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The Eagle's View

by Mike Blohm, ASM President

 

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December Article:

Supersonic - Election Results - and End of Year Festivities

I have a couple of items to cover, but first I want to thank everybody who stood for election and re-election to the 2018 ASM Executive Board, and all who participated (voted) in the election.  We had a good turnout and things went very smoothly.  Congratulations to the following in these positions in 2018: Josh Pals as Vice President; John Tate as Contest Director, and Jack Garriss, Keith Liotta, and Chris Kurtze as Pro Tems.  Please let the E-Board folks know if you have any suggestions to make the election process and advertising (newsletter and website) better.  The same goes if you have any suggestions for what you would like to see the club do in 2018 - clinics, model shows, presentations, field trips, etc.  There will be some discussion on the 2018 contest schedule at the December 1st meeting, so do some brainstorming on that. 

            

Pictures above left to right: Bell X-1 in-flight; Chuck Yeager and X-1, named "Glamorous Glennis" after his wife,
as were his World War II P-51s;  and X-1 hanging at National Air & Space Museum

Speaking of the December meeting, that night is the "Supersonic" Special Contest.  We just passed the 70th anniversary of the first official supersonic flight on October 14, 1947.  Most modelers know about Chuck Yeager "breaking the sound barrier" in the rocket engine-powered Bell X-1 aircraft - with a shape that resembled a Browning 0.50 caliber machine gun bullet - so I won't delve into the history behind that event.  I was asked by one of the members to talk a bit about what it's like to actually "go supersonic."  So here is a little bit about my experiences.  When you are supersonic, there is really no change in what things look like unless you have something with which to judge your relative velocity.  If you are near clouds or pass close to somebody else, say in a head-on pass where you are both supersonic, then you can really tell that you're smokin' through the sky.  Going that fast shortens your decision-making time and reactions become more critical.  How fast you need to go to break Mach 1 depends upon altitude, temperature, air density, etc.  Typically it is about 768 mph (660 knots) at sea level and around 678 mph (590 knots) at 30,000 feet.  We typically went around Mach 1.5 during our air-to-air missions.  The F-4 Phantom II has vari-ramps in the rearward half of the intake splitter plates that are supposed to control the velocity of the air flow coming into the engine.  They rarely deploy, but when they do...  The first time I experienced that really got my attention - a huge "thump" and then a howling sound that you could hear through the canopy.  They were right in front of where I was sitting.  

 There was one time we had engaged some F-15 Eagles and were separating away from the fight - "unloaded" (zero G - which is an interesting experience in itself) going full blower in a slight dive, and I checked our airspeed.  We were at 760 knots calibrated, which is one of our limits where things start melting.  I glanced over at my true airspeed dial, which I believe said 1,200 knots.  I didn't normally check speeds, as I had a lot of other things to do like checking six and tracking everybody with the radar, but that might have been the fastest I ever went during a real mission.  In the debrief the Eagle driver showed us his tape, which showed us rapidly walking away from him, out of range with no shot at us.  The Phantom was advertised as a Mach 2 fighter, but we rarely got there.  The couple of times that I know that I did were during functional check flights where we got really high and really fast to check out the jet and all the systems after major maintenance actions; and also when we were executing snap-up attacks against high-flying drones simulating MiG-25 Foxbats.  In one of those missions, I can remember being nervous about not touching the canopy when we were going about Mach 2.1 because there was no air out there.  We were above 50,000 feet in a climbing glide and the sky was really dark blue and you could see a bit of a curve on the horizon.  A "clean" Phantom (no tanks) can haul when it has to.  But I digress.  So to sum up: when you go supersonic the stars, or clouds, all go to streaks and you get a thunderclap, and that's really cool.  Just kidding (but it's true!). 

December 1st is also the "2017 ASM Model of the Year Showdown" Contest.  All the 2017 Best of Show winners from all the Theme (points) and Special (non-points) Contests in the four modeling divisions are eligible to compete.  You do not have to be at the meeting, but your model does.  See the "Model of the Year" webpage for a listing of all the contenders, posted by month.  There are 28 models shown - let's make sure all 28 are there on December 1st.  Of note, winners from the "Supersonic" Special Contest are also eligible.  Be there - aloha - no deals!  John Dodd is doing a diorama building modeling clinic, so you do not want to miss that.

To wrap-up, here is another short story on an American ace.  I have so far neglected the P-47 Thunderbolt aces since I started writing this column, so here is a story on one of them: Major William Dunham of the USAAF.  "Dinghy" Dunham is the second-ranking ace of the 348th Fighter Group (FG) "Kearby's Thunderbolts."  He is the 32nd-ranking US ace (tie) and 27th-ranking USAF ace (tie) with 16 total victories.  Dunham initially served with the 53 FG in Panama before transferring to 348 FG in Nov 1942 where he would serve two combat tours in the Southwest Pacific.  He scored 15 victories with the P-47D, including 7 kills  on his first tour, with a "double" on 16 Oct 1943 (2 Haps) and a "triple" on 21 Dec 1943 (3 Vals).  He scored 9 more victories on his second tour, with a "quadruple" on 7 Dec 1944 (2 Zekes and 2 Oscars).  His final kill was in a P-51K against a Frank on 14 Dec 1945.  During his second tour he commanded both the 342 Fighter Squadron (FS) and 460 FS, and rose to Lieutenant Colonel and Deputy Commander of the 348 FG.  Dunham remained in service and later commanded several jet  wings.  He retired from the USAF as a brigadier general in 1970, and died in 1990.  This model of his P-47D is the 1/72 scale Hasegawa kit with Aeromaster decals (AM 72-008).  All of his aircraft were named "Bonnie" or "Mrs. Bonnie."  The black wing and fuselage bands were a theater recognition marking.  Some sources show the glare panel and spine as olive drab, and others have those as black. 

                   

 

November Article:

We had a super meeting on October 6 with about fifty models on the tables. We had a great presentation by Doug Dildy on the "Desert Storm Air War." If you missed the presentation, you can check it out in his book, F-15C Eagle vs MiG-23/25 - Iraq 1991. Doug has volunteered to give his "Spitfires Over Dunkirk" presentation again, perhaps at the March 2018 meeting. He is working on a new book on the Battle of Britain, so we may see a presentation on that as well.

The November 10 meeting is the ASM E-Board elections night as well as an "Open" theme contest. We have candidates up for election in the following positions (names listed alphabetically): Vice President (Jerry Little and Josh Pals), Contest Director (Ken Liotta and John Tate), and three Pro Tems (John Dodd, David Epstein, Jack Garriss, Bob Henderson, Bret Kinman, Chris Kurtze, and Keith Liotta). Info on the election process is available on the ASM Website via a link near the top of the Home Page. Absentee balloting will be available if you cannot make it to the meeting. The "model challenge build" proposal for the Contest Director position will not be done.

Pictures of the ASM model display at the Folds of Honor Gala and the winners of the People's Choice model contest are posted on the Articles webpage. At the November meeting we will discuss whether the club wants to attempt to do a model display at the Albuquerque Comic Con in January 2018.

The November  issue of the ASM Newsletter continues the "Modeling of History" theme with an article by Tony Humphries commemorating the 75th anniversary of the Battle of El Alamein in 1942. Model builds were done or included for this article by Tony, John Tate, Larry Horyna, Aaron Kreltszheim, Don Alberts, and Mike Blohm. So please check out that article. You might be inspired to do something similar, either on your own or with a group of ASM members.

The short ace story this month is directly related to the El Alamein article, as this ace was the pilot of the P-40F Warhawk built for this project: 1st Lieutenant Roy "Deke" Whittaker. Whittaker was the top ace of the 57th Fighter Group (FG) "First in the Blue" with seven aerial victories, all scored in the P-40. Whittaker launched off the USS Ranger in June 1942 and participated in ground attack and bomber escort missions during the Battle of El Alamein. He downed an Italian MC.202 on 26 Oct 1942 as his first victory. His biggest day was on 18 April 1943, when he participated in the "Palm Sunday Massacre" over Cape Bon, Tunisia, where US P-40s flown by the 57th FG and 324th FG and Spitfires from No. 92 Squadron engaged 60 Ju-52 transports escorted by 21 Bf-109s and MC.202 fighters headed for Sicily. Whittaker downed three Ju-52s and one Bf-109G and also damaged one Ju-52 and one Bf-109G. Overall, 59 Ju 52s and 16 fighters were shot down for the loss of 6 P-40s, the best day ever for the P-40 Warhawk. The model depicted in the article (and below) is the 1/72-scale Special Hobby P-40F Warhawk kit "Short Tails Over Africa," and was flown by Whittaker for his first three victories including the Battle of El Alamein. The profile shown above this article was his assigned aircraft in April - May 1943 when he was a Captain. Whittaker returned to the USA in June 1943, and later commanded the 499th Fighter Squadron near the end of WWII. Additional info on Whittaker and the 57th FG is included in the El Alamein article.  A kit review on the build of this kit will be included in the December ASM Newsletter and published elsewhere on the ASM Website..

               

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October Article:

Folds of Honor Model Display

The ASM model display at the September 23 Folds of Honor (FoH) Gala fund-raising event at the Sandia Resort and Casino went very well, and I would like to thank everyone who loaned models and helped man the show. We had forty models in the display spread out over six tables, with good representation of all the US Services in armor, ships and aircraft/helicopters in a lot of different scales. We had two nicely done figures/vignettes, but no dioramas. We also had the "What is scale modeling?" signage out. We had a lot of people come look at the display, especially military personnel, and they all enjoyed the models. The People’s Choice (PC) model contest did not get a lot of participation, likely due to lack of advertisement and the way the ballroom was set up. The PC winners will be announced at the October 6 ASM meeting. I have asked for some feedback from the FoH leadership on how they enjoyed the display and whether they would like ASM to do it again, but I have not heard anything back yet. At the ASM meeting we will talk about some lessons learned to make it better if we do it again in 2018. Thanks to Bret Kinman, Josh Pals, and Matt Blohm for helping to set up and man the display. Thanks to the following members who loaned models: Frank Randall, Chris Kurtze, Victor Maestas, Bret Kinman, Theron Brawley, Ken Liotta, David Epstein, John Tate, Brian Peck, and Mike Blohm.  A few pictures of the display are posted below. The FoH Foundation provides scholarships and other assistance to the spouses and children of soldiers killed or disabled in service to our country.

