There is a HUGE after market parts industry (something like $150 Billion) where you can buy all the chrome, carbon fiber and paint that you can imagine. There are some folks who must put custom parts on as soon as they buy a new vehicle and drop it off at the custom shop on the way home from the dealership. There are others who will only use whatever "custom" options are available from the factory. Everyone has different tastes and the manufactures can never please us all, but if you have the time and money you can get exactly what you want.
Yeah, with all the bad storms I bet more than just automobile manufacturing can set back. I had not hear if trains were caught in flood waters, but i wouldn't be surprised. Hopefully, if yours was damaged, they are building a replacement. We all need to watch out for flood damaged vehicles for the foreseeable future.
You are doing it the right way, practicing to get the results you want. I am with Pete, I have not heard of anyone using that much thinner. I seem to remember Donn Yost saying saying it usually sprays with 1 part thinner to 2 parts paint. Wonder if you might need to shoot more coats to get proper coverage. Did you try semi-gloss clear over the paint before you tried mixing them together? It has a noticeably different sheen than gloss does. I went in the opposite direction than you did. I stopped painting spoons as I was never happy with the results. For some reason it works better for me to just paint the model part. I have had to put a few in the tank because it didn't come out well, but not many.
From a business standpoint, it is perfect marketing. You have a very captive audience for several minutes. The Shell station I go to has it, but I must be able to completely block it out. I have no idea what they are trying to sell me. I rarely drive my personal vehicle, so I only fill up 4 or 5 times a year. Use fleet fueling station for my company truck. Pumps there barely work, so no chance they will try to put TVs in them.
Go to your messages, select a message and then click "Messages" in upper right hand corner. You then select "Leave Conversation". Unfortunately, you have to do that with each individual message. This version of the software does not have an easy way to delete them. Hopefully that is one of the things that changes when we go for the next update.
Lets not go through all of this again. Paul you were not mentioned by name, even though most modelers know your business practices. It is well known that a lot of folks do not like the fact that you take rarer kits and piece them out. There is nothing wrong disagreeing with you and there is nothing wrong with how you run your business. Nobody said anything bad in these posts. You do not have to come here and write pages of comments defending yourself every time you feel slighted. You obviously know you are not the most liked person in the hobby as you seem to search for yourself or keywords on the forums, almost like you are looking for confrontation. Your business practices are your own concern and I do wish that folks here would stop complaining about them. All they have to do is not buy from you and move on. If you think someone crosses the lines with their posts, use the report post function. It sends an email to the moderators then we can look into it and take appropriate action. You continually commenting on every single post only makes things worse for both sides.
One thing to note is that these are not decals. They have to be cut out and glued, it isn't a big deal though. You can also email them and let them know what you are looking for, they might be able to print them for you.
The Forum software has a pretty good Private Message system that can be used for the way off-topic stuff. Also, rather than just complain about posts with another post, you can just report it and let the moderators look into it.
I have wanted to get a telescope for several years. I want to take better, more detailed, photos of the moon. My wife keeps reminding me that I would only use it once or twice and walks me back from the brink. This is the best I have been able to get with my current camera and arsenal of lenses. I also live near Washington, DC so light pollution is a problem.
If the stamp hobby was the same as the modeling hobby, folks would be telling you to lick it, stick it and mail it off. As I have gotten older, I can appreciate the fine details that are on these tiny stamps.