Art Anderson

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About Art Anderson

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  1. Art Anderson added a post in a topic gt40 with 256 double cam   

    IIRC, from Leo Beebe's excellent book "Ford, The Dust and the Glory", the issues with the 4-cam Indianapolis engine had to do with a rather narrow torque and horspower curve--that engine could pump out about 700hp, but at a constant high rpm range.
    Art
  2. Art Anderson added a post in a topic Even ''Predicta''kit has accuracy issues   


    Two suggestions, Mark!  First, consult with your close friend, Tim Boyd on what all it takes to laser scan a real car to make a model kit--not as cut-and-dried as you might think.  Second, a 3D scan may or MAY NOT tell all the story, in my experience so far, it doesn't.  Take your camera, shoot tons of pictures--film for digital camera's, last I looked, is damned near free!).  Last, take a carpenter's rule with you (black out every other inch, makes it easier to see dimensions when that  ruler shows up in the reference pics you take!!)  A very few of us have been down that very road)
    Art
  3. Art Anderson added a post in a topic Even ''Predicta''kit has accuracy issues   

    Accuracy is as accuracy does, Harry.  As long as any reproduction is the interpretation of a human's view of the original, it may well be quite accurate to that person, and whomever is reviewing it, but perhaps not so to someone else.  And, therein will always be the rub.
    I have to wonder, has anyone following this thread ever attempted scratch building a model car, using only photographs, perhaps adequate measurements of the real thing (perhaps not too!)?  Truthfully, to participate in the product development phase of a model car kit--or even a diecast model car (I did that for almost 3 years working as a product development/automotive research person for Johnny Lightning 2002-2005) is very much akin to scratchbuilding, except that I was in the position of having to describe to the tooling mockup makers how I wanted the mockup to look, down to the closest detail, the accurate shapes, and proportions (JL "1/64" scale diecasts weren't all exactly 1/64 scale, but had to have very similar dimensions (width & length) and weigh at least to a set standard (after all, we did them two ways:  With scale appearing wheels and tires for a replica appearance, as well as free-rolling hard wheels for gravity racing!).  All of this had to happen by going through someone (or perhaps several someones!) who were fluent in English, as well as their native tongue (Chinese, and the several dialects therein!).  Every word I typed into my computer in English had to be translated by that contact person, into Chinese characters, so that the guys in the pattern shop could understand what was being requested, what was required.  All the way along, I (and the two different co-workers I teamed up with in those three years) had to constantly (and diplomatically) make comments about the corrections needed.
    But, it gets deeper!  Tom Lowe (now the owner of Round2) was the owner then of Playing Mantis, parent company of Johnny Lightning, and he decided we needed to do some 1/18 scale diecasts, followed by a set of 1/24 scale models as well.  The two 1/18 scale diecasts I had responsibility for were a 1955 Chevrolet Sedan Delivery and a 1948 Chevrolet 1/2 ton Panel Delivery Truck.  It was interesting to note that when I got the 2X sized tooling mockups from China, they both were very good, the 48 Panel was as perfect as perfect gets--compared really great with the 200 or so digital pics I had shot of a real one--and believe me, that is a very difficult subject to capture in miniature (there are a number of very visible inaccuracies in the AMT/Ertl 1950 Chevrolet 3100 pickup, if one does serious research!).  The '55 Sedan delivery came out, crack out of the box, perfect in every way save for the shapes of the front and rear bumpers--so I dug out about a dozen pics of '55 Chevy bumpers, front and rear, that I'd taken, plus some photo grabs off the internet, and with some cajoling, they nailed it!.  Next up was a series of 6 1/24 scale diecast model cars, along with several 1/34 scale model trucks, all done to fit our license with Coca Cola (Johnny Lightning was Coke's preferred diecast supplier for several years back then!).  A couple of those were actually quite easy:  A 2004 Ford E-150 cargo van, and a 1950 Bulletnosed Studebaker Commander Starlight, with a side dish of 1957 Ford Courier Sedan Delivery.  While the E-150 and the Studebaker sailed right along, the Courier had some bumps in the road--Patrick Mulligan (who was the Scale Auto Magazine Editor pretty much right out of college!) could not approve it, as there were proportional problems with the mockup.  Patrick did dig into Ford's vast archive of historical photo's, and found a 4-view set of drawings of the real thing, and that made the Courier possible--many of you have seen those diecasts.
    Now, bear with me while we "fast forward" to today:  No longer are tooling mockups carved by hand by skilled sculptors, no longer are body planform drawings done on a drafting board--no, it's all computerized, down the sculpting (by 3D printing) of the tooling mockups.  Now we have a situation!  There are, on one end, people who do know what the model should look like--THEY did the research, took the photo's, did the measurements.  On the other end, there are digital specialists, trying to interpret that information (and it can be voluminous!) on computers, first to get CAD line drawings, second to achieve CAD 3-Dimensional images, and third, to finally 3D print all the parts for a tooling mockup.  Trouble is, the very skilled people doing all that have NEVER seen, nor are likely to EVER see, the actual 1:1 car they are called upon to develop into a model kit!  So you ask, why not get someone in the US, WHO KNOWS WHAT A MODEL CAR KIT SHOULD LOOK LIKE!, to do it?  Answer, if someone with all that passion, knowledge and skills exists, nobody seems to know who they are, where to find them--AND if they did find someone like that, the costs would be 2-3 times what it is at the present time (and it is all the development and tooling costs that determine, ultimately, model car kit prices folks!)  Guys on this very set of forums are b****ing about the price of model kits today, as opposed to 50 years ago!  Time was when a hand-carving model car kit pattern-maker was worth nearly his weight in gold!  Regardless of Harry P's pontificating, this is as much a matter of artistry (just as with pure scratchbiulding) as any technical exercise.  Any competent wood carver can create the casting masters for a cylinder block, a head, an intake or exhaust manifold, or for that matter, anything Tupperware makes--BUT it takes a sculptor to carve, from wood, an accurate replica of all the shapes and contours of a real car, shrunk down to say 1:25 scale.
    It gets even more difficult when one is called upon to help review, critique. a set of tooling mockups created by 3D printing, and worse yet, to look at the first go-round of a model car kit test shot--it's getting better, but still it is really difficult at times to know just where to begin.  Dave Metzner noted in another forum on this excellent website, just how small the staffing is at any model company today, in the area of new kit development--that's a fact of life as it is, not how anyone would want it to be. I know I've given considerable of my time, along with considerable mileage to help him with evaluating tooling mockups--each time we've gotten together to do that, we each learned something--same with model car test shots--some hair does get pulled there as well.
    Whew!  I've blown off long enough here--but please, Harry Pristovnik, get off of your high horse--when I see you scratchbuild something besides a square-rigged Woodie Body for a Rolls Royce, and get it accurate, right, then I might accept you as someone who really knows something about all of this.  
    Until such time, I would suggest you consider moderating your own tone of voice, your rhetoric--"It ain't as easy as you think, Boy!"
  4. Art Anderson added a post in a topic gt40 with 256 double cam   

