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ghodges

IPMS/USA Member
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Everything posted by ghodges

  1. Nice strides made for just a couple of days....Do you have trouble with the masking putty when you handle it? I've been able to get it into place, but then have it flatten out or shift due to handling while painting a second or third color. Makes it nearly useless for getting a "soft" line... GIL
  2. Having just paid $55/day for the privilege of parking in downtown Philly at the Courtyard Marriott; $11/day is chump change. I'll also bet they'll be able to get your car to you faster than the 30-45mins it took in Philly too! The info I got when I called earlier in the week was that I should ask for Gabrielle Gorman, as she was the person handling that "type" of reservation (convention blocks, I guess), and she works Mon-Fri; 8-5 (no weekends). I only got her voicemail just before 5pm, but when I called the hotel again to ask if she'd left, they switched me to reservations and a very nice gent hooked me up. He just had to take the time to "read" the block info and then search to be sure the room I requested (single king bed) was available. It might be that the room block is NOT sold out, but the type of room you want may be sold out. My advice is to ask what room types are available in the block if your first request isn't available. Hope this helps! GIL
  3. Called the hotel, they switched me to reservations, and I got my room reserved at the Marriott for the 'Nooga Nats! NOTE THAT YOU WILL MOST LIKELY BE CHARGED $11/DAY FOR PARKING. I asked if parking was included in the $144/night room rate and was told it was not. So, IF parking is supposed to be included with the convention room rate, one of the 'Nooga guys needs to hop on this and get the info straightened out with the reservation folks. This is not a make or break item, but I have NOT seen it mentioned anywhere else, and want people to be aware of it. GIL
  4. This is the Koster vacuform conversion. It entails replacing the entire kit nose with the vac nose parts. The Koster kit also comes with complete sets of clear parts to replace/improve the kit turrets, side windows, and canopy. It has resin parts for the nose and tail turret interiors as well as metal guns. It also comes with a great decal sheet that gives you two choices of markings for a Ford Nose Liberator. The Monogram B-24J is still a great model even though the molds are now 40+yrs old. It has a ton of interior detail, much of which won't be seen after it's closed up inside. Its overall fit is good, but not great; and does require some TLC, test fitting, and elbow grease to erase the seams, especially on the nacelles. It features raised panel lines, but they are actually a more accurate representation of the lapped panel joins on the real B-24. I didn't bother to rescribe the model, opting to simply replace lost lines with a #11 blade and then enhance those with pencil panel lines. The kit features excellent engineering and wing to fuselage fit that allows you to assemble, paint, and decal the wings and then add them at the end of the build. You could even leave them off for easier transportation if you wanted. This is essentially where most of the work is on the model.... The fit was good, but I did have to do some shimming around the bottom bomb aiming window. You can also see the resin turret interior parts. The advantage of the vac nose and tail turret parts is that they put join lines along painted frame lines (the kit turrets do not). Their down side is that they're a bit too big and take some finesse and adjustments to make them fit in place. This pic shows the kit canopy taped in place, but in the end I opted for the vac canopy. Also, the small side windows are filled with Micro Krystal Clear as a "mask" for construction and painting. After the model was painted and decalled, they were torn out and new clear windows made using more Krystal Clear. Here are the pics of the finished model.... This is one of the tougher conversions I've ever built, mainly due to having to piece together 2 and 3 piece vac clear parts for the nose and tail turrets, and then fill, sand, and polish them! Thank God for Future! The external differences for this version are sort of subtle, consisting of the bubble side nose windows, a smaller bomb aiming window, the small side bottom windows, and the "S" panel line where it was grafted onto the fuselage. The fuselage side guns are also sealed closed. Think I'll build a couple of easier kits next! Comments, critiques, and questions welcome as always! GIL
  5. Very sharp looking bird! Sort of breaks the mold though for the rep of Marine "hand-me-down" equipment; not unlike when they got the Corsair much before the Navy did in WWII! Congrats on a great looking build! Looking forward to the F4U! GIL
  6. Nice progress! That's a nice kit for its age and with new decals should be a real eye catcher. One word of caution....as I recall, the seam on the bottom of the wings goes through the middle of the ailerons (what a dumb design!) instead of being located on the trailing edge. It makes for some extra work to get it filled and erased, but other than that, the kit should give you no problems. Looking forward to seeing more! GIL
