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Sunday, March 12, 2017

SPOTLIGHT MODELER: RUSS HOLCOMB



BPMS MEMBER INTERVIEWS: Frank continues the interview column. This month we have long-time member and Membership Director Russ Holcomb.  
 


BPMS Interview -- Russ Holcomb

Russ Holcomb retired from a 40-year career in civil engineering with a sizeable stash of model kits. He explained, “I figured, ‘I’ll build when I’m retired,’ Now that I’ve retired, I see how big a job I’ve given myself.” Scale modeling and engineering have always gone hand-in-hand for the Brooklyn native. “I was in construction management for a while and also did design work. I don’t know if engineering helped my modeling or if modeling helped my engineering in terms of visualizing plans and how things went together. It was complementary.”



Russ grew up near Marine Park and first took notice of plastic modeling when his older brother Jack assembled the Lindberg Space Station. When he was seven or eight, Russ made his own first project, Precision Hobby Kit's U.S. Navy Frogman. “I wasn’t hampered by references, so I painted it very quickly.” Kits were plentiful when his parents introduced him to Thrift Town on Nostrand Avenue. “When I figured out where it was and I could get there on my own, that was a big deal.”



Russ’ modeling interests centered on armor, and as a teenager he learned of a new Brooklyn model club from Walt’s Hobbies in Bay Ridge. “They were offering discounts if you were a club member, so I went to some of the meetings at the Clotheshorse on Kings Highway,” he recalled. “It didn’t click for me then, but I kept building.” Years later, a Brooklyn Plastic Modelers Society display at Floyd Bennet Field led Russ to a long-lasting membership including two terms as BPMS president.



Russ builds in his basement work area. “You don’t have windows to see if it’s raining or sunny, but it’s out of the way and you can come back later and pick up where you left off.” His wife Jeanne suggested rolling carts for kit storage. “Aircraft are here. Ships are here. Armor is here and here, and here and here. . .”



One of Russ’ favorite kits to build in the last five years was Tamiya’s Char B1-bis tank. “That one stands out in my mind as well-engineered. Everything just sort of clicked into place.” He is cautiously optimistic about the future of the hobby. “The positive side is that kids are building Legos and things like that. I think that kids who are interested in putting things together would build models if they were aware models were out there.  The negative side is models are just so expensive now, and many are so complicated, they don’t lend themselves to younger builders.



“There was a satisfaction you got as a kid when you could build something in an evening. You put decals on it and you were happy. You get older, and you say ‘I can improve this and improve that.’ You slow yourself down and lose some of the joy you used to have when you built something for the fun of building it. “

~Frank Colucci

Friday, March 10, 2017

BULLETIN: March 2017



BPMS Bulletin



by Bobby B2 Blue Pokorny



This year has been moving along nicely. The  February meeting had 25 members and no guests who brought in 30 models for display, and plenty up for sale.



February Meeting



Contest NIGHT: This was the first quarter of the BPMS Annual contest. We had an impressive display of talent on the tables. We’d love to see even more for the second quarter!



SHOW US YOUR TOOL: This vulgar sounding activity is more of a simple BPMS tradition. Once a year we ask members to come to the meeting prepared with a tool or method they like to use to make their model building life easier. We had a hand full of members who shared some good ideas with the group. 



2017 Model Pledge: Looks like we got this working nicely now! Bring in an unbuilt model between January and APRIL 2017 to declare as your pledge model. Please have it finished for OCTOBER 2017, for a display. After October you may bring back your pledge for the November meeting for the last contest of the year. For your efforts you get an additional FIVE Super Raffle tickets for completing your pledge! Sweet! Easy enough! We already have about one third of the active members signed up. Won’t you join the fun?



MAY MEETING CONFLICT: There will be an issue with our meeting place in May. We can have the BBSC any night EXCEPT our usual night. The group selected MAY 12. You might want to mark it on your calendar now!



JUNE THEME: It’s been settled, Vinny Rosati and your humble narrator chose to sponsor a STAR WARS theme contest. More details HERE.  



raffle: We had another raffle with a remarkable assortment of prizes. The club is always looking for donations for these activities.



On the agenda: MARCH



DECAL SWAP NIGHT: Bring in decals to swap or sell. You may want to bring some money just in case. You never know if that sheet that you always wanted might show up!



