Thursday, July 2, 2009

Switching Gears

Hi Guys,

The older you get, the faster time seems to pass. Hard to believe that its been 4 days since my last entry. At this moment, my son is on the airplane, and they are probably pulling back from the gate on their way to Italy. He will be gone for over 3 weeks, so the last few days have involved a lot of running around in order to get all the last minute details taken care of.

With all this now behind me, the push to get ready for the IPMS Nationals in Columbus will be the focus of my attention. There is a lot to be done, and as always, probably not enough time to do it all. The US and UK Nationals are like the Christmas season for us cottage industry types. We all run around madly, trying to have a bunch of new product ready for sale at the show. The last few weeks usually involve a bunch of overnight marathon sessions. Pale, haggard, and slightly stupefied. That's how I usually am the first day of the show. And the second...

Along with some new decals, the Columbus show will see the return of Cooper Details. For those of you who have never heard of Cooper Details, here's a quick overview to bring you up to speed.

Cooper Details is a brand I created and launched back in 1989 (20 years ago!). CD is a line of resin aftermarket detail sets for aircraft models. The focus was, still is, and will most likely remain, WWII aircraft, with an emphasis on British and German fighters. That is not to say that other eras and genres do not show up from time to time. CD and Medallion Models were pretty much the first ones to release complete resin cockpit upgrade sets. We both officially launched at the 1990 IPMS USA National Convention.

My first cockpit set was for the Spitfire in 1/72nd scale. It has actually started life as a product in 1988, but was not generally available until the company was officially launched at the show. As with most cottage industries, it started out because I wanted it for myself. My plan was to build a complete collection of production Spitfire variants in 1/72nd. Scratchbuilding a new cockpit each time did not make much sense. Making copies was the natural next step, but back in those day, casting in Urethane resin was still new to the hobby. It took months of experimentation to learn how to get decent copies. I the intervening years, resins have greatly improved, and much information is readily available on casting.

More on the history of Cooper Details in the next episode. I will also be featuring a progress report with images on my 1/72 Hasegawa Spitfire HF VII.

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Happy modelling. Roy

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