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Ralph Nardone

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Ralph Nardone last won the day on February 27

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About Ralph Nardone

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    Styrene Junkie

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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. I recently bought Woodlands Scenics dry-transfer letters and numbers: https://woodlandscenics.woodlandscenics.com/show/category/DecalsGraphics You can apply these to clear decal film--if, say, you're making an aircraft serial number or some other string of characters. Once you have the dry transfers applied, cut the resulting decal out and apply it as usual.
  2. It appears to be similar to Vallejo Putty. It is more liquid that Perfect Plastic Putty, and dries harder than Perfect Putty, too...
  3. I've spoken with a few people familiar with the Dash-80, and they seem to lean towards Chrome Yellow. I doubt there's anyone at Boeing who knows, but perhaps someone at the Museum of Flight in Seattle can say for sure... R
  4. "Everyone posting here..." There's the rub. Not everyone who goes to a contest posts here--some of them have no idea IPMS exists, or they refuse to join for whatever reason. THOSE are the people we try to reach. We've discussed this before, you and I. Some people are beyond help--they won't read the rules, they won't check out the Competition Handbook, they just plop the model on the table and come back a few hours later and expect to be regaled with their riches. These folks don't yet want to be reached. But many people do want the help and have said so. A few short comments on the form should--note I said "should" and not "will"--help the entrant understand what the judges found that put their model out of contention, or why it won a Third instead of a First. "Everyone also knows judges are often unfamiliar..." You're talking accuracy here. Let's see what the CH says: "Accuracy. Absolute accuracy is a noble, but probably unattainable, goal. Despite the fact that no scale model is ever 100% accurate, some people urge that models be judged principally on their accuracy. This is a real minefield. While gross inaccuracy is easy to spot in some instances, the situation quickly becomes murky past obvious things and can lead to unfairness in judging. For example, suppose one of the aircraft judges spent the better part of twenty years as the crew chief of a particular aircraft. That judge will probably be able to find inaccuracies of one sort or another on every model of that type of aircraft entered in a category. But, there's a real risk he will unfairly penalize those who entered those models if he judges solely on the basis of accuracy as he can readily spot their flaws while he may miss inaccuracies in other aircraft types with which he does not have the same level of expertise. Along the same lines, modelers who know the minute aspects of a subject often mistakenly believe judges also have similar detailed knowledge. This may or may not be true. It's simply not possible for all IPMS judges to match the expertise developed by our disparate and incredibly knowledgeable membership. The Chief Judge and Class Head Judges take pains every year to remind the judges to be aware of these problems and to be fair to all on this issue. You can also help yourself by not assuming the judges know all the details you know. Help them and yourself by putting such information on the entry sheet or any other display material you put with your model. Judges are instructed read that stuff and it could make the difference for you. Lest we get too wrapped up in the accuracy debate, remember that IPMS/USA judges concentrate first on the modeling aspects. A model with every component built absolutely accurately probably still won't win if seams between the components aren't filled properly. Conversely, a superbly built model containing an inaccuracy could win if it is, in all other respects, the best model in the category." "How can you explain to a contestant..." I don't believe I've ever judged a contest where the difference between First and Second was because the judges "liked" one type of finish over another, or one subject over another. There's always something--however minute--that will push one model over the bar. YMMV and all that, but I've never seen it. Your final comment also helps make the case for Open Judging. If two models are SO good that you have to drill way down to find some minuscule flaw--even saying you like Model A's camouflage over Model B's bare metal finish, then both should earn an equal award. Can of worms? In the immortal words of Jules Winnfield, "If my answers frighten you, then you should cease asking scary questions." Cheers! Ralph