FAVORITE MODEL: We all have a favorite model. Over the years it might change, or remain the same. We are asking you to bring your favorite model, built or unbuilt, and be prepared to tell the group why it’s your favorite.  



PHOTO ROSTER: It looks like Russ and Gordon are going to take a crack at this. Gordon will start taking pics of members at the next meeting, so you might want to comb your hair that day! 

Meeting Date:
March 17, 2017

SAME TIME,
SAMEPLACE!

Friday, February 10, 2017

BULLETIN: February 2017


BPMS 
Bulletin
by Bobby B2 Blue Pokorny

The January meeting was an impressive way to kick off a new year with the BPMS. The weather was warm for January, so we had 25 members and two guests who brought in 30 models for display, and plenty up for sale. 

January Meeting 

NEW REGIME: Our new Prez Joe Bergman and Veep Bob Epley presided over a very organized meeting for their first time up at bat. Well done, gents! 

2017 Model Pledge: Looks like we got this working nicely now! Bring in an unbuilt model between January and APRIL 2017 to declare as your pledge model. Please have it finished for OCTOBER 2017, for a display. After October you may bring back your pledge for the November meeting for the last contest of the year. For your efforts you get an additional FIVE Super Raffle tickets for completing your pledge! Sweet! Easy enough! We already have about one third of the active members signed up. Won’t you join the fun? 

KIT SALE: I think we might’ve had one of the biggest kits sales in a long time. There were tons of kits finding new homes during the meeting. Well done! 

MAY MEETING CONFLICT: There will be an issue with our meeting place in May. We can have the BBSC any night EXCEPT our usual night. Please have a look at your schedule so we can choose a different night for that month. 

JUNE THEME: While the group was mulling over ideas for the June Theme contest, Vinny Rosati and your humble narrator swooped in to sponsor STAR WARS theme contest. We have had theme science fiction theme contests in the past, but never one this specific. More details HERE

TROPHY PACKAGE: The group voted to sponsor a trophy package for the LISMS show REPLICON 28, Saturday, March 25, 2017. More details HERE.

RAFFLE: We had another raffle with an impressive assortment of prizes. The club is always looking for donations for these activities. 

On the agenda: FEBRUARY 

CONTEST NIGHT: This is the first quarter of the BPMS Annual contest. Feel free to bring in any model that hasn’t already been in a quarterly contest, and you are encouraged to bring in your entries from the last theme contest! 

SHOW US YOUR TOOL: This vulgar sounding activity is more of a simple BPMS tradition. Once a year we ask members to come to the meeting prepared with a tool or method they like to use to make their model building life easier. It could be a new product, something you made yourself, or a different way of tackling a problem. It’s up to you. Please be prepared to tell the group a couple words about what you have. 

PHOTO ROSTER: It looks like Russ and Gordon are going to take a crack at this. Gordon will start taking pics of members at the next meeting.

Meeting date:
February 17, 2017

Same time,
Same place!

Friday, February 03, 2017

Meet our Chapter Contact, Frank Colucci!


BPMS MEMBER INTERVIEWS: Starting this month the club will be treated to interviews prepared by a REAL journalist! Our IPMS Chapter Contact, and senior member FRANK COLUCCI will be interviewing members while I’m buried in tax returns at work. He’ll start with an intimate interview with himself! [~B2]


Introducing Frank Colucci 

BPMS Chapter Contact Frank Colucci has been building models since around 1960. “My father bought me some of the early Lindberg, Aurora, and Revell jets and a couple of the Strombecker space kits. It turns out he gave me a lifelong hobby and steered me toward a career.” As a professional aerospace and defense writer for the last 35 years, Frank has published technical articles in the American Helicopter Society magazine and many other industry publications. “My work centers on helicopters, but my modeling interests are still pretty much jets.” 

F-104 Starfighters, F-100 Super Sabres, and F-4 Phantoms are still at the top of Frank’s modeling favorites. “I finished another ESCI ‘104 last year in Canadian Cold War camouflage, and I’ve got an Italeri F-100D in the works to stick on a resin Zero Length Launch rocket booster. I’m drawn to build something by the history behind it. You learn an awful lot about world conflicts, politics, and aerospace technology just by building plastic model airplanes.” 

