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Ralph Nardone

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Ralph Nardone last won the day on February 26

Ralph Nardone had the most liked content!

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About Ralph Nardone

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    Styrene Junkie

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  • Local Chapter
    IPMS/Mid-Carolina Swamp Fox Modelers
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    Newberry, SC USA
  • Interests
    Somewhat eclectic

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  1. +1 on the Hakko unit. I've worked corporate jet avionics for 30+ years, and most shops I've worked for either had them or upgraded to them--they are of a much better quality than a comparable Weller unit.
  2. Ralph,

    I wanted to thank you for you help in finding the fonts I needed. My grandson installed them for me today.

    Robert C. Walker IPMS 17121

    1. Ralph Nardone

      Ralph Nardone

      Glad I could be of service!

  3. This is precisely why most RCs will ask the Chapters in their Region to carefully review the Charter Renewal Fact Sheet rather than just rubber stamp it and send it back. Frankly, I can't see how a Chapter can be rechartered if the Chapter Contact information the RC has is incorrect--if the CC doesn't get the paperwork, how can they recharter? And if the RC knows the CC info on file is no longer accurate, then it is on the RC to correct it.
  4. The particular fonts you are looking for are Amarillo USAF and Long Beach USN. Check your font menu on your word processing program--Amarillo may already be there. Long Beach used to only be available through TLai Enterprises, but dafont has a passable version listed as "USN Stencil" font.
  5. Very nicely done! I built the Revell kit many moons ago, and the Zukei Mura kit is certainly worlds apart! The diorama should be a sight to see, can't wait until you get it finished and post pictures. Cheers! Ralph I've moved the rest of my reply to Nick's thread in the Bull Pen.
  6. The kit dates back to 1970-1971. It was based on early information and wasn't one of Monogram's better kits--it lacked detail. The cockpit, seats and all, was molded in to the fuselage, and the wheel wells were greatly simplified. The exhausts were molded in, and the small parts were clunky. It was produced during the Mattel era, when all Mattel wanted was a way to turn model kits into toys that kids could play with. This was one of the first models that was compatible with the short-lived "Skystick" controller. The Tomcat was the only new-tooled airplane kit produced under Mattel--all other airplane released during that period were reissues of Monogram's older kits. If you want to build it as a nostalgia build, do it and have a blast. If you want something close to being an accurate, well-detailed model, there are better choices in 1/72 scale. Cheers! Ralph
  7. From what I've read, some of the USAFE Huns were painted with silver lacquer as early as 1958. As always, having a photo of the airplane you want to depict is a great way to tell--if the finish is more or less matt and uniform, it is lacquer. If there are different sheens and tones on the various panels, it is still bare metal. Cheers! Ralph
  8. A few random thoughts... Contest venues are expensive. Our one-day show in Columbia, SC is held at the National Guard Armory, and we pay $1,000 a day. That could be why it seems that contests are in decline. Perhaps, too, people are tired of the need to compete, the need to win at all costs, so they don't go. Perhaps they don't get anything out of a contest, so they stay home. As far as the misguided notion that contests are money-makers, that's largely hogwash. Any club that hosts a show as a fundraiser is going out far on a weak limb. Most shows break even, at best, and that's fine. The true goal of a show should be to offer exhibition space for folks who want to show their work, as a recruiting aid, and as the public face of the club--i.e., show the public what it is you do, and give them the avenue to get involved. Unless you have a compelling reason to host a two-day show, folks get tired and leave. Pushing the awards to 6PM on Sunday is a non-starter. Back in my Region 11 days (Florida), most shows that ran for two days wrapped up by Sunday at Noon. The last two day show I was involved with in South Florida (near Calder race course and whatever they call Joe Robbie Stadium these days), the venue cost $1,200 a day. For the four hours we occupied the venue on Sunday, we paid the same $1,200 as we did for the entire day Saturday (and this is 1999 money, I'd hate to see what the get these days!)--the show broke even (actually, it cost both host Chapters about $100 each). We could have saved the money and done the awards at 5PM on Saturday. Hotels cost money. Not everyone wants to pay for a night or two at a hotel for a local or regional show. Not everyone can do that. Even if you have seminars, they need to be compelling enough for folks to stick around to sit through them. Facebook is a hot issue. Some refuse to go near Facebook because of their well-publicized security issues. As for the RC's, Dave has it right--they volunteer. Finding a replacement RC is sometimes a long, drawn out process due to the lack of volunteers.
