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John Walker

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Everything posted by John Walker

  1. I thought long before writing what I am about to write, but finally decided that I would do so even if I take flak for it, or risk crossing a line. I do not understand why this question was started here on the IPMS/USA website, or what it has to do with GENERAL MODELLING, All About Building Models. How does asking this question relate to building models? We are not supposed to bring politics into discussions on this site, but that is where this thread appears to be headed where people state their personal biases on what they do, or do not build and then make comparisons to current politics as justification. I do not believe that anyone has deliberately tried to be insulting, but I have read comments that I believe are biased and if I were thinned skinned could cause insult, and for that, and the above reason, I do not think that these types of discussions belong here on a modelling site such as this one. I feel that this discussion should be shut down before it goes any further, if for no other reason that it has nothing to do with modelling. Thanks for reading, John
  2. Len, Made my reservation at 4:00 EST, no problems. Took all of 3 minutes. See you in July. John
  3. I too saw some models in the 1/35 scale closed top that I thought should have been in the vignette category because of more that 2 figures with Mark Ford's best tank coming to mind. I spoke to Dave Kahn about this and was informed that Mark had pinned the extra figures to the base and that they were removed for judging. Smart! Later at the awards ceremony when the slide of Mark's tank was shown, sure enough, the extra figures were not there. It pays to ask. John
  4. Mike, I would like to let you and your crew know that I, and my 2 travel companions had a "grand time", and would like to thank you very much for all your hard work putting the show on. BTW, this was my first time in Nooga, and I enjoyed it immensely. Thanks again, John Walker
  5. Noel, Exactly. Well said. John
  6. Noel, His name is Chris Lloyd-Staples. A search of AMPS will give his contact info. John
  7. David, I guess that it must be a regional thing because in my 39 years with the society I have never (that I can recall) anyone here in New England expressing the attitudes you describe regarding IPMS competition, and I belong to 3 clubs here (two in Massachusetts and one in New Hampshire). However, I have on many occasions talked to people who either never joined, or were past members who let their membership lapse who stated in one form or another that they just didn't want to be bothered with us. They were content to be exactly as they were. Again, not because they thought that we were a bad organization, or that we "nitpick", but because they had other priorities, such as their camera club, or taking the kids to soccer practice, and modeling was low on their list. Whatever. I believe that what Bill was trying to say is that if the only face we show to the community is us discussing the negative side of competition, then why are we surprised that the average modeler shies away? I say it has nothing to do with us at all, I believe it is because the average modeler, that guy you see buying models at your local shop, or who stops in at the local contests, is just not that into our side of the hobby. There is no use chasing these folks and arguing that we are a great organization, they are not interested. It doesn't matter what we offer, they are just not interested. We need to stop tilting at windmills and realize that the people that are interested in IPMS are well aware of us and are current members, those others are also well aware of us, but just aren't interested in joining. An afterthought, one other thing that may be at work here are the specialty clubs that have sprung up over the years, such as AMPS, the car clubs, model RR clubs, figure organizations, etc. I know of one old time member who scratchbuilt ship models that dropped out years ago when he joined a group associated with the USS Constitution model builders' guild. I run into him now and again and we greet each other with a friendly handshake, but he is not coming back to IPMS because he has everything he needs right where he is. Then there are other friends that are into AMPS (as am I), or belong to the local and national model RR clubs that are more than content where they are. There are also 2 brothers from my town that belong to MassCar. They used to dabble with IPMS, but we could never compete with MassCar for their attention. What could we offer that they don't have in spades right where they are? Now I could see some of the members of these organizations having a negative concept of our organization, but what of it? They are them, and we are us, and if the twain never meet, what of it? In closing, and my final words on the subject, I say we just enjoy what we have and never mind what others think. Model on, John
  8. Bill, I'd have to agree with much of what you are saying regarding the excuses that we hear about joining IPMS and participating in contests, mainly nitpicking, but I think that it is really something else that keeps most modelers from either joining the national organization or entering contests. That is that they don't really care about competition, or winning awards. In other words they don't build for competition. If you look at who enters our local contests you will see that it is the same folks year after year. Whereas there are members of our own club who bring in models quite regularly to the meetings, but don't even show up at Patcon, let alone enter. These members just like sticking pieces of plastic together, having fun, hob knobbing with other modelers, and couldn't care less about awards. Yet there they are at the monthly meetings. Then you have members such as myself who used to enter quite often at the National and Regional levels, but just got tired of building to rules (note: not competition, but rules!) where I couldn't build the model the way I wanted, couldn't enter it as I wanted if I did ( such as more than 2 figures with a tank, open hatches without a figure in them go into open top, something like a dead tree trunk higher than the tank puts it into vignette). I almost stopped going to the Nats