Sunday, May 30, 2021

6/3/21 BPMS Zoom mini meeting report

Fourteen people attended the meeting. Not much in the way of new releases this week. Last week's big story was Squadron. This week it's Kitty Hawk / Panda. Are they closing down? No one knows. Like we said about Squadron, let's see what happens. In progress and completed work : Ar-234, cold war era Phanton FGR-2, Buick Riviera, Chevy Suburban, DM 13 Katyusha, Metal Earth train, and two 1/8 scale automotive pieces, a Shelby Cobra 427 engine (weight - couple of pounds) and James Bonds Aston Martin (weight - 28 pounds). The Ar-234 and the FGR-2 builds led to an interesting discussion of the development history of both aircraft and the changes and unusual measures required to accommodate design modifications. Thanks, Vaughn and Frank. Acquisitions included: Machination Studio's armored walker, the mouse from The March of the Wooden Soldiers (aka Babes in Toyland), Bassist Katarina, Jack Palance as Dracula , Fritz Lang 'ish' Fem-Bot, RQ/MQ- 1 Predator, Russian pilot figures, German WW2 license plates (PE) and Sparmax airbrush. The featured tool was Gil's airbrush maintenance station, a heavy Plexiglas block, drilled to accept one end of a quick disconnect fitting. With the fitting's other end attached to the airbrush, it can be securely mounted to the base for disassembly, cleaning/repair and reassembly. Magnets countersunk into the block prevent metal parts from rolling away. Depressions cut into the block do the same for nonmetallic parts. Pretty neat. The discussion was about finishes. Apparently, we use a variety of products, Dullcote (even if it changes the color of what's being coated), Gunze Flat (even if it's hard to get), Rustall Flat (even if it's from MicroMart), Vallejo Gloss, Flat & Semigloss and a new one , to me at least, Polycrilic Varnish from Minwax. It cleans up with water and it's very thin. Golden Paint makes a matt finish BUT IT HAS TO BE CLEANED UP WITH AMMONIA. Many people recommended overthinning these products which led to questions about airbrush tip sizes and which work best for a specific task. Now that you know all about finishes, join us on 6/10/21 at 8 pm and learn about weathering with pencils. Invites to follow. Hope to see you there.

5/27/21 BPMS Zoom mini meeting report: Featured topic - Alignment

Twelve people attended the meeting. There would have been more if the link in the reminder email worked properly. Sorry for the inconvenience. 

The big news is the apparent return of Squadron. It's supposed to happen soon. Let's see what happens. Two new releases were mentioned, a 1/48 Tempest Mk 2 (radial engine) from Special Hobby and a new 1/35 Kettenkrad (mid production) from Tamiya. 

Completed and in progress work included: Kitty Hawk's 1/32 P-39 Q (a bear to build, according to Vaughn) and Atlantis Models' 1/46 P-39 (a stroll down memory lane, according to Bob), Hobbycraft's Bf-109 E, Hasegawa's MK 9 Continental Spitfire, Ertl's King Tiger, ICM's truck mounted Katyusa, Amusing Hobby's P-1003/1 Wasserflug, Modelcollect's P 1000 Land Battleship, Ar E-581, and a VW Van made into a dragster by some bodywork and the addition of a Allison 12 cylinder engine. ICM's MiG-25 trainer, ModelSvit's Mirage 3E and a set of decals for the V-22 Osprey were the only items acquired this week. 

We got a tip on flattening Dullcoat's finish. Pour off 1/3 of the factory thinner and replace it with lacquer thinner. A discussion of WW2 German flying saucers led to a recommendation to watch military historian Mark Felton's YouTube videos. This week's tool was a drill bit gauge, useful for sizing rods/dowels. Screw gauges are less useful for this. 

If you're looking for places to visit, Vaughn reports the Connecticut Air and Space Center at Bridgeport Airport in Stratford opens on May 29. Mark likes the New England Air Museum in Windsor Locks CT and Frank just got back from the NAS Wildwood Aviation Museum In Cape May NJ. We didn't hear much about armor, ship and car museums. Maybe next time? 

We discussed tools and methods to ensure alignment (that dang Kitty Hawk P-39 Q again). We heard about repurposed tools (foam blocks, square glue bottles, binder clips, rubber bands, tempered glass pane, marble slab), specialty tools (3rd hand, tweezers mounted to a base, 1-2-3 blocks, magnetic welding squares on a steel base plate, machinist bookends) and custom-made jigs (3/8 thick plexiglass with drilled holes to accept Berna Multi Clamps). We also heard tips on assembly (use small lengths of sprue to replace mis-aligned locator pins, glue multi piece fuselage sections together on a flat surface, THEN glue the fuselage halves together - poorly written but you get the idea). 

