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Everything posted by ghodges

  1. Yep! Most would more readily admit they're Jehovah Witnesses! GIL
  2. Ain't technology great? And as rough as parts of that look, it'll only get better as time passes! GIL
  3. The car model market, like it's one-to-one counterpart; is shrinking somewhat. Auto manufacturers are cutting models, retiring many types, and producing only one or two types of cars and trucks. The days of of the "big 3" putting out a new model of EACH of their various flagship cars EVERY year is waning. While we grew up with probably 20 different types of cars being released each fall, that's been cut in half; and sadly, many of those are very similar to each other and lack the great diversity between them that we grew up with. Why should a model car manufacturer try to copy the newest Nissan, Hyundai, and Kia in a new year when they (for the most part) look the same? Where's the attraction for the builder in that? Auto racing has also shrunk considerably, and the designs are also much along the "cookie cutter" line. About all you can do is admire the graphics on them. But, technology has made those SO interchangeable, and they change so almost race to race; that they've practically destroyed the "identity" a car or driver used to have with a "brand". And that doesn't even cover the way that the licensing of not just the cars themselves, but also their markings have been clamped down on so that the costs of producing a new car model is very prohibitive. I'm glad I'm not a kid....and frankly, if I was, I'd probably be right where my grandson is: playing on-line games. Modeling will never die. But, the age of the simple model kit that the average kid could buy with a week's allowance is dead. That means there'll probably never be another generation that builds models of all kinds wholesale as we did growing up. That market of young adults you point to IS the most valuable to go after, but it's a vastly smaller market than the group that Airfix, Aurora, Monogram, and Revell had to target 50-60yrs ago. The biggest challenge IPMSUSA faces is the hurdle of the internet age, not finding people who "seriously" build models. IPMUSA is going o have to find ways to convince people that being a part of a local club AND a national member has benefits that chatting and posting on-line can't provide. The Journal is a great value, but will a paper magazine be the attraction in the future it was for us? Could an electronic version compete with all of the on-line pages, blogs, and websites? We'll see...... GIL
  4. I agree that the "hobby" is not dying...and likely never will. However, it is changing; and that's what I think most people mean when they say it's "dying". As you point out, with the release of so many kits we've never had before, and by multiplel manufacturers, there's obviously a market that the manufacturers are aware of and are trying to meet. In that regard, the hobby is actually growing and in many ways, with the new releases, this is the GOLDEN age of building plastic models. We can thank new technology that makes model production cheaper for that, as well as the expansion of the hobby out of the "kids" market. Manufacturers know they can charge a higher price to the adults who have the leisure time and spare money to spend on a hobby, so they can invest in tooling and sell fewer items for a higher price in order to make their money. If they still had to price them so that a kid on an allowance could afford them they'd be out of business! On the down side, for those of us who grew up building the traditional military themed kits from the wars of the 20th century, that has started to diminish and will continue to do so. Our age group is diminishing and with it, the largest part of the market for those traditional types of kits. The future will be dominated (IMO) by sci-fi, gundam, and cars; with the military stuff sliding down below those in sales (if that hasn't already happened). In short, the modelers of tomorrow will be building the things they've grown up with, and despite the conflicts that still occur, none of those have dominated their lives in the way that WWI, Korea, and Vietnam did ours (thankfully). Also, as "serious", military modelers, we tend to have a very narrow view of who and what we perceive the market to be. We look at it from what WE want, and not what the world-wide market wants. We tend to forget that from a business standpoint, cars have almost always outsold military models. Now those colorful Gundams and Anime kits that are so cleverly engineered and don't even need painting are taking over the market. We forget that the VAST majority of model builders are neither serious nor competitive, and couldn't care less about "accuracy". No, it's not dying.......but we are.....and the traditional model building we all grew up with is graying; and to a point becoming something we don't recognize anymore. GIL
  5. Thanks for the kind words! All three of the props were painted tan to start. After that had dried for a day, I came back and dry brushed a dark brown lengthwise to apply the "graining". Simply go slow until you get the depth of finish and amount of grain that you like. The Aurora prop needed a pe boss added to its center, while other two were simply painted Floquil brass and the given a black wash. The Axial prop decals on all three came from the DML kit. GIL