The October 6 meeting will include Doug Dildy's "Desert Storm Air War" presentation that will include his latest Osprey book "F-15C Eagle versus MiG-23/25, Iraq 1991."  These presentations have been truly outstanding in the past, so you do not want to miss this one. I encourage everyone to bring in any "display only" models you have that fit the theme of the Desert Storm air war, in particular F-15s, MiG-23 Floggers and MiG-25 Foxbats. Maybe there will be some "Red Star" theme contests models that apply to the presentation as well.

The next local contest is ModelZona 2017 at the Commemorative Air Force Museum in Mesa (Phoenix), Arizona on November 4. That is a very nice museum that you will be able to visit at the same time that you are winning awards and buying model kits. What more could you ask?

Thanks again for the great participation at the 2017 New Mexico State Fair's "Star Wars - 40th Anniversary" model display. Posting of pictures to the ASM Websitte's New Mexico State Fair Model Contest Results webpage is ongoing and will take a while to finish.

To close out, here is another short story on an American ace: Major Samuel J. Brown, who is the 33rd-ranking US ace (tie) and 28th-ranking USAF ace. Sam Brown was the third ranking ace of the 15th Air Force (AF) and second ranking ace of the 31st Fighter Group (FG). He was claimed by some to be the "best all-around fighter pilot" in the 15th AF. Brown initially served in the Aleutian Islands flying P-39s and P-40s. He joined the 309th Fighter Squadron (FS) of the 31st FG in early 1944 when they converting from Spitfires to the P-51. Brown scored a "quadruple" on 26 Jun 1944 (three Me 210s and one Bf 109) over Vienna, Austria, earning the Distinguished Service Cross. He scored a "triple" on 29 May 1944 (two Me 110s and one Bf 109) during a B-24 escort mission to the Wiener-Neustadt and Wollersdorf Aerodromes in Austria.  Brown also had a "double" on 21 Apr 1944 (two IAR-80s) during a B-17/ B-24 bomber escort to Ploesti, Romania. He commanded the 307th FS from May - Sep 1944. He left the service in May 1945, becoming a prominent oil industry executive. He died in August 1990. The model depicted is the Heller 1/72 P-51D kit, which has no fin fillet. Brown's P-51D did not carry the usual yellow stripe Mediterranean Theater recognition markings on the inboard wings and horizontal tail surfaces.

                   

           

                   

                    

               

 

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September Article:

The Modeling of History

I am first going to cover some upcoming items on the schedule, and will then talk a bit about "the modeling of history."

Thanks to all who entered models in the 2017 New Mexico State Fair model contest and/or contributed models to our "Star Wars - 40th Anniversary" display. Thanks also to those who helped out with the model registration and judging. We will have a report on how that went at the September 1 ASM meeting. Contest results will be posted on the ASM Website shortly after the judging. Pictures of all the models will be posted ASAP. There are sometimes over 200 pictures posted.

The next event coming up is an ASM model display at the Folds of Honor Gala being held at the Sandia Resort and Casino on Saturday, September 23. The Folds of Honor Foundation provides scholarships and other assistance to the spouses and children of soldiers killed or disabled in service to our country. The Rio Grande Patriots is the New Mexico part of the Foundation. This will be a good opportunity to support the Foundation, advertise the club to the community, and perhaps gain some membership. Details are still being worked at this time and will be discussed at the September 1 meeting.

The display is going to be of models of any genre (aircraft, armor, ships, figures, dioramas, etc.) and any scale that fit what was/is being used by the US military from September 11, 2001, through the present. Because of limitations on what we might have available, a model in a paint scheme of a unit that did not actually deploy to Iraq or Afghan­istan, or depicts a time period before 9/11, is okay for the display if it is still representative. For example, an F-16 model of a Hill AFB squadron or an Air National Guard squadron from 1995 is okay if it is still representative of what they looked like in 2001 – 2017.

What is eligible will be discussed more at the meeting. We are looking for 20 - 30 models. There will also be a "People’s Choice" contest for the Gala attendees to vote for their favorite models, likely split up by model type (best aircraft, best armor, etc.). How many members we will need to help with the display at the Gala is still to be determined. Here are a few links that provide information on the Foundation.

http://tinyurl.com/asm1709a

https://www.foldsofhonor.org/about-us

Lastly, I wanted to talk about "the modeling of history," which I think a lot of us modelers do either consciously or subconsciously as we work on and complete our modeling projects. Personally, I find this aspect of model building to be worthwhile, interesting and fun to do.  I build a lot of models of the American Aces and I end up doing lots of research on both the pilots and the schemes of their aircraft.  That often involves tracking down biographies and unit histories either in book format or on-line. For my display, I put together a short biography of each pilot, and I often learn lots of "little known but interesting facts" about the pilot, the units, the aircraft, where they served, other people in the unit, etc., as I dig into the story.

The same scenario applies to almost any modeling project, if you really get into it. For a ship, you might learn what schemes it was painted in over the years of its service, what battles it was in, etc. As Jerry Little mentioned in his article last month, beware of what you find on the internet.

The same applies to book formats. You will often find information that differs depending upon where you look. So you often have to dig a little deeper to verify what you plan to build. Older folks will probably remember the red-painted "Millie G" scheme for Ed Giller's P-51D in Profiles magazine (must be true!) and the Revell P-51D model kit with it depicted like that. Another way to "model history" is to put together a project that covers or depicts an event in history.

Some good examples were the ASM Chapter builds on the Char B and Matilda tanks at the IPMS/USA Nationals. One article was included in the Bonus Pages of the September ASM Newsletter (and posted further below) that commemorates the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Guadalcanal, which began in August 1942 and ended in February 1943. We will be seeing more of this type of article in some upcoming ASM Newsletters. I encourage you to take a look at doing that -what topic interests you?  You can either build some models to go with an article, or write an article to go with some related models.

There is no "monthly American Ace short story" here in this article, because that has been expanded into a separate longer article on two US Marine Corps Aces that served at Guadalcanal Island - the article that I mentioned above. There will be another article on Guadalcanal by John Tate in a later newsletter. The F4F-4 Wildcat profile posted above this article is one of the aircraft flown by Joe Foss, the top American ace at Guadalcanal, with 26 total  aerial victories. 

 

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August Article:

Hope everyone has recovered from the Chile Con 4 effort. Thanks again to all who supported the behind-the-scenes planning and preparations and putting it on; and to all who participated. Please see the July ASM Newsletter for more detailed reporting on the convention. Pictures of the model entries and the convention - three galleries - are posted on the ASM Website, as well as the most excellent CC4 Contest Awards slide show built by Joe Walters. Additional results information will be posted ASAP.

The next event coming up is the ASM-sponsored model contest at the 2017 New Mexico State Fair. This is one of our opportunities to promote the club to the community and attempt to gain some new members. We have been fairly successful in doing so at the fair. Please go to the NM State Fair webpage on the ASM Website for information on entering models at the contest. There are 18 categories set up very much like an IPMS/USA contest. However, you can only enter one model per category and you can only enter them once, even if you did not place. We have done fairly well lately in the number of entries. Last year we set a new record with 61. We have been doing an "ASM display-only theme presentation" at the fair for the last eight years, since 2009. You can see all those displays if you go to the Model Displays webpage. We did a "Science Fiction and Anime/Gaming Models" theme in 2010 that included twelve Star Wars models.  We got feedback from the fair people that our case was the most popular thing in the Creative Arts building that year. Back in the early days we normally had about half a display case available for the display, but lately we have been able to use a full case. With the recent "Star Wars - 40th Anniversary" theme at CC4, we should be able to fill up a whole case. If you did not get your entry done in time for CC4, now you have a reason to complete it and display it. There is an another article on the NM State Fair in the Bonus Pages about how to bring your models to the fair, either as entries or for our display, or both, so please check that out.

To close, here is another short American ace story on James H. Howard. Howard was born in Canton, China, and lived there the first fourteen years of his life. He initially served as a US Navy pilot for three years including a tour with VF-6 aboard the USS Saratoga before resigning his commission in June 1941 to join the American Volunteer Group (AVG).  He scored 2.333 air and 4.0 ground kills during 50 missions as a Flight Leader with the "Flying Tigers."  When the AVG disbanded in July 1942, he joined the US Army Air Force as a Captain. In September 1943 he was assigned to the 354th Fighter Group "Pioneer Mustang Group," the first unit to receive the P-51 in the European Theater of Operations (ETO). Howard received the Medal of Honor for his actions on 11 Jan 1944 where he single-handedly defended the B-17s of the 401st Bomb Group for thirty minutes against thirty Me-110 fighters during an escort mission to Oschersleben, Germany. Howard continued his attacks even after he had run out of ammunition. In that combat he claimed 3 kills, 2 probables, and 2 damaged, although the B-17 crews were willing to confirm 6 kills. He was called "a one man air force" by the 401st's group leader, and the wartime reporter Andy Rooney called his exploit "the greatest fighter pilot story of WWII."  Howard was the only fighter pilot in the ETO to earn the Medal of Honor. He named his P-51B "Ding Hao" which means "good luck" or "very good" in Chinese. The model pictures (Monogram's 1/72 P-51B kit) depict his aircraft in Jan 1944 and in my opinion it is amongst the best personal markings on a Mustang during WWII. Howard reluctantly painted the Japanese victory markings on his P-51 for the publicity pictures following his Medal of Honor mission. Howard became 356th "Red Ass" Fighter Squadron commander in February 1943 and 354th FG commander in February 1944. He rose to become a brigadier general in the USAF Reserves, and retired in 1966. He passed away in 1995. I apologize for the length of this "short story," but Howard's story is well worth telling.

