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Ralph Nardone

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Ralph Nardone last won the day on August 13 2016

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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. Hobbico files for bankruptcy...

    The latest, from Kalmbach (Scale Auto magazine, to be exact). Note that this was derived from court documents and not direct discussion with the new owners: http://www.scaleautomag.com/articles/2018/04/revell-has-been-sold So there are some answers--the new owners basically bought the whole wad--molds, trademarks, etc. The questions that remain: 1. Despite owning the molds, will the new owners reissue legacy kits? (My opinion--yes to some, no to others.) 2. Who will distribute Revell GmbH kits in the States? 3. Ditto Hasegawa and Italeri kits. Again, this is early days, a lot remains to be seen. Ralph

    I also spy a can of Duratite putty and a bottle of Duratite solvent, a bottle of Satellite City Hot Stuff...and is that a Lindberg F4D Skyray I see underway? I got into the Pactra Authentic International Colors late in the game (1981 or so), and by the time I developed a good feel for it--and an appreciation for just how good it was--it was gone. I switched to Polly-S not too long after that... Ralph
  3. Hobbico files for bankruptcy...

    The latest news has a group of investors, thought to be related to Revell GmbH management, buying both Revell GmbH and Revell USA. On Friday, Bert Kinzey made a post in the Detail and Scale Facebook page that said, in effect, that Revell USA has been shut down completely. Supposition has it that all future design will be overseen by the group in Germany. Molds will continue to be cut in either Korea or the PRC. Molding may be done in the PRC or Poland (most Revell GmbH kits are molded in Poland, most Revell-Monogram kits were molded in China). They will need to find a U.S. distributor, since that went away with the closure of the Revell USA offices. Nothing has been said about Hasegawa and Italeri--Hobbico was the sole U.S. distributor for both. I imagine both companies have feelers out for a new distributor here in the states. Lastly, Estes was bought by a group in Colorado. Parties close to the subject say that while the Hobbico acquisition wasn't the best thing to happen to Revell USA, the problems began years before that--some say Revell's problems began even before the merger of Revell and Monogram in the mid-1980's. Still early days yet. It will be interesting to see how this all unravels. Cheers! Ralph
  4. 1/48 Eduard FW-190A-8

    When Eduard came out with the new 1/48 Fw-190 kits last year, the big question I saw on the forums was "Why?" This illustrates the reasons very well. Great work so far. They are meant to have all the guts showing, and for a modeler to close everything up takes some work. You're progressing well... Ralph
  5. Airfix 1/48 Walrus, best method for rigging?

    Reminds me of a joke... Clem: "Hey, Cletus, why you pulling that rope?" Cletus: "Ever tried to push one?" I've always used either Davis' Invisible Thread (the smoke color stuff if you can find it) or some .010 stainless wire I bought at the 1999 IPMS/USA National Convention. Admittedly, the wire is easier for rigging where you have multiple runs of wire. Invisible Thread works well for single lines, like antennas. Gil cited the reasons above--the thread will need to be tensioned, and tensioning multiple wires at the same time is a royal pain... Ralph
  6. Is this a chance to revitalize the hobby?

    I used to part-time (and still help out) at the local HobbyTown. And I can assure of this: For every "traditional" model (military, automotive, etc.), we would sell a dozen Gundams. And that's a good thing. Why? Because they are plastic models, same as those Sherman Tanks, P-51's, and iterations of the USS Arizona or KM Bismarck. It is getting kids into the hobby of plastic modeling. The shop has opened up to hosting "Model Building Day" every Saturday, and for every "traditional" modeler, there are three guys building Gundams, MaK, or other Sci-Fi kits. Our upcoming show in June has a category for these models, and we've been getting the word out to the community that not only are they welcomed, they're encouraged to bring their models. I also agree on the WoT and WoS interest--Italeri issued some kits in line with these games, and Dragon used to include coupons for game points in their kits. While some of the "Senior" members of the modeling community squawked that all they were were "old junk" in new boxes, the younger guys and girls who were playing the games snapped the kits up. I had to remind a few of them that regardless of what we thought, IPMS and AMPS represents a very small percentage of actual modelers, and what we found to be junk was perfect for beginning modelers. On another note, I'm dismayed at the comments directed at the youth of today. As a kid, I built a fair number of non-traditional models. I built Star Trek, Star Wars, Aurora and Monogram movie monsters, Aurora dinosaurs, and movie sci-fi stuff just as often as I did an airplane, car, tank, or ship. As I got older, my interests gelled around historic vehicles, but it wasn't the only thing I built back in the day. The point? That kid snapping a pre-painted Gundam kit together today may well wind up being tomorrow's Rusty White or Gil Hodges. We'd do well to welcome them, rather than turn a cold shoulder to them. Ralph
  7. Vermont Aiir Natiional Guard

    As with most ANG units, finding decals for everything is usually a treasure hunt. In a lot of cases, you'll have to cobble together what you need from insignia, letter, and number decal sheets. If you wait for a sheet dedicated to a particular airplane, you may be waiting. That being said, Caracal Models has been doing a lot of neat subjects lately. You may want to check them out... http://www.caracalmodels.com/ Ralph
  8. Hawker Typhoon conversion into a Tornado

    The Tornado was a parallel project to the Typhoon, with the Tornado using the RR Vulture X-block engine and the Typhoon using the Napier Sabre H-block engine. Both were 24-cylinder liquid cooled powerplants... Nice work, Ron!

