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Ralph Nardone

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Ralph Nardone last won the day on August 10

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About Ralph Nardone

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    Plastic Habit

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    IPMS/Mid-Carolina Swamp Fox Modelers
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    Newberry, SC USA
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    Somewhat eclectic

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  1. Ralph Nardone

    Hints for gloss (insignia) white

    I often use Tamiya's Superfine White Primer in the aerosol can. No decanting, no airbrushing, just a few light coats of primer right from the can. It flashes quickly, you can recoat in 15 minutes. Allow to fully dry/cure for a few hours (overnight is best), then move along with your other colors. I usually use the primer as the final white, unless the "white" I need is off-white--in which case, I'll overcoat with the proper color... If you build airliners, it is the perfect white for fuselages, and it offers a good base for whatever metallics you want to use for the wings, etc. Ralph
  2. Ralph Nardone

    To all the gizmologist- how to wire an aircraft

    As a semi-retired aviation wire stringer, smoke herder, electron wrangler, and spark chaser, a good looking, well-tied, well-routed, and well-secured wire bundle--whether in scale or in the 1:1--makes me smile. The neater they are, the easier they are to work on later. Also note that most modern (since the 1970's, at least) wire has a white jacket. Sure, you *can* get it in colors, but for the most part it is white (easier logistics and inventory control). Yeah, I know--"White is visually boring!" And yet it happened...as Gil says, the visual interest comes in the bundle ties and cable clamps. Geek stuff, or trivia you can use to stump your know-it-all uncle when he starts making wisecracks at the Thanksgiving table: Most aviation-approved wire these days is M22759/16 (single conductor or twisted, unshielded conductors) or M27500 (shielded conductor with a shielding braid) series with a Tefzel jacket. At one point, Kapton was used as the insulating jacket, but it proved to be troublesome. I've seen Kapton deteriorate to the point that it looks like beads on a string. Most modern MIL-C-17 RF cable jackets are now a bronzeish-copperish-goldish tone. They used to be black. These days, too, some systems use Cat 5 databus cable. These usually have a light blue jacket. Some specialty systems and low-loss cables have clear red, clear blue, or lime green jackets. Just so y'all know. :) Now, I'll give bonus points to anyone who tries to replicate the actual wire numbers... 😄 Cheers! Ralph
  3. Ralph Nardone

    Putty, Putty, Who's Got The Putty?

    If you have an auto body supply shop in town, they should be able to provide glazing putty. The new darling of the modeling world is the Heckler and Spies Permacron M, but you can still get 3m Acryl, only not the Acryl Blue as it went the way of the dodo. You can get white, red, or green, and they work just as well--and you get a tube that should last until the next millennium.
  4. I'm with Nick on this. When the website for the Columbia Nationals went live (and it went live as soon as the Columbus show was declared "over"), we posted links all over the modeling forums and included the links to our social media pages (Facebook and Twitter), too. Every now and then we'd give the posts a bump, but otherwise, if you wanted info you went to the "Official" website and social media pages to get the up-to-date 4-1-1. All the information available was posted to the website. Jodie updated everything several times a day (or more, if warranted) on the "News" page, including posting when hotel blocks opened up and making almost hourly updates early on when the Hampton Inn had a booking glitch. As Nick says, you can only do so much. Sooner or later, people have to do for themselves. Ralph
  5. Ralph Nardone

    Youth Judging at Model Contests

    Our Junior Categories at our June show in Columbia, SC were at the front of the model display area--anyone who walked into the show area walked past them. We only had four models entered in the Junior Categories, though... We also gave away model kits to ALL the junior modelers who attended the show. Can't comment on the contest you were at, as I wasn't in attendance... Ralph
  6. Ralph Nardone

    2019 convention website

    "Watch this space!" You're on your way, Mike. I'm looking forward to the show... Ralph
  7. Ralph Nardone

    Bid Meeting

    What happened (again) to bidding three years out? In Columbia, we were told that the new procedure was to bid three years out, and in 2016 the destinations for 2018 and 2019 were chosen. In 2017, nobody bothered to bid, but we were told nothing had changed--2017 should have been when the 2020 hosts were named. Now, once again, we're back out to two years out...2019 will see the hosts named for 2021, not 2022. R
  8. Ralph Nardone

