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Everything posted by PeteJ

  1. Just a personal life changing story on the subject. Years ago(twenty years ago now) I built a custom model car that I entered in a local contest. I worked very hard on the model and was quite proud of it. It didn't place in the contest. After the show I took it to the head judge for the category. As it happened the judge was Drew Hierwarter. Many of you may know him as a long time staff writer for Fine Scale and Scale Auto. Drew took the time to go through the model with me, pointing out flaws and other things that were detractors. We were both very respectful of the other and it made a difference. Well to make a long story short, I took the model home, set it on the bench and took a deep breath and tore the model apart to rebuild it. The end of the story is that the following show I took it to was Tamiya/Con and it won Best Extensive conversion and an all expense paid trip to Japan for a week. That set me on a lifetime path of working to make the best models I can and seek advise and critiques from many sources. My experience with a judge may not be typical, but it could be. When I judge, I remember my experience and am willing to help any modeler who asks.
  2. Mark, you had me very confused for a moment. I am not from San Marcos, Texas but San Marcos, California. though I spent a lot of time in Texas. Del Rio, Laughlin AFB to be exact. Not the end of the world but you can see it from there. We would drive into San Antonio on the weekends for the night life. From there I became a water wagon driver(1972 to 1981). Mostly in northern Michigan and Washington State. Moved to San Marcos Ca in 1988. Pete
  3. That is correct, it is 1/6 scale and it is a stunning creation. The engine does run although it hasn't in a while. Like most models of this type it just wasn't meant to run a lot. Too may tiny and delicate parts. I admire all the skilled craftsman who have models in this museum. I am a bit surprised that they don't have a Wingrove model. There miniature fire arms displays are also quite interesting.
  4. Dr. Parks aircraft(all three of them) are spectacular but the think louis Chenot's Duesenberg SJ is the real crown jewel. The craftsmanship is just beyond anything I have ever seen,
  5. They are quite proud of that fact. At one time you could by the Sherline from Sears under the Craftsman name brand. The owner Joe Martine set up a museum in Carlsbad, California know as the Joe Martin Craftsmanship museum. If you are ever in So Cal you really should stop and see it. It is just chock full of amazing work. I spoke to Joe many times when I was there buying something. He passed away a couple of years ago, but had the foresight to set the company and museum up well to continue after him. I am lucky in that I live about 15 from both the factory and the museum. Well, lucky and unlucky. It is far too easy sometimes to just run up and pickup a tool that I could use right now for a project. Great people work there. Always willing to give you time to talk you through something. It seems that everyone who works there is really into what they do.
  6. Noel, I agree with you. I have a Sherline mill and lathe and my scrap pile is about 5 times the size of my completed parts pile. I get a great deal of pleasure in figuring out how to work with raw bar and rod stock to get what I want. It is very time consuming, but in the end, I get far more pleasure out of the creative process that I ever do from picking up a trophy.
  7. Scratch building a complete model is an art relegated to few builders. You are right that it is difficult for a scratch build to go head to head with a well built and detailed kit. I just don't think that scratch building carries the weight it use to when we didn't have resin cast, photo etched or machined part readily available. Most of us will admire the builder who can do the whole thing, and they will win in category but it has been a very long time since BOS has been scratch built. This year at phoenix there was a stunning funny car that was entirely scratch build. It didn't make the cut for BOS. That would not have been my choice but then I'm not a nationals judge either. I guess you pick your poison. Personally I love to create scratch built parts but wouldn't consider building a complete model from the ground up. I don't figure I have enough time left on this earth for that and too many unfinished models on the shelf. 😉
  8. Having observed the discussion here I would like to add a couple of observations. The discussion seems to be skirting the issue of a definition of “scratch built”. We all know that a part or model created from raw materials and crafted entirely by manual tools is scratch building. The question seems to lie in the gray areas of adding computers or other methods to the mix. It is scratch building to make one part and then resin cast it to make duplicates, perhaps like suspension parts on a tank? Is it scratch building to take a kit part and modify it into a different part? What if you do that to correct a flaw in a kit and then resin cast the part to make enough for a whole model? How different would it be instead of modifying a part, you 3D print a part and then resin cast it. A lot of commercial resin casters use 3D printing to make a master and the resin cast it. Much cheaper than 3D printing a bunch of the same part. Now another though. Instead of 3D printing the part, how about machining the part out of metal. Most would say that is “scratch building” but does that change if you add a computer driven mill or lathe? To the point, Sherline sells computer driven mills and lathes that are about the same cost as a good 3D printer, so the point is still relevant. Does it matter that the builder is working in metal vs. thermoplastic? Or is it a matter that machining metal requires additional knowledge of feed rates and depth of cuts and types of metal? Would you have the same answer if the material being machined was Delrin(a DuPont machinable resin) Both 3D printing and CAM machining use similar programs to create their files, but is it enough different to segregate it at a model contest. I will speculate that Scratch building is a very nebulous term that has outlived its usefulness. Perhaps hand crafted would be more appropriate since it implies a degree of manual dexterity we are trying to define. This would include the use of power tools guided by the hand of a master, not by a computer. If I were to put on my Nostradamus hat and peer into the future, I can see a modeling world without injection molding. Hobby shops (or online stores) would have high definition 3D printers and a stack of boxes. The “Model” companies would own and lease files for models that could be printed in the store on demand and model companies would receive a commission for every model printed. This would reduce the cost of a model precipitously. No shipping cost, no warehouses to contend with. It would also allow the companies to create multiple variations at little or no cost so you could have your Messer-Wolf 125c auft 34 for the desert campaign of the 5th panzers. We are moving that direction rather rapidly, so will that eliminate “scratch building” or will we have limited the category to a select few?
