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Nick Filippone

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Everything posted by Nick Filippone

  1. Check the National Contest Rules for 2018-which are likely to be pretty much what will be used in 2019. Yes, it is clearly not a vignette or diorama. But it may move it outside of OOB although I am not sure. It is not a vignette or diorama but it does enhance the model. Because it is a figure, does it fall outside the rules barring enhancement with extra parts? It is an interesting question. One might argue that anything might be added to an OOB entry with the instruction on the entry form to the judges to " not judge" whatever he has enhanced the model with: underwing stores, extra cockpit detail, etc. The convention to not judge the figure on a non diorama entry was to make sure the figure did not give an advantage over an entry without a figure. Can that convention also be applied to an OOB entry? Maybe, maybe not. If you want it to be an OOB entry, why not just leave the figure off. Nick Filippone, Senior National Judge
  2. To pass muster with respect to alignment, the wings AND the empennage must align. And, ok, Pete. You caught me on a last ditch technique to correct a misaligned model: shaving the bottom of a wheel or shortening a landing gear leg to make a model "stand straight!" If it's not too obvious, it will fool the judges' eye. But overdone it is easily spotted. Of course, I would NEVER do anything so sleazy LOL. Yes, I would l like to see your device in use. Perhaps in Chattanooga. Rusty, Relax! We are all just having a little harmless fun. No need to summon the Forum police! Nick
  3. I see what you are saying with respect to the alignment of the LANDING GEAR. But your last post seems to assume that a misaligned landing gear is the only reason for a misaligned model. It is a very common reason but not the only one. Just as common is the builder who simply glued the wings or elevators on at incorrect or unequal angles such that one is higher or lower than the horizontal plane if the parts have no dihedral or the dihedral (when called for) is unequal. The landing gear could be "true" to each wing and/ or the fuselage and of equal length but the flying surface tips will not be the same distance off the table. An engine cowling glued on with a droop will also not be corrected by proper symmetric installation of landing gear. Are you able to rest the bottom of the instrument on the table to do the manouvers you describe? If not, ( and your use of the word "visually" suggests that you cannot) then you are assuming that your perception of the horizontal when it is held in your hand in mid-air is always really horizontal and therefore the vertical line and everything parallel to it is also really "plumb." Any and all cases of misalignment will quickly and accurately and objectively be identified with the hem measurer with no opportunity for the eye to be fooled. The CAUSE for the misalignment, as I said, is frequently irrelevant. I might add that I keep a hem measurer on my bench and employ it regularly as I assemble my models. It has kept me out of trouble on many occasions! Regards, Nick
  4. I do not know if you understand how a hem measurer works when assessing alignment or even if you understand what most judges mean by proper alignment. By setting the bottom of the hem measurer on the surface of the table adjacent to whatever structure on the airframe you are examining ( usually wing tips and horizontal elevator tips but occasionally underwing stores or propellor spinners), adjusting the cursor to the height of that structure and then moving it to the other side, those structures are either at the same height or they are not! If the heights are equal, those structures and the model are considered to be aligned. If not, they are considered not aligned. WHY they are not aligned is unimportant in judging ( except perhaps when many entries are misaligned and one is trying to decide whose error is less egregious ) although it is usually easy enough to spot the cause once one has been " tipped off" as it were by the hem measurer. I am not sure how your aircraft plotter works but if you are holding it up in mid-air and not resting it on a level surface, it is affected by slight movement by the holder and his or her subjective idea of what is horizontal. Also, without some type of gradation marks for vertical height, even if resting on a level surface, I cannot see how height can be assessed other than by " eyeballing it." In my experience as I pointed out above, that is not a reliable technique. Your plotter is also limited by its fixed width in the horizontal plane. Since models vary greatly in span, unless vertical gradations, even if they were there on the plotter, are exactly apart the same distance as the structures being compared, one still would have to guess to some extent that the heights off the table are the same. For judging purposes, the hem measurer does not even need any gradations or units of measure. The cursor either hits the structures on each side at the same spot ( aligned) or it does not ( out of alignment.) Nick
  5. It is not a micrometer that careful, competent and scrupulously objective judges use to assess alignment. (A micrometer is used to measure the thickness of an item.) Rather, most of us use a hem measurer to, as always, compare one model to another. Such a measurement should not nor would not disqualify a model on that basis alone in the hands of a conscientious IPMS judge. It would permit he or she to decide which models achieved the best alignment AS ONE OF THE SEVERAL CRITERIA that the IPMS Judge's Handbook mandates that we use to evaluate entries. As the hem measurer is brutally objective, it also helps to put the lie to the opinions of those less than careful judges who stand ten feet back from table and swear that a model is out of alignment. A quick application of the hem measurer will prevent this modeler's entry from being unfairly eliminated from competition by sloppy, lazy judges. The hem measurer is an excellent way to make rapid and very accurate assssments of alignment. As usual, if mistakes are being made in its application, don't blame the tool. Blame the workman! Nick Filippone, Senior National Judge
