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Chuck Kourouklis

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About Chuck Kourouklis

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    MCM Ohana

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    Fairfax/Bay Area, CA
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    Chuck Kourouklis

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  1. YEAH, I'm good widdit! Tamiya's is fine 'n all, but I'd LOVE one with a platform interior and front wheels I can point right or left. Diggin' me some 'Gawa lately.
  2. You may have hit on the only way to make a more conventional build of this kit, Matt. Because it follows that uniquely Heller practice of integrating the DLO side windows with the inside door panels in one clear part that you glue from inside the body shell, you wouldn't have to spread the rocker panels to get the body over the interior. As you describe it, the body should just drop right on once you've done the surgery. Only things I can imagine complicating the process are the rear splash aprons for the front wheels, molded to the forward sections of what you want to cut loose. Still, I think that'd beat trying to paint a filled body fuselage-style, around a complete interior and drive train as the aircraft guys always have to do.
  3. Yeah, might just be a matter of trim thickness along the upper border. Revell has definite points of advantage but right now, I'm liking Heller better overall. Will reserve till new kit is on hand.
  4. Okay, then, and thanks for the link! The more I look, the more convinced I am from the tree layout that this kit and the convertible following it will not be sharing windshields and trim - but danged if the build-up doesn't have the general flavor of a coupe with a convertible windshield.
  5. Well here's what occurs to me about that - It's strongly hinted from the interior breakdown, the clear parts grouping, and the fact that they bother to set off "(Coupe)" in the instructions that there's a convertible version iin the offing. And if so, the chrome surround for the windshield might be a common part between the two versions? The chrome sprue grouping indicates it might not be, and the windshield seems to install from the outside, so that and some paint detailing might go some length to correct the apparent height and thickness of the trim. STILL, it seems worth asking those who know these things before we decide to go google it for ourselves - Is the convertible windscreen any lower in profile than the FHC's?
  6. You too, Sir. 😎 And yup, spare on the right is the only one with that tire. The four holding everything up get the rubber on the left. Re finished, yes, we'll see...
  7. Thanks, Doc! In the interest of finishing something non-review before I DIE, whatcha see there is a pre-finished base with corrections as needed. Heater mesh is a wee cleaner since the shot, dry brushing covered with punctured dull foil cut by a compass blade. Black front suspension arms painted ally, Alclad finishes on rotors and calipers, engine repainted from silver monotone incl molded-in exhaust flanges - sheen is a bit low for shiny ceramic but okay to me. Intake refinished some to spiff up SU bowls and other bits from the silver monochrome pre-finish. Gold pre-finish on diecast top of cylinder head kinda scatty, think I redid it to match molded-in lower head on plastic block w/Alclad gold. Acres-of-black broken up in rear end too w/oxide for the diff and the same Alclad for inboard brakes - think I can knock it back out to get the rear cover black. Wheels are supposed to be a three-cross spoke pattern for the Dunlops provided, but they were SO clearly designed for a two-spoke cross. Just managed to beat the spare wheel on the right kicking, screaming and clawing into the supposedly correct pattern, shimming the assembly jig, rotating rim relative to hub - - but what worked for one wheel didn't necessarily for the next, so I broke down and did the 2-spoke cross on the left for the other four b/c it was merely p-i-t-a difficult, instead of a bloody drag-down knock-out fist fight against parts that obviously weren't conceived for a 3-cross. Took two full days of IT WORKED ON THE SPARE before I finally threw my hands up. Spokes can still pop loose from 3-cross on the right, but they're all locked drum-tight for 2-cross in the other four. And DON'CHA KNOW - have a good look at the Revell wheels and they seem to cross two spokes too. Still love the old Monogram 1/8 dearly, but iIrc, that spoke pattern wasn't even close. Doors have gotten a couple U-Pol clearcoats, but the body shell looks like it might do pretty well without. Go figure...
  8. oooh, THANKS! Just showed why I'll find this really useful.
  9. Quick aside for a man who'd know - been up to my eyeballs in E-Type lately... 🙂
  10. Welp, gonna be "that guy" again. Isn't the DLO lower supposed to be a dead-straight line? Looks like it kinks up over the haunches at the rear window in the test shot. Not such a hard fix and I'll be getting mine. Still 'n all...