                   

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July Article:

Report on Chile Con 4

This article provides some information on how things went at Chile Con 4. There will be additional information published in the Bonus Section where the team leads will provide info on their particular areas. From my own point of view, overall I think it went very, very well and we had only a few glitches during the convention. I believe attendees enjoyed the new venue - it was spacious and well lit. I hope everybody was able to get their "special projects" done and were able to enter them in the contest. The turnout was good and there were a lot of models on the tables. That fact resulted in one of the glitches - how long it took to judge the models and then get that information into the awards slideshow contributed to the awards ceremony starting late. The awards show itself was great (thanks Joe!). ASM did win the 2016 Region 10 Webmaster of the Year Award - thanks to all who contributed to making that possible! The Colorado Modeling Militia Enjoying Sci-Fi (CoMMiES) won the Chapter of the Year Award. Newsletter of the Year was won by the Sonoran Desert Model Builders for "Mold Lines." The dinner was probably the best I've seen over many years of attending other conventions. The vendor room was full and it looked like there was a good crowd of shoppers. Hopefully folks were able to find a good deal, and can start building for CC5. Maybe we can get side-by-side ball rooms for the models and vendors next time if we schedule it far enough out. We were able to sell almost all the trophy packages, so that was really great.

The CC4 website has already been updated a link to a webpage with all the model pictures (thanks Gil!). By the time this Newsletter is published, the Awards Ceremony slide show and a webpage with the category winners and model pictures should be posted. We will be compiling "lessons learned" from CC4 to help us out next time. If anybody has any inputs on what we could do better or what was great, please let the E-Board know. Please bring your winning entries and plaques to the July 7 meeting. We will have some tables set up to display those. If you had a Star Wars model that you did not get completed in time for CC4, please keep plugging away on that for ASM's Star Wars - 40th Anniversary display at the 2017 New Mexico State Fair at the end of August.

I do want to take this opportunity to thank everybody who helped plan the convention, sponsored the awards, helped put it on, and attended/participated in the event. Without all of you it would not have happened. In particular, thanks go to the co-chairmen Tom Perea and Ken Liotta, and to the team leads Joe Walters (publications and award slide show), Jack Garriss (registrar), Dave Straub (awards), Patrick Dick (trophy packages and vendor tables), Josh Pals (make & take), Jerry Little (advertising), Gil De La Plain (photography), Brian Peck (T-Shirts and 501st Legion Liaison), and Fred Franceschi (Vehicle Display). Also, a big thank you to Hobby Proz and Ken Liotta for the Super Raffle Prizes. And finally, thanks to the 501st Legion (Vader's Fist) Dewback Ridge Garrison Star Wars enactors, and the New Mexico Military Vehicle Preservation Association for their participation. There is a large graphic on the CC4 website thanking people and organizations that purchased trophy packages or had a vendor table.

 

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June Article:

We are now less than a month out from Chile Con 4. I'm sure everybody is wishing they had “a bit more time” to get that cosmic project finished. I foresee some late nights coming up in the next few weeks. I wanted to mention a couple of the Special Awards that have not received too much coverage. Everybody is probably aware of the four Star Wars awards (Best Spaceship, Figure, Terrestrial Vehicle, and Miscellaneous) and the two World War I awards (Best Air and Land subjects).

The other lesser-known Special awards include the Best New Mexico Subject and the ever-popular and highly-coveted Lopez Demente award for the best tasteless ­subject.

Sponsored Awards include the Best Frickin' Laser Beams subject hosted by Patrick Dick; the Best Kirtland AFB-related Aircraft hosted by Jerry Little; the "Captain Danny Roberts Memorial - Best American Ace Aircraft Award" hosted by Mike & Matt Blohm and John Tate; the Head Judge's Personal Favorite "Art Evans Memorial Award" hosted by Ken Liotta; and the Chairman's Choice "Don Alberts Memorial Award" hosted by Tom Perea.

Hopefully you guys are building and entering models that fit some of these categories and themes. If you have Juniors in the family, please encourage them to build and enter some models. This is always an under-represented area. We have Junior's categories and trophies and would love to give them away.

If you would like to help out at CC4, please get with the points of contact during the June ASM meeting for the area that you are interested in. We need help with judging, photography, registration, security, and the Make & Take. The list of CC4 POCs is on the website (http://tinyurl.com/asm1706a).

To close, here is another short ace story applicable to the many Battle of Midway themes elsewhere in this newsletter, on Lieutenant Elbert "Scott" McCuskey, US Navy.

McCuskey was the top-scoring fighter pilot of the battle with five victories while flying the F4F Wildcat with VF-3 aboard the USS Yorktown. He claimed three Vals destroyed and three damaged during his first sortie on 4 June 1942, and two Zeros destroyed on his second.

At that time he was the top Navy ace of the first six months of the Pacific war with 6.5 victories. He later added seven more victories flying the F6F Hellcat with VF-8 on the USS Bunker Hill, scoring a "triple" on 21 Sep 1944 (Oscars) over Luzon; and a "triple" (two Zeros and a Nick) on 12 Oct 1944.

McCuskey had fourteen total victories, and is the 38th-ranking American ace (tie) and the seventh-ranking US Navy ace (tie). Pictures of McCuskey and a model of his Wildcat are included below. The red and white tail stripes and red dot in the national insignia shown on this model were removed from use per a directive in mid 1942 to avoid confusion with Japanese aircraft markings.

               

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May Article:

I want to thank the ASM members that have stepped up and purchased trophy packages for Chile Con 4. We are about halfway there, with 43 sold of 83 total, as of April 24. If you haven't purchased one yet, please consider doing so. Please contact Patrick Dick.

The May 5 contest is "Star Wars - 40th Anniversary," so we hope to see a nice preview of models that will be showing up at Chile Con 4. There have been a ton of new kits out to celebrate the anniversary of the movie, so there is a lot to choose from. Time is running out, so you'd better be building right now. As Yoda once said: "Build or do not build - there is no try to build."

One other item that I’d like to plug is ASM building models for the Nuclear Weapons Heritage Model Display at the Defense Nuclear Weapons School Museum on Kirtland Air Force Base. We had a great number of builds and loaners in 2015, but we fell off in 2016. The display is both nuclear-related models (e.g., missiles, aircraft that carried nuclear weapons and nuke subs) and anything that was part of the Cold War (tanks, APCs, etc.). Please see Erik McIntyre if you are interested in building for the display. Some pictures of the models are in the Newsletter's Bonus Pages section, including one of ASM members in front of the Defense Nuclear Weapons School during the June 20, 2015, tour of the museum. More are available via a link on the ASM Model Displays web page.

To wrap up, here is another short ace story on Capt. George S. "Wheaties" Welch, US Army Air Corps. You may recognize his name as one of the few American pilots who got airborne during the Pearl Harbor attack, scoring four victories during two sorties flying a P-40B Warhawk. But most people don’t know the rest of his story. He was recommended for a Medal of Honor for that action, but it was downgraded to a Distinguished Service Cross because he took off without permission. Welch ended up scoring 16 total victories between December 1941 and September 1943. He scored a "triple" one year later on 7 Dec 1942, making "ace" in the P-39 Airacobra, hence the P-39 profile and model pictures with this article. Welch scored nine of his victories in the P-38 Lightning. After the war he was a test pilot and flew the first flights of the P-82B and P-82E Twin Mustang and the F-86 Sabre. He was killed during a test flight of the F-100 Super Sabre in October 1954. Welch is the 33rd-ranking American ace (tie), and the 27th-ranking USAF ace (tie).

 

           

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April Article:

Chile Con 4 is looming ever closer. Please read Jerry Little's article on what the membership can do to help out. Trophy package purchases is where ASM normally loses money by having to absorb a lot of that cost itself. I encourage members to buy at least one trophy package. Those are priced at $40 each covering first, second, and third place plaques. The CC4 Trophy Package Information webpage is now up. You can see pictures of all the awards, their sponsorship costs, and what has already been sponsored and is still available. Patrick Dick is working those, as well as the Vendor tables. Shop early to get your favorite category! Registration forms are about to go up on the CC4 website. There is a discount for early registration (before May 27), and also for IPMS/USA members. There will be announcement when that occurs.

Next up after Chile Con is the 2017 New Mexico State Fair Model Contest in September. Our "display-only theme" this year is "Star Wars," so we should have a bunch of models from Chile Con to display. Check out the pictures of the "Science Fiction" display that we put on at the fair in 2010 by visiting the ASM Website's "Model Displays" webpage. We had thirteen Star Wars models for that. Please give some thought to whether we might want to do something different this year, like either some model building demonstrations and/or Make & Take events on one or both of the two Saturdays during the fair. The demos might be a simple as bringing some kits to build, and being prepared to demo some techniques if asked by observers. We may also want to look at having an ASM Group Field Trip after Chile Con.

Here is another short ace story, this time with some model pictures as well as the profile at the top of this column, covering Lieutenant Stanley "Swede" Vejtasa, US Navy. Vejtasa initially flew the SDB Dauntless dive bomber with Scouting Squadron (VS) 5 on the USS Yorktown, where he participated in attack operations on the Marshall and Gilbert Islands, and in the battle of the Coral Sea where he helped sink the light Japanese carrier Shoho on 7 May 1942. He scored three victories over Zeros in his SDB on 8 May 1942 during an anti-torpedo plane patrol. This mission was covered quite realistically in the Dogfights TV series on the History Channel. Vejtasa then transferred to the newly-formed VF-10 "Grim Reapers" on the USS Enterprise flying the F4F Wildcat.  He saw combat in the battle of Santa Cruz, where he downed two dive bombers and five torpedo planes in one mission on 26 Oct 1942. He ended the war with eleven total victories.

IPMS Las Vegas is hosting the VegasCon 2017 / Best of the West 22 Show and Contest on May 6, 2017, at the East Side Cannery Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. This is an IPMS Region 8 contest. Further details, a flyer, and links are available in the Local Contests section below.

                       

 

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March Article:

"Et tu, Airafixo?"  It is the Ides of March month, and therefore one must be careful with one's X-Acto knife. For all you ASM members with degrees in Latin, you will translate that as "Even you, Airfix?"  Airfix has again put me in an all too familiar position. They have just released their new 1/72-scale B-17G kit, which from the reviews that I've read may be the best B-17 kit yet issued. So what is the familiar position? I already have several B-17 kits in my stash to build, including the last "best kit yet" by Revell-Germany. I'm sure this sounds familiar to a lot of you, too. So, do I need to buy this new kit? Of course I do!  But should I?  For now I am trying to resist. But as Obi-Wan Kenobi once said: "Resistance is futile." We shall see.