because it just wasn't fun. I did quit judging. Then I decided to just build as I want and the heck with competition. I'm enjoying my hobby a whole lot more, and how! I now go to the Nats just to enjoy the models, seminars, shop, and drink a few beers with friends. So what am I saying? As you point out it is just a small number of members who even participate on this forum . I believe the vast majority of members are silent because they are satisfied with the way things are, and are happy with what they get out of the society. Whether that is full blown competition, or just going to contests to look at the models or shop. And those who are not members who say we nitpick are just using that as an excuse to not join because they are not that interested in what IPMS is all about and don't want to get into an endless harangue about joining. Not that they really think we are bad, just that modeling is a way to have some fun, but there are other interests that are more important to them. I feel that if you look at where the society is now and has been for many years now you will see that it is a varied group with each getting what they want out of their membership with just a very active handful engaged in these discussions. We all, as members, have the right to discuss whatever we wish, expound whatever views and opinions we wish, and discuss issues from whatever angle as we see fit, but I don't see that anything discussed here will ever change anything because I don't really believe the vast majority really cares about any of these issues. In other words they are content with what is and couldn't care less if others don't agree, or join us! My two cents, John
  9. Mike, I just made reservations at the Staybridge, unfortunately is does not increase your room night count as I cancelled the reservations I had at the Marriott. The reason is that there are 3 of us staying together and the Staybridge double suite is a much better fit for us. However, I thought that I would post this to let folks know that a room has opened at the Marriott for 8/7 through 8/11. John
  10. Thanks Nick, You are correct in that Hasegawa did issue 2 variants with the front end separate. I have kit #AP46 which states that it is for the Finnish B-239. I got my information regarding the profile from a club member who is Finnish and does a lot of 1/72 scale Finnish A/C. I do have some info on the B-239, including some from Jim and the more I compare the kit to the drawings the more I am convinced that my friend must have the other Hasegawa kit (F2A-2?) which I do not have. I do have the Squadron book, but can't locate it at the moment. I am mostly an armor builder (as Art Loder and Bill Ellis will tell you), but occasionally I dabble in A/C, so I was not prepared to dispute my friend, or question him as to which kit he used. I am just going to build what I have and use some decals I picked up at the Finnish Air Museum back in 1993. Thanks for your help, and I wish Jim was still active with you guys in NENY as I always enjoyed talking to him. Maybe some day. Thanks again, John
  11. I was just recently told that Hasegawa got the front end of their 1/72 scale Finnish Buffalo 239 wrong in that it slopes down too much effecting both the fuselage and cowling. I'm told that it matches the F2-2 rather than the F2-1. I'm also told that the 239 had a different engine than the F2-1. I have tried to find a solution online, but no luck. Can anyone confirm that the front end is indeed incorrect in the kit, and if so, is there an article somewhere showing how to correct this? Thanks, John
  12. Thanks Steve, much appreciated. Just signed up for the banquet. John
  13. Michael, If you go to the Nats site and open the banquet box it states that this year's banquet is an Italian Buffet, and there is a photo of Italian dishes that are labeled, but most are out of focus, hence my question. There is no further explanation of what the buffet consists of, and for $53 I'd like to know. Further, the word buffet usually (at least here in MA) implies that you get up, get in line and serve yourself. However, over the years I have been involved with similar events with this gang and I'm not sure I want any part of that (the BBQ at the VA Air & Space Museum many years ago comes to mind). Can someone associated with the banquet please enlighten me as to what to expect? Thanks, John Walker
  14. I am considering going to the banquet this year, but have some questions on the Italian Buffet. First what is featured with the buffet (the photo showing the entrees is out of focus)? And second, how is the buffet to be served, at the table, or self serve? Thanks, John walker
  15. Thanks Gil, You expressed my thoughts better than I did. I guess that I should send you my raw emails for editing before I post. :) Some more thoughts: I have been in my local club for 36 years now, and over that time we have had, and still do have, modelers building all sorts of models; AC, armor, real space, ships, SF, railroad, doll furniture, toy soldiers, we even had an artist who once brought in a ceramic sneaker (the left one I believe). You name it we had someone interested in it. While we have never turned anyone away, or treated anyone badly, we weren't successful with all simply because of what I'll call the lack of commonality factor. This factor is not one way, IE the club towards the modeler, it is bidirectional, and it comes about from the different reasons for the modelers building what they build. As an example I've noticed that a modeler using the IPMS philosophy building a car model would in general be as realistic as possible because that is what he is trying to achieve, whereas those modelers I've known in the local car clubs are more interested in the shiny finish, the 2 bbl carb, the flocking on the rugs, etc., it doesn't interest them in the least that there is no steering column in that open engine compartment, nor any spark plug wiring. "Hey, look at that Holly!". It would be like a guy builds a P-51 without a propeller. Another example is the toy soldier guy. When I paint a figure there is shading and highlighting, the face is done proper (with eyes), that which should be flat is flat, and shiny, shiny, and almost nothing has just one color, He on the other hand, paints like this: white pants, check; blue coat, check ; black hat and shoes, check; face and hands