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Posts posted by RGronovius

  1. No one forced them. They just as easily could have settled here. That forum is rather sleepy, they could take over the auto forum in a short while and the general modeling forum just as quick. The only forum at FSM that has decent movement is the armor forum, and even that is slow compared to forums that specialize in armor modeling.

  2. 1 hour ago, Mark Deliduka said:

    Rob I'm glad to hear you're doing so well. While you only build refrigerators, I was wondering about freezers. I had seen a 7.1 cu. ft. frostless freezer before the lockdowns started and now; when I'm in a position to buy' they are nowhere to be found. You probably have no ideas about this, but I though it didn't hurt to ask.

    Mike, I'm also glad to see you still teaching, despite the issues. I hope things don't hit the fan too hard; I'll be praying for you and all affected.

    On the plus side for me; the extra time I had allowed me to reach another milestone.

    Here in Louisville, Appliance Park is a huge complex of many factory plants. One building makes washers, dryers, dishwashers, and our French door bottom freezer units. One used to house a hot water heater and air conditioning unit line, but was converted into a receiving warehouse that gets the parts/components from overseas like wiring harnesses, and other items we use to make certain appliances.

    There is a similar production shortage in all home appliances. As well as people buying them for home improvement, there are many contractors rebuilding homes lost in the wild fires, hurricane losses, etc. We (the appliance manufacturers) haven't been in such a good position since before the housing bubble burst. The downside is that we are over working ourselves and our equipment. We recently ran out of refrigerant the other day and lost more than half of our second shift production for the night and a good portion of first shift's production in the morning. It wasn't an issue of ordering enough; it was an issue of none being available.

    We've had similar problems with wiring harnesses made overseas in China and Mexico and have had to make adjustments due to shortages or various subassemblies.

    When I get home at night (actually the wee hours of the morning), I play a little World of Warcraft online, knocking out a few easy chores before heading to the shower and going to bed. It's odd that now 10 am to me is like 5 am to people who work "normal" hours. Normally when I build, I like to have a good, long uninterrupted stretch of time.

    My Saturday (if I have one off) is yardwork and running some errands. Sunday my wife insists we go to her mother's house for Sunday dinner. That's normally an all day affair and I'm usually roped into doing some tasks there.

    So, many factories that make these items were idled or reduced in production capability. Less supply, increased demand and shortages occur whether it is a $3000 fridge or $300 dishwasher. We have a higher profit margin per unit so if you make $300 dishwashers and $3000 fridges, you know where you redirect your workers to increase profits.

  3. Time, the pandemic has taken away free time from me.

    I work in an industry that was deemed "essential", but truly is not. I make high end refrigerators for GE Appliances; $2000 to $4000 models. Some models have WIFI and coffee makers in the doors. Yes, we make refrigerators in Louisville, Kentucky that you can control with a smartphone to tell it to start warming up water so you can put a Keurig K-cup in the door and make a cup of coffee. Been making the hot water version since 2013 and the coffee maker version since about 2015.

    Believe it or not, because many people work from home, they've decided to renovate their living space. That created a demand for new appliances. People weren't spending money on commuting costs, cleaners, eating out, and other forms of recreation and entertainment. So there are people with excess disposable income in "these unprecedented times."

    Normally, we have around 5, 6, 7 weeks of inventory on hand and have massive sales during the holidays like Labor Day, Memorial Day, Black Friday, etc. in an attempt to be profitable. Now we have about -4 weeks on hand meaning units built today were sold last month. Nothing is on sale, everything is full MSRP.

    Many US manufacturers shut down production. Imported brands were not coming into the country because those factories shut down as well.

    Our factory complex shut down for one week at the end of March to install social distancing measures on the factory lines. We allowed factory workers to take voluntary leaves of absences if they were in an "at risk" population, cared for a family member who was "at risk" or had child care issues due to school and daycare closures. This resulted in a reduction in production with some lines shutting down and the workers being loaned out to other lines to keep the factories running.

    We've resumed full production and now have mandatory overtime. Our first shift ran from 6 am to 2:30 pm and our second shift ran from 3:30 pm to midnight. We'd make about 1100 units a day (550/shift).

    To meet demand and increase production, first shift now runs from 5:30 am to 3:00 pm and second shift runs from  4:00 pm to 1:30 am. We now make over 700 units per shift if we run well. We've even been required to work several Saturdays.