On to other things. I'm sorry that I missed the February meeting, but from the pictures it looks like it was a pretty good swap meet. Chile Con 4 is now one month closer. So many models to build and so little time. Hopefully you've considered purchasing at least one trophy package. Patrick Dick is working those, as well as the Vendor tables.

John Tate has completed a whole set of Star Wars kit reviews that are posted on the ASM Website and in this issue of the ASM Newsletter. Please check those out, and maybe you'll get inspired to build for both Chile Con and the New Mexico State Fair. Thanks to John for authoring those. Please consider writing a kit review of your latest build. All it takes is a couple of paragraphs and a few pictures. If you are trying out a new technique, then other members would love to learn about it.

To wrap up, here is another short ace story. Major Don "Buzz" Beerbower is one of the least-known major aces of the European Theater of Operations in WW II. Beerbower flew with the 354th Fighter Group "Pioneer Mustang Group" and became its 2nd ranking ace with 15.5 victories. The majority of those were scored in his P-51B "Bonnie B II" depicted at the top of this article and in the pictures below.  He commanded the 353rd Fighter Squadron from June - August 1944. Beerbower was killed in action by flak on 9 August 1944 during a strafing attack at Epernay Airfield near Reims, France. He is the 2nd ranking ace of the 9th Air Force, 28th ranking USAAF/ USAF ace (tie), and 33rd ranking American ace (tie).

           

  

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February Article:

First off, I wanted to explain why I decided to title this column "The Eagle's View." I think the goal of my monthly articles should be to give a high-flying overview of what the club is doing, both right now and somewhat over-the-horizon into the future. That's the kind of view that a high-soaring Eagle has, so I thought that might be appropriate. It has nothing to do with a certain fighter aircraft with various monikers that I will not mention here (talk to me later).

The February meeting is our first swap meet of the year, with no contests. Try to keep your plastic-sold to plastic-purchased ratio even. Please consider donating a recently issued kit, book, magazine or decal sheet to the Chile Con 4 Raffle - see Frank Randall. Note that you can still bring in works-in-progress models for 2 points each (max of 3) at the February meeting.

Chile Con 4 is fast approaching. As a politician once said, "Ask not what Chile Con can do for you; ask what you can do for Chile Con" (my apologies to JFK, but I'm sure that's what he probably meant). I hope there are some more Star Wars models under construction out there - we only had three at the January Sci-Fi Contest. The Contest Categories and Contest Rules have been posted on the CC4 website. Please get with Patrick Dick to sign up for a Trophy Package or to get a Vendor Table. Hopefully most ASM members will be able to afford sponsoring one package. The CC4 costs should be somewhere near the CC3 costs, which were $35 for the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd award packages and $40 for the "Best Of" awards.

Finally, here is my promised short blurb on one of America's lesser-known aces. I thought it appropriate to first mention Capt Daniel T. "Danny" Roberts, who was from Tucumcari, New Mexico. Roberts flew the P-39 with the 8th Fighter Group and then the P-38 with the 475th Fighter Group in the Southwest Pacific Theater in 1942 - 43 and commanded the 433rd "Possum" Fighter Squadron. During that time he scored 14 aerial victories before being killed in action on 9 Nov 1943 when his own wingman collided with him during a hard turn while engaging a Ki-43 Oscar. At that time he was right behind Dick Bong and just ahead of Tommy McGuire in the scoring race. His P-38H is depicted at the top of this article and in the pictures below. There is a link on the ASM Website's Home Page to a longer story on this forgotten, high-scoring ace. Matt Blohm, John Tate, and I are sponsoring the "Capt Danny Roberts Memorial Award - Best American Ace Aircraft" at Chile Con 4. So get building for that!

           

   

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January Article:

A Look Back at 2016 and the Upcoming 2017

I want to thank Tony Humphries for his service as ASM President over the past four years and Jerry Little for his service as Contest Director for the past two years. Both of them did great jobs in their positions and helped ensure ASM continued to be a place to learn modeling skills and have fun doing so. Thank you also to the rest of the 2016 E-Board for their past service to the club and for agreeing to continue on in 2017.

Here is a quick recap of ASM events that occurred in 2016 - we were quite busy. On February 25 we had a group field trip to the War Eagles Air Museum in Santa Teresa, New Mexico. This is a great museum and an easy drive from Albuquerque. ASM conducted a Make & Take on April 21 with Cub Scout Pack 338 in Rio Rancho. About thirty Scouts participated in this event. On June 4 and 5, ASM provided a model display for the Kirtland AFB Airshow. The theme of the airshow and ASM's display was the "75th Anniversary of Kirtland AFB (1941-2016)."  ASM had a great display with seventy models of all genres and scales spread over four tables, and we had seventeen members manning the display over the two days. We had thousands of visitors check out the models and talk about the hobby of scale modeling. Great job, ASM!

Our last event of 2016 was the New Mexico State Fair Model Contest on August 26-29. We set a new record for model entries with a total of 69 models by 40 entrants. ASM also put on a display with the theme of "Desert Storm 25th Anniversary" that included 31 models. Overall, I think we did a great job of promoting scale modeling and the club with the public in 2016. My thanks to all who participated. There are links to all these events on the ASM Meeting Pics webpage.

Looking forward to 2017, we have a couple of major events that will need maximum membership participation. The first is Chile Con 4 on June 16 – 17. Planning is well underway and we have committee chairmen that will all need help. We'll talk more about this at the January 6 ASM meeting. Please keep checking the CC4 website for the latest updates.

We are still working to determine if ASM will have a model display at the 2017 Albuquerque Comic Convention on January 14-15. If this comes to fruition, we will need both models and folks to man the display in shifts over those two days. Expect it to be similar to our comic convention displays in 2012, 2013, and 2014. These were all a lot of fun.

As you likely know, the theme for CC4 is "Star Wars 40th Anniversary."  This is also likely to be the theme of the ASM display at the 2017 New Mexico State Fair Model Contest. So - I would encourage you to build some Star Wars models that you can enter at these two events, as well as the ASM Moe Blalters "Sci Fi, Real Space, Science and Fantasy Contest" in January. Victor Maestas is working on the ASM 2017 Contest Schedule. There will likely be a "Star Wars 40th Anniversary" Sponsored Contest in May hosted by Joe Walters, and Mike and Matt Blohm. What other year will give you the opportunity to build a model eligible for four separate contests? And it gives you no excuses for not entering one—eventually. I encourage you to get busy and build lots of models and participate fully in our activities. I think there will be a lot of fun to be had.

For new members who may not know me well, I've been building models since I was around eight years old. I've been a member of IPMS/USA since 1976, and a member of several different IPMS/USA Chapters around the country. I've been a member of ASM since 1995. and have previously held the ASM E-Board positions of Vice President, Contest Director, and Pro Tem, and have been the ASM Webmaster since 2004. I am a retired Lieutenant Colonel with thirty years of service in the USAF, and flew F-4 Phantoms for about eighteen years. Amongst my assignments was a tour as an instructor at the USAF F-4 Fighter Weapons School, the USAF's version of Top Gun. I mostly build 1/72-scale aircraft, sci fi, and real space models, but occasionally go to the "Dark Side" with armor and 1/48 and 1/32 aircraft. I really enjoy digging into the history behind all my model subjects. I build models of the aircraft flown by the American aces for a collection at the USAF Academy, so I am going to try to include a short paragraph on some of the relatively unknown American aces in future President articles.

I am looking forward to serving as the club's President for 2017 and hope we have a productive and enjoyable year.

                   

Pictures above are of Major Richard Bong's P-38J Lightning "Marge."  Bong was America's top ace of World War II with 40 victories.

 


 

Vice President's Report

By Jerry Little, ASM Vice President (2017)

The Column Without A Name

 

December Article:

Okay, Now what am I gonna do…?

What a great pleasure it is to be part of ASM and to have served on the Executive Board (E-Board) over the last three years as Contest Director and Vice President. At last, now is the time for others to step in and help serve the club in the coming years. I enjoy being part of what is arguably one of best clubs in the country has made me a better modeler and hopefully, done my part to make the club a little better as well. The two highlights during that time were ASM being selected as IPMS/USA Chapter of the Year and a super successful Chile Con 4. Seeing all the great work done by the club members and CC4 convention leaders made me proud to be part of ASM! So thank you ASM for letting me be part of the E-Board! I look forward to all the great things the new board members will accomplish!

So now what am I gonna do? Well, in light of the recent election, I’ve collected a bunch of Russian aviation kits to build! Look for some articles in the newsletter that cover reviews and possibly a build article or two and maybe a clinic on how to spend hours and hours trying to match the most elusive paint colors in the modeling world… Okay, maybe Brian Peck had a little to do with making me buy those Russian jets…

ASM has a great opportunity to display some of the outstanding things the club has done at the next IPMS/USA Nationals (Phoenix 2018). The question is: What do we do? The host of the Nats has offered a display (not contest entry) to local clubs to showcase what they do as part of Region 10 and IPMS. We’ve had a couple of great suggestions and as a club, we need to decide if we want to participate and what we want to showcase.

The first recommendation was to display all of the Nats winners we’ve had in the club. This is to show the participation and skill that our members have in the community.

The second recommendation was to display some of the annual Models of the Year to show how our club participation leads to great modelers. One point is that some of our MoY have gone on to place at subsequent Nats! The third recommendation was display in groups some of the extracurricular outreach activity we do in small vignettes like Boy Scouts Make & Takes, ComicCon displays or even the most recent Folds of Honor. Finally, the fourth recommendation was to display all the Previous Nats winners we have in the club. This would highlight all the fantastic modelers ASM has produced over the years. All of these are important and as a club, we need to choose which to do and how we should accomplish that. So, give it some thought and at the next meeting we’ll decide as a club and get started on showing the modeling world what a great club ASM is!

November Article:

When You're Not Modelling ...

