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Everything posted by ghodges

  1. Noel (and all): I totally agree with you, and IPMSUSA has JUST begun to try to step us in the direction of de-emphasizing the contest. They've recently mandated that beginning this year and at all future conventions the host MUST have as many Display Only tables as their venue can provide. Of course that is AFTER they've taken care of the contest area first, so it will vary from show to show. Still, up til now, "display" has been only an occasional afterthought. Now IPMSUSA is going to encourage guys who don't want to compete to bring their stuff to display. Personally, I've reserved 2 display tables for ANYONE that'll be dedicated vacuform and resin models. There are two major differences here in the USA as compared to the UK and Telford. First and foremost, our Nats is the way it is because it started out with a competition format and has steadily grown from there. It's a VERY successful show, and the old adage "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" applies to a great degree. Would it be as big and successful with less of a contest here in the USA? Perhaps.....but I'm not sure any host wants to take that financial risk since the current format is a "money maker". In other words, we're sort of stuck with what we have because it's what we've always done and it works well! The second difference, as I mentioned before, is our vast distances to our shows. Anyone in the UK is a day's drive from Telford. Even a lot of Europe can be there in a single day's travel time WITHOUT having to hop on a plane. That makes the transport of models and stuff needed for booths much more practical. I consider the upcoming Chattanooga show to be an easy drive, and it'll be close to 7hrs. I plan to drive to the Texas show in 2020, and that will involve two days of driving and probably no less than 20hrs travel time. The rest of the shows involve airplanes where you're lucky if you can carry more than one model on, not to mention the hassle of TSA security checks! Only in the eastern US, or possibly southern CA, where there's a greater density of clubs per state, could we possibly have what Telford has with club booths...but with no tradition of doing that, the "clubs" never really consider it. Rick Jackson NAILED IT in his post above. Just bring your models, put them on the contest tables and go enjoy the show for the sake of the show and don't worry about winning or losing! GIL
  2. That's one pretty P-38! Love the NMF and the markings. Did you paint the d-Day stripes o the bottom, or are they decals? Congrats Bill, and thanks for sharing! GIL
  3. Sounds cool.....but it wasn't the color of Floquil, it was its qualities that made it such good paint. It didn't leave as many brush strokes as most enamels, thinned easily with Diosol (not their later thinner) and sprayed easily and smoothly. Best of all, their whites and yellows went on thinly and opaquely. Is THAT what they're going to produce, or simply the "colors"? GIL
  4. Noel: I believe Brits are every bit as passionate about their modeling as we are. However, I believe the difference is Americans are FAR more competitive by comparison, and unfortunately in IPMSUSA, that's bled over into our convention and show contests. Thus, we're always questioning and debating rules, judging, and how IPMSUSA is looked upon because of the way we do things here in the states because it may determine who may get an edge on someone else. In case you're not aware, we're expecting around 3000+ models in Chattanooga for the CONTEST! While Telford may have more models by comparison because of all of the club displays, our "display only" area is quite small and almost all models brought to the convention are competing for awards. Part of this is due to the impracticality of club displays due to the large distances we have to travel compared to modelers in the UK; but it's also how we're raised.....we compete in almost all areas of life; for better or worse! GIL
  5. Yup......been having the same problem for days....including today....and it's the ONLY site that does this among those I surf daily. Slow to load in, slow to respond for replies, and VERY slow to load in pics in topics! GIL
