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March 2019 Article: 

Nostalgia

by Tony Humphries, ASM Vice President

Part 1 (of a 1 part series)

As members of our own esteemed club will be aware, I am generally an armor, diorama, and/or figure modeler. I enjoy the challenge of 750 tiny individual track-links and enough brass to equip an entire orchestra. Sometimes. But sometimes even I feel the need for a change. Maybe it is the smell of styrene on the wind. The stirring of the sap in springtime. The irresistible urge to gargle tequila, wear sandals (with socks) and Bermuda shorts, and head (farther) south for the winter. Anyway, for reasons best known to myself and my therapist, I have decided to hang up my armor hat for a while and have a stab at a few aircraft kits this year. Well, nobody's perfect, after all. I have developed an interest of late, in WWII aircraft that flew from the county that I grew up in. Wiltshire (in the southwest of England) was not one of the front-line locations for the Battle of Britain or the Blitz really, although it did feature to some degree in both. It was home, however, to a huge range of RAF aircraft throughout the war and was one of the main bases for US Airborne forces in the runup to D-Day, Market Garden, and Operation Varsity.

Why pick these subjects? Well, nostalgia I suppose. Many traces of WWII airfields still existed when I was a young whippersnapper, and we explored them endlessly at the time. Kind of like the movie Stand by Me but with surplus gas masks and live ammunition. Sadly, they are gone for the most part now, and I was terribly disappointed to see just how much has gone on my last trip to the old country. Call it progress if you like. Cultural vandalism is probably nearer the truth though... Back in the day, we found WWII surplus all over the place, but of course weren't sensible enough to keep it. We were more sensible than some though--the kid that I remember vigorously hitting a "live" 40mm Bofors shell with half a brick to see what happened, for example. He's still alive, remarkably enough, although I don't think his eyebrows ever grew back. Part of it was also sparked by my father, a metal detector enthusiast and historian who recently found yet another cache of Garand M1 ammunition (a change from the Roman stuff that he often turns up) and now probably has enough to start his own civil war. Actually, if Brexit isn't delivered as promised, he might very well be tempted to do so...

In conjunction with this of course, there is also a desire to commemorate the men who risked their lives daily, flying from these now mostly forgotten places. Wiltshire was home to a number of significant airbases including RAF Colerne, which was a major night-fighter base throughout the war and which was also home to the first official RAF jet fighter squadron (Meteors, Mk.I and III, of course) right at the close of the war in Europe. Spitfires were manufactured in several locations throughout the county, along with Short Stirlings, a stone's throw away (literally) from my old office in South Marston. RAF Lyneham, then and now home to the main transport units of the RAF and Wroughton, once home to one of the largest aircraft maintenance and storage facilities in the country--now a branch of London's Science Museum and home to a spectacularly good Fish and Chip shop. I'm not sure that those two facts are directly related, but you never know.

Then there's RAF Boscombe Down--home to most experimental and test aircraft flown throughout WWII, including many captured German subjects. It truly was the home of the weird and wonderful. It's basically Area 51 for the country gentleman. A bit more refined and a lot damper, but with at least one good pub just around the corner. And the ever present and far less pleasant nasal assault from the pig farm nearby--a smell so intense that it has both a physical presence and personality. In fact it occasionally buys a round in the public bar of the Horse and Hounds, according to local legend. Of course, with some of the bowel-loosening test flights in ill-advised experimental aircraft, that may have been a familiar odor in the cockpit too... There are many hair-raising stories told about that place. For example, Boscombe Down was home to the only B-25H flown by the RAF during WWII. One of the first tests of the bloody great on-board cannon resulted in a shell that went straight through the earth bank and brick wall that it was aimed at, and straight into the fuselage of a Whitley parked behind it, which just happened to be loaded with half a ton of marker flares. Quite a sight to behold, I'm sure. There are probably still scorch marks on the tarmac even now. I wonder if that's why the RAF decided not to adopt the "H" variant?

My own local airfields at Ramsbury and Membury were also busy places. Membury was home to a number of USAAF Recon squadrons using Spitfires and P-38 Lightnings before becoming a home base and a major service depot for P-47s. Ramsbury was a training base for RAF pilots who had learned to fly in the far-flung Empire, on single-engine death-traps before converting to more modern, twin-engine death traps--I mean, aircraft. They also had to get used to flying in almost permanent rain and fog of course... After a year or so of this, and seventeen documented air crashes in the immediate vicinity (almost all Airspeed Oxfords), you Yanks arrived and the skies and runways of both Ramsbury and Membury were then filled with C-47s and gliders, as far as the eye could see. What makes a man jump out of a perfectly good airplane, or even worse, sit in the pilot's seat of an un-powered aircraft filled with fuel, ammunition, or a platoon of swarthy and bad tempered soldiers and then submit it to a series of barely-controlled crashes, I will never know. I guess they had to keep training pretty intensively to crash in just the right way before D-Day came along, though. The really weird thing (to me anyway) is that British glider pilots from the Glider Pilot Regiment were trained to fly powered aircraft first, before giving up their engines and sitting in a wooden aircraft that was uglier than Gary Busey and even less controllable. Brave men indeed, and if they aren't worthy of commemoration, I don't know who is.

So, to cut a long story short, yes I will be building at least one Horsa and a CG-4A Waco this year among my other projects. As a lad I remember, in the mid-1970s, seeing the front section of an Airspeed Horsa in a local scrapyard about a mile from my home, actually. As kids we looked longingly at it, but attempts to retrieve parts of it would, however, have been both illegal and even more dangerous than piloting the damn things, due to the presence of a junkyard dog that was surely at least 50% T-Rex. And that 50% was the nicer part...

So to bring this rambling narrative to an end, nostalgia is certainly going to be powering my building efforts for the coming year. Many of you probably have similar motivations. Maybe you build aircraft that you flew yourselves, armor that you practiced flattening sheep in (I've seen the RAC Chieftain and now Challenger tanks on manouvers on Salisbury Plain...) or ships that you were personally sick in. Being one of the few members of our club who did not serve in the military (due in part to a lifelong refusal to do as I'm told), I don't have my own personal service to look back on. But I do have intense memories nonetheless. Remember how everything used to be cheaper, bigger, noisier, less safe, and peculiar shades of brown and orange? How about immortalizing some of that in plastic?  I certainly intend to.

 

 

 

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February 2019 Article: 

Contest Update

by Josh Pals, ASM President

January marked our first contests of the year with the annual special non-points contest, "Moe Blalters" Sci-Fi/Real Space and Patrick Dick's sponsored contest, "Frickin' Laser Beams."

We had seven entries in Basic, ten in Intermediate, and six in Masters. If January's contest is any indication, Intermediate will be the level to watch with a lot of great modelers in that level!

The winners of the special non-points contest are:

Basic: Aaron Schmiedicke with his 1/72 Bandai TIE Fighter.

Intermediate: Jim Medina with his 1/144 "North Ridge" diorama using AMT and Bandai kits.

Masters: Josh Pals with his D&D figure from Ral Partha.

These are the winners for Pat's "Frickin' Laser Beams" contest:

Basic: Aaron Schmiedicke's TIE Fighter

Intermediate: James Medina's AT-AT Diorama

Masters: Mike Blohm's "You are Leaving New Mexico" UFO and Cow diorama

There isn't a contest in February as that is our bi-annual "Swap Meet" night. The next points contest is in March with the theme being "Open" so those who entered models in January can enter up to three of their models in March's point contest.

 

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January 2019 Article: 

January Updates

 Here are a couple of updates on the ASM December meeting contests and what is going on in January and February.

 The December 14th meeting had three contests, including the annual "ASM Model of the Year Showdown" in a head-to-head contest of the best of show and best entry winners from all the 2018 Theme and Special contests, in all four divisions.  The model of the  year winner in Basic was Steve Miller's "Custer's First Stand" diorama.  The winner in Intermediate was Scott Jaworski's Merkava 2B tank.  The Master's winner was Casey Rupley's  F-14A Tomcat.

       

The Special (non-points) Contest was "Pearl Harbor Plus 7" to commemorate the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 and any Pacific War events within the following 7 days.  The winner in Basic was Aaron Schmiedicke's P-40B.  The Intermediate winner was Bob Henderson's P-40B.  The winner in Masters was James Strickland's 1/144 scale A6M2 Zero. 