Frank grew up on Ocean Avenue and walked to PS-152, Hudde Junior High, Midwood High School, and Brooklyn College. The old neighborhood had Thrift Town on Nostrand Avenue, the Avenue S hobby shop, and discount stores on Kings Highway, Flatbush Avenue, and Mill Avenue, all with aisles full of plastic. “All the toy and hobby stores that sold models when we were growing up are gone, and today’s retailers such as Hobby Lobby barely bother with plastic. My wife can testify that the Internet is great for filling my basement with kits, but I miss browsing in stores.” 

Frank joined the Brooklyn Plastic Modelers Society in 1974 when the club met at Marcy Photo Studio on New Utrecht Avenue. “Joe Turner invited me to the Club when he was working at the Avenue S hobby shop. That one invitation gave me some of my closest friends, and it gave me something to do every third-Friday-of-the-month for 40 years. I learned modeling and airbrushing at the Club. If the BPMS wasn’t so worthwhile, no way would I drive in from New Jersey. We’ve got a very easy-going bunch of people in terms of modeling tastes and temperament. That’s why we’ve lasted so long.” 

Frank builds and enjoys the variety of combat aircraft available in all scales from 1/144 to 1/32 but still likes some of the older, simpler kits like the later Monogram jets. “I’m glad we have the accuracy, fit, and detail we do today, but some kits are too complicated to build for fun. I rarely use resin and photo-etch. I want to build an airplane and paint it in historic markings, not spend hours on wheel wells.” 


~Frank Colucci

Monday, January 23, 2017

June 2017 Theme: STAR WARS 40th Anniversary


 
STAR WARS 
40th Anniversary Theme Contest 

To commemorate the 40th anniversary of STAR WARS, Vinny Rosati and your humble narrator invite you to build anything that came from a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away… 

With the recent return of the STAR WARS franchise has also come a plethora of goodies for a model builder to enjoy. Additionally, over the years, many of us have added STAR WARS models to our stacks. There is no better time to get something built just in time for the 40th anniversary of the premiere of the original movie that came out on May 25, 1977. 

Build something old or new, the only requirement is that it has to be from the STAR WARS universe.

Feel free to contact the sponsors with any questions or concerns. 

Sponsors: Vincent Rosati & Bobby Pokorny

A list of the BPMS Theme Contests over the years

1997 – Science Fiction
1998 – Israel
1998 – To the Rescue
1999 – Conceptual
2000 – On Patrol
2000 – The Marines
2001 – Humor
2001 – Diorama
2002 – Space
2002 – “Old Model”
2003 – Things With Teeth
2003 - A Moment in Time
2004 – Adversaries
2004 – US Military
2005 - In the Movies
2005 - Cats
2006 – Worn, Weathered, and Working
2006 – Star Wars / Star Trek Anniversaries
2007 – Vintage 1965
2007 – We Mean Business
2008 – Warsaw Pact
2008 – NASA
2009 – A Mad, Mad, Mad Theme Contest
2009 – Size Matters
2010 – Naval Aviation
2010 – Things That Sting
2011 – Monogram
2011 – The Twilight Zone
2012 – That 70s Theme
2012 – End of the World
2013 - Television

2013 - Sloppy Seconds 
2014 - Asian Invasion 
2014 - Western European Tour 1944 - 1945 
2015 - Modeling With the Stars 
2015 - New Kids on the Block 
2016 - Basic Black
2016 - Island Hopping 
2017 - Star Wars 40th Anniversary 

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Schedule of Events 2017



Schedule of Events
  • January - Kit Sale / Declare Pledges
  • February - Show Us Your Tool / Contest Night 1Q17
  • March - Decal Swap Night / Fav Model
  • April - Work In Progress Night
  • May - Parts Box Night / Contest Night 2Q17
  • June - Theme Contest / BBQ Night
  • July - Basic Skills Clinic: Seam Filling
  • August - Pizza Night / Contest Night 3Q2017
  • September - Hobby on a budget clinic
  • October - Nominations / Pledge Model Night
  • November - Contest Night 4Q17 / Super Raffle
  • December - Peaceful Plastic Theme Contest / Holiday Desserts

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

BULLETIN: January 2017


BPMS
Bulletin
by Bobby B2 Blue Pokorny 

Welcome to 2017! We hope you had a happy, healthy and a safe Holiday Season. 2016 ended in a splendid manner. The Holiday Luncheon went well. The theme contest had a dozen and a half entries. Plenty of tasty treats and cheer to go ‘round! 