The next meeting is 6/3/21 at 8 pm. Invites to follow. Hope to see you there. 


Monday, May 24, 2021

5/20/21 meeting report

Thirteen people attended the meeting. Two model pledges were made. This was our first meeting with closed captioning. It was interesting to compare what was said to what appeared on the bottom of the screen. They caught everything and most of it was accurate. Not court stenographer accurate but good enough. 
Several new releases were announced: a 1/35 Jackal from Hobby Boss, a 1/144 B-52 H from Academy AND one from Great Wall. Great Wall also has a B-52 G and Me 323 Gigant (reboxed Pit Road kit?) both in 1/144. 
We saw a lot of in- progress and completed work: FGR2 Phantom in RAF markings, MiG-23 mounted on a stylish, space saving and, let's just say, inexpensive stand, King Tiger, Junkers G-23/24 conversion, DC-4 with aftermarket decals and Bandai's Millennium Falcon with photoetch (from Green Strawbery) and interior lighting (from Gil). Acquisitions included two items from Zvezda, a snap fit Ju-87 B2 and a Soviet MG team, Flying Leathernecks decals and Atlantic's PBY-5A Catalina. 
We saw pictures of Covid builds by Hudson Valley AMPS members at their first in person meeting since the lockdown began. As of now, the Hudson Valley show is on for October, Armorcon is on for September and Mosquitocon for July. 
The discussion topic was keeping dust off wet paint. Don recommended the Boot Box from the Container Store and Frank likes the plastic protectors that come with large cakes. Gil had a different approach, attach the piece to a dowel or chopstick or equivalent, paint it and hang it upside down. He's also used a food dehydrator on models painted with enamels. We closed with more paint related stuff: turning pipe plugs or sanding drums into adjustable holders (good for holding cylinders), inexpensive microbrush source (look for eyelash makeup applicators online), pigments (turning them into paint), pigment pots (another cosmetic item) and Micro Q Tips. 
Next meeting is 5/27/21 at 8 pm. Invites to follow. Hope to see you there. 



Sunday, May 16, 2021

BPMS Zoom Meeting Report: May 13, 2021

The May 13 BPMS Zoom meeting drew 16 people, including the welcome return of Peter K, studying at the Pennsylvania College of Technology in Williamsport, PA. We are still waiting for word about when our Bergen Beach meeting place might re-open, but plans call for Zoom meetings to continue even when live action resumes.

Beginning next month, the BPMS Zoom meeting will be closed-captioned to make sure our hearing- and otherwise-impaired friends can join in. Our virtual meeting organizer Russel H requested the service from Zoom, and a trial run showed the very readable screen text keeps up with English conversation but cannot spell the names of German vehicles.

Industry Informant Lou brought news of a 1/700 scale USS Missouri from Very Fire, a 1/32 scale early-model SPAD S.XIII from Roden, and two 1/72 scale Stryker fighting vehicles from Dragon armed with anti-tank missiles and 40 mm gun. Joe B showed a newly acquired 1/72 scale rail flatcar from T-Model, supplied with a pre-cut photo-etch detail fret. Keven K presented a ¼ scale resin-cast Liz from the Hellboy movies. Vaughan A had a 1/72 scale Piaggio Avanti from AModel.

Vaughan also showed off the attractive improvements he made in an otherwise primitive 1/48 scale Tempest V fighter bomber from ESCI/ERTL. Roger P had his impressively re-painted large-scale Mustang reclaimed from an unnamed toy. Gil presented his beautifully weathered and detailed 1/32 scale Moebius Raptor from the recent Battlestar Gallactica TV series. He also showed off a simple but universally useful tool – inexpensive glass stirring rods with round ends are handy to mix and transfer paint and easy to clean. Vaughan suggested wire twist ties bent into a loop can be precise applicators for one drop of touchy cyanoacrylate glue.

Work In Progress included a 1/48 Phantom FGR.2 being built by Frank C, a 1/72 scale Swordfish and Hurricane underway by Chuck C, and the Sonhorst 1/72 scale land battle cruiser being assembled by Don I. Howell S paused his carpet search for a missing diving plane jettisoned by his 1/350 scale Trafalgar nuclear submarine. Mark N showed off his yet-to-be-painted 1/35 scale Sd Kfz.222 from the Tamiya kit.