The final contest of the night was the "Adversaries II (Part Deux)" sponsored contest hosted by Mike and Matt Blohm.  This contest was open to any two model subjects that were involved in an adversarial situation.  There were nine entries which were split into three awards.  The "Best Sci-Fi" award went to James Medina's Y-Wing versus TIE Fighter entries.  The "Best Aircraft" award went to Larry Glenn's F4F Wildcat versus A6M2 Zero entries.  The "Best Others" award (Automotive/Armor/Naval Vessels) award went to Dave Miller's US Navy Gato versus Imperial Japanese Navy I-16 submarines.  Thanks to all who brought in entries. 

The January 4th meeting is the annual Moe Blalters "Sci-Fi, Real Space, Science, and Fanasy" Special (non-points) contest open to any subject, any scale that fits within theme.  Besides the normal awards, there are also "Just Staff" best entry awards, which are always collector's items.  The January sponsored contest is "Frickin' Laser Beams" hosted by Patrick Dick, open to any subject with frickin' laser beams.  The entire  2019 ASM Contest Schedule is posted elsewhere in this newsletter. 

I found out from the Folds of Honor foundation that the two 1/48 scale F-16 "Taco" models went for very high prices during the auctions at the Folds of Honor Patriot Gala event and the golf tournament on October 20-21, 2018.  Chris Kurze's model was sold for $250 at the Gala, and Patrick Dick's model was sold for $225 at the golf tournament.  ASM received a certificate of appreciation plaque thanking us for our support to the Folds of Honor Patriot Gala.  I will bring that to the January 4th meeting. 

The last item to bring up is the ASM model display at the South Broadway Cultural Center Library during the month of February.  The theme of ASM's display is "What is Scale Modeling" and will include models of various scales and genres.  Set up is at 9:15 AM on Friday February 1st.  Tear down will be before 3:00 PM on Thursday, February 28th.  ASM will be conducting a Make N Take from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM on Saturday, February 9th.  Please contact Josh Pals (jpals871@gmail.com) if you can volunteer to help with the Make N Take or for additional info on the display.  The display will be discussed at the January 4th ASM meeting.

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The Eagle's View

by Mike Blohm, ASM President

December 2018 Article: 

Election Results, Year-End Festivities, and a Look-Back at 2018

  

First off, I want to thank everybody that served on the 2018 E-Board.  We have a few changes based upon the elections for the 2019 E-Board.  A big thank you goes to Josh Pals as the 2018 Vice President, who is stepping up to be the President in 2019.  Another big thank you goes to John Tate as the 2018 Contest Director, with Chris Kurtze coming in to serve in that role in 2019.  Frank Randall remains on as the Secretary-Treasurer.  Thanks also go to Jack Garriss (re-elected) and two out-going Pro Tems--Chris Kurtze and Keith Liotta--with Ken Piniak and David Epstein being elected to serve in 2019.  It looks like a very good group to lead and serve ASM in 2019.

There are three contests on the plate for the December ASM meeting, so hopefully you will be able to participate in one or more of those.  John Tate discusses those in his Contest Update article below.  One note on the "Adversaries II (Part Deux)" sponsored contest hosted by myself and my son Matt:  Awards will be based upon participation in the contest.  Based upon the models on the table, there might perhaps be "Best Big Scale Aircraft (1/48 and 1/32)" and "Best Small Scale Aircraft (1/144 and 1/72)" awards, "Best Armor" etc.  We had 36 models entered in "Adversaries I" in July 2015, so maybe we can top that number.

 Here is a quick chronological recap of ASM events that occurred in 2018.  Things started a little slow but really happened in rapid fire from August through November. 

 National Convention.  We had great ASM participation--17 attendees--at the IPMS/USA National Convention in Phoenix, Arizona on August 1-4.  !  ASM modelers placed first and second in the Best Chapter/Group Entry category with the "World War II Matilda Tanks Across the World" display led by Ken Liotta and the "Renault FT - The First Modern Tank" display led by Tony Humphries.  The Matilda display also won the Best Miscellaneous award. 

        

NM State Fair.  Next up was the ASM- sponsored model contest and display at the 2018 New Mexico State Fair, which had model registration and judging on  August 24-27.  We had a record turnout of 83 model entries from 44 entrants, up from 2017's previous high record of 77 entries.  ASM's "1918 - Final Year of World War I" display had 26 models.

   

Air Force Ball.  The Air Force Ball model display at Kirtland Air Force Base took place on September 15th to celebrate the anniversary of the establishment of the USAF in September 1947.  We had 74 models on the tables manned by four ASM members showing the history of the USAF from 1947 through the present, and it was enjoyed by all attendees. 

           

 Folds of Honor Patriot Gala.  Our final model display for 2018 was at the Folds of Honor (FoH) Patriot Gala, which took place on October 20 at the .Santa Anna Star Casino Hotel in Bernalillo.  The mission of FoH is to provide educational support to the spouses and children of America’s fallen and disabled service members.  The Gala is one of their primary fund-raising events, where donated articles are auctioned off in a silent online auction and old-fashioned verbal auction during the dinner.  We had 81 total models on three tables located in the auction room manned by six ASM members, and we had a lot of attendees come by to look at the models and ask questions.  This year we had two 1/48 scale models of an F-16C Fighting Falcon in the markings of the New Mexico Air National Guard’s 150th Fighter Wing "Tacos" for the auction, built and donated by Chris Kurtze and Patrick Dick.  Feedback from the FoH leadership was that all the models were “works of art” and that the F-16s were a hit and did very well in the auctions. 

        

To close, here is another short story on an American ace.  F4U Corsair aces have not received much coverage in the time that I have been doing these stories, so this month I will be covering Captain Kenneth Walsh , US Marine Corps (USMC).  With 21 aerial victories Ken Walsh is the 18th ranking U.S ace (tie).; 4th ranking in the USMC. and the first and top "Corsair ace."  He was also the top ace of VMF-124  the "Checkerboards”.  Walsh served five years in scout and observation squadrons before he joined VMF-124 in Sep 1942, the first unit to fly the "Corsair" in combat, and arrived at Guadalcanal in Feb 1943.  He became the first "Corsair Ace" on 3 May 1943 when he downed two Zekes off the Russell Islands.  Walsh would score 12 kills  in 19 days (12-30 Aug 1943).  He was awarded the Medal of Honor from President Roosevelt on 8 Feb 1944.  Walsh later served in VMF-122 flying the Corsair in the Philippine Islands and Okinawa, scoring one victory on 22 June 1945 (Zeke).  More info on Ken Walsh and the build of a model of his F4U-1 Corsair are included in an article below.  This is my last article as the current President of ASM.  I plan to submit occasional articles on the U.S. aces and builds of their aircraft in future ASM Newsletters. 

           

 

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November 2018 Article: 

ASM's model display at the Folds of Honor Patriot Gala on Saturday, October 20 went really well. We had 81 total models on three tables located in the auction room, and we had a lot of people come by to check out the models and talk about the ones that they had flown or maintained. There were six ASM members manning the tables: Josh Pals, Frank Randall, Chris Kurtze, Ken Piniak, and Mike and Matt Blohm. Chris Kurtze and Patrick Dick both provided a 1/48-scale model of an F-16C Fighting Falcon in the markings of the New Mexico Air National Guard's 150th Fighter Wing "Tacos" for the auction. The Folds of Honor provides scholarships for the children and spouses of America's fallen and disabled service members. Several pictures of the display are included below. A longer article and more pictures are included below.

                           

The November 2 meeting is the E-Board election night. We have six people running for three Pro Tem positions. These include (in alphabetical order): John Dodd, Dave Epstein, Jack Garriss, Dave Haskins, Robert Henderson, and Ken Piniak. There was only one nomination for the positions of President (Josh Pals), Vice President (Tony Humphries), Secretary/Treasurer (Frank Randall), and Contest Director (Chris Kurtze). 

The November meeting's other highlight is a "Battle of Britain" presentation being given by noted aviation author Douglas Dildy. His latest book is Battle of Britain 1940: The Luftwaffe's 'Eagle Attack.' This is the first book in the new Osprey Books "Air Campaign" series. Request that all ASM members bring in your built Battle of Britain models--Bf-109s, Spitfires, Hurricanes, etc.--for "display only" to compliment Doug's presentation. We will have a table set up in the meeting room for those.