  6. MY experience with IPMS "haters" who criticize the importance we place on craftsmanship is that they are modelers who are sorely lacking in craftsmanship themselves. They cannot win a contest so those who can put too much emphasis on craftsmanship. Building a model without trying to do a good job is like playing golf with no particular concern whether the ball ever gets in the cup. Since I joined IPMS in 1964, I have had to listen to the likes of AMSO criticize this venerable organization and its 1/2 century endeavour to raise plastic modelling from the low regard in which it was held ( remember when the wood modelers thought that WE were the ones lacking in craftsmanship?) to the level of excellence it now enjoys. I have long since run out of patience with modelers jealous of what IPMS members have achieved individually and collectively through hard work and a demand for excellence to make plastic modelling every bit as sophisticated and respectable as hand carved balsa and basswood modelling. This was always one of our earliest goals. Hence, I will eschew any semblance of modelling "political correctness!" I will not take back what I said above nor will I apologize for it. As long as such people as AMSO members keep their comments to themselves, I will forbear to criticize them. But once they start the childish nonsense such as was reported above, then they better be prepared to knock the chip off my shoulder that I unashamedly wear for IPMS. Nick Filippone, IPMS #969 and proud enough of it to stick up for it!
  7. My intentionally tongue in cheek remarks were less for your benefit and more for that of the other veterans of this Forum who will easily recall how many times the OOB category debate - ad nauseam- has been beaten to death over the years. I meant no offense. If your post does not ignite yet another discussion whose repetitiveness will be exceeded only by the ennui it will engender in those of us who have suffered through it so many times before, I will be simultaneously very surprised and overflowing with Christmas Joy. Nick " I've heard it all a million times before" (apologies to Petula Clark) Filippone.
  8. Two thoughts:(1) I have been judging at the Nationals and every level below for over 25 years. I have NEVER looked at the instructions except to see if they were there if that contest's rules required them to be. I trust my fellow modelers. There are very few cheats. And anyone who does feel the need to cheat is such a poor modeler to begin with that he or she is never in the running anyway. (2) PLEASE, at this festive time of the year, don't open this can of worms again. Happy Holidays. Regards, Nick Filippone, Senior National Judge
  9. Lousy modelers need an organization to help them rationalize their lousy results! l
  10. To me, this is the great roadblock, at least for now, to 3D printers as practical modelling tools. The creation of the program to make the part requires learning to use CAD. If one already has substantial computer skills, perhaps this would be quick and easy. But for the rest of us, time taken to learn such skills is time that could be spent modelling. My idea of the ideal 3D printer is one that scans a part and copies it. Such devices exist, but must be still more expensive. Another alternative, I suppose, is to give someone with CAD skills the part or specifications and let them create the program- if that is even the correct term. There are companies on the Internet that will do such work and make the parts, but they will expect to be paid. I admit that I get jazzed every time a Micromark catalog arrives with a 3D printer for sale. But they are expensive and I do not have the skills to program it nor the time to acquire them. Even if you paid someone to make the 3D parts for you, it would be a long time before you have spent more than the cost of the printer. I think the time will come when all these issues will be worked out in a much more cost friendly way for we modelers. However, is this really modelling? Assembling parts by hand or creating parts or molds for parts with handheld tools that carve and shape and refine is what modelling has historically always been. With 3D printers "some machine will be doing that for you." (Apologies to Zager and Evans.) There is a particular satisfaction in taking a block of balsa or styrene and liberating a fuselage or a hull or a canopy mold from it! Good luck. Regards, Nick Filippone
  11. Then, I owe the hotel staff an apology. Obviously, the fault lies with the Chattanooga National staff who did WAY too good a job in making their show a "must attend" and the IPMS Nationals faithful who sat up all night of the 13th, obsessive compulsively waiting for the clock to strike 8AM - as I did! Nick
  12. This seems to be an ongoing phenomenon with every show. One of us calls and we are told the hotel block is filled. It is almost always due to the fact that the particular hotel staff person does not know how to access the block. Some options : (1) Ask for the manager (2) Always call during regular work hours- not outside the 8-4 window, not on the weekend (3) hang up and call back and hopefully get a different reservation person. Like every other organization, it takes a while for everyone to get on the same page. With respect to parking fees (1) $11. per night is dirt cheap! (2) I have never, ever seen a hotel rate at a decent in-town hotel that included the parking- especially not a Marriott! With all the Nationals we have all been to, does this really come as a surprise? Besides, you can always park on the street or hire a homeless person to drive your car around the block for four days. Nick Filippone, sophisticated world traveler.
