Saturday, September 28, 2013

Sprue Cutters Union #10: Don't Want No Cash, Don't Need No Money, Ain't Got No Stash...

This week's Sprue Cutters Union question is: What are your spending habits?

For a long time, I could spend freely on modeling with almost no ill effects.  I was lucky.  I had more expensive hobbies - aviation - so a few hundred bucks spent on kits every month seemed like nothing.  If I was sad or depressed, some new kits would make it all better.  If I saw something cool, I'd order it.  I'd order from the UK, the Far East, Australia.  It wasn't that cost didn't matter, it just didn't matter that much.  I was addicted.  My addiction lead to the Closet of No Hope, with more models than any sane person should have.  And while hitting the "order" button on my computer felt great, I would look at the number I'd amassed, and would feel like I was drowning.  There was no joy, just the reality of tens of thousands of dollars spent on kits that will never get built, while I put off things that I actually need and enjoy:  new glasses, vacations, sporting events and clothes.  "I can't afford that," I'd say.  Then I'd turn around and spend $100 on models.

As I've tried to become a healthier person; I've realized that I was addicted to collecting kits.  (I'd delude myself that I was going to build them all, but when the number exceeds the amount I could build in my lifetime, that becomes a ridiculous assertion.)  The truth is that I was buying things to make myself feel fill holes in a life that I let get away from me.  That changed in 2011:  I ended a marriage that wasn't working.  I quit my job and opened my own company.   After many major life changes, I feel more in control; more complete.  I no longer need to buy kits in order to feel whole, and I'd rather have a collection of kits I truly love instead of a closet full of things that remind me how lost I once was.  With a future cross county move in the works, I need to reduce rather than increase the size of my collection.  This doesn't mean I don't buy new kits...Hello, Airfix Lancaster Mk. II...but I am more thoughtful than I was in the past.   Now my challenge is to differentiate between a healthy, pleasurable hobby and my regrets of the past.  Sometimes, I catch myself feeling guilty over what should be a reasonable purchase.

I was talking with my girlfriend earlier this week about my occasional guilt and she reminded me of an idea we'd discussed before: eliminate the guilt by setting a budget specifically for kits and stay within that budget.  So that's what I'm going to do.  Yesterday, I read Mike Grant's post and realized this is how he operates.  I think it's an excellent idea.  Rather than using kits as a salve for all that is wrong in my life, I'm looking forward to enjoying both my life and my hobby.

Part of being in the Union means you must include links to fellow contributor's posts within your own response. So here are a few posts from some of the other members:

Mike is on a budget.
Welcome Bill to the Union.
David is a librarian.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

2013 OHMS Model Show

On Saturday September 21, 2013, I had the chance to attend the Oregon Historical Modelers Society Model Show at the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum in McMinnville, Oregon.  Held in the Space Museum building, it was a nice event and probably about equal in size to an average Region 4 show.  (The official count was 423 models entered by 103 modelers.  The total number of models was up from 359 in 2012.) With a full scale P-51D, Corsair, SR-71, and various space items overlooking the model area, it was a fun venue for a show. There were a decent amount of vendors, with Rare Plane Detective being the most well known, and some great deals. The Evergreen campus is an interesting place: part air and space museum, part water park (with water-slides spiraling downward from the 747 on the roof), and part vineyard, it seems it has something for everyone...including the Spruce Goose! 

Here are a few of the 1/72 aircraft on display:

A KP MB-200 in Luftwaffe markings?

A High Planes Mirage in Israeli markings.

I assume this Boeing YP-9 was scratchbuilt.

An A-Model Brawny.

A nicely done Breda.

A Delta Caproni.

Nice to see a CF-104 at the show.

The new Meng F-102 in camo.

A shiny Gamma.

A South American Junkers.

A Fine Molds Lorna.

An A-Model Mary.

A nicely done Airfix MiG-15.

NASA Predator.

A Pucara.

RCN Sea Fury.

What is an AScale Canadian show report without a RCAF Spitfire?

An African SU-7.

The Sword T-33 done up in Guatemala markings.