I want to report that ASM will not be doing a "1918" model display for Veterans Day at the New Mexico Veterans Memorial. They did like the "1918" display that we did at the State Fair, but unfortunately they do not have any display area open for us to use at this time. They may have space open in a few months, so stand by for more info on that.

We have two sponsored contests in November as well as the main "Open" theme (points) contest. These include Brian Peck's "Challenge Build" and Dave Epstein's "Blackbirds." I also want to pitch December's sponsored contest "Adversaries II (Part Deux)" hosted by Matt Blohm and myself. This is open to any two model subjects (counts as one entry) that were involved in an adversarial situation. An example might be a Zero or Val dueling a P-40B over the skies of Pearl Harbor. These models would also be eligible for December's "Pearl Harbor Plus 7" Special Contest. Models from the original "Adversaries" contest in July 2015 are not eligible for "Part Deux."

To close, here is another short US ace story, on Major John B. England, who scored 17.5 victories flying with the 357th Fighter Group "Yoxford Boys" in the European Theater of Operations. England was an original member of the 357th, assigned to the 362 Fighter Squadron. The 357th flew its first combat mission on 11 Feb 1943 and ended the war as the top-scoring P-51 Mustang group in the 8th Air Force and third in scoring amongst all fighter groups in Europe. England scored his first victory on 8 Mar 1944 and made Ace in 44 days. His last victory was scored on 4 Jan 1945. He commanded the 362 FS from 25 Aug 1944 to 8 Apr 1945. England remained in the US Army Air Force after World War II and then the USAF and flew several missions during the Korean War. He was killed in a F-86 flying accident on 17 Nov 1954 while commander of the 389th Fighter Bomber Squadron. Further details on John England and pictures of the build of his P-51B Mustang are in the Articles section below.

                

 

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October 2018 Article: 

First off, I want to thank everybody that supported the ASM model display at the Air Force Ball on Kirtland AFB on Saturday, September 15th.  We had 74 models on the tables showing the history of the USAF from 1947 through the present.  It went very well and everybody enjoyed the display.  Thanks to Josh Pals, Larry Glenn and Frank Randall for helping me man the tables.  A few pictures are included here; a longer article and pictures of the display are posted below on this Articles webpage. 

           

Our next ASM model display is at the Folds of Honor (FoH) New Mexico 2018 Patriot Gala, being held on October 20th at the Santa Anna Star Casino Hotel in Bernalillo.  The mission of FoH is to provide educational support to the spouses and children of America's fallen and disabled service members.  The display is going to be of models of any genre (aircraft, helicopters, armor, vehicles, ships, submarines, figures, dioramas, etc.) and any scale that fits what was/is being used by the U.S. military (any Service) from September 11, 2001 through the present.  Last year we had 40 models in the display spread out on six tables--see pictures on the 2017 Meeting Pics webpage.  It would be great to get the same models back, plus all the new builds going on for Brian Peck's "Challenge Build" sponsored contest on November 2nd.  I know that there are a lot of armor kits included in that, and we were a bit short on armor and vehicles in 2017.  As we did for the AF Ball, we will have a briefing at the October 5th ASM meeting on the display, and an E-mail will be send out to all the members that have eligible models from the last few years.  If you have something that I missed, please consider loaning that, too!  Last year we were lacking in the bomber, transport, tanker and support aircraft areas, and as I mentioned above, on armor and vehicles.  We will need four ASM folks manning the display, so please let me know if you are interested.  Here is a link to the NM FoH website

Thanks again to everyone who made the 2018 NM State Fair Model Contest a success.  We set a new record with 83 entries.  Our "1918" display had 26 models.  An article on the state fair results is elsewhere on the ASM Website. 

Speaking of 1918, we may be doing a model display on "1918" at the New Mexico Veterans Memorial to celebrate Armistice Day.  I have contacted the Memorial's director of displays, but have not heard anything back yet.  So stand by for more news.  We may be able to put on the same exhibit as we did at the state fair, if everyone would like to participate (loan models) in the display. 

Next month's meeting on October 5th is the 2019 E-Board Nominations meeting.  We will be accepting nominations for all the E-Board positions, with the election to occur at the November 2nd meeting.  Please consider running for a position.  It is a great way to learn how the club runs and everything behind the scenes.  The positions and duties, and expectations of E-Board members are covered in the ASM By Laws, which are posted on the By Laws webpage.  An article on the nominations process and a condensed versions of the By Laws information is contained in the October Newsletter's Bonus Pages. 

Speaking of the November 2nd meeting, that night we will be having a presentation on the "Battle of Britain" by noted aviation historian and author Douglas Dildy.  You do not want to miss this!  Doug recently wrote Battle of Britain 1940: The Luftwaffe's 'Eagle Attack,' the first book in the new Osprey Books "Air Campaign" series. 

To wrap up, here is this month's short American ace story on Captain Frederick J. Christensen Jr., US Army Air Force.  Christensen, with 21.5 victories, is the 16th-ranking American ace (tie), and 11th-ranking USAF ace.  He was the 4th-ranking ace of the 56th Fighter Group "Zemke's Wolfpack," which points out the skill and expertise of that unit!  He flew 107 combat missions in the European Theater of Operations, all in the P-47 Thunderbolt.  Additional details and pictures of Christensen and the build of his bubbletop P-47D "Rozzie Geth II" are included below on this Articles webpage. 

       

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September 2018 Article: 

ASM did very well at the IPMS/USA National Convention last month in Phoenix.  We had 17 members in attendance--see pictures below.  I'm not sure if that is a record for the club, but it is up there!  ASM modelers placed first and second in the Best Chapter/Group Entry category with the "World War II Matilda Tanks Across the World" display led by Ken Liotta and the "Renault FT - The First Modern Tank" display led by Tony Humphries.  The Matilda display also won the Best Miscellaneous award.  Congratulations to all the ASM members who built models for the displays.  I also wanted to give kudos to Jerry Little for putting together the great ASM chapter/club display table for the Nationals.  Pictures of the two group entries and the club's table are shown below and at the top of the ASM Website's home page.  

                   

There will probably be other articles written on the Nats, but here are my comments.  Overall, I thought it was a great show with a lot of great models on the tables.  I heard about some long delays in getting registered on the first day, but I did not personally experience that on the second day.  They had pretty smooth model entry procedures, and I picked up some ideas that we might want to incorporate for the next Chile Con.  I think there should have been some splits in the non-aircraft and armor categories, which also had huge amounts of entries.  The 2020 Nationals will be in San Marcos, Texas, about half way between Austin and San Antonio.  So you'd better get building for that!

Thanks to all who entered models in the NM State Fair model contest and/or ASM's "1918" model display, and who helped with the registration and judging.  We will have a report at the September 7th ASM meeting with some statistics on how many entries and entrants we had and how many models were in the display.  Contest results will be posted on the website within a few days of the judging.  There are normally around 300 pictures posted each year, so that will take a few weeks.  If you entered any models, don't forget to pick them up on Monday, September 17th from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. 

The next model display coming up is the Air Force Ball on September 15th at Kirtland AFB.  We are looking for anything USAF from 1947 through the present time.  This includes aircraft (it is the Air Force), helicopters, missiles, X-planes, support vehicles, figures, ships (yes, they have some), and dioramas.  I will be going through the model pictures from the last couple of years and let the builders know which of their models could be used, in case you have forgotten what might be a player.  We intend to borrow some of the ASM-built nuclear bomber models from the Defense Nuclear Weapons School Museum display, including 1/72 scale B-36, B-47, B-52 and B-2 aircraft. How to provide loaner models will be discussed at the September 7th meeting and in an E-mail to the membership. Please let me know what you will be loaning so that I can print out name plates for them. 

               

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August 2018 Article: 

Most members are likely aware that ASM member Gil Johnson passed away on June 30th.  Gil had been a member of ASM since 2006.  A longer tribute article to Gil is published below on this webpage.  Please be sure to read that. 

I hope that ASM members who attended the IPMS/USA Nationals Convention in Phoenix on Aug 1-4 had a good time and were able to place well in the contest with whatever you entered.  I think that we have a lot of great modelers who will have been competitive.   Please bring your entries and any awards that you received to the ASM meeting on Aug 10th. 

