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Schmitz last won the day on March 17 2022

Schmitz had the most liked content!


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    Three Rivers IPMS (Pittsburgh)
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  1. A friend uses one of the commercial products, he uses it to track any aftermarket he has for the kit and reference photos (in case he ever gets around to building it).
  2. I've had some luck stripping tamiya spray paint with 90+% isopropyl alcohol from the first aid section of the grocery store. Let it soak a while. Seems to get most of the paint off, but always a little left behind.
  3. Modelers have been abusing the term "acrylic" for a long time - "acrylic" does not mean they're non-toxic water-based, its just the chemical family that the paint resin is drawn from. Out in the real world, there are "acrylic enamels" with petroleum-based solvents and "acrylic lacquers" with even more aggressive petroleum based solvents. Read the labels, if it comes out of a spray can you almost certainly need to wear a respirator if you're using it indoors.
  4. For the curious, there are financial statements online for the 2016 and 2021 Nats: https://ipmsusa.org/sites/default/files/minutes/files/2021nationalconventionstatementofactivity10092021.pdf https://ipmsusa.org/sites/default/files/minutes/files/ipmsusa2017businessmeetingpresentation.pdf Remember that the 2021 Nats were unusual in many ways (no 2020 Nats and in a higher cost city than typical); the 2016 Nats (in Columbia SC) are probably closer to typical.
  5. Quite a few medals fit in the kind of cardboard box many of us already have stacked in our basement/attic/etc - they are a small part of the contest supplies our club officers already have stashed somewhere in their homes.
  6. About 1-foot square is pretty common; any smaller than that gets hard to include enough to "tell a story" and is more likely to become a vignette (or whatever we're calling small dioramas these days).
  7. Don, what issue are you thinking about for the referendum?

    1. Show previous comments  1 more
    2. jcorley


      Well, there have been Gundam specific categories added FINALLY

      Here in R3, I have triple splits in Gundams a few times now.  It is the single largest segment of the hobby now 

    3. Schmitz


      Yes, we're taking some steps in the right direction - but I was at the Chattanooga NCC meeting where getting those Gundam categories was fought tooth and nail - when as you say its the only part of the hobby that is growing. I was amazed when my 30 year old daughter who never had any interest in my modeling bought some pricey Gundam kits - because those are her childhood memories.

      I've been spending a lot of time in the Facebook wastelands (moderating the IPMS group) and I see lots of the supposedly non-existent young modelers getting into the hobby; and they are running blogs and podcasts with huge followings and writing how-to books and inventing products - and they by-and-large don't think highly of IPMS. If we can make them welcome I think the organization has a future beyond my own 😉

    4. VonL


      From the Peanut Gallery...

      Suppose there was a judging item/factor for 'Special Effects,' maybe parsed out between electronic and non-electronic (paint, etc), disply setting/mirrors, etc. Or maybe make a separate category for SF (i.e. 'inflight' display of aircraft) where the entrant selects that category of consideration?