  6. You have quite the talent for detail painting! Couple of questions, as I've yet to build an AM B-25...Are the items like the fire extinguisher and the axe "molded in" or separate (you've painted the so crisply I can't tell)? And, it appears you've already installed some of the side glass, and very neatly too...What will you do to keep from accidentally pushing it back inside after assembly of the fuselage, and also what do you plan to use to mask them? Thanks! GIL
  7. The Orlando show here in FL uses the GSB "body of work" approach. It helps keep their award costs low by rewarding the builder instead of the models brought to the show. If you bring (for example) 5 planes to the show, they'll only judge one of them and award it; or they may decide to award you for your "body of work" if they deem all of them to be very close in craftsmanship. Either way, you get one award. The only way to get more is to build and enter in other genres. The down side is it gives no incentive to bring more than one model in any genre. Also, you don't have a say in which of your models they pic to judge if you do bring more than one. This often leaves people scratching their heads when (in their opinion) their own best effort is not judged! In the end, I try to keep in mind (and remind others) that it's only model show! In the scheme of things, it's not nearly as important as we might think it is the day of the show! GIL
  8. That's a cool looking camo scheme, and that's a helicopter I'm not familiar with. Is it an Australian design, and if not, whose is it? Nice addition to your whirlybirds! GIL
  9. Not "flawed counting"; but FLAW counting.... Face it, we IPMS judges in our 1-2-3 system generally look for mistakes when we look at the models in a category. Sure, we may take note of things we really like on any build, but all models start out on an even playing field and then begin to "sink" below their competition as you find problems on them. Big basic problems will eliminate a model immediately, while those with a few minor flaws will "make the cut". Unfortunately, at that point, the judges usually begin to get REALLY anal about finding more problems. In other words, the judges generally count flaws on each model, and the 3 with the least amount of problems win. Heck, even in a GSB judging system the number of flaws on a model will help determine what medal it earns, if any. What I dislike about the current 1-2-3 system is that it makes it tough to give credit for scope of effort and/or degree of difficulty. GSB allows for that easier, but even then, those probably won't be the determining factors. While that sounds very negative, we judges know it's not as bad as it sounds. It's a logical way to judge craftsmanship; by determining who was the most consistent in its application in their build. If one builder goofs up more than another, then you can logically say that one displayed a higher level of craftsmanship than the other, AND you also have some concrete things to point out if questioned by the builder or your chief judge. Although it's a negative based system, it works well and is also relatively easy to teach to new judges. On the down side, it makes us look VERY nit-picky, especially when judges are hauling out measuring devices. It's purely a perception thing, but one that IPMS has never been able to combat well with modelers outside of IPMS and who do not actually judge. I like the idea of different tiers of competition, but that also has some baggage. If you don't set it up correctly (say, use ribbons for the lower tiers), then your awards cost can be higher. Then there's the problem of determining exactly who is a novice, who is experienced, and who is a senior or "master". Those criteria can certainly be established, but there'll be some who will complain anyway about being forced into a level they don't like, or whine that they haven't been promoted to the level they deserve. It can also create a space problem as you almost have to set out your categories in triplicate. And then there's the problem of how you actually judge those 3 tiers....do you hold all of them to the same exacting standards? Or, do you go a bit easy on the novices and lean harder on the masters? Again, these problems are all solvable, but creating 3 levels of competition isn't the cake walk it sounds like at first. As for GSB, I believe it's the way to go. But, you'll NEVER, NEVER, EVER "sell" it to IPMSUSA and the NCC. I cannot fault them for that. As I said above, IPMSUSA has one of the most successful contests in the world every year. Despite the headaches and complaints, it seems to keep growing and the job gets done no matter how many models show up. GSB comes with its own set of problems to tackle, chief among them the ability to judge 2500-3000 models during the show. I think I have a method to do so, and we'll be using that method at our JAXCON 2019 show in February. True, we'll only have 500-600 models, but if we can judge those in just the 5-6hours we have that day, then 2500-3000 should be doable over the 3-4 days that the Nats runs. In any case, ANY change to the Nats contest is going to have to come from the grass roots; from the bottom up. Someone, somewhere will have to devise a system that proves BOTH practical AND popular. Next, they'll have to make it work for several years in a row to "prove" it. Then, if it's really a good new way to run a contest, other shows will adopt it and the system will grow and be used by more and more contests. Then, and only then, will IPMSUSA and the NCC sit up and take notice. And that's how it should be! GIL