  6. Finished the Trumpy Vigi this evening. The build was more enjoyable than I anticipated, with the fit being a little better than expected. I used the Nautilus laser-cut wood re-enforcement set for the interior, since Trumpeter designed it with the traditional left/right half fuselages, which leaves the top and bottom center seams weak if not beefed up somehow. I also used a Black Box resin interior I had for it. It fit almost like a glove. The only adjustment to it was to make it mesh properly with the Trumpeter nose gear well, which had to be removed from the kit cockpit structure. The wing fold is a kit option, as are the deflected leading and trailing edge flaps. One of the major drawbacks to the kit is a lack of intake trunking....Trumpeter provides two complete engines, but they just "sit" in the fuselage interior with nothing leading into each of the engine fronts. I left the engines out and added plastic card intake covers. That meant I had to do so cutting and fitting of the engines to install the rear halves of the engine exhausts so they'd fit within the Nautilus supports; but that wasn't difficult, and also allowed me to paint and add the burner cans at the end of the build. I used MM enamels for the gloss white and 36440 Gull Gray. The metal leading edges were done with Alclad. The weathering was done with a wash made from Mig pigments dissolved in water with a drop of dish washing soap. The panel lines were done with a brown colored pencil. I used some Two Bobs decals that came with the very first issue of Aerospace Modeler magazine back in 2005. The markings are for a Vigilante based out of Albany, Ga @1970; just a few years before I lived there. Rumor had it that the Vigilante pilots would take back to back tours of sea duty just to avoid going back to small town "Allbenny"....Anyway....on to the pics! Now I have the recce RA-5C to go along with my A-5A Viglante bomber conversion I did years ago. Questions, comments, and critiques welcome as always. Cheers! GIL
  7. Personally, I like the skill level idea. I remember my very first contest of ANY kind...which just happened to be the 1978 IPMS Nationals in Atlanta. To say I was in over my head was an understatement! The skill level idea does open up other cans of worms..... 1) The first "gut" reaction would be that we need to triple the categories.... needing one each for the levels of "novice", "intermediate", and "master". That's not really true of course, since you could design the novice AND master cats to be more general on the theory that those two will have the least amount of people in them by comparison. 2) "The awards costs would be too much"....true, if you simply tripled the standard Nats awards....but why do we have to do that? IF (and I say IF) we were to go to 3 levels of competition, then you have 3 levels of awards: Certificates for the novices, ribbons for the intermediates, and medals/plaques/trophies (whatever) for the masters. This saves money AND also gives an incentive to move up in the rankings. 3) "There'll be a resentment to being "ranked" by your building ability within IPMS"....could be....but then isn't there an un-official ranking among IPMSers now? Don't we all KNOW who the honchos are? And based on our own personalities, don't we either admire or resent their "celebrity" and ability to repeatedly win? And if IPMSUSA was to allow you to select the ranking you compete in to BEGIN with (until you rise by dent of winning), then how could you complain about having to compete on the level you chose? 4) "Creating a MASTER CLASS of builders will create resentment among the lesser members"...sort of a caveat to the above...and I think it's disproved by the many other societies that DO have "master modelers". They're generally admired and the desire to join THEIR ranks is the general reaction to being in their club, competition, and company. I'm not sure it could be done at this late date, but I do think the idea has some merit. If YOU think back on your decision to join your local club and IPMSUSA, I'm betting there was some intimidation you had to overcome. "I can't join them...THOSE guys are good and know what they're doing"! It's the same when it comes to contests....you have to overcome the intimidation of going up against "honchos" and learning to swim in the deep end as things are designed now. Adding skill levels lowers the level of intimidation, allowing newer members to start in the shallow end if they feel the need to build their confidence before stroking for deeper competitive waters. Gil
  8. Great progress on a myriad of projects Duke! If I might suggest for the canopy glass on the Widgeon.....IF it is essentially a series of flat glass panels, then use clear packing tape. Tear off a piece and then carefully stick it in place over one side, being sure it's a part of the tape with no fingerprints or smudges. The, using a brand new blade, cut off the excess leaving a thin piece of "frame" where it's stuck to your fuselage. Then paint that thin strip of clear tape to match your fuselage. Repeat as needed to form the 3-4 panels for the canopy. NOTE: BE SURE to completely blow out and eliminate ALL dust and sanding residue from the interior before doing this! Anything left floating around inside will end up sticking to the inside of your tape glass! Hope this helps! GIL
  9. Very cool conversion! It's really nice to see some old-fashioned kit-bashing going on! Thanks for sharing! Rusty: The round circle on the canopy connects to a round device on the canopy ledge. It was present on the F-84G's, and may have had something to do with helping partially pressurize the cockpit, but I cannot remember for sure. In any case, I believe the round area provided direct access to the device. GIL