Yeah right... when are we ever "not modeling?"  We all wish we could be sitting at the work bench building on the latest Trumpeter MiG-29 kit, but we all know things like life get in the way of that - you know, food and sleep and such! But if you are like most of us modelers, you at least think about modeling when you're not at your desk. There are still plenty of related things to do when not screaming about the fit of the latest Tamiya kit!

One of the modeling things we need to think about is ASM and what direction do we want the club to go in. We have elections coming up at the November meeting and will have the opportunity to vote on a couple of positions for the club E-Board. Basically, we need to select a Vice President, Contest Director, and some Pro-Tems for the board.  I believe they are all good choices (including me!), so we can't go wrong as a club getting people involved. The key is voting!

We get members involved on the board, but we also get members involved in the voting so they can have a say in how the club is run. This is probably one of, if not the, most important activity you can participate in as an ASM member. The key question you have to answer before voting is, "do I like where the club leadership is taking the club?" Sometimes that is as simple as "yes" and you vote accordingly. Other times, that may mean it is time for "new blood" on the E-Board. Whatever the answer is, you have to take the time and make sure your voice is heard.

Another area to think about is what will our club contests look like next year? ASM does a fantastic job of getting members and guests to build models every month. I believe the key is having great subjects. The new contest director will likely call for suggestions soon, so be ready with your favorite idea. You never know what the list will include, so it's always fun to see what comes up and what motivates us to build.

Speaking of the new Contest Director, we have a couple of veterans running for that position. Both are great modelers and will bring different perspectives to club modeling.

Speaking of modeling away from the desk, Nationals is coming to a town near us!  As many of you know, Phoenix is hosting the 2018 IPMS Nationals August 1 - 4, 2018. The theme is "Build it!! Bring it!! Show it!!" which means everything is on the table!  The show will be held at the Phoenix Convention Center located in the heart of Phoenix. The other theme is the convention will be very "club oriented" and we intend to participate with an ASM display. I'll be looking for ideas on that in the coming months. There isn't a limit to ideas for the display.

One last thing to consider regarding the 2018 Nats: It's important to stay on top of hotel reservations. If you call, the reservationist will tell you they will not take a reservation until after 1 Jan 2018. You can still make reservations on the website but you have to "un-click" the "show available rooms only" box.  I will tell you that not all nights are still available. You can find more information at the convention website

 

September Article:

Look Around...

...they're everywhere! That is kind of the feeling I got when I went on my last trip for work. One of the things I love to do is look for aircraft on display. Most of the time you can find the aircraft in the obvious places like museums and of course at airports... but sometimes you can find them at museums in airports! On my "down days" while on my most recent trip, I had the opportunity to drive around and look for airplanes on display at Edwards AFB. That is a pretty easy task because just about every Air Force base will have planes on a pole or, as we like to say, "planes on a stick!"  There is usually a "Gate Guard" at most of the entrances to the base.

The challenge with the Edwards aircraft is they are all over the place and it is a very large base!  I needed a way to get to them quickly if I was going to see them all!  Besides the obvious museums on base like the "Test Pilot Museum" and "Neil Armstrong Flight Center Museum," Edwards has numerous other significant planes on display throughout the base. I started with the Google! Using Google's satellite imagery, I was able to find all the gate guards (red circles in pictures) that weren't in the obvious place and a few that were quite a surprise.

I knew I was going to spend a day down in Palmdale so I looked on Google for the surrounding airfields and found William J. Fox airfield and, lo and behold, sitting right out there on the general aviation ramp was quite a surprise. A MiG-17, a Fouga Magister, and an Experimental Velocity!  That was a trip I had to take and see for myself!

When the trip was over, I had the opportunity to hunt and find a ton of historically significant aircraft. That will lead to a presentation and one of the future club meetings on all the jewels found on my trip! Using Google isn't a new idea and there are plenty of sites dedicated to doing just that; however, it is worth a simple look when you are planning on taking a trip. You might not know what you are going to find!

       

   

September Article:

Look Around...

...they're everywhere! That is kind of the feeling I got when I went on my last trip for work. One of the things I love to do is look for aircraft on display. Most of the time you can find the aircraft in the obvious places like museums and of course at airports... but sometimes you can find them at museums in airports! On my "down days" while on my most recent trip, I had the opportunity to drive around and look for airplanes on display at Edwards AFB. That is a pretty easy task because just about every Air Force base will have planes on a pole or, as we like to say, "planes on a stick!"  There is usually a "Gate Guard" at most of the entrances to the base.

The challenge with the Edwards aircraft is they are all over the place and it is a very large base!  I needed a way to get to them quickly if I was going to see them all!  Besides the obvious museums on base like the "Test Pilot Museum" and "Neil Armstrong Flight Center Museum," Edwards has numerous other significant planes on display throughout the base. I started with the Google! Using Google's satellite imagery, I was able to find all the gate guards (red circles in pictures) that weren't in the obvious place and a few that were quite a surprise.

I knew I was going to spend a day down in Palmdale so I looked on Google for the surrounding airfields and found William J. Fox airfield and, lo and behold, sitting right out there on the general aviation ramp was quite a surprise. A MiG-17, a Fouga Magister, and an Experimental Velocity!  That was a trip I had to take and see for myself!

When the trip was over, I had the opportunity to hunt and find a ton of historically significant aircraft. That will lead to a presentation and one of the future club meetings on all the jewels found on my trip! Using Google isn't a new idea and there are plenty of sites dedicated to doing just that; however, it is worth a simple look when you are planning on taking a trip. You might not know what you are going to find!

       

 

August Article:

I Found It on Google

One of the tools we don't always talk about in modeling is the internet. It is fair to say that the internet has become a large part of the way we model today. Whether it's ordering kits online from a number of retailers or even "chatting" with other modelers from around the world on our favorite message sites, it has likely become the biggest tool in our modeling tool bag.

It all probably starts with research! What used to take a trip down to the local library or the purchase of a magazine is now all available through a few mouse clicks. If you use "the Google," you can find information on any modeling subject conceivable. Pictures, historical information, and personal accounts from people involved are all available. The nice thing about the internet is you can find multiple inputs from a variety of sources that may not be available to you in a more conventional form. I found two accounts of a dogfight over Western Europe that was told by the pilots of the opposing aircraft! While it didn't help with details of the model, it did provide some very strong motivation to get the model completed. It is almost too easy!

Another area to find great information is on many of the modeling "message boards" on the web. This information ranges anywhere from the latest kits to be released (http://tinyurl.com/asm1708c) to builds of subjects that you may be interested in building yourself (http://tinyurl.com/asm1708d) but wanted a quick look at the kit before starting. This wealth of information is endless when it comes to picking up new techniques to even finding flaws in the kit before you start that epic build. Another important point is that you will find multiple examples of builds and one will likely fit your style of building.

What also makes this a great resource is you are not limited to the local area! The internet is world-wide, so you are often looking at modelers from around the globe. If you need information on a particular model subject, you are likely to find someone from the local area where that subject is noted for. An example of this may be looking for information of a particular aircraft like the de Havilland Hornet and end up exchanging information with the curator of the only Hornet museum in the world (he happens to be a modeler too!). Albuquerque Scale Modelers are connected on the internet with our own website (http://abqscalemodelers.com) and Facebook page (http://tinyurl.com/asm1708e) with connections around Region 10, the US, and the rest of the world! As a matter of fact, Facebook played an important role in the execution of the latest Chile Con! We are connected with all the Region 10 clubs and they were able to "see" the electronic flyer!

With any good thing, there can always be a bad side. While often you find invaluable information out there on the web, you can find bad information as well. It's easy to claim one is an expert on a particular subject when you are trapped in your parent's basement spending too much time on the internet! So you have to confirm all your sources when things sound a little sketchy. See pictures below of B-2 wing molding.  The good news is there is always someone out there with the right information! The other downside can be that we lose local interest in our brick and mortar hobby shops. If you buy everything on line, the next time you need that one bottle of paint or glue ... you're going to have to wait a week and pay shipping. As always, buyers beware!

           

The internet is a great thing and social media can play a valuable part in our hobby! It is as simple as a click of the mouse. A few links for excellent hobby resources:

Google:                   www.google.com

Hobby Proz:            www.hobby-proz.com

Squadron:               www.squdron.com

Sprue Brothers:      www.spruebrothers.com

Hobby Link Japan: www.hlj.com

Brit Modeller:          www.britmodeller.com

Large Scale Planes: www.largescaleplanes.com   

Hyperscale:            www.hyperscale.com

Aircraft Resource Center: www.aircraftresourcecenter.com

 

July Article:

The nice thing about standards ...

Wow!... just wow! I have to say, and just about everyone around also said, that Chile Con 4 was a huge success. We don't often get to have that kind of impact on our modeling community. When it comes to modelers, sometimes we are our own worst critics. Maybe it's inherent in the judging we always seem to do when we look at our own models. Or perhaps at club contests or other contests around the region, we always look for things we could do better. Well, there wasn't much we could do better at Chile Con 4, so maybe we have a new standard!

The industry standard at model contests used to be 1/72 and 1/48-scale prop. We even "pre-engineered" a split in those categories while anticipating the turnout. Something funny happened and it appeared with had as many 1/32-scale aircraft on the table! That probably has a lot to do with a few things. First, more quality kits are available. Also, the crowd isn't getting any younger so those bigger pieces make it easier to build. Finally, the manufacturers are producing subjects everyone wants. Not just the same old WWII "Mustawulfire" that we are used to seeing. It was nice to see a lot on the table ... and there was plenty of room. Perhaps it will be standard to see more 1/32-scale models at the contest.

The nice thing about the Marriott venue was the room! It was great to see everyone moving around the room without crowding the tables. It was great to be able to look at a model without another pressed up against it. Even with the high number of models in the Sci-Fi category, the models weren't too close even though the tables were full. It really made for an enjoyable judging experience by not having to worry about moving models or missing something important. That makes for a better contest experience for the club and the visitor.

Speaking of visitors, I had the pleasure of meeting some new modelers from around the Region. One guy in particular was attending his first contest. He and his father seemed to really enjoy Chile Con, and he had no trouble finding a large group of different modelers to talk about all aspects of the hobby. He is a great modeler and even walked away with a few plaques for the work he presented. But what struck me was how he listened to all the modelers hoping to pick up that new technique or tip. The other thing that came up in conversation was the members of the 501st Dewback Ridge Garrison that were present at the show.