December Meeting 

ISLAND HOPPING: It finally happened and we have some gorgeous work on the tables.
  • 1st Charlie Nelson N1K2-J “George”
  • 2nd Tim the Enchanter M4A2 Sherman
  • 3rd Ray Whitton L3M “Nell”
HM 
  • Frank Colucci N1K2 “George”
  • Joe Bergman LVTA-2
  • Kosta Lukyanov Soviet Pacific Fleet Marine
Special Awards
  • US Marines Joe Bergman M4A2 Sherman
  • US Navy Charlie Nelson FM-1 Wildcat
  • US Army Tim the Enchanter M3 75mm
  • Japanese Army Charlie Nelson Ki-84 “Frank”
  • Japanese Navy Russ Holcomb I-400 Submarine
The winners of first, second, and third places got models made by long-time member John Irwin who passed away in 2016. We’d like to thank Elizabeth Irwin for making those donations. We’d also like to thank the sponsors – Gordon Cheung, Jeff Eng, and Ray Keegan – for sponsoring a fun theme to build for. 

AWARDS CEREMONY: The group voted and I tallied the numbers all year. Here are the results: 

Air
  • 1st Charlie Nelson
  • 2nd Frank Colucci
  • 3rd Joe Bergman
  • HM Angelo Takos, Don Illjes, Kosta Lukyanov
Armor
  • 1st Tim Greeman
  • 2nd Russ Holcomb
  • 3rd Howell Serkin
  • HM Joe Barrett, Kevin App, Ed Johnson
Figures
  • 1st Joe Bergman
  • 2nd Tim Greeman
  • 3rd Ed Johnson
  • HM Angelo Takos
Sea
  • 1st Charlie Nelson
  • 2nd Russ Holcomb
  • 3rd Kosta Lukyanov
Science Fiction
  • 1st Tim Greeman
  • 2nd Bobby Pokorny
  • 3rd Ed Johnson
  • HM Angelo Takos, Joe Bergman, Israel Alvarado
Miscellaneous
  • 1st Bob Epley
  • 2nd Ed Johnson
  • 3rd Ray Keegan
  • HM Joe Bergman, Angelo Takos, Joe Barrett
Most Popular 
  • 1st Qtr Israel Alvarado, Bob Epley, Ed Johnson 
  • 2nd Qtr Frank Colucci 
  • 3rd Qtr Charlie Nelson 
  • 4th Qtr Charlie Nelson 

Frank Tripoli Memorial 
TOP GUN AWARD 
Charlie Nelson 

Great work! Now the slates are clean and time to start a new year! 

NEW MEMBER: Mark Mullen came to three meetings and showed us a WIP so we voted him in. Welcome! 

HOLIDAY DESSERTS: Thanks to everyone who brought in some goodies, and there was plenty!

HOLIDAY LUNCHEON: The weather was nice and warm and we had one of our largest groups ever!

RAFFLE: We had a kit sale and a raffle during the meeting. It’ll probably go the same way for the foreseeable future. 

On the agenda: JANUARY 

2017 Model Pledge: Looks like we got this working nicely now! Bring in an unbuilt model between January and APRIL 2017 to declare as your pledge model. Please have it finished for OCTOBER 2017, for a display. After October you may bring back your pledge for the November meeting for the last contest of the year. For your efforts you get an additional FIVE Super Raffle tickets for completing your pledge! Sweet! Easy enough! 

KIT SALE: Bring kits to sell and cash to buy with. There’s no tab at this bar! 

JUNE THEME: We don’t have a commitment for the June 2017 theme contest. Some ideas being kicked around right now would be: Sci-Fi: Star Wars 40th Anniversary, The Seven Day War 50th Anniversary, The Cold War, and The Aurora Years. If you have interest in being a sponsor for any of these, please speak with an officer. 

PHOTO ROSTER: It looks like Russ and Gordon are going to take a crack at this. Gordon will start taking pics of members at the next meeting, so you might want to comb your hair that day!

Meeting date:
January 20, 2017

Same time,
Same place!