coated with a flesh color, check. OK maybe I should put a couple of dots in for the eyes, then gloss coat the whole thing. However, even though we paint different I still enjoy his figures if for no other reason than they are so varied, and he's an interesting character. So, while we all get along at the club, it is sometimes more of a tolerance of each other. By that I mean we all like one another, but don't share the same interests. Over time people will just drift off, especially if they have a specialty club catering to their interest, leaving just us like minded members remaining year after year. I think this is in a great part why IPMS is the way it is and why we do not appeal to all modelers, even though we do have those modelers amongst us. It is not because of anything that we are doing wrong, it is because other clubs are doing it more right in the minds of those modelers. It is as you state Gil, like minded people gathering together. They're on the same wavelength. I don't think that you can, or will change that, and for that matter why would you want to? I think that I would rather be in a club of 10 like minded modelers than a club of 100 doing things that don't interest me. It is those few regulars that have carried my club all these years even though I am the only remaining member from 36 years ago. New blood, we've got it! Also, I think that you have to remember that as modelers we spend about 99% percent of our time alone in our workshop anyway, so how important is the club? I actually see the cadre of my club at the local hobby shops more that I do at the meetings. On the matter of "new blood", younger members, I'm not so sure that there really is an issue there. We had our club contest yesterday and I was one of the older folks there. Now when I go to the NATS, I am amongst the greyhairs, but there are also many younger than me there too. Further, the younger modelers have more reasons for not attending, family obligations, kids back in school, work, lack of disposable income, etc. I attended my first NATS when I was 32, but only because it was in NYC only 4 hrs away and gradma would babysit. Then there was a gap of a decade or so until I could afford the time and expense to go (and then only if I could drive and share a room with a buddy). As I got older I had more disposable income (got a second mechanical engineer's degree leading to a better job) and started to attend more. Now I am retired, the kids are gone, and I have the resources to come and go as I please, so I attend regularly (already have a room for next year). What I am getting at is that back when I joined the organization at 31 I was the new blood, and while I am still here I know some who come and go due to all sorts of reasons, so I really don't see us any different today then back then. It may just seem different now because we did not have a "history" or "track record" to compare to 36 years ago. One other thing that I noticed is that back in my early days I could recognize a great many of the members, but I don't know many of the faces I see at the convention these days at all, so if they are not new, where'd they come from? We'll somewhat long winded, but again not meant to offend, just thinking out loud, so to speak. John
  16. John, Thanks for your reply regarding my thoughts on Bill's idea of expanding the society by actively recruiting modelers not generally thought to be "mainstream" IPMS. I guess you are correct that I am selfish when I say that if the society should change it's complexion then I personally would not be interested in remaining a member. That is just the way I feel. So then why my selfish comments? Well, please reread Bill's email where he states, about kids building models, "They just aren't building our kind of models." This is what I was basically responding to. What I had in mind was that the society has been around for 50 years with fairly much the same complexion (IE: generally "our kind of models"), so why would we want to change that? I wasn't trying to say that we shouldn't encourage a modeler of any type who approached us to not join, just that, in my opinion we shouldn't go looking for modelers who weren't building "our kind of models". Although, in fact, I believe that we already have those kinds of modelers in the society, so in a way Bill's statement is not correct. As to "what the society does for me", yes I guess that I am selfish there too. You see it is my feeling that my association with the society is stickily voluntary. I am here because it interests me. This may sound selfish, but only if you think of the society as an end in, and of itself, that is, that the society must continue no matter what, and we must all go along with whatever direction the society goes. Obviously, I don't personally subscribe to this idea. As I stated in my email above to not get me wrong, that it is not just what I want for the society that matters. The society can, and will go in any direction it wants. It is not for me to dictate that direction. All I was saying is that if we should actively recruit members that "aren't building our kind of models" to the extent that it should change the complexion of the society, well then I'd have to rethink my involvement. Now, do I think this will happen? No I do not, in fact, I think there is zero chance of that ever happening. We as a society are very set in our ways. Why? Because we, the current members like it the way it is, if we didn't, the society would have faded out long ago. Will we recruit new blood? I hope so. Will they be "our kind of modelers"? Yes, most of them will be. Why? Because that is what we have been for the last 50 years. In other words, we are what we are because we are what we are. I know, circle logic, but true none the less. So to summarize, I guess my comments could have been clearer, but all I (there's that selfish word again!) was trying to say was what brought and keeps me in this society, and that is simply, what interests me. I'd have to say that we are all here for that same reason, and if that makes me selfish, then guilty as charged, I will not apologize for liking the society as is. However, If others want change, go for it, just don't look for me at the conventions. Is that being selfish? Oh well, I guess that's me, but no offense meant. John BTW, John I loved your seminar at the NATS this year. Terrific.
