can describe it, I can build it for you.
I can also work with very specific and limited requirements including photographs and / or sketches, 2D or 3D drawings, any file type you can imagine (I can convert between formats if you need that) or, if you're after something fantastical where you only have a rough concept, I can make a start and we can develop it together.
What sort of models do I make and who buys them?
Customer requirements for discretion are common and always met. Some designs are confidential for security, commercial or personal reasons. Pictures of those models are not on this site…..sorry.
Types of models I can provide
Over the years, I've become familiar with a variety of construction / fabrication technologies and methodologies. A combination of the following should give you what you need in your model (although, of course, I need to know what it is you want to be sure of that).
Let me build a model for you
There's every chance that you have a model you need which pushes the limits of the field. If you do, I'd love to hear from you. Give me a call so we can talk about it or drop me an email. I love a challenge.
My focus is real models, I don't do hobby kits. I'm here to build a real relationship with my partners and customers. I still have my first customer, from 43 years ago as a partner. This is not a fly by night operation.
If you've got a detailed requirement, great. Send it to me - firstname.lastname@example.org
If you don't, give me a call and we'll talk it through. If I can't help you, I may well know someone who can.
Thanks for reading.