  10. Don't let me be misunderstood....the mis-perception most people have of us is UNTRUE. The judging is more than fair, despite being a flaw counting based system. And, as you point out, most of the people who aren't actually a part of IPMS are the most guilty of perpetuating our bad rep. We long time members know differently. But like any other "myth", it's partially based in fact and experience, even if things have changed for the better in the last 20yrs. And when one of our "senior" judges takes such a rigid, condescending attitude it shows that it hasn't changed entirely. I wish we could go to some sort of stratified levels of competition too. But there again, IPMS and the NCC seems very rigid in their approach to contests. However, since they HAVE been very successful with what they've been doing, it's hard to make a good argument that there's a NEED for a change, however desirable it might seem. GIL
  11. I think Nick's post proves my point about how IPMS judging is viewed. We come off as rigid, demanding, and snobby; looking down on anyone who doesn't strive for "preciseness". I totally understand the obligation of a builder to build to a standard in a contest. As far as alignment is concerned, it doesn't matter what "realism" shows....The model manufacturer has designed the kits to be symmetrical! If you build the kit CORRECTLY, the wings will be level and the gear and other items will at their correct angles, and in general be the same on each side. So, the idea you can point to something on a flight line as a reference....SORRY! It really comes across as condescending to say that just because a judge (or a modeler) is more lenient in their approach they are "sloppy". I cannot totally disagree with Nick's conclusions....he has a point that as judges, we understand and have seen in contests. Unfortunately, MOST people (that means everybody else for the most part) will take Nick's attitude as typical of IPMS judging, and then spurn us because of it. Gil
  12. Decided to build some Triplanes all at the same time, as I had 3 of them in the stash. They are the Eduard kit, the DML/Dragon kit, and the old Aurora Triplane (which is actually 1/43). The Aurora kit needed an interior and I add some pe sleeves to the kit guns. I used decals form the spares box to do Voss' Fokker F.I prototype and painted the face on the cowl. The DML kit is very nice, and was built out of the box mostly. It comes with steel pe for the cabanes and gear struts, as well as some additional pe detail parts. These strengthen the kit, but the steel pe is too tough to cut with a knife, so I used nippers. I also didn't want to try rolling the steel pe gun jackets, so I used a white metal Spandau from Aeroclub in place of the kit guns. Markings (again) are from the spares box to do one of Von Richtoffen's Triplanes. The Eduard DR.I has the best detail and best fidelity to scale, but is also the more difficult build. The plastic is soft and the thin parts are easy to break while handling. It also has the worst engineering for the struts and detail parts, making some experience in biplane building a real plus! I used the kit decals, which were one of the best parts of the kit. I experimented with different methods of adding the Olive streaking. The light blue on all three is MM Flanker Blue. Then I used Tamiya acrylic dark green and Khaki to do the streaking. In general, I used a "dry-brushing" approach with a short haired, medium brush. However, on the DML kit, I used a "wet, thinned" method, which gave a satisfying but totally different type of streaked finish. either way works pretty well. Question, comments, and critiques welcome, as always! GIL
  13. ghodges

    Airfix TSR2

    The Saint! Nice build and great to see what might have been! GIL
  14. Guys: THIS is why IPMSUSA gets the bad rap it does....rivet counters, color Nazis, and judges who are too intent on finding EVERY little flaw on an entry. I'm all for assessing basic alignments, but rarely see the need for any device to actually check it. It's very simple....if it looks out, it IS out, especially if and when confirmed by your fellow teammates. But, if I THINK it may be out, but it's very tough to tell and hard to see, then it's too small an error to concern myself with. It may or may not be a flaw, but if so, is a VERY minor one and in my mind NOT a difference maker! When we start zeroing in on such minutia we forget our job: judging CRAFTSMANSHIP! Which model displays that in the overall highest manner by comparison to those in its category? If you simply look for errors you lose the big picture. Just as any model can be more than the "sum of its parts"; it can also be more than the "sum of its flaws"! GIL
