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About fletch

  • Birthday 01/29/1956

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    Portland, Oregon
  1. Plan on being up early Saturday morning, looking forward to meeting the group.
  2. Gil, I completely agree, we all have our likes and dislikes when it comes to model building. Over the years I’ve build just about any and every thing when it comes to models. I’ve built Ships, Armor, Aircraft, Railroads and obviously Car and Trucks. About the only thing I’ve never taken on are figures. All these genres have their own techniques that can either directly or with some modification can be used in building in another genre. None of us have all the answers when it comes to building contest winning models. I see how Armor is weathered and know that same technique can transfer to any other genre. Every one of us has some special little thing we do when it comes to building that is we passed it along to someone else we could help them become better modelers. I have spent several years as a technical instructor; it’s the best job in the world. When I’m teaching a class I get to impart knowledge to fellow technicians and by passing on that knowledge I get the chance to make them better at what they do. If WE could take on the same attitude when it comes to our model building we’d all find ourselves helping other’s become better builders. There is no better way to prefect your craft then to teach it to someone else. Just because a seminar is being presented by an Armor/Aircraft/Ship builder and the subject peaks your interest then you should attend. Same thing applies to seminars presented by a Automotive builder, if you feel the technique applies, by all means attend, find out how that technique may be able to apply to your genre. I also agree there is no excuse for bad manners. To take someone into your ‘Clic’ because you believe they build in the same genre that you do and when you discover that they don’t and turn around and walk away is just that bad manners. I guess I’m a bit different than most, very seldom am I ever afraid o ask questions or approach a group of builders and introduce myself and get to know them and what they build. I ask who the Head Judge is, who the President of the Chapter is and go and introduce myself. If we as model car builders present ourselves in a positive light and se where we can help instead of sitting back and pointing out the negative we might find we’re accepted into the fold. Trying to blend IPMS and Non-IPMS Model Car Contest ideas into one single process may present more bumps then some would imagine. When we run a Non-IPMS event seldom do we publish a list of categories, more often than not we have no idea what is going to be entered in the contest. We’ve had years where there have been no entries in certain categories; if we had published a list it would have meant unused awards. We use a high quality label maker to personalize our awards to the class and winner. All simple steps to maximize the use of resources and insure continued success of the events. If someone tells us that there is no way to build a bridge and bring more Model Car Builders into IPMS than I will tell you they are someone who is not willing to make the effort and are part of the problem and not part of the solution. We can continue to beat this horse or we can make the effort required to make the changes necessary to get past the hard feelings and realize this is a hobby and it’s suppose to be fun. Dave
  3. Don, I guess I need to explain my thought process. If in order to move forward an apology is needed or required all we do is bring new members into asking what the issue is/was in the first place. I honestly do not believe it serves any purpose to continually bring up past wrongs. If we can learn from past ills we stand a better chance of making things right. From my point of view, to continue bringing up the past serves as much purpose as doing the same thing in a marriage. If we can’t get past the ills of the past we’ll never have a chance to move forward. Perhaps, this is something of a Pollyanna view of things, but I’ve found in life if we learn for the sins of the past we have a better chance of not allowing it to happen again. If we don’t learn from the ills of the past we’re destined to repeat them. Ed, I completely agree with you when it comes to using generic awards. At the 4 Non-IPMS shows that our club hosts every year we use generic categories. Beings we normally have no clear cut idea what will or won’t show up we limit the right to change categories as needed. Once we have the categories established based on the models entered we use a label maker to ‘personalize’ the awards to the categories. We receive emails and phone calls wanting a list of categories so modelers know what to bring to enter. We tell them “bring any and everything you want, we’ll fit it into a category”. Normally, we have anywhere from 16 to 20 categories. In 20 plus years of running shows this way we’ve yet to have a problem and very seldom do we ever end up with unused awards. I don’t know if there is any sure fire way to produce a contest/show that works 100% all the time. I do know we need to revamp how we currently do things. As I’ve noted before, I have no issue at all on the judging guidelines, they’re pretty much common sense. In my book they fit into that “Duh” category. The thing we tend to preach at our shows/contests is to build each and every piece of the build as if it were going to be in a judged contest against other similar sub-assemblies. If you use this philosophy to build each sub-assembly you increase your chances of producing an award winner. If a model car entry deserves to win“Best of” awards then it should garner that award, if it doesn’t then flat out it doesn’t. I would hate to see us giving a “Best of” award to an entry, no matter the category, that doesn’t deserve it just to right past wrongs. The judging guidelines are easily found on the IPMS website, if a member/non-member doesn’t make the effort to locate and read the guidelines, prior to an event, I find it difficult to feel very sorry for them. It’s not like we’ve hidden the guidelines and unless you know the secret handshake you can’t see them. There are no easy answers to this ongoing situation, it will require a group of IPMS members who are willing to sit down and have honest open dialog. Once the dialog has been established and changes are proposed they need to be implemented otherwise, we have accomplished nothing more the providing lip-service to one another.
