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Highlander

IPMS/USA Member
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Everything posted by Highlander

  1. It caught my attention as well. As pointed out, flyers are probably less likely to bring entries than are drivers. However, it has been my observation that -- down to the club level -- there is a significant fraction of IPMS that is there for social contact. Such folks contribute to the stereotypes of the guy who knows everything about models but has never actually built one and the guy who is only there to talk military history to the guys who just like hanging out with convivial folks who enjoy the ambiance of modeling. And I know a guy who is a great modeler; he racks up win after win across three regions. However, he is inexplicably intimidated by the level of competition at Nationals...he has attended a dozen but has never entered a model. But those who enter the contest should all be thankful for folks who attend but decide not to enter. Cause they provide a significant portion of the financial requirement for a successful Nats.
  2. I suppose that what I consider as over weathering is looking at a model and seeing only the weathering. Well, not only the weathering. Rather, seeing a plethora of techniques -- washes and highlights and chipping and filters and pigments and mud and rusts and oils and every other technique in the tool box of finishing a model. No subtlety, but a tour de force of everything the builder can throw at the model. I was moved to start this thread when I saw a piece of armor in a magazine and observed that the original base color was completely covered. One could not determine the color of the underlying base coat due to layers and layers of "weathering". Assuredly, it depends upon how it is pulled off. But it seems to me that finishing techniques, in some cases, have become an end in themselves.
  3. I have noted in various magazines, advertisements for books and videos, Youtube videos, and on the contest table that models are becoming more and more weathered. In some cases, IMHO, the model is so heavily weathered that it is unrealistic. Now, I know that, actual equipment got pretty gritty and grimy in actual practice. But this is something entirely different. I'm guessing that, in the cycle of building techniques, that when a new technique becomes fashionable and spreads through the modeling community, it gets applied with increasing vigor and enthusiasm. And, it can become the new norm. And, I'm also guessing that there is a perception that heavy weathering increases the chances of placing in a contest. Whether that is actually the case or not. I know that my perception is that a completely clean entry is not going to do well against a modestly weathered entry with similar construction quality. So, am I right. I weathering a roaring fad? Is it here to stay? Is it overwrought? And does it enhance one's chances in a contest?
  4. I would also love to have a KC-10 Extender, even though that is considered more of a tanker, but it was also used to haul cargo too. I worked on acquiring the KC-10. It is specifically a dual-purpose A/C -- carrying cargo and refueling. It is a bit different than other AF cargo aircraft because it loads cargo from the side, not a rear or front ramp -- so cargo has to be raised and lowered from it. BTW, the C-46 is a favorite of mine. I saw what may have been the last operational models, flying for ROKAF back in the early '70's.
  5. Great subject. Great markings. Great results.
  6. Yes, it was my first IPMS Nats. My younger son won a first place in a Junior Figure category. He leads the family at placing at Nats. IMHO, the folks who advocated and ran that convention are out of the club and/or out of the hobby or both. I have no idea what the current thinking is about Nats in the Albquerque club.
  7. David, I think you have taken my comment about the family involvement in the wrong context. I think you're right. Having said that, selection of a venue can definitely impact the attendance and the type of attendees. If IPMS's sole focus was on the solitary model builder then the Motel 6 in the middle of the desert would be fine. What do have against Twentynine Palms? I would venture, however, that there is an unstated, or even stated, rule that Nats must have some sort of family activity. And that is is weighed in during the selection process. So, a chapter, say, in Boise (which I would eagerly go to) or some other small to medium city, won't bid because they "know" they are not going to be competitive. ... There is an entire range between Motel 6 and a Disneyland adventure and when looking at competing bids, it would not be unreasonable to consider this aspect. ... Yes. An example of a non-traditional destination city might be Salt Lake City, which I find full of family things to do. Activities there aren't in a neat package, like Disneyland; one has to make the effort to get out and find them. Like Omaha. And the upcoming Columbia. Ever been to Ninety-Six National Historic Site? I heard some complaining about Loveland because there wasn't much family activity on site ... when the Rockies were an hour or so away, Denver was just south, and Cheyenne was a bit north. There may be a regional difference here as well. I'm from New Mexico, where a 7-9 hour drive is the minimum to get to any sort of larger city. So, a couple of hours from Columbia to Charleston is trivial. Your point is well taken, though. My personal answer goes like this. I won't go to Omaha or Columbus or Dayton. Been there done that, don't need to go back. Same with Loveland. My choice and I am not disparaging others who would. Would I go to Anaheim, Vega or Seattle? Oh, heck yes! A contest in or around DC or New Orleans? Absolutely! To me location is a critical component. The contest is important, but I want to see something I haven't seen before or I want it to be within driving distance. If I am going to spend a couple of grand, I want something beside a contest. Here we are in general accord. There are some places I wouldn't go to ... not because I've been there, but because the getting there is such a pain. And, if the main convention hotel is sold out and the alternatives are problematic -- like Columbus -- I'd cancel. And did. But I will go back to Omaha. And would go back to Loveland ... because Nats is Nats and because I find a lot to do along the way and while there. I absolutely agree with you that a new city that I haven't explored is a great attraction ... like Seattle or Vegas or DC or New York. New Orleans would be great -- I've been there a half dozen times and we are considering going back again this spring. I do think that IPMS has been tending to repeat locations ... Phoenix, Columbus, Omaha, eastern Virginia. That could become a long term problem. And there are many locations that beg for a Nats -- San Diego, Seattle, New Orleans, Pittsburgh, Boston, New York, Pensacola, San Antonio, Minneapolis, and on and on. I am always in hope that some new location will put in a bid.