A Testors T-45 Goshawk.

Not often you see a Trans Maldivian Airways Twin Otter at a model show.

A RAF Typhoon.

A nicely done Frog Whitley.

A well done MPM A-20 Havoc.

B-10 diorama.

Even though it was 1/48, this was my favorite model at the show.  It was really well done and I loved the choice of subject and scheme.

P.S.:  In what may come as a shock to many Region 4 show organizers, the model room stayed open during judging.  Oddly, the sky did not fall and the world did not end.  Wake up Region 4 clubs!  It is a model show; closing the model room during judging and keeping your attendees from looking at the models is ridiculous and needs to change immediately. I don't care what bogus arguments you make to justify having to close the room - there is no good reason for doing so and it’s nice to see the west coast clubs being a bit more creative in their thinking.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Sprue Cutters Union #9: When I Paint My Masterpiece

This week's Sprue Cutters Union question is:  What paints do you use?

I don't paint that much, but when I do, I prefer Mr. Color.  These Japanese synthetic lacquers are almost perfect.  Thinned with Mr. Color Leveling Thinner they spray so beautifully that even an airbrushing dunce like me can get a great finish.  They dry fast and rock hard and have a good selection of colours.  So why aren't they perfect?  They are smelly, and they are lacquers, so I'm sure they are quite toxic.

My other favorite is Tamiya's acrylics.  Not as durable as Mr. Color, a primer is almost a necessity, they spray very nicely; though not as smoothly or as easily as Mr. Color.  (Occasionally, they can be temperamental.)  Much more common on hobby shop shelves, Tamiya's one major drawback is its limited selection of military colours.  I delude myself thinking they are less toxic because they are acrylics.  Of course, I use Tamiya Lacquer Thinner to thin them, so, well, ok, maybe I should just stick to the Mr. Colors...

As for brush painting...I haven't found a paint in 2013 that is actually good for brush painting. Some claim Vallejo, which have the added benefit of being non-toxic, but they still need a primer, and I'm not quite sure I've got the hang of them yet, either by brush or in the airbrush...especially the latter.  But more experimenting is in order.

Part of being in the Union means you must include links to fellow contributor's posts within your own response. So here are a few posts from some of the other members:

Mike has many favorites.
The Eternal Wargamer is all about the Citadel acrylics.
Jay likes Vallejo Model Air and Tamiya.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Sprue Cutters Union #8: Living in the Model World

This week's Sprue Cutters Union question is:  How has living in the small scale world influenced your day-to-day view or understanding of the 1:1 world?

There are days I wonder if I am even a modeler at all. I don't finish many kits and, quite honestly, my answer to the above question is not much. Sure, FS 17100 will always mean something to me, but when someone mentions eggplant I will start to wonder what is for dinner. Yes, occasionally, I look out the window at the wing of a jetliner and notice that the panel lines do look shaded and there is weathering there, but my outlook on the world is more influenced by my legal and pilot training. My legal training taught me to question everything and I think my view of the world from the skies has been more influential than anything I've learned from scale modeling. It relates back to a statement I made a few weeks ago that I think I'm more a frustrated pilot and wannabe museum creator and curator than a modeler. I like looking at airplanes, but I like looking at airplanes fly. I'm the guy who wants to see it moving, not taking photos of every little detail.  I'm more interested in the history and machinery than the details.  I yearn for the freedom of flight.

This was brought into focus by a conversion the other day with Kentucky Law Pirate David Knights.  Earlier this week, the Heritage Flight Foundation lined up a bunch of Grumman Cats on their ramp in Everett. I sent David a photo of the planes that I downloaded from Facebook and he said "he would have loved to have been there."  I mentioned that because of the bad weather there was no flying, which was a bummer.

He said, "flying didn't matter to him."

That sounds like the answer of a modeler.  My statement sounds like the answer of a pilot. I build models because I can't own and fly a Hellcat, Spitfire, or Hurricane. They are a little static reminders of the dream. Yes, I like working with my hands and it gives me something to do with my minimal spare time, but if I had the funding I'd give up on 1/72 and go work in 1/1 scale. It seems to me David is actually more interested in 1/72 than 1/1. I guess he is the real modeler...