I am sure that we will have member reports on the convention submitted for the Sep edition of the ASM Newsletter.  Anyone is welcome to submit an article to Joe Walters on their perceptions and experiences at the big show, and they will  be published as received.  I will also get those article posted to the ASM Website.  Everyone please take pics of whatever models you entered, and we will get all those posted too. 

We will be starting the first of three big ASM model displays at the 2018 NM State Fair, which runs Sep 6-16.  Model entries are on Aug 24 and 25 from 9 AM to 5 PM each day.  Please contact Josh Pals if you can help--he is the lead for this effort.  There will probably be a sign-up sheet at the Aug 10th meeting.  There is a longer article elsewhere in this newsletter on entering your models in the contest and contributing to the "1918" display.  We had a lot of great World War I models on the tables for the "1918" sponsored contest at the May ASM meeting.  I'd like to see all those at the state fair!  Remember that if you take a model to the fair, it will not be available for either the Sep 7th ASM meeting or the Sep 15th Air Force Ball, our next big model display effort. 

To finish up, here is another short "ace story."  August 31, 1943 was the first use of the F6F Hellcat in combat, so this month's story is on little-known Hellcat ace Lieutenant Patrick D. Fleming who scored 19 total aerial victories.  Fleming is the 22nd-ranking American ace (tie), and the 4th-ranking US Navy ace (tie).  He initially served on the cruiser USS Cincinnati until entering flight training in Nov 1942.  He then served as a flight instructor from Dec 1943 to Mar 1944, when he joined VF-80 (Fighting Squadron 80 "Vipers") aboard the USS Ticonderoga.  During 2 combat tours with VF-80 he scored 10 victories, including 5 kills on 14 Dec 1944 (4 Zekes and an Oscar) in the Philippines; a "triple" on 3 Jan 1945 (2 Oscars and a Tojo); and a "double" on 25 Nov 1944 (2 Frances).  He then transferred to VBF-80 (Bombing Fighting Squadron 80) as the Executive Officer, where he continued his multi-kill missions by scoring 9 kills in 2 days: 5 scored on 16 Feb (5 Zekes) and 4 on 17 Feb 1945 (4 Nates) during the carrier raids on Tokyo.  Fleming took command of VF-80 in May 1945.  He was awarded a Navy Cross, 2 Silver Stars, and 2 Distinguished Flying Crosses.  Fleming resigned from the Navy in Jan 1947 and joined the newly formed USAF as a Major.  He flew the B-29, B-50 and B-47 and rose to the rank of Colonel.  Fleming was killed in a B-52B crash on 16 Feb 1956 while serving as the 93rd Bomb Wing's Deputy Wing Commander.  The model below of Fleming's Hellcat is the Heller 1/72 scale kit depicted in Nov 1944 aboard the USS Ticonderoga.  The model is finished overall in Model Master enamel paint Dark Sea Blue FS15042.  The markings were kit-bashed from Super Scale Hellcat decal sheets.  Of note, of the 6,477 Japanese aircraft that were claimed destroyed in the air by US Navy pilots, the Hellcat was responsible for 4,947 of them (76.4 per cent). 

                   

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July 2018 Article: 

To open, I think that everybody has probably heard that long-time ASM member Harry Davidson passed away on June 10th.  He was the founder of the Cavalcade of Wings model display that members have likely seen at the Sunport.  Though his membership in ASM the two organizations have had great synergy and accomplished a lot of model-related projects, displays, and service to the community.  There is a longer article that pays tribute to Harry posted below on this webpage.  We will miss him. 

   

We are halfway through the year now.  Please let the E-Board know if you have any suggestions to make the second half of the year better and to have more fun.  Besides our contests and the model displays on our schedule, what would you like see for clinics?  If you would like to give a clinic on a cool method that you've recently discovered or tried, please let us know.  The same goes for presentations, if you'd like to do one of those.  Of note, the IPMS/USA National Convention in Phoenix is now one month out, so it's time to get started on your project. 

 This month's theme contest is "Bare Metal," so hopefully we'll see a lot of models of the early USAF jets and the Century Series (talking about the F-80 through F-105) and transport, tanker and bomber aircraft that can also be displayed at the Air Force Ball in September.  Hopefully you are making progress on your kits for Brian Peck's "Challenge Build" sponsored contest at the end of the year, which are players for both the AF Ball and Folds of Honor displays.

 Unfortunately, Matt and I thought it best to postpone our July 6th sponsored contest "Adversaries II (Part Deux)" until Dec14th, because of confusion on the ROE.  The ASM 2018 Contest Schedule's wording differed from the actual ROE, which is "Any two model subjects (counts as one entry) involved in an adversarial situation."  Examples of entries include: an F-4D Phantom II versus a MiG-17 or MiG-21 in Vietnam Nam, a Spitfire Mk I versus a Bf 109E in the Battle of Britain, the HMS Hood versus the Bismarck, or X-Wing Fighter versus TIE Fighter (must be compatible between movies - we have ways to check that!)  All genres are a player.  Our apologies for pushing this later, but now folks have time to build a second model if they had only built one.  Please note that entries from Part 1 are not eligible to be entered in Part Deux. If you don't remember what you previously entered, please check the 2015 Model Pictures webpage and check the month of July.  There were about 32 models entered in the contest and the judging was pretty tough to do.  

Model registration for the NM State Fair is on Friday Aug 25th and Saturday Aug 26th.  We will need members to help out on those two days, as well as the judging the following week on either Monday or Tuesday, still to be determined.  You can earn points towards ASM Modeler of the Year by entering models in the contest (50 points each) and contributing models to the "1918" ASM display (25 points each, max of 3 models total across both for points, but certainly bring more than 3). You will need to do some strategery about what you want to take to the Fair, enter in the Sep 7th ASM "Post Apocalyptic" contest, and/or display at the AF Ball on Sep 15th.  Models taken to the Fair will be on display there from Aug 26th through Sep 16th when the Fair closes (can pick them up on Sep 17th).  More info on the State Fair has been posted on the ASM Website. 

 Speaking of Post Apocalyptic, I would like to take a short moment to address a condition that is likely very prevalent in ASM that while not serious to your health, does seem to be communicable by both touch and airborne means.  This is the Uncompleted Contest Build Syndrome (UCBS).  How you catch it is fairly obvious--you try to build models.  Luckily, it seems in ASM that about every three to four years the moons, planets and the Sun line up again and you have the chance for a partial cure.  Of course, when they do, it's hard to build models when it's pitch black and those monster things are trying to kill you.  That's when a good modeling lamp will save your butt.  But I digress.  I started a kit for Josh Pals' "Post-Apocalyptic" sponsored contest back in September, 2011.  It was going to be totally awesome, but it was overwhelmed by the Apocalypse.  Now, seven years later to the month, the universe is again aligned, and I have the chance to get that partial cure.  Wish me luck.

 To close out, here is a short story on an American ace who flew with the American Volunteer Group (AVG), which flew it's last mission on July 3rd, 1942--76 years ago this month.  Squadron Leader David "Tex" Hill was the second-ranking ace of the AVG, also known as the "Flying Tigers."  He was initially a Flight Leader in the 2nd Pursuit Squadron (the "Panda Bears") and later became the Squadron Commander.  Hill scored 10.25 aerial victories with the AVG (plus 2 ground) and another 5 after he joined the US Army Air Corps when the AVG disbanded on July 4th, 1942.  Hill was assigned Curtiss Hawk 81-A2 number 48 (P-8134), which was similar to a P-40B Warhawk.  He was one of five AVG pilots who chose to remain in China and join the new 23rd Fighter Group, where he was assigned the rank of Major and command of the 75th Fighter Squadron.  A longer article on Tex Hill and pictures of a model of his aircraft built using the 1/72 scale Academy P-40B Tomahawk kit are included below on this webpage.  

       

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June 2018 Article:

The May 4th meeting included a presentation on "1918" by Josh Pals that covered the highlights of events in the first half of that year.  Josh will present the second half of 1918 at the June 1st meeting.  John Tate's "1918" sponsored contest at the May meeting had an impressive turn-out of really nice models.  I hope you were there to see them, or better yet, participated too!  If you were unable to complete your 1918 model in time for the May meeting, please try to get it done by the end of August, as "1918" is also the theme of our ASM Display-Only exhibit at the 2018 New Mexico State Fair. 

