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Ralph Nardone

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Posts posted by Ralph Nardone

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.



    I've moved the rest of my reply to Nick's thread in the Bull Pen.


    • Like 1
  4. 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.



  5. 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.



  6. 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. 

  7. 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.



  8. 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.



  9. 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...

    • Like 1
  10. 1 hour ago, Ron Bell said:

    "National Level" is somewhat mis-leading in our case. These models did not have to win a preliminary event to get into the national contest. Any IPMS member can enter whatever he has built, beginner or expert. It is hoped that those beginners learn by seeing the accomplishments of the experts and are inspired to do better. That's also why we have the "What judges look for" seminar and have national judges in the contest room on Sat. AM to whom you can show your model and ask them to "judge" it so you know how to improve. It's also why we ask people not to be openly critical out loud as the modeler may be standing right there and he may be a novice who just did his best and here you are saying how bad it is. 

    It is the same reason I put the Model Building 101 seminar together for the 2016 Convention, and have been continually refining and updating it.  It is now a series of units, much like Paul Boyer's "Finishing School" series from FineScale Modeler back in the day...

  11. Whenever I get asked why I present "Model Building 101" at a National Convention--I mean, this is the World Series/Super Bowl of modeling, right?  People should know this stuff, right?  I believe your post provides the answer--I always say that basic things are what the judges look for, and ignoring basics will trip you up more times than not.  Alignment is usually #1 on the list of the things that answer the question "Why didn't my model win?"

    Then there are "the little things"--drilled out gun barrels, those pesky ejection pin marks that you thought were not visible, that minuscule parting line that you forgot to remove...

    By the way, it was great to finally meet you in Chattanooga...



    • Like 1
  12. 44 minutes ago, MikeMoore said:

    Third, while we did indeed try something new instead of a banquet and despite the trouble we had with it, it did seem well received, I wouldn't put the proverbial fork in the awards banquet yet.  We were fortunate in that the Chattanooga Convention Center has a large, reasonably priced banquet hall and that we weren't tied to a food and beverage requirement.  Many of the facilities that IPMS National Conventions go to have a food and beverage requirement and the only way to meet that is to hold a banquet.  In other words, we had some freedom that others probably don't and won't.

    I can add veracity to that statement--Columbia was required, by the agreement with the venue, to host a banquet. 

    I'm sorry I had to leave before the reception, but from what I hear it was a great idea. 

  13. There are alternatives to Model Master, both the enamels and acrylics:

    True North ( https://www.truenorthpaints.com/ )--I gather these are nearly the same formula as the Model Master enamel line.  There's also Tru-Color ( http://trucolorpaint.com/ ).  Squadron is carrying Humbrol.  Tamiya now markets a lacquer in jars in the LP line--the colors are keyed to their acrylic numbers.  MRP, an acrylic lacquer, is one of the current darlings of the hobby, and GSI Creos still markets the Mr. Color lacquers.  Can you go to your local hobby shop and get these?  Probably not, but how many of us still have a local, full-line hobby shop to begin with?  I know Tru-Color has been engaged with local shops, I have never seen a shop with their product stocked.

    For the acrylics, take your pick:  Vallejo, AK Interactive, Ammo by Mig, Tamiya, GSI Creos' Aqueous or Acrysion lines, Mission Models, Lifecolour...again, the local shop won't have many of these (Tamiya and Vallejo seem to be common, the others--not so much).

    And yeah, it is sad to see an industry icon leave our hobby, but there are other products out there.  I remember when the Model Master enamels made their debut in the early 1980's (1982, maybe?) and the information blitz that Testors launched to make sure we all "got the word" on the hows and whys of the line.  I remember when they killed the original Floquil and Polly-S lines, then re-launched them in the 1990's, only to kill them again a decade later.  I remember when they killed the Pactra Acrylics.  I remember when Testors launched their first branded acrylic in the early 1990's--the short-lived and little lamented Model Master Acrylics--and then the more successful Model Master Acryl line a few years later.  I remember when they discontinued Floquil and PollyScale.  But I found other products to replace them.  We can moan and groan all we want, but RPM isn't going to change their collective mind any time soon.  It isn't about anything more than the bottom line--I would imagine they invest a serious chunk of money into the scale model paint lines, and if the return on the investment isn't there, the shareholders squawk.

    Sad, but it is time to move on.


  14. On 7/11/2019 at 11:32 AM, crimsyn1919 said:

    One thing to consider is whether you want to judge every single model or a modeller's work within a category as a whole. By this, I mean if I enter eight models in a category, should I get one gold, five silvers, and two bronzes, or should I just get a single gold to represent my best work? There are pros and cons to each; the second way of doing both cuts down on award expenses and doesn't drag on the award ceremony, but it means that entrants have to put all their models within a category next to each other in a little group so you can tell at a glance which models all belong to the same person.

    One way to go about this is the Chicago System as used by the Military Miniatures Society of Illinois.  





  15. Also, Chattanooga has a version they use.  You might wait until after the Nationals to contact them, they'll be a tad busy until then.  (I'm speaking from experience here...)  


    For the awards themselves, contact Mission Awards.  Their product is excellent, and they are affordable--we ordered 100 each Gold, Silver, and Bronze medals, and paid a little less than $3 per medal in 2018.  That gave us enough for two shows (we still run a traditional IPMS 1-2-3 format contest).  We designed a simple medal with the club logo, and it can be used from eyar to year as it is generic.  They cost a whole lot less than engraved or sublimated plaques or traditional trophies, and a whole heap less than Lucite spears.




    • Like 1
  16. I will say this again:  The criteria AMPS uses is identical to the criteria IPMS uses to evaluate models--it is all based on craftsmanship and how the model builder dealt with flaws.  No more, no less.

    But the question should not be the HOW, it should be the WHAT--What does IPMS intend the message of their awards to be? 

    IPMS clearly wants to award the models at the show on that particular day.  Build a good model, win a prize.

    And, once again, the bottom line is "What does the average member expect from an IPMS show?"  IPMS has an established buy-in from their members on that particular style.  

    And that's why, try as we may, try as we might, the current IPMS style will continue regardless of the trends that are being seen and the desires for some to see a change. 

    And that's okay--it goes back to reading and understanding the rules.  Don't like 'em?  Don't play. 

    And to answer Rick Jackson's question:  " Where is it written that a person MUST care if they win or lose at the contest?"

    It isn't written anywhere, but try as we may, try as we might, the competition and "winning" always loom large over any discussions about shows.  For the record, I agree with you--go to the show, put your model on the table, and go make friends.  Talk models.  Share techniques.  

    That's the rationale behind my "make the move from competition to exhibition."  Or, as I told people at our recent show, "It's about the models, not the medals!"

    And +1 to the comments praising the IPMS effort for Display Only space.

    With that, I'm out.  I believe I have stated ad infinitum my position to the point that the horse is no longer recognizable.

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