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Scale Modeling Tips & Tools Monthly, Issue #063-Ides of March-Again
March 15, 2012
March 15, 2012

Yup, Its That Time of Year Again

Most people mark the passing of another year on their birthday, anniversary or a special holiday. Me, it has been the Ides of March and has been for the past five years this publication has existed.

A soothsayer first invoked foreboding of this date when he forecast to Julius Caesar Beware the Ides of March," Yes, it did predict the death of the Roman Emperor.

So far, it hasn't had that degree of significance for me, but at year 73, I still remember my Latin history.

Still, it does signify change and change is afoot here at Scale Modelers Handbook as we jump into year six.

The new "digs" highlighted in last month's Man Cave article.

Other changes are underway like a change in the website, moving from two columns to three, a change in the look and feel, but hopefully retaining the ability to provide real help to scale modelers of every ilk.

I've Got a Right to Rant

Even back when the ABC network popped out the pilot of “Good Christian Bitches”, they must have been digging nails into the boardroom table at the possible repercussions.

They didn’t have to wait long.

The title said it all, we don’t care if it is inappropriate, we’ll just change the name to GCB and tell the viewers it stands for Good Christian Belles.

I myself have found a growing discontent with the current offerings of television and prefer the oldies streamed by Netflixs and others so I have missed what GCB has to offer as I am pondering what value remains in cable TV. I didn’t even see the Oscars.

The entertainment industry ignores the fact there is indeed a God, one who will write the final review of their efforts and things like GCB stick in His craw.

It is not just a problem of a misguided Hollywood, nor is it simply a matter of not wishing to pass along these outrageous changes to our language. The insults and disrespect offered by today’s juveniles is beyond redemption.

Incidents of road rage today are as common as an out-of-place finger salute but now carry the seriousness of intentionally causing near fatal accidents. What’s going On? We have slit a long way down that slippery slope of decency in our dealings with others and it becomes increasingly clear God is meaningless to the majority.

When a presidential candidate Newt Gingrich comments, “Look at the new show that’s on that has the word ‘Christian’ in it, and I want you to take the exact name, drop out Christian and put in ‘Muslim,'" Newt posited.

"Ask yourself is there any network that would have dared to run a show like that and you know the answer is not a one, because this anti-Christian bigotry is just fine in the entertainment industry but they have to be very protective of Islam.”

There are few of us who care anymore.

"I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else."

C. S. Lewis

Solid Modeling Triggers Memories

"Essentially, this group is dedicated to the perpetuation or even the very renewal of a once great hobby “Solid Scale Modeling”. This implies a seriousness of purpose beyond mere enjoyment as a form of recreation. It begs the question: Why? This significance, the meaning of Solid Scale and how it relates today is best understood by reviewing the hobby’s history and contribution. "

That is the beginning of the Welcoming remarks from Ray F. Bennett, founder of the Solid Model Memories website we recently came across in our web search for new ideas for Scale Modelers Handbook features.

Solid Model Memories is not dedicated to those hand-carved sticks you used to whittle as a kid and they are not "quick, store bought satisfactions".

Solid Scale Models are carved wooden and generally “scratchbuilt” miniatures of aircraft (or ships and cars as some members have pursued). They demand time, research, ingenuity, skill and innovation; but mostly as opposed to the alternative, time. These are not the cheesy looking little pattern-sawn wood blocks and wheels you find in a dollar store as a car kitbut are much more involved.

Much more at Saving Memories

Black Widow Diorama On Display

I was pretty pleased with the small diorama which depicts an engine change for the "Lady of the Dark" P-61 Black Widow set on a landing strip on a WW2 Saipan island. The plane itself took about 35-40 hours from spru to finished model.

The magnetic anchor for the nose wheel of the P-61 worked perfectly so no lead was required to offset the model's tendnency to tail sit.

Many a modeler of the Black Widow whether in 1/48 scale or 1/72 have had to come up with a way to alter the plane's front to rear weight ratio to keep it from tilting back on its tail instead of riding on all three tricycle landing grear.

Commonly referred to as "tail sitting" this balancing act must be dealt with by each and every one of us. Most apporach the problem by leading in the nose using shotgun pellets or lead sheathing from a roofing project.

I know it isn't what is getting all of the intention in the photo at left--Indeed, you are supposed to be looking UNDER the wheel, not above it! That is the magnet holding the wheel in place.

This diorama was pleasant to work on, I had a plan and knew what I wanted to accomplish.

There are more photos at The Modelers' Gallery

A periscope view of my next diorama project. Guess what it is and send me your best guess

The Road Ahead

I am looking at a lot of exciting changes coming as 2012 begins. It promises to be one of my favorites as I look back over seven decades. This reminds me of the utter foolishness of teen suicide.

My wife and I are moving into our own Condo after a decade of renting (I know, the rent alone would have paid for it). We're excited by the prospect (a garage in snow country is a big deal).

I have launched my new website all about my  experiences with mobility scooters. You can bet it is another SiteBuildIt site Check it out:

Your Help and Ideas Needed
To Expand SMH Idea Base

Making daily decisions involving for the past 62 months has led to the creation of over 425 pages of articles on the various facets of scale modeling, this monthly e-zine and a host of modeling questions answered.

As we get ready to embark on our fifth year, I am hoping to open the site up to input from other scale modelers. You may have noticed the Navigation Bar has been sub-divided into the major hobbies covered.

Each of these sections now has one or two pages that invite participation with questions, tips and pictures regarding your various modeling endeavors.

We want to hear from you as do the other 25,000 modelers who log onto this site monthly.

As I get ready to roll into my 73rd year, I can’t believe how much I have learned about hobby activities In the past two years. I have heard from other modelers with similar experiences.

To help me develop and maintain my website your comments on its content are essential. You can send me your comments by visiting the “Voice Your Opinion” feature at the top of the Navigation stack in the left column on each page.

It was never my intention to make this website a one way street as my knowledge is no where deep enough for me to be termed an “Authority”. I hunger for your feedback, comments, ideas, tutorials, plans, pictures and even your negative comments if considered constructive.

The Internet and that includes work best when they are interactive and that is collaboration only you can provide. It has been a pleasure serving as your guide for these past two years and by no means am I throwing in the towel, for I honestly believe the building and maintaining of this website are instrumental in keeping my mind active.

I want to open up this site in the fast lane. That is your part of the two-way street.

Its In Your Best Interest

If you have been giving some thought to launching your own home business in 2010, it is worth your time to take a look at what I found:

Steps To Success

Until Next Month

Make It Your Best Effort!

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