Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Tales of Telford 2010. Part 2.

The new Airfix Sea Vixen in 1/48th scale Built up on the Airfix trade stand. A very impressive model, and it shows the care in planning and design lavished on it.

Hi Guys.

The problem with a two day show is that there is so much to see and so many people to talk to, there just isn't enough time. It's worse... much worse when you are a vendor. You are torn between the desire to represent your company and talk to all of your customers face to face, and the need to get out and see the competition area, the many amazing club displays, and the other vendors and manufacturers booths.

As I said before, the Spitfire stuff was very popular and sold out early. The new decals garnered a lot of interest, especially the new Mosquito Stencil sheets in 1/72nd and 1/48th. The Sea Vixen book was also popular, especially with the imminent release of the new 1/48 Sea Vixen from Airfix. I am particularly excited about the new Airfix kit, as I had a small part in helping make the kit as accurate as it is. I gave Airfix a copy of my book last year, and they referred to it extensively during the development of the kit, which is all very thrilling to me, in a nerdy kind of way.

I was very impressed with this new kit. It was displayed in sprue form, as an unpainted build up, as well as a fully painted and assembled model at the Airfix stand. Having studied the Sea Vixen for over 20 years, I can tell you it is a very accurate looking kit. I look forward to building one.

The hall was packed with modelers and drop in visitors. There was little sign of the crappy economy at the show. Attendees were there to spend money, and spend they did! Lots of good feedback and suggestions for future products from customers were gratefully accepted and notes taken.

Also helping man the booth is my buddy Ken Kindler from Indianapolis. There were a number of modelers from the US over for the show. Make plans to attend next year. You will not regret it!

Day one of the show started winding down around 5PM. We closed down up the stand and headed back to the hotel to have a couple of beers with some friends. Later, we took a taxi to Beefeaters, a local Steakhouse in Telford. Dinner was good. We had some nice steaks, followed by desert of treacle sponge pudding. A traditional classic, it is sponge cake topped with treacle; a warm brown sweet syrup. Mighty fine. Brought back fond memories of growing up, as my dad was English.

Back to the hotel for more beers, then off to bed to try and combat the jetlag. A very busy and enjoyable day.

Happy modelling! Roy

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Tales of Telford 2010. Part1

A general view of the hall we were in. While you can't see the whole thing, it gives an impression of the size. This room was one of 3. The third hall housed the cafeteria and its many tables, as well as a full scale replica of a Spitfire IX. It was actually a 1:1 scale model of sorts, complete with wonky landing gear attached at a goofy angle.

Hi Guys.

Well, I am home and recovering from the jetlag earned from crossing 8 time zones. It's a long way from Northern California to Telford, England. As you know, my plans for blogging during the show were scuttled by the amazing lack of Wi-Fi during the entire stay. How this can happen in 2010 is hard to fathom. The hotel is next to a gigantic convention center, where businessmen are constantly attending various and sundry trade shows. If this were to happen in the States, there would have been a crapstorm of angry complaints, and it would have been fixed in a matter of hours, no matter the cost. The inability to blog was a minor inconvenience for me, but for others I talked to who had business to conduct, it was a real pain in the ass. I digress.

I arrived on Friday afternoon and met up with my good friend Lee Coll, who often meets me for shows and helps me run the booth. Lee also has done some superb pattern work for Barracuda Studios. He did the lion's share of the work on the Meteor Intakes, the Sea Vixen Intakes, the Bear Props and a number of other products to be released in the near future. If you stopped by the booth at Phoenix or at Telford this year, you have met him. We met around 20 years ago through the now defunct Fleet Air Arm Special Interest Group (USA). We both have a abiding interest in RAN aircraft, especially the postwar stuff, from Sea Furies and Fireflies through Buccaneers and Phantoms, even extending to the Sea Harriers.

We headed over to the hall after checking in to see if the decals from Cartograf had arrived. They were not at the table. Not a good sign. I was told to see Paul Regan of IPMS/UK, who was very helpful (Thanks, Paul!), and gave me the good news that they had pulled them aside and locked them away for safe keeping. The package was collected and we headed back to the room. After a really good dinner with some IPMS Pittsburgh friends at a Chinese restaurant in the nearby town of Shifnal, we came back to the room, and packaged hundreds of decals until about 1:30 in the morning.

Lee Coll, of Baton Rouge helped me run the table for the show, as he has on many occasions in the past. Olga, from Russia, was running the MasterClub Models table next door. She was very nice and shared her special "tea" with us!

Up early Saturday morning for a quick breakfast in the hotel restaurant, then over to the Hall to get set up and ready for the assembled masses. Did not have time to shoot photos of the hall, but I'm sure you can find a good selection online. It's a very large building; well lit and climate controlled, with plenty of space for even this huge show. The doors opened at 9AM for IPMS members, and to the rest of the public at 10PM. Sales were brisk, and the 1/32 Spitfire cockpit sets sold out by early afternoon. I thought I had brought enough product, but obviously not.

Olga's beautiful Samovar. Instead of tea, its contents was a very nice Russian Vodka that had a name I could not pronounce, nor spell with a English Standard keyboard without the use of special keystrokes!
The new decals were well received, and are all available for sale now on the website. See earlier blog posts and the website for more information. Also new (and not yet up on the site, as production packaging has not yet been finished) are 1/48th scale small and large bore Meteor intakes for the Classic Airframe family of Meteor kits. There were released a number of years ago under the Cooper Details brand, but they were not available for long before Cooper Details went into hibernation. They're back! More on these later.

Also debuting at Telford is a new line: BarracudaMasks. The first two releases are both in 1/48th scale.