  10. JIM: the reason I asked was because there are no winners listed prior to 1992. That means there's no listing, let lone picture of the Judge's Grand Award winner (before G. Lee's name was attached to it) from '64-'91. It would seem like a good idea to flesh out the list, with pics whenever possible, in order to make it complete. It's true that the farther back you go, there are no pics to glean from the Journal, Quarterly, or Update; but that's where members such as myself may be able to help out, especially if we know what model to look for within our own private convention pics. GIL
  11. Nice! And for those who call us the I. PLANE M.S. society....only 5 or so of the past 28 Winners were aircraft..... Question: Are you looking for more past pics of winners? I may be able to provide 2 or 3 myself....and if so, who/where do I direct them to? GIL
  12. Nice heads up on the cameras! Question: Are you going to have panels open on the nose to see them, and if not (knowing how lousy most clear camera windows are on models) how will you show off those nice items? GIL
  13. Superb conversion! That's some real skill, doing that much cosmetic work and still being able to put a great looking NMF on the model. Congrats, and thanks for sharing! GIL
  14. If you, as an IPMS member are happy with how IPMS is (like Nick), and you don't care how the rest of the modeling world views us; then as mentioned above YOUR mind is made up and YOU'RE not going to change. However, DAK is absolutely correct: we have a real PR problem with too many modelers. As the saying goes....perception IS reality! You may tout the PR problem as springing from mere myth, but remember that myths usually have a truth they spring from. The idea that IPMSers are rivet counters and color Nazis springs directly from our hair-splitting competition. Sure, we can amply justify the hair-splitting. We can explain that the hairs were split over basics and not accuracy; but all that outsiders see is that we got VERY nit-picky! And even we judges KNOW of several quite famous times when the WRONG hairs were split and deserving work went by the wayside. The base of the problem has NOTHING to do with the Nats. This almost all stems from local and regional shows, as well as club meetings. That's where the non-members are in as great or greater numbers than the IPMSers.That's where the opinionated local members are who don't actually belong to IPMSUSA.That's also where the least trained and experienced judges are, which leads to questionable results which in turn leads to those horror stories about how IPMS is counting rivets and condemning wrongly painted models to a pantheon of shame. And MOST of the time, the judges making those mistakes are NOT IPMS members! And MOST of the time the attendees or local club members who are making snide know-it-all comments about models are not IPMS members (nor judges). However, since it happens under the umbrella of an "IPMS show or meeting", WE are responsible and WE get labeled. It may be wrong, and perhaps even unfair, but THAT is the reality of the PR problem. We have a label hung around our necks that cause many others to take one look at us and quickly run for cover. I share Ron's frustration in that there's no easy answer or silver bullet. This is not a problem that can be solved in a year with any sort of ad campaign or new slogan. However, I do differ in that I do believe that if we ARE willing to change and adapt, then we CAN overcome our bad press over time; and by time, I mean a decade or two. How? We need to take competition at our shows down a notch or two. We need to dial back the hair-splitting by allowing more good models to be recognized. This is why I keep touting the need for IPMS to start embracing GSB at their shows. It allows us to keep the requirements of good basics and solid building and finishing. It allows us to set standards where you have to EARN an award. BUT, it also allows us to award one model without eliminating any other one in order to do so. That elimination of so many deserving models is what makes IPMSUSA look like a dog-eat-dog "winning is all that matters" group of modelers. It will not keep us from ever needing to split hairs...but when we do split them, it will only affect the model in question, and no others! And this MUST be done from the BOTTOM up. As I said before, our PR problem stems from the local and regional shows, not the Nats. It's the local and regional shows that will need to finely hone GSB to the point that the Nats will finally adopt it as the "norm" and to conform to the rest of the country. What else? Nick had a good point....stop trying to apologize and trying to get absolutely everyone to like us! IPMS is for modelers who do like to compete! While I think we need to dial it back, I do NOT think we should try to be a display