  17. I read Bill's email with interest. Bill and I are in the same chapter and have had discussions on the subjects of M-n-T, Lego and sci-fi models before, and while we agree on many subjects I have to differ with him on this one. Over the years I have read many emails on this site about reaching out to the younger modelers, and while I do not want to see the organization wither away from a lack of new blood, I have to say that if the only way we can keep the society going is to, in effect, change it's complexion, then what are we, the people who have been supporting this organization for decades gaining? What I am saying is that personally I like the organization as it is, and if we can't grow by maintaining the current mix of modeling, if we were to bring in a whole new generation that were to take us in a very different direction, then I for one would no longer be interested in remaining a member as it would bore me silly. Please don't get me wrong, I am not saying that only what I want counts, I'm not. But I have to believe that I am not alone in my feelings about this matter as evidenced by the number of years that we have been in existence with basically the same paradigm. I feel that the current members are members because this is what we want, what we like, none of us are here because we don't enjoy it! . As for younger modelers, I see many at the NATS, and as far as the future goes what difference does that make if we do not get more? I didn't inherit this hobby from my father, and my son doesn't seem to be following me, so in effect this is my hobby, one that I want to enjoy for as long as I can because it pleases me. I am almost 68 years old, have been modeling since I was 5 years old, and have been a member of IPMS for 36 years; so I was modeling before I ever heard of IPMS and I will continue to model even if IPMS were to disappear tomorrow, but will only continue to be a member as long as it holds interest for me; and if no one it there to replace me in the future, so be it. In essence I would rather be a member of a smaller group of like minded modelers than be part of a large group that I have no interest in. As for M-n-T, let each individual chapter decide if they want to do it or not, but keep the national organization out of it. Here in the NE we have a number of hobby shops that will work with us to provide models at a reasonable price. After all, M-n-T basically benefits the local chapter, and the local hobby shop, so let them handle it on that level. I hope that I have not insulted anyone with my long winded screed, but I really do enjoy IPMS and look forward to the NATS each year, and wanted to express my opinions. John walker
  18. Hey all, My wife and I will be in TX the w/o 4/16 - 4/23 visiting a niece in Austin, a nephew in Montgomery, and a guy I grew up who teaches HS in San Antonio. We may visit Dallas while there if we have time. I visited the hobby shop locator on the site and see that Austin, Dallas and SA have shops, but it has been my experience that not all shops are worth my time. I build mostly 1/35th armor. Can anyone enlighten me as to the best shops for armor in, or near the cities mentioned above? Thanks, John
  19. Totally agree. I belong to 3 clubs here in MA and NH and at the last contest hosted by one of the MA chapters we had exactly 2 MnT builders, and absolutely zero entrants in the junior categories. In addition, at almost every event I have been at where they had a MnT it was the kids, or grandkids of members of the local clubs who participated. Further, I have been a member of my local club for over 35 years, and cannot tell you of a single member we got from a MnT event. Save the money and put it into something more productive to the actual members.
  20. Recently I noticed on my profile that it has me listed as being a member since 14 July 2008. Where did this date come from? I have been a continuous member for 35 years, joining around late 1980, or early 1981. As proof of this I offer the fact that I won first place in the scratch built armor category at the 1981 USANATS in NYC (although there was an error with the records where the winners were recorded in reverse order, 3-2-1, although Steve Zaloga physically switched the awards as we exited the banquet: I have the first in my possession!). Not that the date means much of anything to me (it surely doesn't add to my SS check ), but what the heck, can we get this fixed? Can I update the file myself? Thanks, John Walker 14241
  21. While trying to log in to vote I realized that the email on file is an old one I had at my place of employment (I retired and the account is no longer active). Where do I go to change my email? John Walker 14241
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