Meet the Modder: Alex 'Maki Role' Banks

Written by Dave Alcock

April 20, 2017 // 1:36 p.m.

Tags: #meet-the-modder-alex-maki-role-banks

Can you name three modders that you look up to and explain why?

There's a huge number of modders whom I greatly admire for all manner of reasons, but three I do hold close. First up would be Peter Dickinson, known chiefly for his WMD and Orac3 builds. When I was just getting into modding as a topic these were the builds that simply blew me away. The attention to detail and general build quality astounded me, and to this day they still do.

Meet the Modder: Alex 'Maki Role' Banks Interview Part Two Meet the Modder: Alex 'Maki Role' Banks Interview Part Two
Click to enlarge - Orac3 and WMD by Peter Dickinson

Second is Attila Lukacs, a name revered by modders all over, responsible for Na’ir Al Saif, Cygnus X1, and Cor Leonis. Again his projects were simply beautiful to look at, their style is timeless, you could produce any of those now and nobody would bat an eyelid. To me that’s a real achievement in an industry that focuses on marching ever forwards with older hardware relegated to obsolescence. He shows the power of patience and skill, using the tools you have to their maximum.

Meet the Modder: Alex 'Maki Role' Banks Interview Part Two Meet the Modder: Alex 'Maki Role' Banks Interview Part Two
Click to enlarge - Cygnus X1 and Na’ir Al Saif, by Attila Lukacs

Thirdly, and by no means last, is the late Wayne Wilkinson, aka Waynio. Here was a modder of such incredible talent but also with a passion for his fellow modders. Having the chance to compete against him in 2013 was wonderful, not least because he pushed me to do the best that I could, but because he encouraged it. His projects were so complex given the basic tooling he preferred to use - each was an adventure and journey, full of exploration of new techniques and refinement of others.

Meet the Modder: Alex 'Maki Role' Banks Interview Part Two Meet the Modder: Alex 'Maki Role' Banks Interview Part Two
Click to enlarge - Builds by the late Waynio who was taken from us way too soon. RIP buddy.

What do you do that is unique?

I once ate three burgers, chips, onion rings, and fried pickles at MeatLiquor in one sitting and survived to tell the tale. Not sure if that’s unique or just stupid, though...

I would say my render work is very much a unique feature of mine. I try hard to incorporate imperfection into my renders, such as dust, wonky angles, scratches and fingerprints. I find the process surprisingly relaxing; attempting to cross the photorealism barrier is always fun.


Meet the Modder: Alex 'Maki Role' Banks Interview Part Two Meet the Modder: Alex 'Maki Role' Banks Interview Part Two
Click to enlarge - Some more render shots

Agreed, your renders are amazing. If you could build a computer using your favourite brands, what components would you pick?

Ahh, this is an easy one. Clearly it has to be a DFI X99 LanParty combined with an AMD 2500X, 64GB Mostek DDR2, and QuadFire BGF 1080 Ti.


I think you will be waiting for a while to build that computer!! What do you hope to achieve in the next 12 months (other than bringing dead brands back), do you have any contests you wish to enter or events you wish to attend?

2017 is looking to be a busy year for me. I will be representing the UK in Thermatake’s 2017 Casemod Invitational Season One and also batting for team UK in the CyberMods 24hr contest in Taiwan alongside fellow modder Rob Deluce. I’m planning to head on up to iSeries in the summer too to get my mitts into a bit of Rocket League with friends, although I’m terrible!



Wow, a busy year for you then! What other hobbies do you have?

I'm a really passionate home cook. When not designing or building PCs, I'm probably in the kitchen or fantasising about food. My kitchen is rather like the workshop, I love trying to use all manner of techniques to prepare food at home. My other current love is tenpin bowling, I currently bowl in an amateur Monday night league but regularly go two or three times a week. Photography takes pride of place not only in my worklogs but also in my daily life. I love doing landscape, portrait, studio - you name it. It's a field with near unlimited headroom for improvement; you never know which direction will pull you in next.

Meet the Modder: Alex 'Maki Role' Banks Interview Part Two Meet the Modder: Alex 'Maki Role' Banks Interview Part Two Meet the Modder: Alex 'Maki Role' Banks Interview Part Two Meet the Modder: Alex 'Maki Role' Banks Interview Part Two
Click to enlarge - Alex made me a steak. He started it sous vide then popped it on a grill at really high temps to sear it. He also made a beautiful pepper sauce.

Thanks for the steak, it was beautiful! Let’s share your modding knowledge - teach me something!

Sure, let’s show you how to design a CNC machined reservoir in CAD from scratch!
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