Stephen W Barnett was born in Nottingham in 1956. I was always good at art and history at school, and have had a passion for making models from as early as I can remember. And my interest in cars and motor racing started in childhood with a Scalextric circuit and wanting to make my cars faster than those of my friends! But in the early 1970’s I started to take model making more seriously, building, modifying, and scratch building model soldiers, and winning many awards and trophies along the way.
After leaving school I went to Sheffield Hallam University (Sheffield School of Art) in 1975, and in 1978 graduated with an Batchelor of Arts Honours Degree in Fine Art Photography. From there I went on to co-found a photographic gallery and worked as a freelance photographer.
I came back to building models in 1987 after a short period involved in motor racing. What I saw at shows and other motor sport events made me curious about what models cars were available to collectors. I soon discovered the white metal and resin kit industry, and realized this was an opportunity to make my living from what I am interested in and enjoy doing. Early on I was lucky enough to get lots of valuable support and encouragement from Brian Harvey at Grand Prix Models in the UK, and without his advice everything that followed would have been much harder. I felt the overall levels of detail in the model car world at the time were nearly two decades behind the model soldiers I had been making as a teenager. There were only a few exceptions in the industry, and builders and manufacturers like Vincenzo Bosica showed what could be possible and inspired me. So it seemed a good idea to resurrect my teenage skills and I soon began to concentrate on creating the very best super detailed model cars that I could possibly achieve. And twenty one years later I still enjoy experimenting with new production methods and creating new techniques even for models that I have built many times before.