It's not every day you get to see so many iconic Star Wars characters at a show this side of Comic-Con. The members of the 501st (http://www.dewbackridge.com) were outstanding and provided that extra touch for the Star Wars 40th Anniversary theme of the contest. That wasn't all - the members of the New Mexico Roadrunner Convoy Military Vehicle Preservation Association turned the parking lot into a military staging area that was a perfect complement to the 100th Anniversary of WWI theme at the show. You might say these extras added the spice to the Chile!

Andrew S. Tanenbaum, a computer scientist, once said; "The nice thing about standards is that you have so many to choose from."  Tom Perea and Ken Liotta did a great job as co-chairmen. Also a big "Thank You" to the team of ASM members who worked the contest also helped make this a new standard for Regionals. The contest was a great success, from the animated Star Wars characters to the military vehicle display, but the most important part was the modelers who made the effort to attend and be part of the contest with their fantastic models. Perhaps that is the new standard for Chile Con ... who knows!

 

June Article:

Think of it as an opportunity ...

Modeling offers a lot of opportunities for those that are members of a club. We get to expand the hobby beyond the workbench with things like Make & Takes for the Boy Scouts, displays at ComicCon, and even updating the Cavalcade of Wings at the ABQ Sunport. Just think what the folks on the other end of those opportunities are thinking. Many of them are seeing scale modeling for the first time or the first time they’ve gotten to ask someone about it. It must be wondrous for many young enthusiasts as well.

We’ll see many new people at the upcoming Chile Con 4 as we host the Region 10 convention. And yes, there will be people wandering around the tables wide-eyed and amazed at the models! They’ll see all the guys diving deep in the details of this or that particular subject wondering how they know so much. Kids will want to touch and wonder if they are for sale. You might even get a “can I have that” or two. It will be a spectacle.

Each of these visitors will quickly find a favorite, much like we modelers do when we peruse the tables. And this will be another opportunity to invite others into the hobby. We need to take the time to introduce the visitors to the hobby. Explain to them the art form and how they can get involved. Perhaps a personal story or two about how we each got started and what drew us to this life-long passion (or vice depending on how you see it!) The idea is to motivate them to pick up a kit and give it a try. Take the opportunity and maybe we'll have a new modeler for life.

Although Chile Con is just around the corner, there's a lot of other activity going on this summer. Of course the Elephant in the room is the Nationals. This year it is in Omaha, Nebraska, July 26 through 29. The Nats are being hosted by IPMS/Ft Crook Chapter and this is not their first rodeo (see what I did there ... Nebraska ... rodeo ... anyway). There are a few club members going so we can look forward to a great report in August or September. And speaking of Nats, the 2018 Nats will be held in Phoenix, so all of those not going to Omaha will get the chance to attend next summer. I spoke with the Craig Hewett guys about hosting ModelZona (Nov 4, 2017) the same year and they said,  "ModelZona is a go in November! We’re not going to let a little ol' Nats slow us down!"

In October (the 21st), the IPMS/High Plains Modelers will be hosting “High Plains Con XVIII” at the Larimer County Fairgrounds in Loveland, Colorado. I don't have any details at this time, but the timing is great for us in that it doesn't interfere with our normal meeting time and it’s a month before ModelZona.

May Article:

T-60 and counting!

"Houston, we are go at throttle up" ....those are the words the crew radios down to CAPCOM with the Space Shuttle engines reach 104% and the velocity starts to increase after maximum dynamic pressure. What that represents is the point at which the spaceship is no longer reacting to the combination of speed and pressure put on it by the density of the atmosphere... The shuttles engines are throttled down to 64% to keep the pressure down on all the components of the spaceship. In rocket science, they call that Max Q.

Well, ASM has reached Max Q in prep for Chile Con 4. We are now at "throttle up," which means we're past all the rough stuff and into smooth air. With only 60 days to go, it's time to start putting the finishing touches on the plan.

Probably the most difficult part of any contest is judging. Having spent the last few years as the contest director for the club, I can tell you the desire is to be accurate, but also important is consistency. Consistency is important because we are only judging the models on the table. At Chile Con 4, we expect a large turnout. That means we'll have to get through a lot of model in a limited amount of time. Efficiency counts! That is why IPMS national standards focus on the basics. In order to get through a lot of models, you have to have a measured approach to judging. You start by eliminating the models with major errors of basic construction. Then continue to narrow the field until a clear winner is decided.

The problem we will likely see at Chile Con is the enormous number of talented modelers and they will not have a lot of "basic" problems so we'll need a lot of experienced judges to start digging a little deeper! If you've had experience judging at the national or regional level, please get with Ken Liotta and let him know you will be available to help judge.

With less than 60 days to go, it's time to jump in and be ready to go! Let Ken know if you are interested in judging. It's one of the best parts of supporting a model contest!  Remember, when the Shuttle was "go" for throttle up, they were traveling at 1,600 miles an hour and the engines stayed at max power the rest of the way to space! Don't wait to be a part of Chile Con... we are T-60 days and counting!

The date is now set for ModelZona 2017! The contest is 4 November and will be held at the at the Commemorative Air Force Museum at Falcon Field, Mesa, Arizona, on Saturday, November 4, 2016, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. ModelZona is hosted by the Craig Hewitt Chapter of IPMS/USA.

For something a little out of our area (Region 8), the IPMS Las Vegas chapter will host the "Best of the West - 22," VegasCon 2017 on May 6, 2017. It is located at the East Side Cannery Resort & Casino, 5255 Boulder Highway, Las Vegas, NV. Hours are 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (http://www.ipmslv.org/best-of-the-west.html).

What role will you play?

April Article:

It's a simple question you have to ask yourself when it comes to our summer convention and contest. For sure there is something for you to contribute. Albuquerque Scale Modelers does not suffer from a lack of talent. We've been blessed as one of the best clubs in IPMS as noted in the last few years by being selected as the IPMS USA Club of the year. It's not just the ability to build killer models, it's the level of commitment every one of you have to making this club what it is.

We have an opportunity to host the best Region 10 Convention and Contest alongside of our Chile Con 4 contest.  Our goal should not only be the best host that we can be, but to also be better than we were the last time. Chile Con 3 had a few setbacks in the planning stage when the hotel changed the dates on us late in the game. As a club, we rallied around the problem and was able to provide a great event. This time, things are even better. The R10/Chile Con team led by Tom Perea has secured an awesome venue in the Marriott Pyramid and our rooms will be bigger and better than before. So what can you do? Simple... participate. We'll need people to help set up, help modelers register, security and most important help judge. Also, you can be a great club liaison just by helping that out-of-town modeler find their way around the venue. As we get closer to Chile Con, the team will provide more information that will make you a walking modeler's help desk when it comes to the event!

There are also plenty of opportunities to support the convention by entering your models, buying trophy packages and even the coveted Chile Con t-shirts. But the most valuable contribution is your time. Look for Tom or Ken Liotta at the next meeting and see where you can fit in! Now it's time to bring all that talent from the workbench to the contest table.

Speaking of events, there is an interesting one coming up in Phoenix on 22 April. The Craig-Hewitt IPMS chapter is hosting their Annual Clinic. It is meant to educate local modelers about the hobby. They provide demonstrations of a wide range of tactics, techniques and procedures and they have experienced modelers available to answer all kinds of questions about just about everything related to model building. Some of the highlights are learning about figure painting, building aircraft, cars, armor, ships, and sci-fi subjects, decaling, making bases, and observe and participate in seminars on airbrushing. Another great thing is they are providing a Make and Take for younger modelers. So if anyone is going to be in the Phoenix area on April 22, stop by the American Legion Post #1 at 364 N 7th Ave, Phoenix AZ 85007, between 9:30 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. (0930 -1500 for you military types). A flyer for the event can be found here

Also in the Phoenix area is the Desert Scale Classic 13 on April 8, 2017. This is Arizona's largest model car contest and swap meet. If you've been before, DSC 13 will be held at a new venue: the Deer Valley Community Center, 2001 W Wahalla Ln, Phoenix AZ 85027, between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. A flyer for the event can be found here.

March Article:

Enlightenment

Enlightened... that's what we all want to be when it comes to philosophy, life, and, well... models. We seek the truth, but we settle for opinion. I was recently excited to learn that a couple of the model manufacturers were going to produce long-sought-after kits in quarter scale. Hobby Boss announced the Su-34 Fullback, a Russian frontline fighter-bomber, and Kitty Hawk announced the Su-17 Fitter, a Soviet era fighter-bomber that became a staple of many Soviet bloc and third-world countries' air forces. To my amazement, but not my surprise, the kits were panned in the blogosphere... all the while no one commenting had ever seen the kit! Not one person had laid a hand on the model, yet somehow, they were able to determine the accuracy of the kits.

We tend to lose sight of the purpose of this hobby. We need to come away from the experience with a sense of accomplishment and enjoyment for the time and effort we spent constructing the subject. While it may be part of basic human nature to be critical, we've done ourselves a great disservice by trying to live in an obsessive world that is in search of constant gratification on a moment's notice. We don't need to fall victim to the trap of getting sucked into the conversation that is the loudest, we need to build it for ourselves and our own education and enjoyment.

And speaking of enlightenment, one of the downsides of getting old is the incredible amount of light needed when building models! On my work desk, there has always been a competition on the battle space for lights, tools, and model parts. I had literally three desk lamps on the small space just to provide enough light to see.

Well, taking a tip from fellow modeler Chris Kurtz, I sought a solution in what is called an "Arch Lamp," simply, a light bar that arcs over the desk and provides ample light for the desk.

I searched all over for the perfect (read "obsessive") solution, only to realize I needed to build it myself. It was really quite simple and inexpensive. The basic parts are a one-inch piece of aluminum bar stock from Lowe's and an LED light kit from Amazon. Both parts came to less than thirty dollars.