See you at the BBSC!

Kit Review – The 1/72 Scale Mirage F1CE/CH Spain & Morocco by Frank Colucci


 
With its high swept wings, big tail fin, and pointy nose, the Dassault Mirage F.1 looks like every kid’s dream jet fighter. Airfix, Heller, Hasegawa, and ESCI all released 1/72 scale models with good and not-so-good points. However, the new Special Hobby kit is a jet modeler’s dream come true – it looks accurate and fits pretty well, and it’s packed with extra pieces for different versions of the swept-wing Mirage. 

All the options mean you have to be careful about what parts, weapons, and decals you want on your model. French Mirage F.1CRs with camera bulges did double-duty as recon airplanes and bombers from Operation Desert Storm to Mali, and F1C fighters became F.1CT smart bombers with laser designators. The Mirage F1 has been exported to 14 countries and scored air-to-air kills for Ecuador and South Africa. An Iraqi Mirage F.1EQ-5 hit USS Stark with an Exocet missile during the Tanker War in the Persian Gulf, and Iran co-opted Iraqi aircraft running from Desert Storm. The new Libyan government is still flying Mirage F1EDs, and Argentina is just now getting a dozen retired French aircraft to replenish its fighter fleet. 

The Special Hobby Kit comes in three versions – a single-seater with Spanish and Moroccan decals, a single-seater with Greek commemorative markings, and a two-seater with French and Spanish markings. The decals look great, and there are loads of aftermarket sheets for other countries. I started on the Moroccan F.1CH because those aircraft had a combat history and desert camouflage. The kit also contains neat resin flare dispensers scabbed on Moroccan Mirage F1s to defeat shoulder-fired missiles. 

Unlike the Hasegawa, Heller, and Airfix Mirage F1s, the Special Hobby kit has neatly engraved panel lines and a nicely furnished cockpit. Special Hobby instructions call out part numbers for the correct instrument panels and (excellent) ejection seats. Again called out by part number and paint job, you get three nose halves to build an aircraft with or without an air-refueling probe. 

The two-part fuselage mates with the nose and tailpipe pretty well. The bottom wing plugs have to be sanded to fit flush, but the wings and tail have big locating tabs to line things up properly. The kit has three vertical tails, one with a probe seen on regular Mirage F1Cs and most export aircraft, one with a radar warning box for French F1CR/CTs and modernized Moroccan aircraft, and one plain tail for purposes undetermined. The parts fit without heavy filing or shimming, but I still smeared and sanded Gunze Sanyo Mr. Surfacer on most seams. The air intakes fit really well, but the clear searchlight plugs on each intake cheek needed some sanding to make them sit flush. 

The stalky, complicated Mirage F1 landing gear wasn’t difficult to install, but you do need to be careful about locating the legs properly. There are some tiny rods that have to be placed carefully. Unlike most previous Mirage F1 kits, you can hang all the gear doors open the way parked aircraft sometimes sit for maintenance. Again, lots of little locating nubs and pins help you get things to line up. 

Ordnance is interesting. You get two wing tanks with long pylons for tanks or bombs, a centerline pylon for three recon pods used by French Mirage F1CRs (Moroccan airplanes use a different pod developed in-country.). The kit has American Sidewinder, French Magic, and South African Kukri missiles on wingtip rails, and big Super R530s with dedicated underwing pylons. Also in the mix are American GBU-12 laser guided bombs to replace the wing tanks and French flare and jammer pods on outboard underwing pylons. For some reason, the kit includes resin underwing pylons in addition to the plastic ones for the pods. I don’t see the resin advantage for flat shapes like pylons or launch rails, but the option is there. More sensible, Special Hobby also offers you resin radar seats and other parts for purchase separately. 

Really nice and essential in this kit are the color instructions that call out the different parts for the different versions and camouflage schemes. The Spanish aircraft are Mirage blue or desert camo. The Moroccan airplanes are desert camo with and without air refueling probes, as called out in the assembly and decal guide. The camera and laser parts are there for French Mirage F1CRs and F1CTs if you have the aftermarket decals. 

