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Chris Bucholtz

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Chris Bucholtz last won the day on March 3

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About Chris Bucholtz

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    Silicon Valley Scale Modelers and Fremont Hornets
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    Alameda, California
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    Aviation, military history, rock music, baseball, hockey and good wines.

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  1. There may well be chapters investigating the possibility of hosting, but rising costs and a good economy make that difficult. In 1998 we hosted the nationals in Santa Clara - the heart of booming Silicon Valley! - but our bid was put together in 1996, after a sharp economic slowdown in late 1995, when the convention center was eager to book space. By 1998, the economy had come roaring back and the convention center people would have loved for us to cancel so they could get some real, paying business! Right now, the economy is on the rebound, corporate live events are booming back and we may be forced to compete with two years of pent-up demand from other organizations. Having watched the ebb and flow of these things since 1995, this is just part of the broader pattern for the event.
  2. I finished this baby January 2, after staring it in... 2002? It's a Hasegawa/Mister Kit mashup in 1:72 to depict a Serie VIII Macchi-built machine; the cockpit is Mister Kit and True Details resin with a Pavla seat with Eduard belts, and the wheel wells are mostly scratch-built. Mister Kit's photoetched gear doors were a pain to work with but ended up looking good. Missing details inside and outside the radiator were made with mesh, styrene strip and sheet and a lot of patience. The plane was painted with True North Africa mustard and light grey (matches for the Italian colors) and the camouflage was made with Mike Grant's "smoke ring" decals, which performed great (although they can be fragile). The markings for "Dai Banana!" came from a Sky Decals sheet and they were more persnickety than the smoke rings - Solvaset was my friend. The real secret weapon was the Valiant Wings monograph on the C.202, which answered many questions (questions that led it to go to the Shelf of Doom, perhaps?).
  3. I use .1mm nickel-silver wire from Albion Alloys. I measure the length carefully, and install it with tiny beads of scenic glue. For runs of less than 4 inches, it stays rigid - perfect for 1:72 scale. A package lasts two or three fighters; if you're building an F.2A or a Gotha, get a couple packages. 🙂
  4. Every organizing group spends the next week agonizing over the things that went wrong. Over the following 30 days, they discover that no one noticed 99 percent of them. 🙂 I was chairman in 1998 and thought at points the event was terminally FUBAR, and yet we received nothing but positive comments from nearly everyone who wasn't an insider. I hope Las Vegas realizes this sooner than we did!
  5. To summarize, make sure you bring: 1. Change for cash purchases 2. Tablecloth (or two - one to put your items on, and the all-important other one to cover up your stuff at night. 3. Comfortable shoes 4. Clearly-marked prices - the volume of traffic can be so great you may miss a sale while explaining prices to another customer. 5. Plastic bags, as a courtesy (and don't feel bad when you run out!). 6. Pen and a notebook - you will almost always find a use for them. 7. Signage, if you need it. Other advice: 1. Get to know your fellow vendors. They can watch your stuff when you need a bathroom break, when you need lunch, or when you want to do your own shopping. You have to return the favor, though - so don't disappear into the display room for six hours or you'll spoil any good will. (Also - if you have a friend who can babysit the table - and knows a little about the prices and products - that person can be invaluable. ) 2. When you're at the table, stand up - it puts you at eye level with the shoppers - and say hi to people. Too many of us sit and ignore customers, or stand silent and stone-faced (or worse, with your arms folded across your chest). If you engage with people they'll stop, spend an extra second or two looking at your stuff and then maybe buy from you. I would guess I make an extra $600 per show just because I greet everybody I can. Also - don't be afraid to take breaks in conversations to help newcomers to your table. Trade shows in general are one place where it's OK to excuse yourself from a conversation and come back, if possible, once you've helped a customer. Finally, I've been selling at the nationals since 1998, and I still forget some part of my checklist every year (mostly because I often complicate it with on-site packaging of product or something else specific to my business). Don't worry! You will be able to adapt and overcome, with help from your friends and fellow modelers.
  6. Answers to Gil: I did paint the propeller, but the tail trim was a decal, and a nightmare to apply. I had to touch up the edges but they were kind enough to make the red an exact match for MM insignia red.
