A great man has shuffled off this mortal coil.
Hugo Lyton was a friend of seventeen years. A gifted artist. And the kindest human, respected by all who knew him.
I have no preconceived notions of death.
But. He died far too young.
Hugo was a member of the KMK Blueshirts, a social club for Belgian miniature modellers who met often in Geel to build models, exchange techniques and do something modellers don’t often have the opportunity to do —socialise. In the modelling scene the members of KMK are legend, having owned the vast majority of gold medals and Best of Show stages for decades. In fact, in the years before the Crisis of ’08 you hardly could find a concorso in the EU not dominated by the Blueshirts.
I first met Hugo in 2006 at the KMK Clubstand at Euro Militaire in Folkestone, England. I had noticed a beautifully painted Sd.Kfz 222 armoured car on display and inquired as to who had built it. I was introduced to a smiling and humble Hugo. We immediately became friends.
I was living in Sherman Oaks, California then and contact with Hugo was strictly by email. By such time as I had moved to Spain I began to attend KMK’s modelling concorso in Mol and got to know Hugo quite well. I even attended several of KMK’s club nights on Fridays. I remember very well just before the 2011 edition of the Scaleworld Concorso seeing Hugo arrive to the club night on his Ninja, dressed in full motorbike leathers. He looked bad arse and so cool. I was fortunately able to witness first-hand not only the broad modelling skills of Hugo, but also KMK’s massive collective of artists.
I created a Belgian character in The Gift Trilogy and spent many an evening on the telephone or emails with Hugo fine tuning the character of Gaelle’s authenticity. Over the years from 2010-2019 he patiently answered my every inquiry, translating endless dialogue.
Hugo lost his beloved wife Angèle after a years long battle with cancer in February of 2021.
Unbeknownst to be Hugo later dealt with his own cancer battle barely a year after the death of his wife. He never made mention of it to me. Always carrying on as usual. Friendly and helpful. On January 4th of this year he joined his wife.
It took me ages to absorb the loss of Hugo. He is enmeshed with my own personal history and his death creates a void, impossible to fill. Not long ago I was in touch with a couple of the fellows from KMK and as it turned out my favourite model by Hugo, the very same 222 that caught my attention and resulted in a wonderful friendship is to be mine. I will display it with honour in my model atelier.
As I work on Book 2 in The Gift trilogy and continue to develop the character of Jean-Rene Gaelle I think of my friend and what a tragedy it is to the world to have lost him so soon.