All-together, the Special Hobby Mirage F1 sure looks like the handsome real thing. About the only thing missing that would let you build any Mirage F1 is the shorter nose on South African AZ and Libyan AD attack versions and the extended vertical tail seen on Libyan and some Iraqi airplanes. The kit also lacks the humongous belly tank included in the Heller F1CR re-issue. I expect Special Hobby will include those pieces in future issues, and I’ll be happy to buy them. 

~Frank Colucci

Thursday, December 08, 2016

Bulletin: December 2016


BPMS Bulletin 
by Bobby B2 Blue Pokorny

November was an excellent meeting. We had 24 members and one guest (Mark) who brought in 16 models, most of which were the contest. 

November Meeting 

Contest night – 4th Qtr 2015: This was the final installment of the quarterly BPMS Annual Contest. Now it’s my turn to crunch the numbers and see who we voted for in 2016. 

Super Raffle: This is the reason why you must fill out your paperwork at each meeting. For every new model you brought in over the course of the year you got ONE SUPER RAFFLE TICKET. We had around 225 tickets in for the year. Nice job! Can we beat that in 2017? Also, thank you to everyone who made donations! 

HOLIDAY DINNER: At the time I am writing this it has yet to occur, but historically it’s always been a blast. Nora’s always has good food and mix that with good friends and it’s an equation for a good time! 

RAFFLE: We did NOT have a regular raffle during the meeting. It’ll probably return in December. 

On the agenda: DECEMBER 

ISLAND HOPPING: It’s finally upon us! The final theme contest of 2016! Find details HERE

HOLIDAY DESSERTS: ‘Tis the season! Why not close out the year with your BPMS buddies and some tasty treats? You are cordially invited to bring some sort of dessert or snack or treat to this meeting. Thanks in advance! 

AWARDS CEREMONY: At the time this is being written, I have the numbers crunched. Hopefully I’ll have the awards printed out in time so we can see who the winners are for 2017

* * * 
You can find meeting pics either at the Club Website or on the Photo-Blog: http://gmobile17.blogspot.com/

Meeting date:

DECEMBER 16, 2016
SAME TIME,
SAME PLACE!!!
 

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Meet your Vice-Prez Elect, Bob Epley!


BPMS MEMBER INTERVIEWS: We continue this month with our Vice-President Elect, Bob Epley...



Meet Bob Epley: Representing the Lower East Side, our incoming Vice President BOB EPLEY is a 58 year old residential architect. 

Growing up in Oregon, Bob was first exposed to the hobby of modeling in grade school. Classmates and their older brothers were already building models. So Bob took a stab at it with a mid-60s kit of a Ford Thunderbird by AMT that included a stick on vinyl top. From there he’d build about anything he could get his hands on. In those early years he picked up skills through trial and error and via advice from friends. As he got older he picked up tips and tricks from the guys at the local hobby shop. Like many in the hobby, his building slowed down by the end of high school. 

After taking time to attend the University of Oregon and Cornell University, Bob spent some time restoring antique cars, mostly Hudsons and Packards from the 50s. 

After a 20 year break from models, Bob picked it up again when he moved to New York. He converted a coat closet into a small work space with a desk and shelves. When comes time to airbrush, he has to set up his spray booth in the kitchen, which is time consuming. As a result spraying occurs about once per month. In 2008 his wife told him about a local model club that she found on the internet and suggested attending a meeting. That was when Bob got to meet the BPMS. Thanks to the club and online videos, Bob was able to learn more and enhance his hobby skills. 

Nowadays Bob builds just about any type of kit except for ships. While he doesn’t have a favorite model, Bob enjoys the challenges each kit presents. He doesn’t have any models that he’s really looking forward to getting, he’s happy whittling down his stash at home. 

Bob believes the hobby is doing well in Japan and most of Europe. “I can’t keep up with the huge number of kits and supplies being introduced every month,” Bob says. He believes that modelers are entering the hobby at a later time in their lives. He also agrees with two stark realities of the hobby today: Not many kids build models anymore and that the independent local hobby shop is a thing of the past. 
~B2

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Holiday Luncheon - 12/3/16 @ Noon

Holiday Luncheon: Okay, the details have been finalized. We will meet at:
Nora’s Park Bench CafĂ©
3019 Quentin Rd
Brooklyn, NY 11234 
718-376-0033 
on Saturday, December 3, 2016 at noon. 
$40 per person. 

We have the room for three hours.