    The original intent was to use the 255cid 4-Cam Ford Indy Engine for LeMans etc., but it lacked the power to do the job needed.
    Art
  5. Art Anderson added a post in a topic We need a '60 El Camino   

    Agreed, a '60 El Camino would probably sell pretty well.
     
    Art
  6. Art Anderson added a post in a topic Hearses, 1950's Indy Roadsters and Midgets, 1960's Super Stockers, the Singlefiinger Spped Shop, and tons of Classics   

    NIce pics, but not a single Indy Roadster in the bunch--lots of gorgeous AAA/USAC Kurtis Offy Midgets, and several 1950's early 1960's USAC Sprint cars though/
    Art
  7. Art Anderson added a post in a topic Tucker kit? YES!   

    For what it's worth, laminated safety glass predated the Tucker by 20 years, Ford having introduced that on the very first 1928 Model A's, with universal industry adoption within just  a year or so after.  Seat belts were around before the Tucker, having been introduced, but not required, in race cars as early as 1932 or so.  Disc brakes, in 1948 were an iffy thing--they never really worked all that well until the introduction of power brake boosters, even though Crosley had them by 1949.  
    Art

  8. Art Anderson added a post in a topic Even ''Predicta''kit has accuracy issues   


    Obviously Harry, you've never been a model kit pattern maker, or you would not make that statement.  As one who has considerable experience in model product development, I am here to tell you that any model car is the result of a human interpretation of what the person(s) involved see, in the same way as any artist or sculptor.   Depending on the level of skill and artistry, the result can vary, of course.   But remember, in 1965 or so, when the Predicta kit was being tooled, model kit pattern makers were still learning and honing their craft.  Period.
    Art
  9. Art Anderson added a post in a topic Tucker kit? YES!   