  8. I heard "if it ain't broke don't fix it" from my Dad starting about age 12. He was a mechanic and that was his frame of mind: cars either worked or were broke, and if they were broke you put them back the way the manufacturer built them. He sent me off to engineering school, where we learned that the people who designed things were constantly innovating and making tradeoffs trying to make things work better, because their competitors were doing the same thing. It's not obvious to me that everyone who didn't win would leave on Saturday morning. Many attendees would have already made travel plans, bought banquet tickets, raffle tickets, tour tickets, have non-refundable hotel reservations, be waiting for the vendor clearance-sale, or want to take one more circuit through the contest room. A modeler with vendor-money left in their wallet isn't about to leave. As long as there is stuff to do on Saturday afternoon there is no real reason to pack up early. There would be a tendency for non-winners to start packing up around 3-4:00 PM Saturday afternoon to beat the rush, but you could minimize that by having some "big event" about that time: a big name seminar or a pre-awards happy hour that was already included in the price of registration, so that people would want to stay for what they had already paid for. I'll be the first to admit trying this would be an experiment; we wouldn't know if it would work or not. That is the nature of innovation: you study it as well as you can and make contingency plans, but in the end you don't know if it works until you flip the switch and see what happens.
  9. If you like the thin elastic thread, it is available on a spool under the brand name "EZ Line" - check a hobby shop or type that into google/ebay/amazon to find an online seller. Don
  10. In the old days, I used Krylon Dull Aluminum - about $3 for a big spray can at WalMart - to paint anything that was supposed to be non-polished aluminum. It went down smooth - even on bare plastic, dried hard, looked like cast aluminum, and and it took washes extremely well. Then Sherwin Williams reformulated the whole paint line - probably took out all the chemicals that gave people in California cancer - and now the Matte Aluminimum that took its place looks just like silver paint (I'm pretty sure the new stuff has the same part-number as the original - 1403). I've weaned myself from the other Krylon paints, but I would really like to find something as cheap and easy to use as the original Dull Aluminum. Any chance its still available under a different name, or someone has old stock? I'm ready to order a case, but I want to be sure I don't get a case of the new stuff... Thanks! Don
  11. The hardware store paint thinner is great for cleaning brushes; whether it works to thin hobby paint (like Testors) is hit or miss; sometimes it will turn the paint to goop. In general its not a good idea to thin a whole bottle of paint at once - even if it doesn't immediately turn to goo it can happen a few days/weeks later. Don
  12. Monogram tooled a 1:24 scale '65 Convertible and a 65 Shelby fastback back in the 1980s. These two kits are basically the same except for the body, and you can swap the parts around to build a stock fastback or convertible Shelby if you wanted. The convertible kit I remember had Indy-500 Pace Car decals. At some point (15 years ago?) Monogram was bought by Revell, so you may see the same kit in Revell and Monogram boxes. The fastback kit seems to always be in production (it comes in at least 3 versions: GT350, GT350R (with Torque-thrust wheels, front air dam and special rear window), and a GT350H (molded in black plastic and with gold stripe decals). If I remember right, the only difference between a 65 and 66 would be the chrome trim in the side-coves; you could make those with a bit of plastic strip. AMT does have a kit of a 66 Coupe (notchback) - in both 1:25 and (bigger size) 1:16th scale - but you'd have to cut the roof off and find/make a boot to get a convertible out of those kits. All of these kits were re-released recently for the 50th anniversary of the Mustang, so they should be easy to find - probably even at your local hobby shop. I typed "revell mustang convertible kit" and "amt mustang kit" into ebay and got a few hits - mostly for under $20. Good luck... Don
  13. Bill, have you seen this website (with pix): http://www.shipmodels.info/mws_forum/viewtopic.php?f=60&t=156950 The guy who built it sounds like he knows what he's talking about. Then google found this (looks like a painful scheme to mask and paint!) http://www.wikiwand.com/en/World_War_II_US_Navy_dazzle_camouflage_measures_31,_32_and_33:_cruisers Don
  14. The Embassy Suites makes for a really nice venue - the hotel is attached to the contest/vendor rooms, and the room rate includes a really good breakfast bar (omelettes to order) and free-drink happy hour, perfect if you don't want to waste any time traveling between models and food and drink. That probably makes the Embassy a lot more in demand than the overflow locations - I knew a few people making plans to book as soon as the rooms went on sale. Don
  15. John, I'm not sure how to answer you without trying to answer the "meaning of life", and I'm not up for that this early in the morning... A more practical answer is my chapter, which got an infusion of SciFi modelers a few years ago when it was showing definite signs of withering away. I really think that breathed new life into the club. Now our meetings have more people and more models on the show-n-tell table. One of those new guys helped us get our show into a good location and has taken over cooking the burgers at the club picnic. Its nice having younger backs to help set up tables and schlep vendor boxes at the show (our yearly show is still going strong when some of the neighboring clubs have given up). And it turns out the SciFi guys have a lot of the same interests in things like history and sports cars and action-movies (not to mention beer-and-pizza) that fuel a lot of conversations at club meetings. Some of them even build the occasional airplane or armor piece, and now some of our "old-guard" may build a space-ship from a movie or TV show they like. If you look back, the hobby and IPMS has already changed a lot - just so slowly that you probably haven't noticed. At Columbia it seemed that SciFi and Figures and Dioramas were way up in popularity. I can remember when resin and PE were exotic stuff only the "pros" used, and now its everywhere. Modern kits have more parts and (mostly) better fit making a lot of the "plastic surgery techniques" we learned less essential to building a good model. Like everything else, modeling keeps changing but at its core its still the same as when IPMS sent out its first mimeographed newsletter. We used to think of the SciFi guys in our club as "the young guys", but they are getting a little grayer too. I'm wondering who the next new wave of modelers will be the next time we need a kick in the pants. I hope someone is there to pick up the torch, regardless of what they build. Don
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