  11. I'm guessing not - tires are this sort of stiff vinyl or nylon-feeling plastic a bit like what Lindberg big-scale tires are made of, two halves with a flat tread piece you encircle between them. Separate white wall rings. Man, thought I got a deal on mine a few years back - if the link above is any indication, now I know I did. 😲
  12. A pleasure as always, Tim! I've enjoyed this exchange too, and especially your indulgence as we get down into the weeds. Actually think it would be fun to anthologize, though I don't know if it's worth the effort for just two readers. 😎 If I may sort the record a little, it wasn't Fujimi's Astro to take that ranking - 2002, I think? and I'm pretty sure it had migrated to Scale Auto by then - but Tamiya's Mitsubishi Evo VII: And it was actually that comparison more than any other to force me to reckon with this whole issue. Those rankings were necessarily subjective, just one dude's experiences and opinions after all; but I tried to impose as many objective criteria as possible and assign them scores. And sometimes the numbers would take those rankings in directions I didn't anticipate. Can't say I was surprised by the Tamiya Evo, though. Scale Auto had completed build pics of most of the other kits that year, but they wanted me to finish this one properly, and it took about half the time I thought it would. To claim it flew together doesn't quite cover it; it was as if the thing actually cheered you on from one step to the next. And so here was a kit with a parts count in the 130s, lavishing significantly more detail and engineering cleverness on its suspension and roll-caged interior than Revell did on the '68 Firebird's engine or any other part of that kit. The Firebird had about 120 parts total and around 90 in whichever version you finished, and while it wasn't exactly difficult to build, it had some temperament here and there where Tamiya's had nothing of the kind in 50% more parts. So I'm supposed to rank the Firebird over the Evo simply because the former had an engine and the latter didn't? The notion was flat RIDICULOUS in this example, and it demonstrated in no uncertain terms just how arbitrary and unmoored from ANY sort of fairness such a criterion would have been. What may stick in your mind about the Astro is that it also beat the Firebird, even with the consideration given Revell in its design score for offering two versions. It was also a trouble-free build with a lot of intricacy packed into its interior and undercarriage, no temperament at all in a parts count 30% greater. The Firebird actually did well to land in 3rd place that year. It wasn't quite the precipitous nose dive in quality embodied by AMT's '58 Plymouth and Ala-Kart, but it was a bit of a backslide, especially as compared to two short years previously. Now as for an engine being the main appeal of a car, recall that the thought experiment mandated objective arguments. Sure, there can be consensus on certain subjects (if there's a curbside plastic kit of a Shelby Cobra anywhere, I sure have yet to see it), but what's a Countach defined by, its V12 or its outrageous shape? What defines a C8 Corvette, the engine or exactly where in the car you see the top of it? It's certainly a line of reasoning to demonstrate why more modelers might want to see the 389 in that Tempest, or that Coyote V8 in what might otherwise be a V6 rental car, and it's a strong, visceral emotional appeal; but as a hard, objective condition for a complete model, it doesn't quite deliver. And as for the representation of an engine versus an operating one, I'm afraid it's not quite as simple as all that... *ducking* I'm glad we're in agreement that an engine bay isn't complete without a steering column and box! But if we take your line of reasoning on commensurate omissions and prosecute it completely, its complexion changes drastically for this reason: the omission of a door is immediately visible. With the exception of hot rods and some exotics pimping their mills under glass, the omission of an engine (and steering components) is not. Let's say you didn't mean an actual missing door, but the engraved panel lines defining it, and that those panel lines would be plenty sufficient for a complete model. By the most commensurate measure, some good 3-D molding of the powertrain lowers on a chassis plate would be EXACTLY as "complete". As for positional steering, here's the most 1:1-looking shot I took of Pocher's Aventador: Now that's a car defined in great measure by its manic V12. But there's a car model feature that might help sell this pic as 1:1 to the less initiated - and it ain't the engine. And this is where it becomes apparent that you and I might not be starting from the exact same premise. A modeling pal came up with what I hold to be the most beautifully quintessential expression of a scale model's purpose, something I've taken to calling the Taylor Maxim: a scale model's primary job is to sit there and look like its 1:1 subject. Accuracy and precision, exact proportions and every immediately visible feature possible in scale are essential to achieve this purpose. An engine. just. isn't. It can be a dazzling addition, but a scale model can be entirely complete by this definition without one. But that's mainly for those who subscribe to the Taylor Maxim, and you might not... Well. There are those who would seize on the first flimsy excuse for some pious declaration on how we've gotten off topic, and here I am venturing dangerously close to actually justifying such a thing. 😛
