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Jari Lievonen

Jari Lievonen Jari Lievonen, born in 1962

Jari was born in 1962 near Helsinki. He inherited model building early on from his father who was not only a modeller but a skilful “do it yourself man”. Jari’s first model was Airfix Folland Gnat that received a dreadful all bronze coat of paint. Other air planes soon followed accompanied with toy soldiers and tanks. Later on the boys in the village where Jari was living got an idea of playing an outdoor tactical war game where 1:72 models were used as game pieces. This soon led to a veritable “arms race” and almost serial construction of models. It also meant a lot of hard work because the money for the models had to be earned by clipping grass, ploughing snow etc. However, there was still time to read history books and before he was 10 Jari had for example read the World History series by a Swedish historian Carl Grimberg.

In his late teens Jari moved over to 1:35 scale and started building armoured vehicles. The first was Tamiya Tiger I followed by Monogram Brummbär. Over the years many other models followed but Jari’s construction and painting skills did not evolve much. As most of the available models were German at the time it was only natural that Jari not only built German armour but also became interested in their history.

After conscription in 1981 and serving his 11 months in the army Jari begun his studies at the university in the faculty of Social and Political Sciences. Apart of his major, national economics, Jari also had the opportune to study political history at the faculty. Reading books on political history has been an important pass time for him ever since. After his studies Jari started to work in banking business, founded a family and built a house. All this meant a 10 year break in modelling. However, with the house came the hobby room that made it possible to start modelling again in 1993.

Jari joined the Finnish IPMS and took part in competitions. Competitions brought a new aspect to modelling; the need to improve both building and painting skills in order to perform better. This led to adaptation of new techniques like casting parts in resin, making photo etched parts at home, learning how to solder, learning how to paint with an airbrush and so on. Improving skills meant also more background work and need for better background material. Over time it also meant international contacts, first in the net and later on at Euro Militaire show where Jari became a regular visitor. At Euro Militaire he also got to know Tony Greenland and Heiner Duske. When Jari entered into the competition a scratch built Grille M, Tony and Heiner asked if he would be interested in assisting in writing a volume on Nuts&Bolts series about the vehicle. Jari said yes, but it took almost 10 years before he had to make good for his promise when the Nuts&Bolts team decided to publish their volume on Grille H.