  5. 1. Most people who are against comments don't seem to fully grasp the concept. They are meant to be used in two ways--as Gil states, the first is to point out areas the judges found that saw the model cut from the top three, and the second is as Rusty states--to be used as a reminder for next time. Very few people will do as Pete did and de-construct and rebuild a model, but they are out there... 2. Model building, an art? Maybe in the finish stages, but the basic construction of a model kit is craftsmanship, no more and no less. You building a model is no different from Norm Abram building a bookcase--you want to have tight seams, no glue slop, and the model (unless it is an organic form, and even these have their own set of rules) needs to be straight, square, and plumb. It is craftsmanship all day long. Now, applying finish--that group of techniques that includes painting, weathering, distressing, polishing, washing, modulating, lighting, forcing panel lines, etc., etc., well, that's where the art comes in to play. In effect, what you are attempting to do is fool the viewer into thinking that the model on the table is actually an example of the actual subject that you've put through the de-bigulator... 3. The comments, done correctly, should point the entrant towards those errors. Writing "Dress your seams" is nebulous, but "The right wing root seam is inconsistent" tells more of the story. Obviously, you can't document all the places on the model where it fell short. All that the comments are meant to do is direct a modeler towards problem areas noted on that model so they can learn. If comments don't do anything for you, that's on you. But don't trash the concept because you personally don't care for it. Another topic for perhaps another thread is expectations and reality. I would wager than none of us goes to a show not expecting to have a favorable showing--yet the reality, especially in a 1-2-3 structured contest, is that there is only one "winner". By definition, everyone who didn't "win" is therefore a "loser". That's where we all need to temper our expectations, and maybe change our focus on what a model show should be--a place to show off our work and hob-nob with other folks who share our interests. If we happen to take home a big shiny, so much the better. And yes, I hear a lot of people say they believe and live this, but at shows I've seen a few of these same people turn into purple-faced hobgoblins when they come up empty... Is competition bad? Well, David Sarnoff, the guy who made RCA and CBS big in the day, was known to say, "Competition brings out the best in products, and the worst in men." I'd say he was more or less on the money with that... Cheers. R
  6. Rusty made the decision to ask Mark to write the 1-2-3 summary unilaterally. I know I was not polled on the subject--indeed, we worked internally to write the 1-2-3 summary as well as the Open Judging summary. We were all caught off guard when we saw the actual 1-2-3 summary when Rusty posted it.
  7. As one of the individuals involved, and as a proponent for Open Judging, I read the NCC's summary. While the mechanics of a possible Open Judging method were not fully developed at this time, I see several flaws in the NCC's assessment of how they believe Open Judging works. Here's my counterpoint to the NCC: There is no "Ideal" or "Standard" (other than the Contest Rules) that needs to be met in order for anyone to enter models. You can enter as many models as you wish as long as you pay the entry fee, the same as has always been done. Models are judged using the very same criteria set that is currently employed by IPMS. Rather than counting flaws and making cuts, each model is evaluated as to how well the modeler met the criteria. Nothing has been said about skill levels. Had these been mentioned, I would suggest that it would be initially left to the entrant to determine their own skill level. Once they've won Golds at their current level, they get promoted to the next level. But that's step 1,278. We're on Step 1. The judges would still be your peers within IPMS--It isn't as if IPMS will all of a sudden start using some "Intergalactic Model Judging Guild" to judge the show. Because the models aren't compared to each other, the judging can begin as soon as the first models reach the display room--they get placed on the display tables and are judged as they sit. Done properly, judges will be able to pick what shifts they want to judge, rather than having to cram it all into a few hours on Friday night. As soon as each model has the required number of judging sheets, it can be tabulated and the award determined. Class Awards, Best-of-Show, and Special Awards are judged as they always have been--all the Gold winners in a given class are compared and a "winner" determined. The work is spread out over several days. Start a Sign Me Up page or make other efforts to get volunteers to assist in tabulating the data, same as we do for other show volunteers. I'm sure there are folks who want to see how the sausage is made after the judging itself is done. IPMS/USA designs a standard, non-show specific Field Award (medals or challenge coins, ideally) to be used at ALL National Conventions. Order in bulk, the ones that don't get used this year are