  13. I guess my experiences in this are simply substantially different from those of others. But then, I went to Catholic Schools where the good Sisters reminded me that " God helps those who help themselves!" We can only ask our fellow members to do so much. Then we have to pitch in ourselves, even if it means doing something as onerous as sending someone an e-mail request for information. Gosh! My back hurts just thinking about how much exertion that would take! Nick.
  14. When did we ever not have transparency in this matter? For as many Nationals as I can remember, I have always left one knowing pretty much exactly when the reservations could be made for the next. I have always made them on the first day possible. My recollection is that each host chapter does an excellent job of keeping the membership informed. Nick
  15. Two companies that are careful to the extreme in packaging are Hobbysearch and Jadar. I have never received anything damaged from them. But, also, both come via U.S. Postal Service. Nick
  16. Great! I love the animals! Nick Filippone
  17. It wouldn't be a National ( or, for that matter any other show ) if I wasn't scrambling to finish things! It does focus your modeling, however, and compels one to finish things, which is good. Good luck! See you there. Nick
  18. People probably also predicted the demise of paper modeling and balsa wood modeling. And if they had any sense, scratch builders would have given up their media of choice long ago. But each has persisted because people will always build what gives them the greatest satisfaction! Whether and when 3-D printing replaces injection molding remains to be seen. My understanding is that at least at this point, it is slower than injection molding on a kit by kit basis. So the economics may have yet to be resolved. I the meantime, it is important to keep in mind that the overiding principle in National Contest judging is trying to make sure only comparable models are judged against each other. The ultimate solution for the 3-D model entries may someday be a category of their own. Meanwhile, ' rumors of the death of ejection molded kits are greatly exaggerated!' (Apologies to Mark Twain.) After all, vinyl records are making a comeback. Regards, Nick Filippone. Senior National Judge
  19. This question intrigued me! Since Lt. Uhuru is off duty today, I had to do it myself and googled "snow in the U.K" . It does indeed snow, although not with the same consistency as, for example, upstate New York. It actually snowed in June, 1975 enough to cause cancellation of cricket matches! It snows more in Scotland than England, naturally. Short answer is that it does snow in England often enough to make your diorama plausible. Regards, Nick
  20. This is the last straw! Henceforth, I will no longer buy stuff for my hobby on line, anywhere. ..........NOT!!!! LOL!!!
  21. Nice map, Dick. Thanks. My next question is probably stupid, but may I assume that from the orientation of the map, one would want to take a WEST bound train from the 3rd Street/Washington Station? Nick
  22. David, Thank you orienting me (and the rest of us). It has been long enough since I have been to Phoenix that I forgot the segment of the journey between the terminal and the Light Rail Station. It's all coming together now. Nick
  23. Phoenix has an excellent Light Rail System that, among other places, runs between the airport and downtown Phoenix. For our purposes, it lets you off about a block from the Convention Center and the event hotel. I used it both times I have been to the Phoenix Nationals. I recommend it. Nick Filippone
  24. Try parking it in sunlight. It will bleach out the yellow over several weeks. Just don't let it get too hot! This technique also works for decals that have yellowed.
  25. Yes! I look forward to buying you a beer! And we can discuss whether the line between passion and insanity is raised or recessed. Regards, Nick
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