  4. Don, while you are correct in that I am new to weighing in on this discussion, I am quite familiar with the ongoing dialog. Prior to becoming an IPMS member and our club becoming an IPMS Chapter we heard nothing but horror stories about how Model Car Builders had been treated at IPMS events. I did go and read your proposal and will say that for the most part I agree with it. There are some tweaks I'd like to see with it. However, I am all too familiar with what can happen when you go from proposal to committee. More often than not you end up with a platypus as everyone wants their “Special” category included. I find that more often than not the biggest issue comes down to either not know the rules or the rules being too vague. The discussion about either changing or eliminating ‘Curbside’ category, to me is just that a misunderstanding of what a Curbside truly is. We have always used the definition of a Curbside being any model that does not have an engine. A full interior is required, any tire/wheel combination is allowed, hood scoops and blowers are allowed. Exotics with engines under a clear rear window such as used on Ferrari’s are not considered Curbsides. One of the biggest problems I see with the current category list is in the Custom category. In most Non-IPMS shows a Build is considered a Custom if 25% or more of the body panels have been modified. I have seen IPMS events where a box stock Ferrari was considered a Custom because the full scale car was hand built. By Non-IPMS standards this model would have ended up in Factory Stock or an Exotics category. Definitions for Categories are the key to getting everyone on board to making IPMS attractive to Model Car Builders. By no stretch of the imagination am I advocating that IPMS go out of its way to draw in Model Car Builders, but we need to do something to add to the numbers of Model Car Builders. I’m not sure that there needs to be any overt ‘Mending Fences’, I honestly think there could be as much damage by making a big deal out of trying to “make things right” as there is in turning a blind eye and pretending that things have always been right. One of the problems I see that Host Chapters are faced with is funding additional categories and having no one show up for that Category. The first show of the year here in Region 7 had entries in less than 50% of the Categories. Being those awards are more often than not unique to a given event and year that is a major expense no matter how you look at it. The same show had 2 total awards for Automotive Categories. I spent most of the show calming down entrants because of the limited number of awards. But, when there have been limited number of entries in the past several years the numbers of awards were scaled back because of the expense. This is an issue that can be resolved, IF, we have people who are willing to allow and willing to make it happen. As I said before, I am more than willing to be part of the dialog to make Model Cars a viable part of IPMS event not just an afterthought.