saved for the next year, or the following year, etc. Put that onus on IPMS/USA and the NCC. This will actually save money--ask me about the boxes of unneeded field awards left over from the 2016 Convention sitting in my garage. They cannot be re-used as contest awards--most of them will have had the plaques torn off and the wood used as model bases by the time they're all gone. In effect IPMS/USA tossed that money in the county landfill. Only the Class Awards, Best of Show, and Special Awards need to be designed and tailored to the current Convention's theme. That work will still fall on the host chapter. Not everyone wants a 'contest'. Many modelers want to be informed/educated, and many others certainly do just want to show off what they've done in a Display Only format. A model that doesn't win 1st, 2nd, or 3rd under the current system doesn't meet the IPMS Standard. While every model should have at least one comment, there is no requirement to comment on each model in the room. These comments are quick notes--"There's a seam on the right wing", not short versions of "War and Peace". Dragging out the "every model wins a trophy" argument is beneath you, Mark, and I wouldn't have expected to see it. Should the membership opt for Open Judging, it won't happen overnight. I estimated a five- to seven-year implementation plan when it was discussed, starting at the local level for a few years, then migrating to the Regional level. By the time it gets rolled out on a National level, most of the bugs will have been discovered and the wrinkles ironed out. Like anything new, it won't always go to plan--I doubt our current system was seamless and foolproof when it was first used, either. But the benefits of a properly designed and implemented Open Judging system--specifically the score sheet and feedback--outweigh the growing pains I know will happen. Ralph Nardone President, IPMS/Mid-Carolina Swamp Fox Modelers IPMS #33984 AMPS #2540
  8. https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/hyperscale/for-sale-entire-collection-400-kits-t502166.html http://www.arcforums.com/forums/air/index.php?/topic/306983-for-sale-entire-scale-model-collection/ Just putting this out there. Apparently, a seller using the same screen name has made the rounds on multiple forums. He takes money via PayPal's "Friends and Family" option (meaning you have no recourse to get your money back), entertains multiple offers (and collects the money from said offers) on the same kit, and in general fails to deliver most of the time. Some have reported that they received the goods they paid for, others have not received anything since they paid for what they wanted. Ralph
  9. Bingo! Between the contest rules and the Modeler's Guide to Competition (as Nick reminded us, it is the document formerly known as the Competition Handbook), most questions should be answered well in advance of any model show. Rules. Huh! What are they good for? Well, absolutely everything... They get updated at the National level annually (more or less), and most other IPMS-sanctioned contests base their rules on the Nationals rules, so you need to read them in advance of any contest. Ask questions. If the rules don't suit you--if you have some fundamental disagreement with them--you have the option not to play, or ask for some "Display Only" space. More and more shows offer it these days...you may still have to pay an entry fee, but you can still show your stuff. The information is readily available. As Brad Hamilton told Jeff Spicoli in the movie "Fast Times at Ridgemont High", "Learn it. Know it. Live it."
  10. IPMS/USA no longer has a plastic content rule. My take on 3D parts is that they are, at best, scratchbuilt parts (if the user is also the person who made the CAD file, whether they actually own the printer themselves or went through an outlet such as Shapeways to have them printed) and at worst, aftermarket parts in the same realm as resin, white metal, or limited run plastic parts. Cheers! Ralph
  11. I see "Shelf of Woe", and all I can think of is the professional wrestler ("rassler") Kevin "The Prince of Darkness" Sullivan speak about the "Tree of Woe": "I did go to the Tower of Torment, I did climb the Thirteen Steps, and I did strap myself to the Tree of Woe. And the Sifu did come to me, and he did give to me the Beetle Nut, the Cosmic Cookie, for that I was to chew on as I did hang from the Tree of Woe. And as I did chew on the Beetle Nut everything became clear in the Amazon river of my mind..." Ahhh, professional wrestling in the late 1970's-early 1980's. Kids today don't know what they missed... :) Ralph