  7. Looking great! The only suggestion I can add is to add a black wash into the cooling fins on the engine cylinders to make them "pop" a bot more. GIL
  8. I've used both at different times, and like them both. That said, in my experience the AK Metalics are easier to use than Alclad. As David emphasized, both need the same exacting prep work- a smooth as glass finish. Alclad is a little more forgiving since any gloss primer coat used will help fill micro scratches. But, you have to apply the gloss primer as smooth as possible since any problems in it will show up in the final finish. Also, you need to MIST the Alclad on in several light coats, It doesn't work as well if sprayed on in wet coats. So, if you're an airbrush novice, this might be yet another issue you have to conquer. When done right, it dries rock hard in less than 30mins and can be easily masked over with low tack tapes. The AK metalics can be applied directly over the bare plastic (which still has to be glass smooth) and can be sprayed much like any other enamel paint. It dries fast, like Alclad, and also has a hard finish that handles well and can be masked over. I like them both, and try to have a stock of both on hand. Alclad seems to have a few more colors to choose from, or at least they're easier to get here in Jax than the AK stuff. I think the best answer is to use both of them together; using the AK as a good overall base coat, and then varying colors on panels with the Alclad; since the AK acts as a "primer" for it. Hope this helps! GIL
  9. Nick is exactly correct! That said, I totally disagree with this IPMSUSA rule. IPMS "prides" itself on not making "accuracy" a judging criteria and yet decides that ACCURATE markings are a requirement for the regular categories! I find this a bit odd, since we judge on the basics, and you can judge hypothetical markings EXACTLY the same way as accurate markings are judged. So why separate them out? Simply make "accurate" and "hypothetical" markings a tie-breaker. If a model in hypothetical markings is better built than every other model in a category; so what? Aren't we supposed to be rewarding craftsmanship? GIL
  10. Nice progress Duke! Interesting use of the alternate black for the main IP dials, and quite effective! GIL
  11. It's not that hard to do....get a spool of solder in the size you think looks right for the fuel lines. It cuts easily, bends easily, and holds its shape. Drill holes and cut it to length for the lines. Make the insulators by simply wrapping strips of tape around the lines at the proper places. That will work well for 1/48 and 1/72; and you can do more for 1/32 and 1/24 where more detail can be seen. GIL
  12. I see a difference Nick.... You' are correct in that every previous host has made it known that their hotel blocks were open for business- on their Nationals Website, and perhaps one announcement here on this site. It WAS readily apparent for anyone who was paying attention that they could book their room, and people like you and I have taken advantage of that. However, very seldom, if ever, have I seen one of the people running a Nats be so pro-active as to advising when their rooms will be available, and I cannot remember that news being known so far in advance. Not only has Mike posted this info in several places on this site, but I've also see him post it on Hyperscale; and have no doubt he and his fellow host members are posting this info on many other sites too. So I see a difference in that they are reaching out more, and not just to IPMSers who pay attention, but also to the non-members here and on other websites. In other words, they already appear to be more inviting than past hosts. IPMS may want to give this some thought as to it being an opportunity to put our best foot forward. This may be not only one of the largest conventions in history, it may well have more non-members wandering the halls those 3-4 days than any time in the past. IPMS should think hard on ways to make joining IPMS the FUN thing to do, as the contest at the Nats is NOT enough reason for people to join, remain members, or for us to base our future on. GIL
  13. Here ya go.....hope it helps! GIL
  14. Tim: if you don't want to buy aftermarket, email me your home address at: slowhandshodges@bellsouth.net and I can mail you several plastic ones! GIL
  15. Excellent build and a lesson in persistence. Congrats! GIL 😎
  16. Excellent start! I too will be enjoying your progress! GIL 😎
  17. An impressive grouping of builds Duke, and representative of a year more's effort for most of us! Congrats! Looking forward to the next 10! GIL 😎
