Monday, July 11, 2011

Bulletin: July 2011


by Bobby B2 Blue Pokorny
June was a busy meeting with a contest and bbq. We clocked in 30 members and 1 guest who brought in 15 models, for a light theme contest.

June Meeting
BAR-BE-QUE NIGHT: Who doesn’t love a BBQ? Our group certainly loves it! Vinny, Don, and Gordon worked the grill and kept the food coming while the rest of the group made quick work of it all. Thanks to the members who contributed to the food. A special thank you to the gents who ran the grill. That’s some hard, HOT work out there!

TWILIGHT ZONE THEME CONTEST: And there it was! We had some gorgeous models on display for the contest. The awards will be presented during the JULY meeting.

IPMS NATIONALS: I am really bad at reporting the shows that we support. I will do better in the future. Last month we voted to sponsor a trophy package for the IPMS Nationals this summer.

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

On the agenda: July
PAPER MODELING CLINIC: We’ve been mystified by the quality of the paper models that Charlie has been bringing in for years. Now with the addition of Tomasz to our fold, it’s a good time to have a clinic hosted by our paper modeling experts on the subject. Bring your notebooks, this will be educational!

TWILIGHT ZONE THEME CONTEST: The contest was last month. The judging took place. The sponsors will be presenting the awards during the July meeting.

Some thoughts on the December theme contest:
We would like to challenge the members to select a Monogram pre-merger (Revell/Monogram) kit of any type, air, sea, armor, auto or anything in their line and build it using some of the techniques you have learned, the skill you have acquired and the material you have collected to build the best representation of the prototype you can. See just how good some of these kits really were.

A chat between Jimmy Maroney, Frank Colucci and myself at the March meeting with regard to some of the models displayed for the ‘my favorite model’ segment led to the idea that maybe we should encourage the members to build some of the ‘older’ kits we built in our youth.

Frank’s Monogram Phantom became the focus of our discussion as Monogram produced some of the first really accurate (outline) and really detailed (variant choices) models available to us in the 60’s. They began to move away from the toy-like features like bomb drops and retracting landing gear and on to cockpit detail and multiple variants.

True they all had raised panel lines and details, but that was the state of the mold-making art at the time. It cost far less to remove small areas of the mold to create the detail than to remove vast areas of the mold to leave the detail behind.

Truth be told, when some of the early models are finished with care and painted with some shading and weathering they are as good visually as any kit today. It is only under close scrutiny that their age becomes apparent and the way the detail is depicted becomes evident.

We would like to exclude kits from molds after the merger with Revell and any kits from 3rd party molds acquired by Monogram. We would also ask that you limit the aftermarket ‘stuff’ to a minimum. Why put $40.00 worth of PE on a $5.00 kit. Use your parts box and take a shot at scratching some extra detail.

If you have any doubts about a particular mold call one of the sponsors (or email) and we will do a little research and let you know. Frank C., Frank T. Rich B. and Jimmy M.

To sum up – will these kits build into models that will compete at the contest level – probably not without a lot of work – but considering what they can be had for in $$, when compared to the TamyGawa or limited run kits go for, they can be built into very respectable likenesses of the prototypes. There seems to be a pre-conceived notion that these older kits are not worth building – that notion is BS. The majority of us don’t build for the ‘CONS’ so give it a try.
~Rich Berner

Some thoughts on building older kits:
In any type of hobby or pastime, as with anything humans can conceive of as an activity, there are levels of involvement. It usually starts with an interest and progresses to participation, then to a passion and finally to an obsession.

For most of my life I have been fascinated with things that go fast. First it was soap box derby cars and while my dad was alive, speed related control line model airplanes. Then came bicycles (banked track @ Kessina Park). Go karts were next, then in college USAC sprint cars in Oswego, NY.

After I graduated and got married, my wife put her foot down, so I took a step back to stock class drag racing. I also ran a modified Volkswagen, my wife thought how fast can a Volks go? 10 seconds at 120 plus. Let’s not tell her.

As kids came along and money got tighter, I used the cars to go to the market and got involved with fledgling R/C airplane racing and that has continued on and off till this day. Now the bleeding edge is getting too sharp as engines top $600.00 per copy and the airframes top $1000.00. (not including radio equip., batteries or fuel not to mention travel and lodging) So once again I look to static modeling to decompress.

Each time I move back from the 200 mph toys and re-enter the world where the toys don’t move unless thrown, I am impressed with the mold maker’s skills and the subjects presented and most of all the level of detail included.

The thing that troubles me though is the rising cost of the gems we purchase and I ask myself are they that much better than what came before and does that make the preceding kits inferior?

It troubles me that a kit that 5 years ago was ‘bleeding edge’ is now relegated to the ‘swap meet table’. Is it really that bad??

While the detail on the newer kits may be more refined than an older kit of the same subject does that mean the older kit is not worth building? If you can’t, or won’t, spring for the newer kit and have the older kit don’t hesitate to build it using your skills to make it the best it can be.

Several years ago one of our members purchased the then new Accurate Miniatures SBD Dauntless. He had a Hasegawa SBD with the PE dive brake detail. He sold it to me for a fraction of what he paid for it because it ‘wasn’t as good as the AM kit’. Not being the proud sort I have started it and should have it done for the 4th Qtr. Contest.

The question I have is, without close scrutiny, when I’m finished, will you be able to tell which kit it came from – will it not be recognized as an SBD and will the quality of the Hasegawa kit not show through?

We build models and show them to our colleagues because we wish to do something that not everybody is motivated to do, to create something that will be appreciated by like minded folks and to satisfy ourselves with the sense of accomplishment in finishing the project.
Let’s try to put the concept of newer being superior and older being inferior behind us and simply recognize the concept of different. Build it because you want an example of it in your collection. Build it for the reason you bought it in the first place, because you liked it or it inspired you.

Let’s build some of the older kits and make them as good as our skills will allow and show everybody how good a $10.00 ‘swap meet special’ can look on our display tables without feeling we need to apologize because it ain’t the latest and greatest.

Maybe we might consider an annual theme contest where the members pick a kit – any subject – where the original mold is let’s say 25 or 30 years old and see what can be created.

Thus ends the sermon for today.

~Rich Berner

The next meeting will be:
July 15, 2011
Same Time!
Same Place!

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