  12. I've only used the "old" formulation of Squadron putties. I still have most of a tube of White that I bought a few years ago. The main reason, I think, that I don't use many solvent based putties these days is simply because I do a better job at cleaning up parts and test fitting. Also, I got tired of having fillers crack, or not scribe, or need repeated applications, so I started using the various combinations of CA, microballoons, Evergreen, Apoxie Sculp, and stretched sprue. None of those will shrink and fall out of a gap. Evergreen, used to fill a gap, adds structural stability to the joint. I can build contours with Apoxie Sculp with no fear of the weeks-long-to-dry issue or shrinkage. I can use a scribing needle on cured CA. I can use CA to install and fair clear parts, then polish it glass-smooth. I still have, as I said, a tube of Squadron White, as well as a tube of Perfect Plastic Putty and Vallejo putty on the bench, and they do come in handy as scratch fillers and (with the latter two) to fill small defects without sanding the surrounding detail away--apply a dab, let sit, wipe with a damp cloth. I have tried most of the putties you mentioned. I stopped using red (I used the Testor/Dr. Microtools stuff--boy, was that a deep red!) and green (Squadron and one of the auto body putties--the auto body stuff was a mint green, while Squadron's was the green we all know) putties because I was building a lot of airliners at the time, and it is difficult to cover red and green putties. When Squadron's white putty hit the market, that's what I used. I tried the Tamiya Basic Type, and had a mess on my hands--I filled the wing root seams on a Revell Germany reissue of the Monogram 1/48 F-84F, and the putty generated a bunch of gas bubbles in the plastic that was softened by the putty and in the putty itself. It must have been a reaction with the plastic, since I only applied a thin skim coat (about 1/64"). I wound up having to remove most of the damaged area and fill it with Evergreen and CA. It was a royal PITA, and I believe that's when I started using CA as a filler more than I had previously. Of course, it helps that I finally learned over the years that less is indeed more... Cheers! Ralph
  13. I rarely use putties as fillers these days. But a few tips: As you build, test fit. If something doesn't fit, make it fit. Minimize the amount of filler you need. Once the parts are assembled, dress the seams with sandpaper to see exactly what needs to be filled BEFORE you apply filler. As a kid, I used to glop Squadron Green Putty over every seam as soon as the glue was dry. In reality, I probably sanded off about 98% of the putty I applied. Less is truly more... Apply thin layers of filler. 1/32" is about the thickest I will go, and I prefer to go half that (1/64", about the thickness of an index card). As to the question at hand, my favorite fillers: CA, aka ACC, aka Super Glue. I use it either straight from the bottle or bulked out with Microballoons. I rarely use an accelerator, by the way, nor do I ever use baking soda. Applied correctly, you shouldn't need to accelerate the bond. Gel-type works well on wider gaps, the thick stuff is good for the smaller gaps, and the thin formulas work nicely on hairline seams. Apoxie Sculp or Superfine White Milliput. This is to fill gaps larger than 1/32" Evergreen sheet, strip, and rod. Again, this is to "pack out" gaps wider than 1/32". Fit it to the gap, secure with CA or plastic cement (I use Tamiya Extra Thin), let dry, and sand/trim to shape. Stretched Sprue. An alternative to using Evergreen. Perfect Plastic Putty or Vallejo Putty. I use this to fill small defects. Apply it, let it sit a minute, then smooth with a Q-tip that had been dampened with water. Don't wet sand Perfect Plastic Putty--it dissolves in water. If you have to go back and add more, let the first layer dry completely, then re-apply more and smooth as before. Don't let the first layer get too wet! Squadron White Putty. My former Go-To. I haven't tried the new formulation, but the old stuff was, well, our standard for many years, especially the Green Putty. I only used the white because I was building a lot of airliners at the time, and it was easier to cover with white paint than was the Green putty.
  14. And they did both in 1/72 scale as well. And Meng's F-102A and F-106A are pure gems. Valom's 1/72 scale single seat Voodoos also fill a niche, as do Kitty Hawk's 1/48 kits (they're typically Kitty Hawk, but you can build one of them, convert a Monogram kit, or scratchbuild).
  15. Yes, I introduced the other judging structures so that people could read for themselves the various ways scale models are judged. I'm willing to discuss methods other than IPMS, bu tin this case my reply would have been very heavily slanted away from the topic at hand. No harm, no foul, and I agree, it doesn't work for some folks. The comments about the people who project were not directed towards you at all...apologies if you thought they were directed at you. As for the rest, you "get it". Like you, I am able to judge pretty much any category at an IPMS show. Why? I build all types of models, and I have an understanding of the rules particular to those categories. It isn't difficult. It doesn't take a degree in Advanced Engineering to do. Honestly speaking, I prefer a Model Show (exhibition) to a Model Contest. But exhibitions without contests will never fly in the U.S.
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