  18. The only thing I can add to my first reply is that when he's vended at our show, and I've looked at his castings, I've seen no evidence of poor or shoddy quality. I cannot speak to their accuracy nor to their fit, as I don't buy a lot of resin stuff in general. But, everything I saw on his tables for sale looked very comparable to other resin aftermarket parts I've seen. Many resin casters go through an evolution with their products (Lone Star Models comes to mind)....their first offerings aren't always top notch and their quality control may be a bit lax in trying to get as much return for their efforts as possible to get themselves up and running. However, over time they MUST improve if they want to compete with the rest of the market. They have to improve their techniques and upgrade their casting equipment (vacuum/spin casting is a MUST these days!) or be totally outclassed by their competitors. John: You didn't say how long ago you got and used those parts, but I'm hoping it was (perhaps) at the beginning of GT's business. I too think you should follow DM's advice and contact GT to let him know how bad your experience was. Return those parts you didn't use so he can see for himself where the problems are. I'm betting he'll send you new ones. If not, you're no worse off and will have truly confirmed your suspicions. GIL
  19. Do yourself a favor....and do NOT try to be too exact. You'll save yourself a LOT of headaches and simply find paints that are indeed in the "ballpark", even if their FS# doesn't match the instructions in the kit. Most of the common paints are available from any number of manufacturers in enamel or acrylic. Keep in mind that the actual "color" as seen in daylight would vary according to how it was mixed and applied, by its age and degree of exposure to the elements, and what those elements were. OD Green faded considerably differently on planes in North Africa versus the Pacific versus here in the states. There's "depot fresh" paint jobs and then well worn paint jobs depending on time in the field. You can call up period color pics of any group of subjects and find variations in the finishes from one to the next sitting immediately beside one another! This is not to say that there aren't any standards. People have expectations, which appears to be your chief worry in trying to get it "right". My advice is NOT to be so worried. Most paint lines are in the ball park and you can then make adjustments as you see fit to make them match what YOU think looks right. Anyone who tries to tell you you're wrong is actually admitting they don't really know what they're talking about! Lastly, if you're truly concerned, then find a picture of your subject and copy it to the best of your ability. Someone may question your result, but you won't be so far off that you can't show that pic to validate your finish. Since you say you're new to the hobby, my advice is not to stress out too much over being so precise. If it says "OD green", or "Brown-Violet #81"; then find that paint and use it without worrying whether or not that manufacturer got it exactly correct. After all....it'll be the same paint (for the most part) most every other modeler uses! Hope this helps! GIL
  20. Just reminds me of the old sayings: "where there's a will, there's a way"; and "necessity is the mother of invention". It's nice that we do have better ways and materials these days to reproduce markings that aren't available. It's also nice to know that there are "old school" methods we can fall back on if and when needed. Thanks for the reminder! GIL
  21. My first question to you is: what did the instructions for these sets say or imply? Do they say "drop fit replacement" to the kit parts? If not, then surgery is at least implied, if not required. Second, ALL resin castings shrink to some degree, the only difference being how much. So, even if your parts are supposed to be a drop fit, I suggest you double check the fit as some minor adjustments may be needed. Between my friends who've used GT items and what I've read on the internet, it's a real toss up. Some of them fit remarkably well, while I know of people who've sworn off ever purchasing from GT again. Best of luck! GIL
  22. Bookmarked for future "entertainment"...:) GIL
  23. Do you have any plan besides being VERY careful to avoid knocking those fiddly bits off while painting, decalling, and finishing? GIL
  24. The Eboard said they would ACCEPT bids for 2 and 3yrs out from this point on. However, if clubs don't come to a show with a bid for any one of those years, there's nothing they can do about it. The announcement was made to allow for easier future planning AND to allow "bidders" to (perhaps) co-ordinate a bit between each other. I have to guess that Neither Las Vegas nor San Marco could lock in any dates except for 2020, and thus had to bid against each other. Also, we have to guess that other rumored bidders such as Portland and Omaha were not ready to make an actual bid at this convention, and thus we don't get any early planning for anything beyond 2020. Not to open a can of worms again (and NOT looking to start a debate), but the more the Eboard controls more parts of the Nats show, the easier it will be to stick it in one city and go there year after year. The manpower "problem" for the show can be solved. We're starting to run short of any "new" bidders, and starting to rotate between many of the repeating hosts anyway; so the idea of rotating the show for the benefit of reaching all sectors of the country is pretty much kaput at this point. GIL
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