The first is a set of masks for the Airfix Canberra PR 9, including the canopy and the rest of the transparencies. There are even a couple small masks to be added to the airframe to simulate raised panels missing from the kit.

The second is a set of masks to paint the small, oddly shaped dialectric panel on the spine of the BAC Lightnings. 2 masks are included in the set. A quick and cheap time saver for your next Lightning build.

Enough for now. Part 2 to follow shortly.

Happy modelling! Roy

Monday, November 15, 2010

Post Show Report

Telford 2010. The very talented modeler and fellow cottage industry owner Radu Brinzan stops by the booth to say hello. The social aspect of model shows is one of the most enjoyable parts for me.

Hi guys.

I had the best of intentions regarding blogging every day of the show. The Holiday Inn in Telford, where we stayed,however, had other ideas. The wireless network was down for most of my stay. As a result, it was virtually impossible to post updates.

I am now visiting with my cousin Juliet, who runs a bed and breakfast in Banbury, in Oxfordshire. It is a beautiful part of the country, surrounded by sheep farms. I do not want to tie up her computer for long, so this will be a quick update. I will blog more when I get home.

The good news is that the new decals did arrive at the Convention Center on Friday. Guess what we were doing on Friday night til 1:30? If you guessed packaging decals like crazy, you are correct. The show was huge. Despite the tough economic times, the convention attendees seemed to be spending money, which is a welcome sign to us in the business.

Time to get back to spending time with the family. There is a lot to report on the show. In depth reports will follow later this week.

Happy modelling! Roy

A small taste of the organized chaos seen this year (and most every year to date) at Scale Model World 2010. This was the view from my trade stand, looking out over a sea of happy, slightly inebriated modelers!

I've gotta run. Jet lag has played havoc with my sleep schedule, and I've not slept more that 4.5 hours a day for the last 2 evenings. More soon.

Happy modelling! Roy

Friday, November 12, 2010

Live from the UK!

Hi guys.

I am blogging from Birmingham bus station, waiting for the bus to Telford.

I am here with my good friend Lee Coll, and am using his laptop to post this. The weather is about 50 degrees F and lightly raining. Typical November weather in England at this time of year.

Just a quick posting to say that we have arrived and will be heading over to the Exhibition Centre to start setting up. I will know soon if the news is good regarding the new decals. Cartograf has shipped them to the booth at the hall. If they are there, guess what we will be doing tonight? Yes.... packaging decals! We know how to party.

If you are attending the show. Please be sure to stop by and say hello.

More later.

Happy modelling! Roy

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Last Two New Decal Sheets!

Details, details! This closeup shot shows a number of interesting details. Note lower nose demarcation which most profiles show incorrectly for HL-K. Note high degree of wear and exhaust staining, the tight but soft edges to the uppersurface camo, and the very matt finish usually only seen on weathered desert equipment and dried salt spray covered naval aircraft.

OK, fellow Spit lovers.

A very quick posting to let you know the 1/32nd and 1/48th Spitfire VIII decal sheets are at the printers. They should be done now and hopefully winging their way to me. The delay in printing this sheet, as discussed here in the blog before, has resulted in a more accurate sheet.

I really like this sheet, and can't wait to see it. There are two, possibly three schemes that I will have to build from it. With all my free time....

Anyway, not much new to report on these two sheets, just a heads up that they are coming very soon. Now it's back to work. So much to do before the show.

Next up on the blog: New resin releases.

Happy modelling!


Note the big changes to A58-517 "Hava Go Jo". New information, which usually surfaces when it's too late, resulted in a reworking of this subject. Previously depicted in Dark Green and Light Green camo (interesting, but complete fiction) and more recently in desert colors, but with the Middle Stone overpainted in Foliage Green (also cool looking), new research has shown that this batch of Spitfire VIIIs were delivered in standard Grey/Green camo. Thanks to Peter Malone for sharing his knowledge!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Mosquito Bytes!

The DH Mosquito NF Mk XIII on a daylight low level test hop over the English countryside. Actually a composite that I created in Photoshop featuring my 1/72 Tamiya FB VI converted to the AI MK VIII equipped night fighter

Hi Guys,

Mosquito bytes... get it? Another devastatingly clever title...as in electronic memory assigned to hold information on the wooden wonder. Ok, it
is lame, but there is a payoff for suffering through it. Here is the next announcement of new product to be debuted at the Scale Modelworld 2010 on November 13th and 14th.

Mosquito stencils in 1/72nd and 1/48th scales.

Big deal, right? Well, the truth is, the kit stencils are pretty thick. No aftermarket decal sheet for the Mosquito I know of includes a full stencil suite on it. Not only that, but our sheet features an all new decal for the instrument panel that is more detailed and accurate. Placards and stencils for the TR1154 and 1155 radios, as well as the cockpit sidewalls are also included, a first in these scales. As a final touch, there is a selection of very small white stencils for use on various boxes and panels in the cockpit. Cockpit stencils are designed to fit the Tamiya Mossies, but will most likely work with any reasonably accurate kit as well.

Some external stencils are provided in both black and a proper dull red, which color used depending on the scheme carried on the aircraft to be modelled. Printed by Cartograf in Italy, the decals are thin, sharply reproduced with good color density, and features a bare minimum of clear carrier film.

Not the most thrilling decal sheet ever produced, but one that every Mosquito builder should have at least a couple examples of in his stash!

Finally, a really good set of stencils for all Mosquito variants in both 72nd and 48th scales.

As stated in other recent blog posts, these new decal sheets are NOT available yet. This is a pre-release announcement. They will be available for sale on the 13th in Telford, and on the website shortly afterward. I will post here to let you know when the sheets are available for pre-order on the website.

Happy modelling, and hope to see you at SMW 2010!