  9. Joking aside, technically if you had a need to "thin" water ethanol would work as is it water soluble and it is about 78% less dense than water.
  10. Alcohol! Two parts single malt scotch to 1 part water chilled to 17 degrees Fahrenheit.
  11. Every other year but that is coming to an end. I believe the next is listed and the last one.
  12. Ralph, Spot On! Nothing fills a gap like a good fit. Having said that, sometimes you need a good surface filler that doesn't ghost through paint. I use a lot of lacquer automotive paints(I use to be able to get pints and my local auto paint shop so I have a good supply) and ghosting is a real problem because of the harsher thinners. That is why I went to automotive fillers and eventually migrated to the two part ones. I also like the economy of them. At $15 to $25 for a quart of the stuff, you just can't beat the cost per ounce.
  13. I'm the impatient type. I don't like waiting around until the next day while putty cures! For that reason I agree with EJS that auto glazing putties are really good for this hobby. My preference is Evercoat glazing putty in the pouch. Being a glazing putty it has a very fine texture and is a two part putty. Thus when hardened it doesn't ghost through paint. It also sandable and paintable within about 30 minutes depending on how much catalyst you put in it. It is also way cheaper than any hobby putty. A 16 oz pouch sells for about $25. That is enough to do a half a lifetime of models. The pouch keeps it fresh for ever. I have been using a variation of what Michael and Ralph do. I test fit the parts and if I can see that the part will need filling, I do so before I glue it up. A little bit of putty in the seam before you glue it up will result in the putty squeezing out when you push the parts together. Once everything is cured it is much easier to sand that little bit off the line. Also you know that the seam if filled all the way down in. Much more efficient than trying to squish it into the seam and making a mess of the surface.
  14. Since I am the guy playing with maps in this discussion, I will add one more interesting fact. The 2020 convention in San Marcos, Texas is about as close as we are likely to get to holding one that is equidistant from both coasts. At 98 degrees West is it within 1/2 degree of Lebanon, Kansas which is the true geographic center of the USA. It will be interesting to see what the distributions of members in attendance is. To a point I tried to make earlier, if you use 98 degrees as the geographic middle of the United states, you don't have a significant number of large metropolitan areas near that. It looks like Omaha, Kansas City, Dallas and Austin/San Antonio is about it. If you stretched it a bit you could add Minneapolis and Denver. Now granted, there is no criteria that requires the convention to be in a major metropolitan area, but because of amenities located in such areas, I have to believe that it helps attendance and is a factor. I suspect the next point someone will make it that the geographic center is different than the theoretical population center. The answer is yes it is but not as far off as one might think. In point of fact it is fairly close. It is currently 6 degrees east in Missouri according to the US Census department. Also, that center has continuously moved west at the rate of about 3/4 degree every census(10 years) in the modern era. The point has been made in the past, that the membership is not evenly distributed or even consistent with the distribution of the population in general. I am not willing to expend the effort to check that. I simply don't know and frankly, doubt that anyone has done the regression analysis necessary to figure that out. So, my analysis of the single venue idea would be that if you used distance only, you would net the most inconvenience to the the most members every year as the majority of the population resides on or near one of the coasts. By rotating it coast to coast or some semblance of that, you would create maximum inconvenience for about half the the members every other year and significantly reduce the inconvenience the following year. This certainly isn't an answer to this discussion as there isn't a mathematical or accounting answer to it, but it does give some food for thought. One last thought about Telford. If you look at the population density of Europe. The densest population areas run from Italy, along the northern part of the Franco/German border and into southern UK. Make what you will of that.
  15. Did the same thing but this is pretty much western Europe. The map is also badly skewed by the mercator projection in the northern latitudes of Scandinavia. In other words they show a Norway, Sweden and Finland much larger than they actually are, but then this is simply a rough idea. I wonder how many eastern European modelers make it to Telford? I have to believe that like most shows, the further away, the fewer the attendees. But it still makes the point that it is quite hard to make a comparison between Telford and what could be done here. If you selected the major metropolitan areas down the true center of the US, you really only have a few venues, Omaha, Kansas City and Dallas. They are all at least a three to 5 day drive from either coast and there is virtually no viable alternative transportation to flying. It would be so nice to have a well developed high speed rail service like what it pervasive in Europe. It is kind of the conundrum of finding one place that suits few well and inconveniences the majority about the same or alternate coasts and make about half happy half the time. I think that moving it around actually involves a larger portion of the members and that is a good thing. It also tends to keep the experience fresh for all going to different locations.