    Latest on Model Master at Hobby Lobby...and an Insult

    Perhaps it has nothing to do with huffing paint. Perhaps it has nothing to do with a "Nanny State". Perhaps it has *everything* to do with the fact that we can't have nice things anymore. Rather than taking pot-shot guesses as to why this is, I simply asked the department manager when I was in one of their stores. The answer: They got tired of having to replace the fixtures every year because they were caked with paint and looked like a Jackson Pollock masterpiece. As a chain, they take pride in their appearance, and having a paint-splattered area in the model section was outside corporate appearance standards. Funny thing, too--this same thing didn't happen where the large spray paint cans were displayed with the other craft paint. The only area of the store where paint was on display that was abused in this manner was by the plastic models. In other words, it was done because some people make it impossible for all of us to have nice things. Cheers! R
  9. Ralph Nardone

    Holding Down the Nose of Your Plane

    You can find the same stuff in the RC section of the hobby shop, if you don't have a friend at the car repair shop. Du-Bro and Patriot are two brands under which it is marketed. Also, if you have a good train shop nearby, they may have a similar product used to add weight to rolling stock... Ralph
  10. Ralph Nardone

    A few questions

    This came up in 2016--I have never remembered a Convention where the Seminars were limited to members only. In 2016, GA bought you an "in" to the model display room, vendor room, and seminars. Most GA entrants don't know about the IPMS meetings, and as they deal with Society issues, and it is correct that they should be open to Members only. The Seminars, on the other hand, deal with ideas and techniques. The goal is to promote the hobby, and we felt that granting access to the Seminars was part and parcel of that promotion. As the saying goes, if they don't get it here, they'll get it somewhere. YMMV, etc., etc.
  11. Ralph Nardone

    Airport to Hotel

    I'll fix Jim's link: https://www.skyharbor.com/ Also, last time I was in PHX (October/November last year), Terminal 3 was under construction, so be advised. Traffic moves around the airport fairly well, but it gets a bit constricted around T3 and T4 (T4 due to the sheer numbers of flights from American and Southwest). Alas, no travel for me this year. Y'all have a great show! Ralph
  12. Ralph Nardone

    Judging Question

    We're getting prepared for our show coming up on the 23rd, and as such I'm gathering the guys and gals and will have the whole discussion on contests, judging, and what it means in the big picture... The advice I always offer to someone new to model contests is this: Read the rules governing the contest. Any game comes with rules, and if you want to play the game, you have to play by the rules the sanctioning body developed for said game. If you don't understand something, ask in advance of the show for clarification. If there is something in the rules you do not like, understand that you have two options--enter, knowing there are parts of the rules you don't like, and accept the consequences; or simply do not enter. By the time a show is advertised, the rules aren't likely to be changed simply because someone doesn't like one thing or other... As for the judging being done while the world watches, my take on the situation is this: All those people milling around had the opportunity to join the judging staff for that show (usually) by answering the dozen or more "If you'd like to judge, we will have the judges meeting in 20 minutes by the water cooler" announcements. It always chaps me that an irate entrant will come up to a judge after the fact and recite why his/her model should have won because, and I may be paraphrasing here, "I'm an experienced judge, and your guys missed this!" Fine, cowboy--if you are such an experienced judge, why didn't you lend a hand with this show instead of wandering around, catching a cool breeze, and (more often than not) trying to lobby the judges to choose your model... The other advice I have for noobs is to understand that "contest" is defined by Merriam-Webster as follows: Definition of contest 1 : a struggle for superiority or victory : competition a football contest between rival teams 2 : a competition in which each contestant performs without direct contact with or interference from competitors He won the contest for best photograph "A struggle for superiority or victory"--which means there will be one winner. So, understand going in that you may win, or you may "not win". What was it that Ricky Bobby's daddy told him (along with, "If you ain't First, you're last!")? Second place is the First Loser...but only if you look at things in a certain light. Go to the show, enjoy seeing everybody's work, talk to people--make friends!--and, if at the end of the day they call your name to go accept a tin pot, so much the better. Not winning a model contest is not the end of the world, especially an IPMS contest where this week's Best of Show can be next week's Out of the Running, depending on what else is present on the tables... (I'll not begin the discussion of why I think the AMPS scoring system is a better way to help modelers improve their craft...) :)
  13. Ralph Nardone

    VENDOR List- updates?

    They do offer HUGE support for the shows--they sponsored the decals and t-shirts for Columbia 2016--they just don't have a huge vendor presence.
  14. Ralph Nardone

    VENDOR List- updates?

    Sprue Brothers didn't have much in Columbia, either. Darren with Steel Beach had more stuff than Gordon did in 2016... Curious, too--I've never based my decision to attend a model show on which vendors were going to be there, since I can do commerce with many of the established ones from my couch. R
  15. Ralph Nardone

    One Ocean Method for your Ships

    Now, that's pretty neat! I'll have to give that a whirl at some point--although I may have to tweak it for 1/350 scale...