  15. DAK: I will stand by my own opinion that while you may be within the letter of the OOTB rules, you're violating the spirit of the category. Since you've been "entering models for 50yrs" then you surely realize that the OOTB categories were created for the purpose of not having to go head to head with the honchos (which you admit IS your purpose). It's a place for people to compete against each other with ONLY what comes in the box, and nothing else. You get to choose "the box" you go with, but since you chose one without a pilot, why should you be condoned or given a pass for adding one from elsewhere? That said, as Jim pointed out, we're merely giving OUR opinions, and NONE of them matter. What you need is for Bill Devins or Mark Persechetti to chime in with a definitive DECISION (versus our opinions). Once more, this is a sore spot with me, as I believe if you're Head Judge or the Chief Judge you should be here no less than twice a week just to look for topics like this where their expertise is needed. Perhaps one of them will chime in here by next Monday, but if experience holds true....don't hold your breath! That said, there's nothing to prevent you from emailing the NCC and asking them the question and asking for a "ruling". Since you don't want to waste your time, and you don't seem to want to accept the advice or criticism from the experienced judges who have chimed in here, that would seem to be your best course of action. Good luck! GIL
  16. I'm considered a pretty liberal/lenient judge....but I have to say that in my opinion adding that figure violates at least the spirit, if not the letter of the OOTB rules. To start, the purpose of OOTB is to separate models with ANY "outside" enhancements from those with them, whetherthey be bought aftermarket items or scratchbuilt items. You've added something that is not from the kit, directly ON the model. Why do so unless you're looking to enhance people's (and judge's) overall impression? Next, while (theoretically) it could be marked as a "do not judge" item; since the pilot is ON the model, it makes it very tough to do so. If it was on a base near the plane, I think you could make an argument for it to be ignored. However, standing on the wing sort of says "look at me". He should be waving instead of having his hands in his pockets.... Lastly, I'll join in on the "slippery slope" argument. If you allow this, then you can add (again, theoretically) resin under wing rocket tubes, after market wheels, and a vac canopy and write "ignore THOSE items". It's a SUPER looking mode, as is the pilot. Why limit yourself to the OOTB category? Enter it in the regular category and let the chips fall where they may. If I was chief judge, I'd move it from OOTB if placed there. By the way....you're welcome! My posting this judging opinion almost assures the head judge will rule against my opinion and let you in! GIL
  17. Check to see if Alclad makes a metallic blue. I know they make several transparent colors that are meant to be used to create heat marks on metallic exhaust pipes, and I thought they had a blue as one of them. If not, you can always fall back on the old method of painting it silver and then over coating it with Tamiya Transparent Blue til you get the hue you like. GIL
  18. Heck of sweet looking Huey, and some of the best glass work I've ever seen on any 'copter! Thanks for sharing! GIL
  19. Those door windows look fantastic! Are you polishing them or dipping them to get that ? GIL
  20. Nifty Nighthawk, and a fitting tribute to its service in Desert Storm! GIL
  21. That's a great looking start! I'm not huge fan of pe, but those seats are So much better than the kit ones (which aren't bad either!) GIL
  22. THAT is an ambitious plan! Still, there's nothing to prevent you from doing it if you allow yourself enough time and patience to get all you want in and on there in the way you want. Moving parts are always problematic. With the articulation of the Hornet's main gear, you'll need to study how it retracts on the real thing before trying to make it work on the scale parts. It won't be bad if it retract straight into the wells. But, if it twists, expands, or compresses during the retraction; that'll make it very complicated to do. Then there's the problem of fitting the gear doors. Making them hinge isn't the engineering problem that the gear poses, but getting them to fit EXACTLY without gaps or misalignment could be frustrating since they're probably not molded to be glued in the closed position and fit together tightly. The same would apply for any other access door you tackle. You'll be doing as much or more engineering as modeling! I admire your imagination, but have almost zero experience with that type of building., There is a guy who's scratchbuilding a P-51B in 1/18 scale over on Hyperscale (and built a similar Spitfire a couple of years ago) out of metal. You might review his work just to get an idea of the way he engineers and makes all of his parts, inside and out. They are absolutely phenomenal and he's a true master builder! Best of luck! Gil
  23. Did A search for images from the movie, but didn't find any such pic. However, who knows what was spliced in for a 1-2 second flying shot just because it looked good. Also, not aware of any experiments with putting a turret in the nose of the Mitchell. Any chance it was such a quick bit of footage in the movie that they put in a shot of a B-24. The twin tails are similar, and most people wouldn't be quick enough to notice 4 engines versus two...I'll have to pay closer attention next viewing! GIL
  24. Nice, sharp glass work Ron. If I'd only seen the pic of the landing gear and not known it was 1/72...I'd have guessed 1/48. I can see what you meant about how nicely detailed it is. Congrats on getting another Brit on your shelf! GIL
  25. ghodges


    Nice build and excellent presentation. Is this a good kit? Did it give you any problems? Thanks for sharing! GIL
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