  5. Well, let me weight in on this issue. As a model car builder for close to 50 years and judging contest locally outside of IPMS for over 15 years, I think I have a bit of a different take on this issue then has been offered here. As a model car builder I have no problem whatsoever with the IPMS judging guidelines. They are in fact pretty much common sense and fit the criteria we use when judging a contest. We do use a defined point system to determine where an entrant places within a class etc. I take umbrage with so called “People’s Choice” contests, they are not and never will be true representations of a contest. More often than not the award winners are not the best builds on the table. “People’s Choice” contest more often than not reward those who paint their entries some bright Red, Yellow or some other bright color. In my opinion these are not contest but the politically correct way of getting out of determining an actual winner as no one has to be responsible for those decisions. As for IPMS judging, if a plea is made for judging help at a show/contest, no matter the category, and those in that category make no effort to fill the void, then shame on you. I’m sorry but you have no room to complain whatsoever, plain and simple. I completely agree that WE need to expand the classes within the ‘Automotive – Non-Military’. To include ‘Traditional Hot Rods’ with Muscle Cars and Street Machines just doesn’t work, they are three very different and unique styles of building. Within local contest we may have 4-5 sub-categories within “Hot Rods” and normally 16 or so categories judged in a ‘Model Car Contest’. As a model car builder, I see there are at times a major chasm between Model Car Builders and those who build Aircraft, Armor etc. We tend to build free style, what we see in our minds eye, seldom if ever do we build a true ‘Replica’. Where those who build Aircraft and Armor tend to build Replicas. I tell all who I come into contact with that no matter the style we build; we have skills that we can share with one another. If we follow the IPMS Judging Guidelines it should make no difference whether an entry is built Free Style or a True Replica. A cleanly built model is always a joy to judge; I’d much rather judge builds where I don’t spend all my time picking out the flaws instead of being awed by the builders skills. One of the problems WE all have to deal with is a fellow IPMS member who appoint themselves experts and decide to critique others builds. These members and their actions tend to chase away members and potential new members. As RC I’ve had this very situation brought to my attention within the past few months. We are a bit different here in the PNW as we have two of our twelve member chapters who are model car groups. One of the things we have had to deal with is the increase in entries in “Automotive – Non-Military”. At the first IPMS show of 2012 model car entries accounted for 50% of the total entries. At the Region 7 Regional, model cars accounted for aprox 25% of the entries. At both events I’ve had to go to the chapter hosting the event and request additional space for the entrants to put their builds on the table. Believe me it’s a good problem to have. There is no quick fix for this situation; we need to seriously consider opening dialog on how to include more model car builders into our fold. The only way to make this happen is to get past the stigma of IPMS being a bunch rivet counters. It’s not going to be easy to get past, IF we are willing to make the effort I have no doubt we can make it happen. Yes, this means I’m open to being part of the dialog. Lol
  6. That is amazing, great workmanship
  7. Got the chop and fill work completed on the '48. There was less then .050" removed from the 'B' pillars with the rear window area reworked to fit the new roof profile. The modification is not overly severe, but sure goes a long way to improve the roof line over the "Kit Chop". Hosted on Fotki Next up are the chassis modifications to get the rear end sitting in the weeds as any good taildragger should.
  8. Picked up the new Revell '48 Ford Custom Coupe. Overall the kit is a well done addition to the Revell line with one exception. IMHO, the chop leaves a lot to be desired. I am not sure who at Revell thinks chops where the 'B' pillars are higher then either the 'A' or 'C' are cool but, their taste and mine are not even close. They managed to screw up the chop on the '49 Merc, and did the same thing with the new '48. So. here's my solution the issue of the chop. The sharpie lines are landmarks for cuts to improve the chop. The 'A' pillars were cut to remove the roof for the rework only the thickness of the saw blade (.015") was removed from them. Aprox .045" was removed from the 'B' pillars, they were then pie cut to lean them forward so the roof didn't have to be split. The 'C' pillars were scribed through with the backside of a #11 blade to be reused once the roof was reattached. The rear of the green house was removed with aprox .020" removed from the top to allow the it to be leaned forward to get a sleeker look. Hosted on Fotki Once the splices and and backing pieces have cured the usual filler will be applied and sanded out. The plan is to drop this thing in the rear as much as possible turning it into a taildragger. To truly get it down in the weeds will require a rework of the rear of the chassis and trunk floor pan. More to come soon, stay tuned.