Our discussion of modelling trauma included tales of the Great Phantom Fog-Over when a clear finish turned opaque white in high humidity; paint pollution when dog hairs and fingerprints appeared in pristine paintjobs; and self-mutilation when the hobby knives really came out. Don shared his unique memory of a model airplane wing glued to a 50 lb cat. All the disasters were fixed by sandpaper, cutting boards, brush touchups, and fur clippers. BPMS members finally considered a profound question: Why are modelers not born with four hands?

Next Meeting Thursday, May 20. See ya then.


Saturday, May 08, 2021

5/6/21 meeting report

Eighteen people attended the meeting. Twelve of them named their pledge model. Now all they have to do is build it by October and they get 5 extra tickets for the Super Raffle. Pledges, either by email or at a meeting, will be accepted until the end of the month. One new release was reported, Broco's 1/48 MiG 15. In progress and completed work included: Bf-109 D2, Atlas ICBM, (Metal Earth) Locomotive, Dick Tracy (not to be confused with Fearless Fosdick), 62 Pontiac Catalina 421 SD (with nail polish paint job), P-1000 Land Battleship, WW1 cavalrymen, DUKW, and a F-8 Crusader (touching down on a carrier). Acquisitions- a shocking (well, shocking by BPMS standards) difference of opinion on the Minibase Su-33 kit that led to a discussion on parts count, part size, loosing parts, aligning parts and related joys of the hobby. Alpine Miniatures' German WW2 figures, Revell's GMC Big Game Country Pick Up, an inexpensive knockoff airbrush and compressor rounded out the acquisitions. We got a tip on thinning small batches of Mr. Surfacer 1200. In the tool segment, we saw that scratch brushes, with steel, brass or nylon bristles, can be used to remove paint layers for a weathered effect and we saw that some rotary tool wire brushes can do the same thing when mounted on an Xacto type handle. This led to an explanation of the "hairspray" and "salt" weathering techniques. 

Someone asked about hobby shops. A couple of names were mentioned- Rudy's in Astoria, Red Caboose in Manhattan, Brownies on Staten Island, Ridgefield in (where else?) Ridgefield NJ, Willis in Mineola. I'm sure there are a few more. Tell us what's near you, even if it's outside the NYC area. A road trip sounds pretty good about now. The meeting ended with a discussion on continuing zoom meetings once in-person meetings resume. Everyone agreed the virtual meetings are worthwhile and should continue. Presuming in-person meetings are the 3rd Friday of the month, virtual meetings would be the 1st Thursday of the month. We're also looking into ways to use zoom at the in-person meetings. The next meeting is 5/13/21 at 8 pm. FRANK C will send the invites. Hope you can make it. 


Gee, that list makes it look like there are hobby shops all over! As the plague lifts, maybe a road trip is in order. AAA Hobbies in Magnolia NJ is well-stocked.
In response to Glenn's question: hobbylinc.com, spruebrothers.com, kitlinx.com are all well-stock and reputable sources, with reasonable shipping charges.

Stay away from Internet Hobbies and his spin-off sites.

Monday, May 03, 2021

4/29/21 meeting report

Big news, maybe. The mayor announced NYC will be open by July. Does that include the Community Center? Is the Community Center able to give us back out old time slot? If there's light at the end of the tunnel, it's pretty dim at the moment. Anyhow, fifteen people attended the meeting. Some new releases were noted: HK Models' 1/48 scale B-17F and Bandai's 1/12 scale Mandalorian and a smaller scale Razor Crest. The Bandai kits are available in two different finishes. In progress and completed work included: XP-79 Flying Ram, Weserflug P-1003, B&V P-178 (with a camo scheme done in waterproof India ink), Sikorski H-34 (with rotor blade hangers scratch built from glue-soaked laminated paper strips), AMX RC-10, Atlas ICBM, a beat-up Mustang that started life as a $3.00 motorized toy car and the Spirit of Saint Louis. In the tool segment, we saw a homemade parabolic work light made by attaching LED strip lighting to a thin strip of metal, say 3 ' long, anchored in wood blocks, say 2' apart with a power source from MPJA.com. In the walkaround section, we saw two vehicles from the Aberdeen Proving Ground, a M-4 Sherman with coaxial flamethrower and the Elefant. We also saw aircraft displayed at the Dayton's USAF Museum, Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome, New Orleans' National WW2 Museum, the Udvar Hazy Center and several other locations. We are, excuse me, were, a well-travelled group of modelers. But don't travel at 8 pm on May 6. That's our next meeting. Invites to follow. Hope to see you there.