  16. Noel, you have mentioned a couple of things that may apply but the real problem is what we somewhat concededly refer to as "Flyover" country. The vast majority of the population is on opposite coasts. The middle of the country is relatively sparsely populated. There are few places that are near the center that are an easy drive to the majority of the population and flying with models is hardly an easy proposition. Other than aircraft there really isn't an effective public transportation system(e.g. high speed rail) like Europe has. We are geared primarily to flying or driving. We use to have a great passenger rail system, but it is almost exclusively a freight system now and the cost of rail travel is the same as flying. Why would I sit on a train for two or three days when I can fly anywhere in under 5 hours? Travel in Europe is far superior to what we have here sorry to say. I will work on a map that shows all of Europe. That might be interesting.
  17. I tried to get it as close to the middle as I could which is Lebanon, Kansas. I think I got it a smidge to the right. 😉 It is however proportional. I was surprised that the UK only took up 8 degrees of Latitude. Telford is on the edge of the lower third of the country. From anywhere in the country, you can get there in less than a day. I drove further to get to Phoenix then you would drive from the northern tip of Scotland to Telford.
  18. A simple graphic illustration of why Telford works for The UK but not here.
  19. Interesting that this thread has gone this way. It is a serious issue of self perception. There are many who argue on this and other forums, the exact opposite, and it generally begins with the caveat "I build for myself." Not everyone who picks up a paintbrush is an artist. Not all who build models are either. I wish I had a nickel for every time someone said, "in the end we are all still playing with toys!" Personally, I view my work as art because I look at it critically and try to fool the eye into believing that it is the real deal only smaller. Diorama builders are trying to tell a story and that to is art. When you take the time to add the extra dimension beyond the sum of the parts then you become an artist. Some never get there and seem to lack an appreciation for those that strive to that.
  20. Agreed. As I mentioned it is much like going from the old 9 pin printer(nine dots to make all characters) to injet/laser printers. It happened very quickly and the tech was tremendous. I will add to what you said though. Scanning is only a small part of creating a part. You still have to manage bridges in the final printout. You can't print material in thin air, and with complex part tying all the parts together can be a challenge. Also because most printers use heat as part of the process, part will sagg without support. Knowing how and where to do that is critical. Yes they are getting easier.
  21. Been telling this to people for years. This is not plug and play stuff. One of the most popular programs is Solidworks and it cost just under $4,000 with and annual maintance fee of $1,300 a year. You can get a student version for under $100 but you have to prove you are a student. Vet's can also get a good deal. Having said that, this is not something that the part time person can learn by themselves. A couple of semesters at your favorite community college will get you started. Now this is just to learn the software. Then comes the experience end of it. Experience is often defined as one success after a hundred failures. The problem with the actual printing is that failures are not cheap. As Brian said, current resolution and material strength are really not up to snuff year. Still a great way to make a master and the resin cast a bunch of them for sale, but not really an effective way to make a single part. It would take less time to just scratch build it at this point. Some day, it may get there, just not today.
  22. It has been interesting to read this thread. I will add a small but salient point from the 2018 nationals. By way of illustration, you mentioned figures in the AFV category. I witnessed(but was not party to) some serious heartburn by some modelers about what happened to some who had figures in their tanks. A number of them were moved to the vignette or diorama categories, so allowed figures in AFV's is not without its controversy.
  23. Before you invest in a 3D printer and all that goes with it, you should see if you can get your hands on a part. From what I have seen the resolution on most "home" printers is fairly low and requires a lot of work cleaning up the part to make it acceptable. If you have been around a while, I liken it back to the early days of computer printers. The first printers were the notorious "9 pin" printers. They used 9 dots to create the entire alphabet and all numbers. They were crude but did the job. Compared to today's high resolution laser printers they were horrible. Same thing now. Don't buy one expecting to do fine detail work. Before you invest in that, learn a basic CAD program and sent the files to Solid works for printing. They have printers that cost easily in the 6 figure range and can do fine detail work. They are not cheap per part, but it will get you parts you can use with a minimum of cleanup. It will also give you a solid introduction to the world of 3D printing without the costly mistake of buying your own printer and finding out it just can't do what you want it to do. 3D printing is still in its infancy, much like computers 20 years ago. It is getting better so rapidly that what you invest in today will rapidly become obsolete.
  24. Nick, you gave me an answer on another subject that I think could apply here. I suggested putting a figure in a aircraft display to give it scale because the kit was of a very small subject and the model was larger than the "normal" scales. I had asked about placing a figure or object that was painted in primer gray on the base strictly to highlight the relative size and scale. You opined that that would be ok. I think that by doing it in primer gray, the purpose of the addition becomes obvious. A well painted figure enhances the visual appeal of the model as much as serving any other purpose.
  25. Actually the story has a bit more to it. You would not have seen him fly. The accident happened shortly after he joined the group and as far as I know he never got to perform before the crash.
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