  8. Is that an offer? Cause I love Bricktown. I have to tell this story. At the OKC Nats, three of us from our local club attended. My wife was there with me. We discovered the Bricktown Brewery and their jugs of beer. We walked and ate there every night and bought a jug and had it filled and refilled -- cause there was a considerable price break if you bought the jug itself. My wife only had one glass. By the time we were ready to walk back to the hotel, the three of us were in that sombre and very serious phase of drinking, and we became very concerned about the jug. We designated my wife as the jug carrier. Because we were worried that we might be drunk enough to drop and break it. We told her that jug carrier was a position of great honor. We wandered along, quite jolly and happy to be at Nats. While my wife trailed, holding a jug of beer. She didn't think it was as funny as we did.
  9. Lots of good discussion. Seems there are a number of tradeoffs that IPMS, the Nats organizers, and individual IPMS members have to make. Cost is one. I found some site online which estimates total cost for a trip from Albuquerque to Columbia and compares driving with flying. I rolled in hotel costs in Columbia and food during the entire adventure -- and some incidentals like registration and banquet. Plus I estimated I'd drop @250 in the vendor room. If my wife goes with me, driving, roughly, is @$2300 and flying is @2700. If she stays home, driving is reduced to @ $1700 and flying to @ $1800. And, if my wife comes, she'll shop. If I had to pay $200 for a room, counting room cost and taxes, it would add another @$400 to the total cost. So, either @2700 driving or @$3100 flying w/wife. @2100 and @$2200 without. That is way over $1000. (See why I'd like a Western convention?)The closer the convention, the less time I spend on the road and the less food I buy. As hotel price goes up, my cost goes up hundreds of dollars. My saving grace was staying with friends in Phoenix and Omaha and, looks like, in Columbia. And sharing a room in KC. I had reservations in Columbus, but it just got too expensive -- so I cancelled. A second tradeoff is the focus of the Nats. As others have asked, is it a modeler's convention or a family vacation? With the exception of my wife, who can tolerate a Nats event for about one day and will find a quilt shop somewhere, Or two quilt shops. Or six. there are lots more quilt than hobby shops and they are everywhere. I have no interest in the Nats as a family event. I go for the models and the judging and the vendors and friends --- I find that interesting enough. I basically ignore all of the family stuff. Obviously, others don't see it that way. If I drive, I find that I can discover lots of things to do and see on the way and back. A third tradeoff is the date of the Nats. Other discussion has indicated that those who make the Nats a family vacation want Nats in the summer. I would rather have Nats in the fall or spring, when it isn't so hot (usually) and when school aged kids aren't all over the places I want to see. I understand that, in the distant past, Nats used to be in the spring? But, I'm inside in air conditioning so the date is not a major issue for me. I guess it really comes down to cost and available time. If Columbia winds up being costly, I doubt I'll ever be back East -- unless, as this year, I will combine the Nats with other visits to family and friends and spend at least three weeks on the road.
  10. This thread makes me feel so much better. Not due to Schadenfreude, but just knowing that someone else has similar issues.