Part of being in the Union means you must include links to fellow contributor's posts within your own response. So here are a few posts from some of the other members:

David is always on the lookout for modeling help.
Mike works in a little Dylan.
Scale Model Workbench says modeling gives him a greater appreciation of humanity.
Yet another plastic modeller is obsessed.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Flying Heritage Collection Battle of Britain Day

Ok, so they were off by a week and a day.  Ok, the Spitfire was a later model, but it was still totally fun. The Messerschmidt Bf-109E and the Spitfire Vc took to the skies yesterday after a short weather delay to entertain all in attendance.

And what is a post from Paine Field without a Dreamliner?

Friday, September 6, 2013

Sprue Cutters Union #7: My SO

This week's Sprue Cutters Union question is: How does your significant other view your hobby?

She bought me an Italeri Sunderland for Christmas and, after hearing me complain about canopy masking, ordered some masks for my Airfix Zero and had them shipped from the Czech Republic.  What more do I need to say?  She rocks!

Of course, it is more than that.  I appreciate her support.  I appreciate her listening to my struggles with the hobby over the last few years.  I always appreciate her input and opinions on said struggles.  (In fact, my post a few weeks about my new attitude about fun in the hobby is a direct result of some of those discussions.)  I appreciate her assistance in culling the stash to reasonable proportions when I feel it's starting to overwhelm me.  I appreciate her attending the odd model show.  I love that she says things like, "Why don't you have all the modeling guys over to your place?  I'll cook," and actually follows through.  I really appreciate her proof reading all of my modeling essays.  The list goes on and on.

She knows that I enjoy the hobby (though sometimes it doesn't look like it), so she supports my activities in any way she can.  (Although I will admit, she makes odd paint colour suggestions for my kits...  No, baby, the Spitfire will wear the Day Fighter Scheme, not purple polka dots.)  I'm a very blessed man to have such an amazing woman in my life.

Part of being in the Union means you must include links to fellow contributor's posts within your own response. So here are a few posts from some of the other members:

David is the Brad Pitt of modeling.
Mike's wife's Sabre save.
The Eternal Wargamer's Warhammer Widow.
Yet another plastic modeller's supportive girlfriend.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Sprue Cutters Union #6: Not Gonna Do It! Wouldn't Be Prudent!

This week's Sprue Cutters Union question is:  What will never make its way on to your workbench?

I know this is almost heretical among scale modelers, but the answer is easy; anything with a swastika.  While I'm not against Fw-190s or Bf-109s per se - in fact, I plan to build one of each in captured RCAF markings - World War Two Luftwaffe aircraft bother me deeply.  (Not to mention, the Bf-109 may be the most over-modeled subject in the history of plastic scale modeling.)  I don't understand how modelers can build these subjects and not be impacted by the historic mass murder of innocents perpetuated by the Nazis.  What kind of satisfaction do they gain from showcasing this global shame?  (About the only thing creepier than all the Luftwaffe models on contest tables are the reenactors who dress up as Germans.  WTF?)  Sure it is history, but personally, I don't want my display case to provide any memories of an ideology that was responsible for the holocaust.  Not to mention, most non-modelers find it really creepy and odd.  Generally, I don’t care much what others think, but this is one of those times that the general public is right and modelers are missing the bigger picture.

Part of being in the Union means you must include links to fellow contributor's posts within your own response.  So here are a few posts from some of the other members:

Havoc Models doesn't want to work with vacuforms.
Lt. Smash isn't down with eggs.
The Eternal Wargamer is all about the game.
Yet another plastic modeller isn't gonna sculpt.
Scale Model Workbench wants to keep the fixed wing aircraft away.
Build the world with me objects to the scantily clad female figures.
Doogs isn't feeling the airliners or the cars.
Kermit is not amused by the visible cow.
The Migrant is not feeling Tamiya Corsair fever.
Our fearless leaders is not into the ugly.