only society. What I'm for is making some changes and then proudly putting those changes out there for everyone to see. Tell people they are welcome no matter what they build (unlike many other genre-oriented clubs), but if and when you compete, we're going to demand that you meet certain standards in order to be awarded; feelings be damned. I freely admit this may or may not actually succeed. It will take years to accomplish. GSB, or some sort of less cut-throat competition will need to become the norm and the non-IPMS members who attend those shows will need to see us be less cut-throat and more rewarding over a substantial period of time. That way when the "myth" of rivet counting arises, the new comment will be: "no, that's they way they were; but since they dialed back their contests, they're not that way anymore". At least that's my hope! GIL
  15. Mike: Will there be extra Desert Bar tickets available for purchase on Thursday? I may need one if my wife decides to attend with me.... GIL
  16. Here's a link to a build review on our IPMS forum; it talks about the fit of the wings and other items....:http://www.ipmsusa.org/reviews/Kits/Aircraft/trumpeter_32_su-27/trumpeter_32_su-27.htm GIL
  17. As for me, I'm always overwhelmed by the amount of projects you have going at once! I can barely keep one or two organized! That turret does look amazing.....I was going to suggest counter-weighting the back of the guns to offset the weight of the barrels, but it seems you elegantly solved the problem! GIL
  18. Amazing work, but it raises a question....You sill have a lot of painting to be done. Do you have any special way that you will be able use to mask all of that delicate detailing? It seems simply using tape, even the lowest tack type, would potentially destroy some, if not much of it. GIL
  19. I'll take some credit for influencing (infecting?) you over the years with the desire to build such old beasts.....and this is one I'd skip! Not only did you do a great job in building and detailing an older kit...but any of those WWI designs that require rigging between the struts as well as rigging multiple wing bays is pretty much off of my list! By the way, what paints did you use for the PC10 and Clear Doped Linen? I know Humbrol makes those, but they're tough to come by down here. Did you use anything else that might be more easily available? Nice one Ron! GIL
  20. Very neat looking job! Assuming you're using superglue, what tool are you using to apply it in such a precise manner? GIL
  21. I've actually written a review of this model for Detail and Scale (future use, sometime). Here's a part of it that covers the "sticking" poiints.....and sorry for the length, but they're a lot of 'em! The biggest problems to be conquered with this kit are the fit of the intakes to the fuselage, the fit of the intake trunks to the inside of the intakes, the lack of dihedral in the wing, and the fit of the wing to the fuselage. I heartily recommend NOT following the kit instruction sequences and deviating in the following ways to correct these problems and get the best fit. Before gluing the fuselage halves together…… The intake bleed air ramps and the intakes themselves need to be glued into and onto their fuselage halves. This allows you to work from the inside and the outside to get them to fit. I also recommend leaving out the resin fuselage bleed air vents on the tops of the intakes until after you’ve sanded the intakes on the fuselage, lest they be obliterated (like mine!). Try to “drop fit” them into place after the sanding is done to better preserve them. Czech Models molded the interior intake ducting as a large “Y” assembly which is intended to be glued to the wing bottom and then fit neatly up to the rear of the intakes when the wing is added. It does not work! The intake trunk mouths do not align well with the intakes AND they will interfere with the fit of the wing to the fuselage. The solution is to cut the Y apart, making two separate intake ducts. Then, each one can be individually fit to its intake, pressing and twisting to get the smoothest transition and fit. Note that the outer edges of the intake ducts inside the fuselage may still need some grinding and trimming to keep them from hitting against the tops of the main wheel wells and inhibiting the fit of the wing. Thinning down the top inner edges of the main wheel wells in the wing bottom may also be needed to get clearance between the two of them. One of the more trying problems is that the wing, as molded, is too flat; lacking proper dihedral. The limited run nature of the molding in between the main wheel wells, with the extra plastic there, makes it difficult to try to “bend” the wing in the center to give the wing dihedral. What’s needed is to GRIND out all of that plastic between the main gear wells (a motor tool really helps here!) and also to remove the plastic that spans the front and rear of the bottom wing center