  9. When I need an overall white, I simply use Tamiya's "Superfine White" spray primer directly from the can. A few light coats, let 'em dry, then gloss/decal as usual. You can decant it and airbrush it if you wish, I don't like creating more work for myself--the paint sprays just fine from the can. Cheers! Ralph
  10. Plain old Elmer's White Glue. Tape the nacelles in place while it dries. It will hold the part in place, and when you need to separate them it "unsticks" easily. Peel the Elmer's off and reattach the part when you're ready to do so. You could also use small drops of CA, but that's a little more difficult to remove. Cheers! Ralph
  11. Nice work! And kids who look at it will only see a cool model of an X-Wing... About the same time Revell moved their molding to a the facility in China, their plastic also became softer--probably more vinyl and/or regrind added to the mix. That's the main reason that if I want a vintage Monogram kit, I buy the earliest issue I can find in order to get that sublime Monogram styrene...
  12. My take: I don't care about "winning" or "losing" at a model show--I've been on both ends of the spectrum many, many times. That's not why I build models and put them on a show table--I put my models out there to show what I've been doing. I welcome questions. I value critique. That's the only way to get better at something--have another set of eyes (or two, or two thousand) have a look and tell me what they see that maybe I could have done differently. Note--this is different from merely collecting a trophy that says I'm King Styrene for a Day and assuming that I need to copy what I did on the "winning" model in order to keep raking in the tin pots. TELL me what you see. TELL me what I might do differently. DISCUS different techniques. Don't assume I will learn through osmosis. That, that right there is why I prefer an Open Judging system that offers feedback. When I put my models in an AMPS show, I value the feedback more than I value the medal that goes with the score I earned. But even more to the point, I enjoy contests that use Open Judgng because the people involved are more apt to share. I've been to IPMS shows where the people who have entered models are stand-offish and tight lipped about which models they entered and how they did things--for some odd reason, they seem to think that if they share their techniques, they'll be giving away Government Secrets. One of the Facebook posts on this subject led to a sub-thread on Wonderfest. George Seletas (Wonderfest Chairman) summed it up nicely: " The most important thing is that we are in that room for fun and brotherhood and not to bump puffed chests like it's the NFL." Its supposed to be about the models, not the medals.
  13. Nick, I'm not disagreeing with you--as I indicated, a preponderance of the votes would have to be in favor of Open Junding before anything gets done.
  14. Jim, your question is a fair one. In theory, a model that earns Gold at one AMPS show should earn Gold at all AMPS shows. The system is presented to the judges that way, and the fact that judges' training is scripted and uniform aids in this. AMPS still allows OJT shifts, but in order to become a certified judge, you must sit through the training session and do two shifts. As I said on Facebook, a tie vote is no indication of a "win", and that in and of itself means that nothing will change. Maybe some will talk about it from time to time, but unless something drastic happens, this gets filed in the "Nice to Know" file. If IPMS does a similar survey two years from now and the results are the same, nothing will happen. The only way anything will change is if the preponderance to the votes indicate the membership wants change--and that change will take between 5 and 10 years to happen at the National level. It will not be immediate. A friend of mine made a comment that sparked some discussion. At the local level, what do the Chapter members (both IPMS members and non-members) have to say? At the National level, including non-members is a non-starter since you have to be a member to participate in the contest, but at the local level, I would hazard a guess that 80% of the people involved with a show are non-members, either through ignorance ("What's IPMS?", in which case the Chapter Contact isn't doing his or her job) or choice (don't want to, did it but got nothing from it, etc.). It would be interesting if each Chapter Contact polled their membership and posted their findings. That would become a planning tool for those clubs who host shows, too... I can say this--at the Region 12 Show several weeks ago, this very topic dominated the business meeting. There was a lot of interest shown by those in attendance...
  15. Nice work, and congratulations to the club! It is always nice to get the work out into the public eye, not only for them to see what it is we do, but to also add a touch of education to the mix, too. Cheers! Ralph
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