  7. This is the Eduard 1:72 Albatros D.Va, finished at Lt. Walter Wolf's Jasta 5 plane from June-August 1917. The kit is OK but it's 20 years old and is missing some details (tachometer and gun mounts in the cockpit, radiator inflow and outflow pipes, etc.). I dressed up the details a bit and then used Print Scale's decals sheets (separate ones for the individual markings and for the Bavarian pattern). If you've ever hung wallpaper, you have a leg up with that Bavarian pattern - not fun applying it across a compound curve, and the entire Albatros D.V fuselage is a compound curve! It's rigged with .1mm nickel-silver "rod" from Albion Alloys, and features some Cooper Details wheels and Mini World Spandaus (although darned if you can see 'em in there!). An article will be in the Journal at some point.
  8. Actually, more detail parts in a kit makes it HARDER to compete in contests, because there's more things you need to get right. Judge enough and you'll see plenty of anti-gravity photoetched seatbelts, resin sidewalls pulling away from the fuselage sides, and badly-cut vacuformed canopies. Detail parts give you more ways to screw up.
  9. Here's my latest completion: the FROG re-pop of the Academy F-16C Block 52. The kit's overly-pointy nose was replaced with a Wolf Pack nose. Also lending a hand was a Wolf Pack burner and tailpipe, Aires cockpit, CMK main gear bay, and Master Models pitot, AOA probes and static discharge wicks. To get a Night Vision Goggles-compatible canopy, I swapped the tinted kit canopy from one from an old Hasegawa kit. The paints were a mix of ModelMaster and Humbrol enamels. Weathering was applied with a Payne's gray sludge wash, followed by the application of fluid leaking with a Staedler .05mm pigment liner, and finally pastels once the flat coat was on. All the ordnance - save the Hasegawa ACMI pod - came from the kit. The decals are from TwoBobs for 91-0362, which has served at Nellis AFB (right by Las Vegas!) at the USAF Weapons School for its entire career. This is how it appeared in 2006.
  10. Oh! Oh! I know how to do this! 🙂 The optimal length for an article is 2500-3500 words. Your editor often goes over that, much to the consternation of the art director, but generally, if the words tell a good story AND there are enough good photos to support it, we make it work. The rough ones for us are short articles with a ton of great photos, or long articles with a paucity of photos. As a writer by trade, I suggest you make an outline. It makes it really easy to write without forgetting things during the process. You want an introduction, something to explain why you chose to build the subject. That might be something historical, something about your relationship to the kit, something about what you hoped to try out, etc. Then, maybe a bit about the kit, then the build. While you're building, take plenty of photos. Take them at the highest resolution you can; print is unforgiving to low-res images. You don't necessarily need a professional camera - my last several articles were shot entirely with my iPhone. (Richard Marmo's tutorial on model photography that appeared in the Journal is great if you have a better camera and a tripod. I learned to use my expensive Nikon by following his instructions.) I strongly recommend including things that went wrong. My article on the MiG-15 in this issue is an over-the-top version of this. We're modelers, and we like the process of modeling, so the pitfalls, faux pas, mishaps and mess-ups are both educational and entertaining. The secret to being a good modeler is learning how to fix your mistakes! Write it up (preferably in Word or some other mainstream application - don't make us hunt for compatible software!), and send it off via email to either John Heck or me (we can coordinate between ourselves). If the photos need help, John will make suggestions. If the words need help, I'll handle it. Generally, there's no need for me to send it back for a re-write - I think I've done that twice in 13 years. Writing is a team sport, and I'll do my part in the editing phase. Expect an email from me with seven questions - I use that to create the bio. That's about it. We want a good mix of subjects in the Journal, and we always especially need more cars, ships, sci-fi and figures to keep the mix reflective of the membership. So, write, everybody! And thanks!
  11. Oooh! This would make a great article in the Journal! (Not just saying that because Niki Lauda is a hero of mine or anything!) -_Chris
  12. Not to speak for the e-board, but the DLC and regional coordinators had a Zoom meeting last week that helped firm up the candidates. So draw from that what you will. 🙂
  13. Your metaphor is faulty. If you suffer lung damage from inhaling too many paint fumes, it's terrible - but it isn't contagious to others. Wearing a mask in a pandemic is less to protect you than to protect OTHER PEOPLE. If I have to explain to you why it's important to care about other people, we really don't have anything to talk about.
  14. "Why being required to wear a mask upsets so many, ....is such an unbearable burden....I will never understand." Agreed. It's meant to protect others, in case you're infected and don't know it. To me, not wearing a mask is like purposely farting in public, only with possibly fatal consequences.
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