sections. That will give the bottom wing the flex needed to make the next step work. The outer main wheel well tops are separate parts. They can aid in setting some dihedral on the bottom wing by doing the following (using super glue): First, glue the inner edge to the main wheel well top and allow it to set securely. Next, while bending the wing upward, glue the outer end of the part to the wing. Doing this on both sides will give the bottom wing a modicum of dihedral. The wing tops can now be added, but don’t forget to first drill out the locating holes in the bottom wing for the bomb pylons and wingtip tanks! At this point, the instructions can be followed to install the cockpit tub, nose wheel well, exhaust can, and glue the fuselage halves together. I also recommend gluing the stabilizers in place, as these will serve as a check on fitting and aligning the wing. Also, don’t forget to add some nose weight! Even with all of the above adjustments, the fit of the wing assembly to the fuselage is problematic. The width of the fuselage tended to flatten out the wing and remove what dihedral had been set. I found that sanding each of the wing roots down allowed the wing to fit in place with the dihedral sustained and a pretty good fit along the wing roots. On the bottom of the model, the fit is much worse, especially at the front. The wing simply needs to be glued in place while maintaining the dihedral, keeping the good fit along the wing roots, and assuring that the wings are level as compared to the tail planes; and ignore the steps on the bottom at the front and the back. The step in the front was too large to even be ground down. Instead, a “ramp” of epoxy putty was built up to smoothly transition the wing front to the rear of the nose wheel well. The same thing was needed at the rear junction of the wing and fuselage, but to a lesser degree. Another anomaly to be mentioned is the lack of a traditional “axle” on the main landing gear. The small nub meant to serve as an axle will only hold the tire if it’s glued to the brake drum on the wheel (perhaps the maker’s intention). I recommend drilling and pinning each gear leg to create an axle for each tire. The fact that the brake drums are molded on the kit wheels instead of the gear legs means that IF you want to flatten the tires by sanding them, there is only one spot to do it properly! The nose gear, on the other hand, is more traditional in that it has an axle, although it’s actually too long and has to be trimmed shorter. It also seemed a tad on the flimsy side, and with weight added to the nose, I recommend shimming it with more thin sheet plastic or metal on the inside of the axle arm to strengthen it. After making the above adjustments, the kit can be finished out like any other one. GIL
  22. Noel: If anyone used the GSB format under #2 in Ralph's reply (and the Orlando FL club does), then people who enter their models group them together on the table instead of putting them in various "categories". There's no need to "hunt them down". They can then all be judged to arrive t a "consensus" for the group; or, the judges can pick one and judge it as being "representative" of the group. Either way, the MODELER gets ONE award for their work in that particular genre. That way, the number and costs of awards is held down as compared to a straight GSB competition. GIL
  23. Looks like you should be paid aircraft union scale wages with the amount of work and detailing you're putting into it! Lots of eye candy! GIL
  24. The intakes were a challenge. They're molded as a "Y", but will NOT fit properly, so I cut the Y apart into separate trunks. That allowed me to get the best fit on each side. They also had to have their outer edges inside the fuselage ground down some so as to not interfere with the fit of the wings. GIL
  25. This was a difficult build because it's a limited run style kit. It does have some very nice resin and PE details, but very few locating pins, fair to poor fit, and you really need to deviate from the instructions to get the best results. The kit decals are one of the better items included, though I only used the data, stenciling, modexes, and stars. The nose art and others are from an aftermarket sheet. Here's a link to the in progress shots on Agapemodels if you want to see how it was built: https://www.agapemodelersforum.com/index.php?topic=23336.0 I used AK metalics Aluminum for the overall finish and then did the varying panels with Alclad Dull Aluminum. The red is Testsors (small bottle) enamel thinned with lacquer thinner. I made the gun barrels from steel tubing. I'm happy with the result, but I can't really recommend this kit to others unless you have some experience with limited run kits, vacs, or resin kits. There's a lot of re-engineering and alterations needed to get the best result. Comments, questions, and critiques welcome, as always. Cheers! GIL
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