Instead of featuring an American ace this month, I'm going to talk about an anniversary that just occurred on May 17th: the 75th anniversary of the completion of the 25th combat mission by the Boeing B-17F Flying Fortress "Memphis Belle" and its crew in 1943.  The B-17F belonged to the 324th Bomb Squadron (Heavy) of the 91st Bomb Group in the European Theater.  To commemorate this anniversary the restored "Memphis Belle" was rolled-out on May 17th to go on display at the National Museum of the US Air Force (the "Air Force Museum" to us old heads).  This was a significant event in that the odds of completing 25 missions was very low at that time.  The "Belle" returned to the US to go on a war bond tour and became famous in multiple movies--the latest version made in 1990.  The B-17 was put on display in Memphis in 1947 and deteriorated severely over the years from the weather and vandalism.  The B‑17 was moved to the USAF Museum in October 2005 for restoration and eventual display, and was unveiled on May 17th.  Of note, the B-17 "Hell's Angels" of the 303rd Bomb Group completed 25 combat missions on May 13, 1943, becoming the first B-17 to complete the feat, one week before the "Memphis Belle."  The press, however, became enamored with the "Belle" and she was immortalized in history.  In another case of ironic irony, the B-17G "Texas Raiders" from the Commemorative Air Force was here in Albuquerque on May 14-17.  Hopefully you got to see it flying around.  That is always way cool.  If you had the chance to tour it at Cutter Aviation, please consider writing a trip report and share some of your pictures. 

ASM put on a year-long rotating model display in 1997-1998 at multiple locations on Kirtland AFB--including the National Atomic Museum--to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the creation of the US Air Force, which occurred on Sep 27th, 1947.  As part of that display, John Tate built a 1/72 model of the "Memphis Belle."  The model has appeared in multiple ASM model displays since that time, and it is always a favorite with the crowd.  Pictures below include: the "Memphis Belle" at the end of it's 25th mission and subsequent war bond tour in the USA; restoration by the USAF Museum; and pictures of John's model, which is Academy's B-17F kit.  Additional pictures are included in the Memphis Belle History and Restoration article posted elsewhere on this Aricles webpage.    

                        


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May 2018 Article:

 
First off, I'd like to thank the folks who did the four model skills clinics at the April 6th meeting.  I think those went really well and looked to be well-attended, and I hope you learned some new techniques to try on your next project.  Those instructors included Brian Peck (rigging and wires), Chris Kurtze (black based painting), Henry McHarney (dioramas and weathering), and Frank Randall (painting white finishes). 

The May 4th meeting will include the "Tamiya Versus Hasegawa" special (non-points) contest and the "1918" sponsored contest hosted by John Tate.  2018 is the 100th anniversary of the last year of World War I, also known as the "Great War" and the "War to End All Wars."  The May meeting will also include a presentation on "1918 - the Year in Review" by Josh Pals.  This will cover the highlights of events that occurred during that final year of the war.  Hopefully we will have a lot of entries for the "1918" contest, which is open to any subject, any kit, any scale that fits the year 1918.  Please remember that this is the theme of our ASM Display-Only exhibit at the 2018 New Mexico State Fair. 

I would like to take a short moment to address a condition that is likely very prevalent in ASM that while not serious to your health, does seem to be communicable by both touch and airborne means.  This is the Uncompleted Contest Build Syndrome (UCBS).  How you catch it is fairly obvious-you try to build models.  Luckily, it seems in ASM that about every three to four years the moons, planets and the Sun line up again and you have the chance for a partial cure.  Of course, when they do, it's hard to build models when it's pitch black and those monster things are trying to kill you.  That's when a good modeling lamp will save your butt.  See Jerry Little for some help with that.  But I digress.  I started a kit for Josh Pals's "Post-Apocalyptic" sponsored contest back in September, 2011.  It was going to be totally awesome, but it was overwhelmed by the Apocalypse.  Now, seven years later to the month, the universe is again aligned, and I have the chance to get that partial cure.  Wish me luck.

To coincide with John Tate's "1918" contest, this month's ace's story will cover two aces who flew with the United States Air Service of the American Expeditionary Force in France during 1918, and models of their aircraft: 1st Lieutenant Douglas Campbell who flew the Nieuport 28 "Scout" and 2nd Lieutenant Frank Luke, Jr. who flew the SPAD S.XIII.  Campbell, below left, was the first American-trained ace in WW I.  Luke, below right, the "Arizona Balloon Buster," scored a phenomenal 18 victories over 10 days before his demise.  These stories and additional pictures of the men and models of their aircraft are included in the "Americn Aces of World War I" article in the main section of this webpage. 

               

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April  2018 Article:

The April 6 meeting is an "ASM Clinics Night" so you want to be sure to attend that night. We plan to have four or five simultaneous rotating clinics that will be repeated, so that you can pick and choose the topics that most interest you. Right now the topics include black-based painting, painting white, and diorama weathering. Each will be 30 - 45 minutes long. Stay tuned to the website for the latest on the topics to be covered that night. There are no contests that night, but Works-In-Progress entries can be brought in and Display-Only models are welcomed. We plan to conduct more modeling skills clinics throughout the year.

Here's an update on the model displays that ASM will be conducting in 2018. First, we have the "1918--End of World War I" display at the New Mexico State Fair. That will be on August 24 - 25 when we do the model entries for the contest. In preparation for that, you can build an entry for John Tate's "1918" sponsored contest on May 4. The second display will likely be at the Air Force Ball on September 15. Our participation has not yet been confirmed for this. Models for that would be anything USAF from 1947 to the present. If we are short on models, we could probably sneak some World War II USAAF models in too. The third display is at the Folds of Honor Patriot Gala, which has been moved to October 20. The models for that will be any US Service from 2001 to the present. To generate some new builds for that, the ASM E-Board is hosting the "Global War on Terror (GWOT)" sponsored contest at the September 7 meeting.

To wrap up, here is this month's short story on an American ace. I have yet to feature an F-86 "Sabre" ace, so this month I'm covering Colonel Royal N. "King" Baker, USAF, with 16.5 aerial victories. Baker was the fifth ranking allied ace in Korea with thirteen scores including twelve MiG-15's and one LA-9. He is the 29th-ranking American ace (tie), and 24th-ranking ace in the USAF (tie). Baker commanded the 4th Fighter Intercept Wing from June 1952 to March 1953, flying 127 combat missions. He was the leading Korean War scorer for much of his tour. He scored 1.5 kills on 7 December 1952 near Sinuiju. During WWII he scored 3.5 kills. He flew Spitfires with the 308th Fighter Squadron (FS) of the 31st Fighter Group (FG) in the Mediterranean Theater (with two Fw 190 and one Bf-109 victories). He also served as 493 FS Operations Officer and 48 FG Operations Officer in the European Theater, scoring 0.5 Bf-109 kills while flying the P-47 Thunderbolt. Baker was 7th AF Vice Commander in Vietnam and flew 140 combat sorties. He was 17th AF Commander from July 1969 to February 1971, and retired as a Lt General in August 1975. Baker died in April 1976.

The model of Baker's aircraft "The King / Angel Face & the Babes" is the Testors F-86E kit, and has the patch of the 336th Fighter Intercept Squadron "Rocketeers" on the nose. This model was built and put on display at the USAF Academy in 1997. It is finished in Model Master Aluminum Plate Buffing enamel paint. The decals are from the Micro Scale "Korean War Aces #2" decal sheet 72-244. Eagle Strike has a more recent "Wings Over Korea" decal sheet 72059 that includes Baker's markings.

                       

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March  2018 Article:

March is the first Open theme contest - hopefully we will see lots of models om the table.  The two Open contests in March and November typically have the most entries of the year.  The March meeting will have a historical presentation by Dave Allin.  He is a U.S. Army and Vietnam War veteran and comes to us via our association with the Albuquerque Model Car Club.  April is Clinics Night - let us know what you want to see at the March meeting.  We will pick the highest priorities to present.  Also please let us know if you would like to present a clinic yourself, either in April or later in the year. 