    I have to be at work around 3 pm to set up for my shift. I live nearly an hour away, so my daily commute begins at 2 pm and ends at 2:30 am, literally a 12½ hour work day. I get to bed after 3 am, wake up around 11 am, eat lunch, make my lunch to take to work, and then leave for work. My entertainment is watching the midday news and an episode of the People's Court (they are doing it by video with people in their homes).

    The company even cancelled our annual shutdown vacation week. We are limited in the amount of people who can be on vacation at any one time. They even increased everyone's pay during the pandemic and gave us a $50 weekly bonus if you were at work for every minute of your scheduled shift (the bonus ended this past month).

    So, bottom line, my pay increased, but my ability to spend money and free time have vanished.

    And for you people who complain about having to wear a mask for a quick trip to the store or restaurant, we have to wear a mask at all times in the hot, humid Kentucky factory only taking it off for our half hour lunch break (8:30-9 pm for me). Yeah, I put on a mask at 2:45 pm and take it off at about 1:40 am everyday and have been wearing a mask since the end of March. Yes, I am tired of wearing a mask, but I'm even more tired hearing about people who complain about having to wear if when they go to Walmart for a 30 minute shopping trip.

  4. Nicely done, those UAVs are looking quite good these days. My son served as a supply specialist in an Army UAV unit and still has a job as a civilian contractor.

    Unmanned Aerial Vehicles are almost their own category in modeling nowadays.

  5. I used to subscribe to the old Military Modeler magazine. Sometime in the mid 90s, it merged with their sister publication Scale Modeler with Military Modeler as a smaller subtitle.

    That continued for a short time until the subtitle went away and it just became Scale Modeler for a while. Then the balance of my subscription was filled with some sort of hot rod magazine.

  6. There were many of high quality modelers, many parents brought a child to the meetings. My daughter used to come and entered into shows in 2004 when she was 11 yrs old.

    I'd still go if I wasn't working evenings and could put the time into the club that they deserve.

    My own personal modeling tastes have changed from my kiddie years when I twisted parts off the sprue and globbed glue onto the pieces. Then OOB with detail painting. Then trying to replicate every detail item to more accurately portray the vehicle.

    Now I'm basically back to building OOB with some slight detailing.

  7. I lived a rather nomadic life, away at college in the 1980s, Army life from the 1980s through 2000s. So running across a club was happenstance. Once while in college probably 1985 or 86, our university was used for a model show. My next near miss with a club was upon returning to Fort Knox in 1991, I showed up to a handful of model meetings in Radcliff, Kentucky. Again, around 1996-97 there was another show in Huntsville, Alabama when I was stationed at Redstone Arsenal.

    I attended an AMPS show at Fort Dix circa 1999-2000 and a swap meet in Runnemede(?), NJ in 2001.

    It wasn't until I was stationed at Fort Devens, Mass. that I officially joined an IPMS club, Patriot Club, in Bedford, Mass. That was from 2001 to 2004. I also attended several club meetings in Richmond, Virginia while stationed at Fort Lee in 2002.

    I joined the Louisville Military Modelers Club in 2005, but after retirement, I got a night job in 2012 so I am unable to attend club meetings in the evenings. Around this time, my IPMS membership also lapsed. There was some internal club dispute that kind of made things uncomfortable at times. This was a reason why I limited my attendance; I didn't want to be a part of the drama. Of course, it's probably all over by now. I am still a member of their Facebook page. I do stop by if I do not have to work on the one night a month when they have their meeting.

  8. On 4/23/2020 at 9:02 AM, Paul said:

    Are there any online only IPMS clubs or clubs with a healthy online component?

    I'm interested not only because of the current pandemic threat, but also because I'm not physically near any club. I'd like to just meet up with some model makers and talk about what we're doing these days. An hour or so on a video chat would be fun - just to see people and swap some build stories. I work from home, so I do a lot of video meetings already. Occasionally having one about something fun would be great!

    Is there anything like that currently? If not, is anyone interested in one? 

    Most of the clubs have extremely active FaceBook groups, including several in the Massachusetts area that I belonged to when I was stationed there. Although I've been gone for nearly 15 years, I still stay in contact with the club members and keep up with their club goings.

    This is the AMPS group (armor modeling) I still stay in touch with https://www.facebook.com/groups/1581450152071913/

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