My desk is 48 inches wide, so the arch was deceptively long! The total length is about seven feet when you calculate the distance needed. I used self-adhesive strips on the back of the LED strips to attach it to the aluminum (above right). The challenge - okay, obsession - was "wanting" the aluminum strip to be a smooth arch. The solution was to build a temporary "slip-roller" out of wooden dowels and roll the aluminum into the arch (below). It worked so well, I rolled the aluminum into a hoop! Of course my monumental accomplishment with the homemade slip-roller came back to haunt me later when I unclamped one side of the arch and it sprung back to center and cleaned everything off the desk while doing so...

The light is simply attached to the desktop by small clamps and has a thumbscrew on each end for positioning. This lamp provides an abundance of light for the desk and was simple and cheap to build. The benefit of using aluminum is that it acts as a heat sink and keeps the desk cool. The only real problem now is if the light is on at night, aircraft on approach to the Sunport try to land in my driveway.

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February Article:

Ahh... Region 10. The Albuquerque Scale Modelers plays and important role in the region. Most significantly, this year, we are hosting the Region X Conference here in June in conjunction with Chile Con IV (4). I took the opportunity to head down to Tucson, Arizona, earlier this January to support the Sonoran Desert Modelers at their local contest and swap meet: Scorpfest/Modelmania.

The contest was an excellent opportunity to get out with other modelers and enjoy the hobby we love. The turnout was great with well over a hundred models on the table and at least fifteen vendors in attendance.

While some may consider it "small" by other's standards, I thought it was great as it allowed for great fellowship and good chance to see others' work around the region. I was able to pick up a couple of Gold/Silver medallions for my entries and share in the fun. Oh, and of course I left with a few kits from the vendors and a new airbrush from Grex. Gerald Voigt was there representing Grex and proved to be a great wealth of knowledge and support for my airbrushing activity..... Tip #1: turn down the air pressure!

           

Also during the contest, I was able to get around and tell everyone about Chile Con IV and the Regional. A lot of folks were excited about coming to Albuquerque and looking forward to the convention. We may have even picked up a vendor or two as well. Hosting these contests is a great way for a club to support the region and share with all the region members. ASM does a great job representing the hobby and the area.

To be honest, Scorpfest wasn't the only thing I did in Tucson. Who in their right mind would pass up Pima Air Museum? I got down there early enough on Friday to spend the afternoon at the museum and take a tour of the Boneyard! That tour was a little bitter-sweet since I saw more than a few tails of jets that I used to fly while in the Air Force. It was kind of sad realizing that I’m old! But, I did learn a few things about the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group, or "AMARG" as most know it. The "yard" is actually split into two areas; AMARG, where the Air Force provides maintenance and regeneration capabilities for aircraft that may return to flying (storage) or used for parts (support) for the military or foreign air forces that bought our hardware. They do about a billion dollars a year in parts and services for the DoD. The other side of the yard is the "Boneyard." That's where planes go to die. You'll see tons of B-52s and other aircraft that have been cut up or parted out for other uses. They refer to that side of Kolb Road as the "reclamation area." Sad...

               

           

So, one little interesting fact: There is only one F-14 left in the Boneyard. The rest have all been destroyed in an effort to keep Iran from obtaining parts for their remaining eight flying Tomcats. Also, know that Australia has retired all of their F-111s, and there is only one Aardvark left in the yard. Now, the only F-14s and F-111s left in existence will be at museums...

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January Article:

Merry New Year everyone! Two thousand seventeen looks to be a great year for ASM. We've got a lot going on this year as we host the 2017 Region 10 Convention at Chile Con IV. While CCIV isn't until June, the time between now and then will go quickly. There is still a lot left to do in getting ready for the convention, however, we have a crack team in place to make that happen!  I'm looking forward to Chile Con and all of the other activity happening in the modeling world between now and then.

First out of the chute is Scorpfest IV being hosted by the Sonoran Desert Model Builders (https://sdmb.yolasite.com) in Tucson, Arizona, on January 14. The contest will be a single day from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. I'm planning on heading down for the contest and swap meet to support and maybe drum up some business for CCIV.

On the same weekend, the 2017 Albuquerque Comic Con (http://www.albuquerquecomiccon.com) will occur at the Albuquerque Convention Center. The show starts Friday evening and runs through Sunday. The best time to attend is Saturday and the list of guest is growing. Everyone from the "Wax on, Wax off" Daniel (Ralph Macchio) to "Sweep the leg" Johnny (William Zabka) of Karate Kid fame will be there signing autographs. These two "Yutes" are not that young anymore...

Additionally, the CoMMies are coming (No, they didn't hack the election)! CoMMiESfest 2017 is March 4 at the Jefferson County Fairground in Golden, Colorado, from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. The theme for the show is "Let it Snow," which may be appropriate since it is Colorado in March. Check out their website for more details (http://www.commiesfest.com).

Finally, ASM has a FaceBook page! If you are on FB, go over to Albuquerque Scale Modelers and send a friend request (http://tinyurl.com/asmface). There is a lot good information there for the modelers. The page isn't intended to compete with our website, however - it is a way to see what's going on around the local modeling world. As all the cool kids say these days, "Like us on Facebook!"

 


Contest Director

By Victor Maestas, ASM Contest Chairman (2017)

 

January 2018 Article:

The December meeting held the Supersonic themed special contest as well as the Model of the Year showdown. For the Supersonic contest, in Intermediate, David Epstein’s X-15 took best entry and Victor Maestas’s X-1 took best entry in Masters. These models were also then put into consideration for the Model of the Year contest for all of the Best of Show models from 2017. There were a lot of great entries to judge from this year’s contests.

 The following models took Model of the Year:

Basic:                      Logan Carbin’s T-55A Russian tank

Intermediate:           David Epstein’s Yuan Class submarine

Masters:                  Chris Kurtze’s F-5E aggressor

 With the November contest completed, the final points tally has been compiled and the Modeler of the Year for each division is now decided. Congratulations go to the following people in each division:

Juniors:                   Aleya Montano

Basic:                      Logan Carbin

Intermediate:           David Epstein

Masters:                  John Tate

This year’s contest tables had a lot of entries and here are a few statistics:

 Contests:

         Contests, spread over 10 contest nights: 7 points / 3 special / 5 sponsored

 Model entries:

         Total number of models entered (points, sponsored and special contests): 187

 Work in Progress entries:

         WIP entries: 105

 

 

December Article:

The November meeting had the final Points Contest of the year with an Open theme. In Basic, Charles Pitrilli took Best of Show and People’s Choice with his Nissan Skyline with some heavy road weathering. In Intermediate, John Dodd’s impressive Bismark battleship took People’s Choice and David Epstein’s very clean Yuan-class submarine took Best of Show. In Masters, Brian Peck’s nicely executed F4U-1A Corsair took both Best of Show and People’s Choice awards.

The December meeting will have a special contest with a theme of “Supersonic.” Special contests are not for points and up to five entries per modeler can be entered. Also in December is the Model of the Year contest. All models that have taken Best of Show throughout the year are eligible, but the model must be on the tables to be considered. Winners for Modeler of the Year and Model of the Year will be announced at the January meeting.

The contest schedule for 2018 is being developed and the E-Board and the Contest Director (John Tate) are taking suggestions. Please contact John or any member of the E-Board with any ideas for contest themes for next year.

 

November Article:

The October meeting had a Points Contest Theme of "Red Star," covering any subject that represents Communist-influenced nations. In Basic, Logan Carbin took Best of Show and People's Choice with his T-55A tank on a very nice base to show off his work. In Intermediate, new member Ethan Schwartzmann's Su-100 Tank Destroyer took both People's Choice and Best of Show. This model had very well-done weathering and color modulation to break up the green paint scheme. In Masters, Chris Kurtze's very well-executed F-5E in aggressor markings took Best of Show and People's Choice awards.

Best of Show
& People's Choice
Basic
Best of Show
& People's Choice
Intermediate
Best of Show
& People's Choice
Masters
Best Orange Subject
Intermediate
Best Orange Subject
Masters
Most Creative
Orange Subject
Logan Carbin Ethan Schwartzmann Chris Kurtze Chuck Hermann Josh Pals Robert Henderson
T-55A Su-100 F-5E Tijuana Taxi 2000 '32 Ford Pumpkin Panzer

The November meeting will be the final points contest of the year with an "open" theme. All kits, subjects, and scales are eligible. Please note that Brian Peck will be hosting his "Heavies" Sponsored Contest. Any subject that is considered a heavy bomber for its era is eligible to compete in this contest.

 

 

 

October Article:

The September meeting had a Points Contest Theme of "First or Last" with a very large turnout. Across all levels, there were 43 entries! In Basic, Logan Carbin took Best of Show and People's Choice with his very well done Ho 229 flying wing. In Intermediate, David Epstein's F-110A Spectre (Air Force name before changing to F-4 Phantom II) took Best of Show and Scott Williams's Voyager I spacecraft took People's Choice. This model had very impressive (and fragile looking) photoetch structures. In Masters, Dave Straub's scratchbuilt USS Patoka Tender and USS Los Angeles airship took Best of Show and John Tate's Ju-52 diorama "Rommel's Lifeline" took People's Choice.

Best of Show
& People's Choice
Basic
Best of Show
Intermediate
People's Choice
Intermediate
Best of Show
Masters
People's Choice
Masters
Logan Carbin David Epstein Scott Willaims David Straub John Tate
Ho 229 F-110A Voyager I USS Patoka "Rommel's Lifeline"

The E-Board sponsored a contest with a theme of "Knife Fight/Night Light" that combined two themes. Entries could be entered for either or both themes. The award winner for Basic is Logan Carbin's F-117 Nighthawk. In Intermediate, Robert Henderson's P-61 Black Widow took the award for Night Light and Len Faulconer's F-102 Delta Dagger took the award for Knife Fight. In Masters, Chris Kurtze's F-102 Delta Dagger took the Knife Fight award and Frank Randall's Mosquito NF Mk. II took the Night Light award. Awards will be presented at an upcoming meeting

The October meeting will have another points contest with a theme of "Red Star." All subjects representing Communist influenced nations are eligible for in-theme points as well as a shot at Best of Show for the contest. As usual, all other entries are eligible to compete for points in this contest, but won't get the additional 10 in-theme points

 

August Article:

July saw the return of a points contest with a theme of "1967."  In Basic, Rick Shryock earned a Best of Show and People's Choice for his Toyota FJ40 Land Cruiser RC truck. It was a very clean build with scratchbuilt parts including machined wheels!  In Intermediate, David Epstein’s X-15 set world records in '67 and his entry earned Best of Show. Chuck Hermann’s 1967 Alpha Romeo 2000 GT race car earned the Intermediate level People's Choice award. In Masters, Chris Kurtze earned both Best of Show and People's Choice for his nicely weathered A-37B Dragonfly with scratchbuilt details added. The aircraft was ordered and the first prototype was flown in 1967.