A quick reminder that March 31st is the IPMS Region 10 CoMMiES Fest 2018 model contest up in Golden, Colorado.  Their theme this year is "A Night at the Movies."  There are links on the ASM Website.

 Please let me know if you are interested in building a model, display case, or plaques for the ASM raffle models at the Folds of Honor Gala fund-raising event this September.  We plan to build several 1/48 scale F-16 models with "New Mexico Taco's" markings.  See picture of Chris Kurtze's F-16 model below for what we'd like to build.  If you are interested in building any models for display at the Nuclear Weapons Heritage Model Display at the Defense Nuclear Weapons School Museum on Kirtland AFB, please get with me. 

 I have not yet covered a F4U Corsair ace, so this month's ace story and model build is on Major Archie G. Donahue of the US Marine Corps.  With 14 aerial victories, Donahue is the 11th ranking USMC ace and 38th ranking U.S. ace (tie).  He is the top-ranking ace of both the VMF-112 "Wolfpack" and VMF-451 "Blue Devils."  Donahue finished training in Dec 1941 and joined VMF-112, arriving with the unit at Guadalcanal Island in Nov 1942.  He served 3 tours there, flying 159 total combat missions.  His first 2 victories were in the F4F Wildcat on 13-14 Nov 1942 (2 Zeros).  Donahue scored 7 more kills flying the F4U Corsair, with a "quadruple" and 1 probable on 13 May 1943 (4 Zeros) near Florida Island, and a "double" on 7 Jun 1943 (2 Zeros) near the Russell Islands.  He returned to the U.S. and joined VMF-451 in Jun 1943.  All his VMF-451 scores occurred on one mission when he made "ace in a day" on 12 Apr 1945 (3 Vals and 2 Zeros) off Okinawa.  He flew 56 missions off the USS Bunker Hill (CV-17) until it was hit by kamikazes on 11 May 1945 and had to retire from combat.  After WW II he was in real estate and was active in the Confederate Air Force, flying a replica Zero.  Donahue died on 30 Jul 2007.  Donahue's F4U-1D Corsair was built using the Tamiya Vought F4U-1D kit in 1/72 scale.  The kit goes together very nicely and includes almost all the decals required for Donahue's markings with VMF-451 aboard the Bunker Hill.  The kit has White 167 which was Lt Commander Roger Hedrick's aircraft with VF-84 on Bunker Hill.  Donahue's White 19 markings were created using numbers from SuperScale Corsair decal sheets.  The model was painted overall with Model Master Dark Sea Blue (FS 15042).  The yellow nose was painted Model Master Insignia Yellow FS 33538.  The interior was painted Model Master Zinc Chromate Green. 

           
 

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February 2018 Article:

We had a pretty good turnout of models at December's Moe Blaters "Sci-Fi, Real Space, Science and Fantasy" Special Contest, with 18 model entries.  The Intermediate division had a great set of models, with the Orks and Martians fighting it out with the Humans and Cylons from Battlestar Galactica.  Unfortunately for the Humans, the Orks and Tripod won out. 

 The February meeting is one of our two "Swap Meets," so bring your old plastic to recycle for new plastic.  The March meeting is an "Open" theme contest.  There is an opportunity here to use strategery to try to fill a bunch of squares with one peg, bird, or in this case a model build.  For example, a World War I subject from 1918 could be entered in the March Open contest, John Tate's "1918" Sponsored Contest in May, the IPMS/USA Nationals in August (they may have a special WW I award), and the New Mexico State Fair model contest and the ASM "1918" display in September.  Sounds like a plan to me. 

I wanted to mention some model displays that ASM is currently working on.  The first is the Nuclear Weapons Heritage Model Display at the Defense Nuclear Weapons School Museum on Kirtland AFB.  ASM contributed/loaned them 10 models during 2017, and we are trying to revitalize our relationship with that museum with some additional builds.  They are looking for any subjects from the Cold War era and current times, not just those involved with nuclear weapons.  See the "Model Displays" webpage on the ASM Website for additional information and pictures of ASM-built models currently on display.  A second model display project just now underway are model builds for several squadrons of the 58th Special Operations Wing (SOW) at Kirtland AFB.  That may expand to some additional models - stand by for more information on that.  ASM provided loan of MH-60G and UH-1N models for a 58 SOW awards ceremony on January 19th.  Thanks to Victor Maestas for loaning those 1/48th models, and also to Steve Brodeur for a 1/72nd UH-1D model. 

 The ASM Website has been updated with new 2018 webpages.  Selecting the major pages and 2018 "year pages" should take you to other 2018 pages.  Please let me know if you find any incorrect links.  Past "year pages" will take you to pages involving that same year - selecting Meeting Pics on the 2017 Model Pics page will take you to 2017 Meeting Pics, etc.  If you get lost, select "ASM Home" to get back to the Home Page. 

To finish up, here is this month's short story on an American ace.  I noticed that I had not yet featured anyone who flew the Hellcat.  The Wildcat has received a lot of coverage, but not its younger brother.  So to make up for that, I'm going to briefly cover the top three Hellcat aces who flew with VF-27 (Fighting Squadron 27) on the USS Princeton from May to October 1944.  These include Lieutenant (Lt) James A. "Red" Shirley (12.5 victories), Lt Carl A. Brown (10.5 victories), and Lt Richard E. Stambook (10 victories).  VF-27's cruise aboard the USS Princeton was cut short by its sinking on October 24, 1944, but in five months the squadron accumulated 134 aerial victories, with 104 occurring on three days. and 64 destroyed on the ground.  Further information on these Hellcat Aces of VF-27, and more pictures of models of their aircraft, are included in the main part of the Articles web page. 

                       

Left to right above:  Lt James "Red" Shirley and his F6F-3 Hellcat "White 23"; Lt Carl "Brownie" Brown, Jr. and his F6F-5 Hellcat "White 9";
and Lt Richard Stambook and his F6F-3 Hellcat "White 17"

   

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January 2018 Article:

A Look Back at 2017 and the Upcoming 2018 - and a Local Hero Passes

 First off I want to thank the outgoing members of the 2017 E-Board for the service to the club:  Jerry Little as Vice President, Victor Maestas as Contest Director, and Bob Henderson as Pro Tem.  Our most excellent 2017 was due in part to their hard efforts.

Speaking of 2017, here is a short recap of what the club accomplished over the year.  A few pictures of these events are included with this article.  We put on a great IPMS Region 10 Convention and Model Contest with "Chile Con IV" held at a new venue on June 16-17.  It went quite well, with 70 entrants and 466 models from 6 different states.  A good time was had by all.  The next big event was the ASM-sponsored 2017 New Mexico State Fair Model Contest on August 26-29.  We set a new record for model entries with a total of 77 by 51 entrants.  Our display-only exhibit of "Star Wars - 40th Anniversary" models was also a record with 35 models that filled two whole cases.  Thanks to everyone for making that truly impressive and a great display of the modeling skills of the ASM membership.  For the 2018 display-only theme we are planning to do "1918" (100th Anniversary of end of World War I).  ASM next put on a model display supporting the Folds of Honor Foundation at their annual fund-raising Patriot Gala on September 23rd at the Sandia Resort and Casino.  That display had 40 models representing all the U.S. Services spread out over 6 tables.  All the attendees enjoyed looking at the models, and we are planning to do a display again in 2018, with a couple of ASM-built models to be raffled-off.  We had an ASM Group Field Trip to the National Museum of Nuclear Science and History here in Albuquerque on December 15th to close-out 2017.  There is a separate article on that event in this Newsletter.  Finally, ASM won the IPMS/USA 2016 Website of the Year Award, and I would like to thank everyone in ASM that contributed articles, kit reviews, and field trip reports for posting on the website and participated in activities and events conducted by the club.  Overall, I think we did a great job of promoting scale modeling and the club with the public and having fun in 2017. 

