I wouldn't doubt that they're taking orders, the big question is if they're filling them. I placed an order three years ago, but I have yet to see the parts. Have asked for a refund several times but only got the "health issue" and "rest assured that we will deliver" runaround, and now they won't even reply to my e-mail.
Personally, I wouldn't think so. I have won more than my fair share of trophies, and I appreciate these much more than any amounts of money I could possibly have won. To be perfectly honest, the "Best Mopar Award" I won in Cookeville last year brought tears to my eyes (and it still does every time i look at it) as it was in memory of a club member that just passed away, and the honor of receiving it was worth more than any amount of money I could ever have won. Like LoneWolf15 said, bringing money into it will only cause trouble and is, in my opinion, "not in the spirit of the rules". You can't put money on the shelf, can you?
I would like to add a warning here: Some carnauba wax (don't know if they all do) you use on 1:1 cars contain some kind of solvent, possibly naphta or something similar. This won't make a difference on lacquers, but you can end up with an awful mess if you use the wrong kind of carnauba wax on enamels. Don't ask me how I know.
I use enamels for all my models, and I always polish them with The Treatment. $4 ain't that bad for something that you really know will work without any headaches.
So you waited a full 19 minutes, and didn't get one single word of advice. We're no help at all, are we? And to answer your question: Grey is better than black as a base for gold. but I'd rather use white.
Yeah, those scribers work great. I have some that I bought in a hobby store, and I have also got several picks that I got from my dentist. Very useful tools for a lot of different purposes. The only problem is to find Dymo tape, many people don't even know what this is nowadays.
I have a large set of pastels (probably 50 different colors) that I got as a present maybe 30 years ago. I haven't painted much with them, but have used them a lot for model building. It's great to have a large set like that, because you can also use them to highlight things. One example is interiors, where you can use a darker tone of the base color to give texture and recessed areas more depth. Really useful stuff!
The pickup tube on my Badger is probably 10 years old and still going strong. I have never even thought of replacing it as part of the cleaning, I just spray plenty of lacquer thinner through the airbrush when I'm done painting. If there is any paint residue in the tube, I just take it off, run a pipe cleaner through it and blow it clean with compressed air.
That's a great tip, and it works well for other parts too. I pin a lot of parts that are finnicky to install without making a mess, especially mirrors and door handles. Just a little crystal Clear and it's there, and if you get a snug fit you don't even have to glue it.
I hate big wheels, so if it was just a matter of that I would hate Foose's cars too. I don't have any good examples to show you, you just have to pick up some magazines and read about his cars, they'll usually tell you about all the details. It seems like you have a very strong opinion about him and I don't want to start any arguments, but I guess that discussing Foose vs other car designers is like discussing other subjects that are simply a matter of taste and opinion. You are obviously a very talented artist yourself so I'm sure that you know that no one will win in a discussion about, for example, "Rembrandt vs Picasso".
He might not have much time to do it on the Overhaulin' show, but the thing about Foose's cars is that they are customized in a way that "doesn't show". It might sound funny, but if you compare his cars with the originals, you'll see that they have actually been "nipped and tucked" quite extensively. Still, it doesn't show first time you just look at it, you have to study them carefully to see what he did to them. He just refines the original design and brings out the best in it by massaging it very carefully so it may not be what you would call traditional customizing, but he's one of the best when it comes to making good looking cars look even better. So it's definitely not just "big wheels and a paint job".
I'm not sure if I would buy any models of his cars though. I don't care much for big wheels, customs etc so I guess I'll just stick to those old, boring showroom stockers...