  13. And ain't it a 5.2 Voodoo anyway? Seems you pop the hood on any current GT350 'n ya get 95% of the picture.
  14. Maybe. And for the record, I don't think the promo S550 kits have gotten off scott-free here. When I see "If there were other S550 generation Mustang full detail kits on the market, this would really not be an issue," it's all too easy to read that as, "After six years of balls dropped by a lousy 'Build 'n Play' for the most deserving Mustang since the original, it is MILES beyond frustrating to see a manufacturer like Tamiya come soooooooo close to giving us an engine only to miss it by THAT MUCH." Not to put words in anybody's mouth, but though the commentary isn't explicit, I think it's there pretty loud between the lines. Then again, that's probably just me. 🙂 That's not only a valid point, it's a necessary one to make. Two things to add to the mix: Tamiya has actually delayed the domestic release of the kit relative to the global market, though as it was mentioned earlier, order stops and sales rankings portend big news when they finally cut it loose at home. Second, for a bunch of Yanks conditioned to expect engines in kits over six decades, there seem to be quite a few of us here advocating the world view for that devil omission.
  15. And I absolutely respect your right to demand an engine and what's more, I even appreciate it, and the weight you put behind it - 'cause if you convince the right people, the resulting kits will certainly suit my preferences better too! Do I feel in my gut that all other things being equal, a car model kit with engine is more complete than one without? Absolutely. Tamiya's second releases with engines, Gunze Sangyo's High-Tech 250GTO with engine versus the one without, YES; I'd agree they're more complete, beyond any subjective doubt. Long as the added GS pot metal doesn't bring a gratuitous new headache in building that GTO, I might even allow they're objectively more complete. But "all other things being equal" is a circumstance rarely encountered between kits. It's a good thing to include "within reason" to squeeze the brakes a bit, but it also begs a deeply subjective question: whose standard of "within reason", exactly? 'Cause on the one hand, you might have a 1300+-piece MFH 1/12 250GTO with individual wheel spokes and an iron mine's worth of photoetch and yes, more than 200 parts of glorious Colombo V12 in miniature, including reciprocating mass that actually reciprocates(!) On the other, you've got a 1/12 488 GTB "proportion" kit that's essentially a few big hunks of resin, flat chassis, metal wheels, rubber tires, and just the engine and interior accoutrements necessary to make it look very accurate and complete as it sits there all closed up and stationary on your shelf. I sure know which I'd rather, even if I also know which is more likely to find its way to literal completion. And in purely objective terms, I find myself hard-pressed to call one kit more complete than the other. I've got really strong feelings favoring the 250, but those feelings are SUBJECTIVE, a PERSONAL PREFERENCE however iron-clad it feels to me. I'm not interested in changing anyone's views either, but I do have a thought experiment to throw out there: I submit that there is no argument anyone can pose for the OBJECTIVE necessity of a full kit engine that doesn't make poseable steering and opening doors even MORE important to a complete car model. C'mon, now. You see those features in the wild an order of magnitude more frequently than you do engines and open hoods. Building a 1:1? You'd better believe you'll be hanging doors on nearly all of 'em, and your finished ride will be less than useless if you haven't built the steering to guide it - even without an engine, the thing can at least coast downhill under control long as you can influence its direction. We could get into brakes, too, but the rabbit hole's inevitable enough as it is. Examine rigorously this question: just WHAT IS IT that puts a full engine "within reason" as an objective requirement for a complete car model - such that you can call a kit without one incomplete with logical infallibility - to the exclusion of steering, opening doors, or any number of other car model features? To pursue this line of reasoning completely and honestly will be to confront a steep slope that really does slide - and I mean like banana peels on melting ice in the middle of an oil slick dead center of the karousel at the 'Ring. Would I have SO much preferred the full Voodoo treatment from Tamiya? A thousand times, yes! Will I call the kit incomplete without it? A thousand times a thousand times, NO.
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