           

Pictures above, left to right:  Chile Con IV; NM State Fair Model Contest, Folds of Honor Patriot Gala Model Display; Group Field Trip

ASM also had a pretty productive set of club meetings in 2017.  We had two presentations by book authors: "The New Mexico Space Trail" by Joseph Page in March, and the "Desert Storm Air War" by Douglas Dildy in October.  We also had 4 model clinics and 2 presentations on field trips taken by ASM members.  We plan to conduct a similar amount of clinics and presentations in 2018 including a whole meeting dedicated to multiple clinics on April 6th.  Please let the E-Board know if you have a presentation that you would like to give to the club.  Contest-wise, we had 7 Theme (points) contests, 3 Special (non-points) contests, and 5 Sponsored Contests - thanks to all who hosted those.  If you have an idea for a sponsored contest in 2018, please let the Contest Director (John Tate) know and we will try to fit it into the schedule. 

To close, here is another short story of an American "ace" - when you count both aerial and ground victories - Edward B. Giller, who recently passed away here in Albuquerque on October 1st, 2017.  ASM does have a connection with Major General Giller, in a round-about kind of way.  Most modelers might recognize Giller's famous P-51D Mustang named "The Millie G" after his wife, Mildred.  There were actually 8 different "Millie's" including P-38's and P-51's.  During World War II he scored three aerial victories, including an Me 262 jet on Apr 6, 1945.  His other two victories were a Ju 88 on Nov 13, 1943 and a Me 410 on Nov 25, 1944; these two were scored in a P-38 Lightning.  He also had six ground kills, including a "triple" on Apr 16, 1945 and a "double" on Apr 9, 1945.  These ground kills were included in overall victory totals at that time to encourage strafing, thus making him an "ace."  He flew both the P-38 and P-51 with the 343rd Fighter Squadron (FS) of the 55th Fighter Group (FG), 8th Air Force, out of Wormingford, England.  He would eventually serve as 343 FS commander and then 55 FG deputy commander.  Giller remained in the USAF after WWII and was involved in nuclear weapons research and in the USAF Offices of Scientific and Aerospace Research.  From June 1954 to June 1959 he was the Special Assistant Director and later the Director of the Research Directorate, Air Force Special Weapons Center, at Kirkland Air Force Base, New Mexico.  He retired as a Major General in June 1972 but remained involved with the Atomic Energy Commission and the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaties (SALT) I and II, and the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.  General Giller and his wife retired to Albuquerque in 1998 where he lived to his death at the age off 99. 

Several ASM members, including myself, attended the Giller estate sale conducted in June 2016 when he moved into an assisted living facility.  I acquired some photo albums, books, and scrapbooks.  John Tate acquired a display set of four P-51 "Millie G" models that had been presented to General Giller at the 1967 IPMS/USA National Convention where he had been a guest speaker.  These models were detailed in an article by John in the August 2016 ASM Newsletter. See pictures below.  The individual model pictures accompanying this article include a Tamiya 1/48 scale P-51D kit in Giller's markings built by Larry Glenn.  He used BaracudaCals BC48011 decals for the markings.  This model received a 3rd Place award at the 2017 IPMS/USA Nationals, 50 years after the display models had been presented to General Giller in 1967.  Also included are pictures of the Revell 1/72 scale P-51D kit that I built in Giller's markings in 1971.  Back then this was the best 1/72 P-51 kit available.  I believe the decals were from ESCI and Microscale, with some items hand-painted.  Fortunately P-51 kits have gotten a whole lot better since then.  Coincidentally, which makes the connection circle with ASM complete, to build Giller's "Mille" in 1971 for my Ace's Gallery collection at the USAF Academy, I used the 1969 article in the IPMS/USA Journal that detailed all the research that had been done on his aircraft to build that "Mille G" display presentation set that John rescued at the Giller estate sale.  That Journal article was reprinted as part of John's article in the August 2016 ASM Newsletter, and I recommend you check it out.  I do not know why the USAF Academy Library had a subscription to the IPMS/USA Journal and Quarterly, but I spent a lot of time researching schemes in all the magazines that they had on file.  That was my first exposure to IPMS/USA and I subsequently became a member.  To finally close, I hope that everyone has a Happy New Year and can spend a lot of time building models in 2018.  You had better get moving, as the IPMS/USA Nationals is only seven months away!    

               

               

Pictures above:  Edward Giller and his "Millie G"; the rescued 1967 IPMS/USA presentation model display;
Larry Glenn's 1/48th "Millie G"; and Mike Blohm's 1/72nd "Millie G"

For further information on General Giller, his obituary in the Albuquerque Journal Newspaper can be found at:

http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/abqjournal/obituary.aspx?pid=187420469

 


 

December 2017 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. 

                   


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November 2017 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 2017 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 2017 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 2017 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 2017 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 2017 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 2017 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 2017 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 2017 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 2017 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.

 


 

VP's Report

By Josh Pals, 2018 ASM Vice President

February 2018 Article:

By now all of us had time to look over the 2018 contest schedule. While looking over the schedule you may have noticed the contest in September, called "Post-Apocalyptic." This contest was brought up by Chris Kurtze. Several years ago I also had sponsored a similar type of contest. The idea behind this contest is to give modelers a break from the normal kits and subjects they do.

Now, I know trying something different is scary and may lead to the potential downfall of Western civilization! Imagine armor guys building aircraft and vice versa! But stay with me. Every now and then I find it helpful to just try some genre I know little to nothing about. I don't worry if the finished product is "Contest" worthy. I use this as a test bed for some technique I want to try; e.g., hairspray technique, etc. With the pressure of trying to build a nice contest model gone, I instead focus on having fun with the build.

By doing this I have found that the model will turn out far better than I could've imagined and leaves me refreshed to attack a more serious model with some experience on using whatever technique I just experimented with!

The Post-Apocalyptic contest is a great opportunity to let everything go and get back to really having fun with model building! Try some scratch building, kit bashing, parts swapping fun! You're only confined by the limits of your imagination! Just typing "Post-Apocalyptic" into your search engine will bring up thousands of pictures that can help get the ideas and creative juices flowing.

You may have also noticed at the club meetings a black Rubbermaid box with red flaps. That is the "Official" ASM parts box. It is filled with all kinds of leftovers from miscellaneous kits and a great place to scrounge for odd parts to use when doing a model for this type of contest. If you have parts left over from a kit and can't bear to just toss them into the garbage, toss them into the parts box! Leftover decals you won't use? Parts box!

 

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Contest Update

By John Tate, 2018 ASM Contest Chairman

October 2018 Article:

ASM's contest schedule kicked back into gear at the September 7th meeting with the "Post-Apocalyptic" Special Contest, the E-Board's Global War on Terror (GWOT) sponsored contest and Patrick Dick's "Goodyear" and "Best of Corporations" sponored contest finale.

The Special Contest winner was Bob Henderson's Post-Apocalyptic GMC tanker, with the GWOT award going to Victor Maestas for his F-117 Nighthawk.  Patrick Dick had several winners for his Goodyear corporate contest: best auto went to Chuck Hermann for his Porsche 924, a humor award went to Josh Pals for his "Tree Swing" and Dave Straub won a best aircraft award for his beautiful, scratchbuilt USS Shenandoah dirigible, which was also the "Best of Corporations" grand award winner.

Coming up on October 5th is a points contest commemorating the 45th anniversary of the Yom Kippur War of October 1973, with theme open to any subject connected to the Israeli-Arab conflict 1948 to present.  As ever, members are free to bring any eligible model to a points contest, even if not in theme.

Gil De La Plain also has a nifty sponsored contest lined-up: "Get Your Fix, Airfix That Is," open to any Airfix kit subject.  No shortage of projects there - Airfix has kitted just about everything under the sun in its many decades of existence and their recent, new-tooled model releases are some of the nicest kits on the market.

Looking forward to the October meeting - should be plenty of nice models on the contest table.

 

August 2018 Article:

Contest theme for the July 6 meeting was demanding - bare metal - but ASM members rose to the challenge and put some excellent models on the table.

In Junior, Aleya Montano won a Gold, People's Choice, and Best of Show for her Star Wars Thermal Detonator. In Basic, Elias Clark won a Gold, People's Choice, and Best of Show for his 1/72 Wildcat. Intermediate saw some tough competition as usual, with Michael O'Brien winning a First and People's Choice for his eye-catching Klingon K'Tinga Battlecruiser and Scott Jaworski winning a First and Best of Show for his metal-finish MiG-21 PFM. In Masters, Tony Humphries won People's Choice for his rusted-out Afghan FT tank, and Josh Pals won Best of Show for his flawless photo-etched Silver Dragon.

