Two for Tuesday: Matt Bace

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Good evening constant reader, its happy hour and our bartender Lloyd is setting them up neat, just the way you like it. Tonight’s V.I.P. in the Manifesto lounge is an empty bar-stool, because much like Elvis, the builder in question has apparently left the building.  In doing so he has deleted all of his Lego content from the internet, which is a shame.  Matt Bace still resides on MOCpages, but only as a ghost, preserved  for the moment in the legion of comments he left behind on other people’s models.  I’ll tell you up front I have no idea why Matt left the scene, I was not able to find any final statement or even a discussion of his departure. In fact, had Christopher not mentioned it in the comments section of the recent Poland article, I never would have known he left.   Unlike the previous subjects of Two for Tuesday, I don’t know Matt Bace beyond our brief but always friendly communication on MOCpages and Flickr. I never met him in person, so there will be no personal anecdotes in this installment, just a salutary raise of the glass to a guy I wish was still around.  It seems like the assholes never leave, and the stand-up guys fade out, wander off or just disappear one day.

Obviously we’ve lost a skilled builder who raised the bar with LDD creations that ran the thematic gamut from giant battleships to this remarkable Analog Equalizer.  In fact, I’m hard pressed to think of a digital builder who stretched himself quite as far, tackling diverse subject matter and scale with such compelling results. The real loss though, was Matt’s influence on other builders and his frequent encouraging comments.  In my brief bit of research for this article, I came across a dozen example of builders citing Matt as inspiration for their own efforts.  From personal experience running the Decisive Action war games on MOCpages, and looking at hundreds of models in the process, there were two commenters whose names came up again and again, with good advice and praise: Clayton Marchetti and Matt Bace.  We go on at length here at the Manifesto, about critique and communication and I can’t think of a guy who better personifies those values.

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Tuesday means double-shots, and for our second round, I couldn’t very well pass up Matt’s masterpiece, a 1:200 scale model of the USS Kitty Hawk that would have been over 5 feet long in the brick.  I’ve included the builder’s take on the USS Missouri as well, because it was just as influential at over 4 feet, the average length of a SHIP, which we’ve been talking about so much lately.  If you’re not a digital builder, (like me), then it is difficult to understand how important these models are.  I remember seeing it when it was posted and being impressed, but again, while researching this article I saw so many references to both of these ships.  Builders from all over the globe talk about how much they learned from seeing how these warships were constructed and talking to Matt, who was apparently quite willing to offer advice and insight into the process.

I was not able to locate a photo of Matt, so we’ll depart from the format here and abandon any notion of fashion critique.  As I said in the opening I’ve never met Matt and I don’t know the circumstances of his departure, so instead I’ll conclude the proceedings with his take on Rutherford’s hero…General George S. Patton, who was also very fond of the word “attack!”  We salute you, Mr. Bace, for your compelling builds and contribution to the warm and embracing community.  If you have any information about Matt’s departure that you’re at liberty to share, hook us up in the comments.

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I’ll close with a call for suggestions how to best preserve what’s left of Matt’s work online.   You may have noticed that the majority of the photos I used for the article are quite small.  With the exception of the equalizer, I wasn’t able to find anything large to work with on Google.  I’m far from an expert in ferreting out content like this, so if there are other  resources or places I’m not aware of to find and preserve Matt’s photos, let me know.  If nothing else we could start a Flickr Group to slowly accumulate what’s left.  Beyond the technical side of things…should the builds be preserved?  Maybe Matt wanted it all gone and we should respect that wish?  What say you, constant reader?