Best of Show
& People's Choice
Basic
Best of Show
Intermediate
People's Choice
Intermediate
Best of Show
&
People's Choice
Masters
Rick Shyrock Chuck Hermann David Epstein Chris Kurtze
Toyota Land Cruiser Alfa Romeo 2000 GT X-15 A2 A-37B Dragonfly

August's meeting will have a swap meet with no contests, so bring stuff to sell, barter, or trade! The next contests will be in September:

- Theme contest: "First or Last."  This includes any subject or any scale that represents the first or last of anything such as prototypes, aircraft with retirement schemes, first flight, last flight, etc.

- E-Board sponsored contest: "Knife Fight / Night Light". This contest is for any subject, scale, or kit that includes a cutting device in the name (cutlass, rapier, sabre) or in the subject (figure with a knife) or any subject, scale; or kit that operates primarily at night (night fighters, armored vehicles with IR spotlights, special ops, owls, etc.). There will be a special award for subjects that combine both categories.

- New Mexico State Fair (September 7 – 17): Display theme will be Star Wars. Look for entry and judging dates.

 

July Article:

June's special contest had a "Kill Markings" theme, which included mission markings as well. This month also included Patrick Dick’s "GM" sponsored contest. There were 24 entries on the tables this month competing in these contests although there were no Junior entries. Charles Petrilli's very clean build of an RGM-79SP GM Sniper II earned Best of Show in Basic. In Intermediate, Robert Henderson's Panther G tank took Best of Show with rings on the barrel for vehicles destroyed. In Masters, Ken Liotta’s Hs 129A took Best of Show with mission marking on the tail. As part of the "Kill Markings" theme, Mike Blohm also brought in a display of nine aircraft of US Aces.

Best of Show
Basic
Best of Show
Intermediate
Best of Show
Masters
Best GM
Aircraft
Best GM
Armor
Best GM
Automotive
Charles Petrilli Robert Henderson Ken Liotta Brian Peck Mike Blohm Chuck Hermann
RGM-79SP GM Sniper II Panther G
Panzer V Ausf G
Henschel
Hs 129A
North American
P-51D Mustang
M4 Sherman
Tank
1968 Corvette
Sedan Delivery

Upcoming contests include the fourth points contest of the year in July with a theme of “1967.” Any subject that represents the year 1967 is eligible for the extra “in-theme” points. August is a swap meet and September’s points contest theme is “First or Last” as well as the E-board’s “Knife Fight/Night Light” sponsored contest. Also in September, the display theme for the New Mexico State Fair will be Star Wars.

 

June Article:

May's contest theme was the third points contest of the year with a Star Wars theme.

In the Juniors category, Aleya Montaño took Best of Show and People’s Choice awards with her X-Wing fighter in a flying pose with nicely-done weathering.

In Basic, Logan Carbin also took Best of Show and People’s Choice with an impressive Rebel X-Wing fighter (Poe’s). His entry had well-done weathering and laser bolts for a dramatic display.

In Intermediate, David Epstein took People’s Choice with his well-executed French Submarine/ Cruiser, Surcouf. You don’t see floatplanes parked on the deck of a sub very often! Adrian Montaño’s imposing and impressive large-scale Millenium Falcon took Best of Show.

In Masters, Patrick Dick took People’s Choice with his TIE Striker in NVA markings. I look forward to seeing the rest of this collection! Larry Glenn’s sharp build of a TIE Striker took Best of Show in the Masters category.

Special and Sponsored Contests

Next month we will be having a Special Contest (Kill Markings) and a Sponsored Contest (General Motors, sponsored by Patrick Dick). For special contests, the rules are a little different compared to the regular Theme Points contests.

First of all, there are no Modeler of the Year points awarded for Special or Sponsored contests. Also, in Special contests, all entries have to be in-theme, five entries per person are allowed, and generally there is only one “Best Of” award per divisional level.

 

May Article:  

April's contest theme was World War I, since 2017 is the 100th anniversary of US involvement in that conflict. There was a good selection of entries, both regular and in-theme. In Basic, Logan Carbin's Fokker Dr.I took both Best of Show and People's Choice with a nicely-built entry with a hypothetical paint scheme. In Intermediate, David Epstein's Model T Ambulance took Best of Show with a very clean out-of-the-box build, and Robert Henderson's Pfalz E.IIIa took People's Choice with a colorful camouflage scheme. In Masters, John Tate took Best of Show with his well-executed British Tommy bust and Larry Glenn’s Me 410B-1 took People’s Choice with a sharp OOB build with the additional challenge of German mottling on the fuselage.

Model Contest Judging: This month’s CD tidbit is on the subject of judging. In our club contests, the upcoming Region X contest and even National Convention contests, the overwhelming deciding factor on the placing of a model in a contest is basic workmanship. The things that judges look for include alignment (wheels, wings, tank treads, antennas, props, etc.), construction flaws (unfilled seams, glue globs, floating wheels not touching tank treads, fogging on transparencies, disappearing pane lines, etc.), and finish issues (fingerprints, decal silvering, overspray, and paint runs, as well as consistency and symmetry).

Only when all of the above have been considered, will the judges look for minor things such as detailing, weathering, accuracy, etc.

The final tie-breaker for equal placing entries is considering which entry looks most like the subject it is representing overall. This rarely happens even at the Nationals level. This approach puts the emphasis on tangible issues, and less on the opinion/preference of the individual judges.

This is also described in greater detail in the ASM Contest Guidelines posted on the Club website. Please get with me (or any of the ASM judges) if you have any questions on what judges look for in model contests.

 

April Article:

For the March meeting, there was a good turnout for the first points contest of 2017 with the customary "Open" contest theme.

In Basic, Aaron Schmiedicke's imposing Battlestar Pegasus took both Best of Show and People's Choice, an impressive build. Steve Brodeur took both Best of Show and People's Choice with his Ki-43 Oscar in 1/32 scale with a very interesting and well executed camouflage over natural metal. Masters had a good selection of models with Chris Kurtze taking Best of Show with his Ta-152 and People's Choice with his USS Essex. Even if this was built mostly Out-of-the-Box, the scope and quality of the detail and weathering work on his ship was inspiring.

The Contest Public Service Announcement for this month is on entry forms. Please remember to completely fill the forms out as best you can. It makes putting the results together quickly and compiling the points much easier with all the relevant information filled in, especially a week later when trying to remember details from the meeting. If a question comes up or there is an unclear "grey area" relative to your entry on any part of the form, please ask.

 

February Article: 

Welcome to another contest season at ASM! The contest schedule is in final review and will be posted online shortly. There are some interesting themes to build for (lots of opportunities to push the envelope) this year. Some of the ASM contest themes are tied to other events including the New Mexico State Fair and Chile Con IV (Star Wars and WWI), so if you plan ahead, you can have several opportunities to enter your models.

Speaking of themes, below is a breakdown of the various types of contests held during the year at ASM.

If there are any questions on the organization of the contests (types of contests, judging, points awarded, etc.) you can check the Contest Guidelines posted on the website or get ahold of me.         

The January customary Moe Blalters Sci-Fi, Real Space, Science, and Fantasy special contest had a bit of a light turnout, but had some very well-built models on the table. Since this is a Special Contest, there were only awards for best in each skill level. The top entries included Anthony Weaver’s War of the Worlds Diorama in Basic, Michael O’Brien’s Vulcan Warpshuttle Surak in Intermediate, and John Tate’s Space Marines Vindicator AFV in Masters. For Patrick Dick’s Frickin’ Laser Beams sponsored contest, the top entries included Anthony Weaver’s War of the Worlds Diorama in Basic, Ken Piniak’s USS Constellation and John Tate’s Klingon Battlecruiser in Masters.

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The Finer Points

By Jerry Little. Out-going ASM Contest Chairman

January Article:

The Final Point

So this is the last time I'll write as contest director for ASM. I've been fortunate enough to be contest director for another great year in 2016. We've shared a tremendous contest season and a lot of models were built for the club Theme contests as well as Sponsored and Special contests. In fact, ASM put 390 models on the table in the form of contest entries or Works in Progress. That is an amazing number if you consider we averaged over 38 models a month! Well done, ASM!

When you have great modelers, you have great models. That is no different this year. Our Model of the Year contest was very tough. Narrowing the selection to only models that were Best of Show didn't really make it easy! As you can imagine, when a model is good enough to earn Best of Show, you know it's going to be tough to pick the best of the best. With so many to choose from, the team selected Larry Glenn's P-51 Mustang 'The Millie P" as the Model of the Year in Masters. Larry's 1/48 Tamiya Mustang was well done with the iconic prancing horse and checker nose!  In Intermediate, the choice was difficult. With a lot to choose from, the team selected Chris Kurtze's 1/35 "Beutepanzer M8 Greyhound" from the "Captured" theme contest. The model even had a unique base made from a surplus baking pan! The model looked like it could have been snatched right out of the historical photos it was built from.

Not to be outdone by Dad, Chris Kurtze Jr's Panther G was chosen as Model of the Year in Junior. The fit and finish of the model was spot on and really demonstrated the quality of model builder that Chris has become. Finally, in Basic, Jeannie Garriss reminded us all of what a great modeler she is with her "French Police Car." Her Best of Show from the "Rescue Me" themed contest in April was an easy call!

Congratulations to all modelers for the outstanding work they did throughout 2016 and competing for Model of the Year. Knowing the Albuquerque Scale Modelers, 2017 will be an equally competitive year!

 

 


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