           

My contest favorites were a "What-if" Supermarine Spiteful in Israeli markings by Dave Epstein and the Silver Dragon by Josh Pals.

   

By now, Nationals results have been decided and the winners have their trophies.  So bring your winning models and trophies to the August 10 meeting to show off your hard work along with any surplus kits you want to part with at our club swap meet. The contest schedule begins in earnest again this fall, with a healthy number of contests leading to the Modeler of the Year award - still plenty of competition in the months ahead!

 

July  2018 Article:

Solid turnout at the June 1 ASM meeting for the "O Canada!" points contest and the "Stormy Weather" contest sponsored by Jack Garriss. In the points contest, Best of Show and People's Choice in Basic went to Jeannie Garriss for her Revell Fire Truck. In Intermediate, Best of Show went to Robert Henderson for his Academy 1/72 CF-188, with Dave Epstein winning People's Choice for his Tamiya 1/8 Honda Gorilla motorbike. In Masters, Best of Show went to Tony Humphries for his DML 1/35 Canadian Sherman Firefly tank, with People's Choice going to Brian Peck for his Great Wall 1/48 Su-35. Stormy Weather sponsored contest winners were Eli Clark in Basic for his Airfix 1/72 Hawker Hurricane, Chuck Herrmann in Intermediate for his MPC 1/25 Ferrari 308GT Rainbow, and Larry Glenn for his Tamiya 1/48 P-47D Thunderbolt.

My contest favorites were a Tamiya 1/12 GSX 1100X motorcycle by Ken Liotta and a Zoukei Mura 1/48 J7W1 Shinden by Robert Henderson.

The July 6 points contest theme is "Bare Metal," suggested by E-Board member Chris Kurtze. The contest theme is open to any model depicting a "natural metal" finish, but as with all of our points contests, feel free to enter any eligible model.

No need to remind anyone that the 2018 IPMS Nationals are right around the corner, so now is the time to put the finishing touches on your best work. Some healthy competition in our own club, too, with close races among the top three points contestants in both Intermediate and Masters. Lots of ASM contests ahead this fall, so take a look at our contest schedule and plan now for your next build—best of luck to all contestants. 

 

June  2018 Article:

The May 4 ASM meeting had two non-points contests - "Tamiya/Hasegawa" Special Contest and "1918" Sponsored Contest - which resulted in plenty of quality models on the contest tables.

Results of the Special Contest were:

Intermediate: Hasegawa: 1st Place went to Robert Henderson for his 1/32 J2M3 Raiden, 2nd Place went to Robert Henderson for his 1/32 Bf-109E, and 3rd Place went to Chuck Herrmann for his 1/24 Porsche 962 "TicTac." Tamiya: 1st Place went to Dave Epstein for his 1/6 Honda Z50J-III Gorilla, 2nd Place went to W. Scott Jaworski for his 1/35 M1A1 with mine plow, and 3rd Place went to John R. Dodd for his 1/35 Mark IV Male tank.

Masters: Hasegawa:  1st Place went to Larry Glenn for his 1/48 Bf-109G-6, 2nd Place went to Larry Glenn for his 1/48 A6M5c Zero, and 3rd Place went to Frank Randall for his 1/72 Skyraider. Tamiya: 1st Place went to newcomer Casey Rupley for his 1/48 F-14A Tomcat, 2nd Place went to Chris Kurtze for his 1/48 F4F-4 Wildcat, and 3rd Place went to Larry Glenn for his 1/48 Bf-109E-7 Trop.

I sponsored the "1918" contest to help generate interest and model entries for ASM's upcoming "1918" group display at the state fair this year, and members brought in many nice models for competition. In Masters, Dave Straub won "Best Central Powers Subject" for his beautiful, scratchbuilt 1/200 L-11 Zeppelin (below left) and John R. Dodd won "Best Allied Powers Subject" for his unique 1/35 St. Chamond tank (below right). [Both photos by Ken Liotta.]

Thanks to everyone who entered models at the May meeting. The June 1 ASM meeting will return to the Modeler of the Year points contest format, with a Canada-themed contest open to Canadian model subjects, any scale, any era. Reminder—you can still bring non-themed models to enter in this contest, which can win points, place and be in competition for the People's Choice award, but won't qualify for theme points or be eligible for the Best of Show award that night.

The June meeting will also have a sponsored contest by Jack Garriss, with "Stormy Weather" as its theme, open to any model subject named after a weather phenomenon, such as Lightning, Thunderbolt, Typhoon, etc. Kudos to Jack for an interesting contest topic which should produce some nice entries.

I'm sure I don't need to remind anyone, but the clock is ticking away on IPMS Nationals dream builds; just two months before the big show, so put in that extra effort to get your entries ready to represent ASM at Phoenix - best of luck to all contestants!

 

April  2018 Article:

The ASM contest year got off to a solid start at the March meeting, with a large number of entries across all skill levels. 

There were five entries in Basic, 23 in Intermediate and thirteen in Masters. Intermediate modelers proved yet again they are the club powerhouse, with a good variety of nicely-done model subjects. Best of Show and People's Choice in Basic went to Steve Miller for his "U.S. Cavalry vs. Cheyenne Dog Soldiers" Old West diorama, and Best of Show and People's Choice in Intermediate went to Dave Epstein for his WWII I-400 Japanese sub. In Masters, Tony Humphries picked up a People's Choice for his FT-17 tank and Brian Peck won Best of Show for his Iranian "Ali Cat" F-14, from the new 1/48 Tamiya kit.

Other models that caught my eye as standout builds were Robert Henderson's Wingnut Wings 1/32 SE-5a, Jeannie Garriss's "Scooby Doo Biplane" (would love to see Wingnut Wings tackle that one!), and Steve Brodeur's impressive Mach 2 1/72 Vostok rocket.

The April meeting is a pre-Nationals clinic night but feel free to bring any in-progress builds or display pieces.

Thanks again to all modelers for their hard work and looking forward to a rewarding contest year.

 

March 2018 Article:

ASM’s contest year begins in earnest this Friday, at our March 2, 2018, meeting - a chance to show off winter modeling projects and preview work intended for entry at this summer's IPMS Nationals in Phoenix, which are approaching faster than any of us would like. A reminder to new competitors - you are limited to three completed model entries in our points contests and models must not be past IPMS Nationals trophy winners. Otherwise, the sky's the limit, since the kickoff contest for 2018, by tradition, is an open, non-themed contest.

Contest tip: Build outside your comfort zone and finish models in subject areas you wouldn't ordinarily be interested in; e.g., if you're an airplane modeler, build a tank, or if an armor modeler, build a car. You'll rack up more points that way but more importantly, you'll also broaden your modeling skills and discover that variety can help maintain interest in the hobby.

A reminder - the April meeting is a skill-building night of modeling clinics so bring some kits, workbench tools and supplies and share what you know, or what you're interested in, with other modelers. Or just watch, listen and learn - you'll be sure to pick up some useful modeling tips.

Looking forward to the March contest and if experience is any guide, I know ASM will have a big turnout with some real standout models on the tables. See you Friday...

 

February 2018 Article:

ASM's January 5 meeting was the kickoff for the contest year with solid entries in Basic, Intermediate and Masters for the Moe Blalters Sci-Fi/Fantasy/ Real Space Special contest. Best Basic entry was Aaron Schmiedicke's TIE Fighter, Best Intermediate was Henry McHarney's Space Ark Mega Gargant and Best Master's was Brian Peck's Superdog.

Patrick Dick's annual Best Frickin' Lasers award went to Aaron Schmiedicke in Basic for his TIE Fighter, Logan Carbin for his War of the Worlds Tripod, and Mike Blohm for his F-4X Starfighter.

In addition to the skill-level winners, there were some other eye-catching models on the table; for example, Steve Brodeur's illuminated Moon Bus from 2001: A Space Odyssey and Michael O'Brien's Romulan Bird of Prey. On the In-Progress table, there was an interesting build of the Classic Airframes 1⁄48 Vampire jet by Ken Liotta, and on the Display table, Ken Piniak brought in the brand new Moebius Models 1⁄144 Discovery One from 2001: A Space Odyssey, which is already in the running to be one of the most impressive model kits released this year.

 

 

 

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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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