    The problem stems from the fact that the carrier/thinners in the AK wash are the same as for the acrylic metallics you used. As suggested above, try a water color wash. Another something to try would be to apply a coat of Future (or whatever they're calling it this week) and letting it dry for a few days. This becomes a barrier that is impervious to even oil washes. Beware, though, it will slightly dull the metal look. Honestly, I don't like the AK or Vallejo washes. They're acrylic, which means that they dry and set quickly, allowing very little time to manipulate them. They seem to be better used as overall filters instead of pin washes--I know people who have mastered them, but I have been yet unable to do so, and so I stick to washes made with artists oils. Ralph
  10. Panel Lines

    Yes, you can use a contrasting color pencil--hold it so the side of the tip rides along the raised line. Others have sanded all the panel lines off, and once the model is finished they have drawn new panel lines on the model, then sealed it with clear flat. Yet others re-scribe. One of the neatest re-scribing techniques I've seen is Paul Budzik's technique of scribing the lines not into the plastic, but into the final painted model. He hasn't re-posted that particular video on YouTube yet, but if you search his name he has quite a few great modeling tips, both on YouTube and his own website. Here's a bit of background on panel line detailing. You may know this, I'm adding this for everyone's benefit... Now, here's something to consider before you even begin. Why do models have panel lines? "Accuracy"? Nope. Realism? Okay, maybe. A sales tool? By and large, yes. See, the model kit folks back int he day were looking for a way to make their kits stand out above the other guy's stuff. So, they added lines to represent panel breaks and rivet lines. The other guy sees this and decides to add raised dots to stand in for rivets. Then a third guys decides to etch the marking locations into the plastic. Pretty soon, our models were embellished with raised detail, because it was easy to add to the finished tool--etch a line (or a series of pits, etc.) in the surface of the mold, done! In reality, though, overlapping panels, well, overlap. Along the entire surface, not just at the boundary (a common argument states that raised lines best represent an overlapped panel). And in the day, it was easy to do. These days, look at a modern Eduard kit--they show overlapped panels as just that. Butted skins are just that, too. In the real world, they butt together leaving a gap that's between .030" and .040". On older craft, this thin gap, when scaled down, would be invisible at any viewing distance consistent with scales--remember, 1 foot away from the 1:1 equals 72 feet away in 1/72 scale, 48 feet away in 1/48 scale, etc. Under paint, you don't see much at all. On a bare metal airplane, you see tonal differences. You don't notice rivets, either. Unless (there's always an "unless", right?) they've collected dirt or the rivets are "working" (moving and creating what is essentially metal dust--in the trade, we call these "smoking rivets"). These effects are not uniform. Seldom is nature uniform... On most modern airplanes, the same holds except the skins are not only riveted to the structure, they're bonded and/or sealed--"assembled wet" is the trade lingo. The structure is painted with a sealant/bonding adhesive, the skins are aligned and temporarily tacked into place with clecos (think of them as a removable rivet), and the rivets shot in. Any sealant that squeezes out is cleaned off the surface with a rag and solvent (which tends to fill the gaps between skins), and as a final step, the rivet heads are shaved (sanded flush, if they are flush rivets--round or universal head protruding rivets are left as-is) , rendering them nearly invisible. Now, add a coat of primer (sometimes two, depending on the airplane or part of the airplane--the entry door areas on corporate jets are usually given at least one coat of high-build primer to make is smooth), and a coat or two of paint, and you can't see squat, other than removable panels. And even removable panels are edge-sealed and the paint touched up. So, you may see the screw heads--if they're not also pained (which many are). But largely, you see nothing but an expanse of, well, airplane... Modern helos tend to be the exception. Look at any modern USN or USMC helo, and the grime collects in the panel lines and around the raised rivet heads. My advice is to get a few good photos of your intended subject, and model what you see. You can't go wrong with that. And, if you trippin' that contest life, yo, include the photos with your entry form. A picture is worth a thousand words, and should answer any questions the judges may have. In the end, it is your model--do what you want to do. But personally, I don't make a big deal over panel lines, except on airplanes in bare metal. Even then, though, I'm judicious in what I do... Cheers! Ralph
  11. Hobbico files for bankruptcy...

    Hobbico's debt came, in part, from a patent infringement lawsuit--one of their subsidiaries, ARRMA (a manufacturer of RC cars), was sued by Traxxas (probably the premier manufacturer of entry- and intermediate level RC cars and trucks). https://www.scribd.com/document/320063741/Traxxas-v-Hobbico-Amended-Complaint Hobbico filing Chapter 11 is a surprise only in that it hadn't happened earlier. When I worked at the local hobby shop, we were taking bets that it would happen as early as 2016... Ralph
  12. Best Stripper?

    Two choices. Have you tried Windex or ammonia? Or even Isopropyl Alcohol? If they don't work, get a jug of Purple Power (it used to be Castrol Super Clean) and a plastic tub large enough to submerge the model. Fill the tub, put the model in the soup, and wait about 30 minutes. You should be able to scrub the old paint off with an old toothbrush. Rinse, let dry, and you're ready to go again. Use gloves. This stuff is a degreaser, and will dry your skin in a second. Once you're done, let the gunk settle, then pour the cleaner back into the jug. Ralph
  13. 1/48 Tamiya F-14A, and WIP Monogram Tomcat build

    Nice work, Gil. Which squadron will this one be?
  14. 1/48 Monogram B-25H Mitchell

    Nice job! I built one back in the day, and thought it odd that there was no nose greenhouse and that there weren't many guns in the nose--until I realized that there was one big gun up there. Then it went from being cool to being ultra-cool... I also remember it was one of the first Monogram kits I built that had the Shep Paine diorama brochure in it. I think I still have it here after this time. Ralph
  15. Resin Zimmerit ?

    C'mon, Timmy...a little Elmer's Wood Filler, some Microballoons, and a trowel. Roll yer own, man... :) Ralph