  11. So you are implying that a primary consideration in what bid gets selected for the national convention is the amount of profit that can be generated to the organization? I did not infer that DM was implying that. What I read was that IPMS has a core set of activities that requires we must first meet certain hard rules of finance. Without regard to the perceptions of individual members. Or IPMS will cease to exist. And, if IPMS is sailing close to the wind (that's a sop for you ship builders) financially, then the core business activities must dominate IPMS Nationals decision making. Which could lead to your conclusion above. I have no insight into how close to the financial winds IPMS may be sailing. I would think, that if IPMS has or projects to have, funds to have a secure business base, then it can make the location of a National Convention a higher priority than the pure projected net profit from the event. So, to reveal a prejudice, a Western convention projected to make less profit might be chosen over some other area's more profitable convention bid. Because IPMS might have a financial buffer if the event "fails". However, if the financial priority overrides all other considerations, I might conclude that IPMS is very close to the wind. I also have no insight into how close IPMS may have come to falling of the edge of the world, financially, in the past. I know from experience that escaping a financial disaster can make one very conservative in making future optimistic decisions. I was an officer of another club in another hobby. We sponsored two events a year. Our financial philosophy was to maintain a base amount of funds to eat both events if they were complete busts -- all expenses and no income. That almost happened once for one event -- it was outdoors and it rained for three days before and the day of the event, leaving our venue area a complete quagmire. We lost our shirts and pants and socks on that one, maybe getting 10% of our costs back. But we had it covered and we were only dealing in a couple thousand dollars per event. IPMS Nats is a much bigger boat.
  12. I wandered onto this dated thread. In reading it, a memory arose. The last Nats banquet I attended involved the room's doors being opened right before the awards ceremony. A flood of people, well over 150 of them, charged in and the chairs up against the rear wall were quickly occupied. Although most of the non-banquet folks made were courteous, a goodly number stood in the aisles between the tables -- blocking the view of the banquet attendees. When asked not to block the view, words resulted and resulted in other words. I particularly remember one response to the request not to block the view -- "I have the right to see the awards presented and I can stand wherever I want. So, go ...." It sort of ruined the awards ceremony, which involved looking at about six people's backs. Now, without referencing other threads discussing the worldview of some IPMS members, that incident does raise questions -- "Do those who pay for the banquet have a right to view of the screen? Can those who didn't pay for the banquet obstruct the view of those who did? What exactly should a non-banquet attendee be afforded in terms of seating and views? Depending upon the venue, should the organizers limit the number of non-banquet folks to the number of seats available to seat them -- and how would they control the flood upon the doors opening -- and the irate folks not permitted entry?" My table was half wives. I can empathize with someone who chose not to pay for the banquet and then could not attend the awards ceremony due to spouses sitting who did not register for the convention. I'm glad I don't have to deal with these issues. But I think that managing the expectations of non-banquet awards ceremony attendees may not have always been well handled. And, per my example above, the expectations of banquet attendees were also not well managed.
  13. Are you daft? Liverpool F. C.! And you're not allowed to discuss this season. Or you'll forever walk alone. Of course, in the US, I follow Real Salt Lake. We won't discuss their performance this year either.
  14. Welcome. BTW, how do you stand on Liverpool? You answer is essential and critical.
  15. In another hobby (yes, I know, I'm a heretic) there are "conventions" being held on Father's Day weekend and ... get this ... Easter weekend. I'm not going to either. And, in yet another hobby (OK, you can burn me), astronomy, things are much simpler. Things are available when the sky and weather make them available.
  16. So I guess Billings is right out. But, having read all of the previous posts, I can only say this. As it gets more difficult for me, a Westerner, to attend Nats -- in part because there are fewer Nats in the West -- I am less and less motivated to attend Nats. Last year, I cancelled my Columbus plans and am now reconsidering Columbia (which would be my first Eastern Nats) -- breaking a string of years of West/Center attendance. And the less motivated I am to attend most of the Nats, the less benefit I get from being an IPMS member -- I can participate in every IPMS sponsored contest, except Nats, without being a member. So, whatever the logic and whatever the motivation for bidding and whatever the selection process, there will be some Westerners such as I who drift away from IPMS as the opportunity to attend the annual showcase contest withers away. Without anger or frustration or recrimination -- just a bit of sadness.
  17. IPMS, being a volunteer organization, has to make lots of trade-offs to put on a quality annual National Convention. One of the major trade-offs, IMHO, is the continuing string of summer shows .... nasty heat versus a cost affordable to many members. Other trade-offs are accepting pretty much anybody who is willing to contribute ... along with their quirks and foibles and idiosyncrasies. If you want to experience such first-hand, volunteer to judge at any level IPMS contest (which you really ought to do). I count myself as one of the more peculiar. I have been participating less and less in IPMS activity due to the abrasivenss of some IPMS members who are ... well, offputting. And done more building and enjoyed it more. As you indicated, one can have a really good time at a Nats show without having to wade in the swamp. So, just ask questions and join in and show us what you are building.
  18. You did that with a Matchbox kit! Kudos.
  19. I've never heard of the technique, but it looks like it is working.
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