  9. Chris, Nail Polish is about the closest thing you can get to painting with lacquer without spraying lacquer. Here in Portland we were forced into finding a alternative for lacquer about 15 years ago when the city banned the use of automotive lacquer and nail polish was the best choice. I've used just about every manufacture of nail polish with no problem. I use standard hardware store medium grade lacquer thinner to cut the nail polish to be able to shoot it through an airbrush. The usual ratio is somewhere in the 50/50 - 60/40 nail polish to thinner, depending on the nail polish. You want the mix to have to viscosity of milk, I shoot nail polish at 15-20psi, you want it to hit the surface wet or it will look like sand. For the most part I use Omni Sealer/Primer. Omni is a cheaper version of PPG and can be obtained at just about any PPG automotive paint dealer. Their sealer/primer does a good enough job that you can use it to seal red plastic then shoot white over it with no bleed through. Like most Automotive paint it requires a reducer (thinner), depending upon how fast you want the paint to cure determines which grade of reducer. I use medium grade for just about everything, that way it will cure the paint in a reasonable amount of time with no potential damage to the plastic underneath. As for urethane I use the Omni brand, it's quite a bit less expensive then PPG, plus it only requires a reducer. PPG requires a reducer and hardener. The last Omni urethane I bought was $38 for both the clear and reducer vs the PPG which was $176 for the clear, reducer and hardener. Omni urethane clear is a 4-1 (clear to reducer)mix, if it requires thinning use the same medium grade lacquer thinner that you use for thinning nail polish. The only thing to remember with spraying urethane is clean the brush as soon as possible once you're done otherwise you'll get to go and buy a new airbrush.
  10. Chris, one thing you'll find spraying a model that big with a standard model airbrush, is that coverage is going to be tough. For large scale builds I use an automotive touch up brush. I bought mine from Harbor Freight, if memory serves I paid something like $15 for it. For the most part I use automotive paint or nail polish for just about any build. Very seldom do I use model paint anymore. Also, I use urethane clear for most all my builds, the urethane clear is a 2 part catalyzed paint, it hardens in as little as 20 minutes to cure depending upon how much catalyst you use. The best part of using the urethane clear is it does not react to the base coat color. I look forward to seeing your review on the Mustang, it's one on my wish list.
  11. The quickest way I know to remove chrome or paint is to use Dawn Power Dissolver. I pick it up at WalMart, it runs $2.87 for a 12oz bottle. The Power Dissolver removes chrome including the clear lacquer, taking it down to bare plastic in about 20 minutes. The same can be said for removing paint. Depending upon how thick the paint it may take as much as 24 hours. The up side of the Power Dissolver vs Super Clean is it's not as caustic to your skin. Wearing gloves is recommended for any of these products.
  12. Nicely done Mark, it looks good, I think your Brother-in-law should be very pleased in the effort.
  13. Nicely Done Chris, it captures the look nicely. As for the chrome, have you tried using Sophisticated Finishes Antiquing Kit? It's a 2 part system, Part A is a steel based paint, you allow it to dry then apply Part 2 which is an oxidizer. You apply it over the paint, it takes aprox 24 hours for the 'rusting' process to produce the affect you want. If you don't neutralize the oxidizer it will continue to rust, neutralizing the process requires an application of water. For something like this, water on a Q-tip will do the job perfectly.
  14. This has to be seen to be truly appreciated. Gary is modest as to how this build has done in the contest he has entered it in. At the Bob Paeth Portland Classic Model Car Contest held every year in conjunction with the Portland Roadster Show we do an additional event, that being the Best of the Best. The premise of the Best of the Best is that the entry has had to of won a class 1st place or a best of or Best in Show to even be entered. It's our version of a master's class. Gary was able to enter the Midget and Trailer in the contest. It's a winner takes all event, a single trophy. This year's Best of the Best went to Gary's Kurtis Kraft Midget and trailer combo. Hosted on Fotki
  15. Mark, what scale is this? I take it that it's for an RC car. Polycarbonate bodies can a task to get the paint to cooperate. Guess they figure it's going to get beat up anyway, so the final finish isn't that big a deal. It looks good, no matter how much it fought you .
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