    Having read a couple of books on the story of Tucker, both Preston Tucker, and the car, a few things stand out:  For starters (and importantly, I think) Preston Tucker, by 1946, had a considerable reputation as being more than a bit of a huckster.  He first seemed to appear on the automotive scene in the early 1930's, and for the 1935 Indianapolis 500 Mile race, recruited the famed, but vastly reduced-in-circumstances, the legendary Harry Armenius Miller, who headed up the company responsible for so many fabulous 122 and 91 cid race cars of the 1920's, to design a new car, front drive, using modified (read that hopped up) Ford V8 engines.  He then managed, through Edsel Ford, to convince Henry Ford to bankroll the project--which resulted in a team of 11 Miller-Ford front drive race cars for the 1935 "500".  They were a dismal failure, the only cars to make the race all went out with steering gear seizure, due to Miller's insistence that the small, very precisely (read that very tight internal clearances) built steering gears be mounted within an inch or so of the left hand exhaust header--they got so out as to boil the grease out of them, then seized up).  That experience soured Ford Motor Company and the Ford family on racing involvement for another 20 years, 29 years in the case of Indianapolis racing.  Henry Ford was so incensed that he had his company take possession of the Miller Fords, which got locked away, none of them reappearing until 1941, when the Winfield brothers Bud (carburetion expert) and Ed (camshaft design) managed to pry one loose for mounting their new Winfield Supercharged V8 in--that engine being renamed the Novi in 1946.
    During WW-II, Tucker ran a contract machine shop in Ypsilanti MI, built up an armored car with an electric turret carrying a pair of machine guns, for which he made outlandish claims of ground speed, as well as the turret being the best ever designed.  The movie hints that the US Military used Tucker's turret in bombers, both USAAF and US Navy, but if one looks up the specifications for any US Military aircraft equipped with any sort of swiveling turret, nowhere does the Tucker turret come to be mentioned.
    Following VJ Day, Preston Tucker became one of many who could readily see the huge market that existed for new cars--by then the average age of cars on American roads was an astonishing 15+ years, brought on mostly by the Great Depression (which while formally ending in 1933, had its effects on public confidence economically all the way out to about 1940 (when the US morphed into the "Arsenal of Democracy", then followed by 3 1/2 years of no new automobiles being produced, due to the total war effort.
    Trouble was, by 1945, Preston Tucker didn't have the money to start up a new automobile company on his own, and was pretty much "persona non grata" in the financial industry--hence his feverish drive to promote his "ideas" to the general public at large.  And frankly, many of his sales pitches were the stuff of fraudsters, shysters, whether or not he was that himself--that's what raised a lot of eyebrows.  Instead of starting out relatively small (arguably a questionable venture at any rate), Tucker went way beyond what any other startup in the auto industry had ever done, from a cold beginning (by contrast, Henry Kaiser was a known entity, had an enviable record of successful ventures--from Hoover Dam to the building of hundreds of Liberty Ships and the shipyard they were built in, from scratch) to be a major automaker overnight.  It got to the point that he was selling dealerships in Tuckers before the first samples were even assembled--anyone wanting to become a Tucker dealer had to buy a boatload of Tucker accessories ahead of car production, and pay for them in cash (a local acquaintance of mine here inherited a 2 1/2 car garage full of that stuff (anyone want a radio with antenna for a Tucker perhaps?) when his father took a bath on those parts.
    With all of this, it took only a second-rate muckraking columnist in New York City, Westbrook Pegler, and a Michigan senator who may or may not have had direct ties with any of the Big Three automakers, to derail the man's ambitions, and while he was absolved of any criminal wrong doing, it is pretty evident that Tucker Motors would not have survived the end of the postwar seller's market anyway--non of the surviving "independent" automakers did, save for American Motors the rest (Studebaker, Packard, Hudson, Kaiser-Frazer, Crosley and a half dozen or so mini car manufacturers were all gone from the US scene by the end of 1963.  How could Tucker have survived in the long run, as thinly capitalized as it was when for example, GM spent almost 10 times Tucker's capitalization just to restyle their 1949 car lines?
     
    Art
  10. Art Anderson added a post in a topic What do you do when they ask?   

    I've done this on a few occasions over the years, and decided that "Never again".  I have simply told anyone since who has asked, that when I decide to start on a model project, it's my hobby, my relaxation (?), my own passion.  For those reasons, I simply decline, end of that conversation.   Now, that said, I have given several pieces away over the years, to a relative or two, as well as a couple of friends, AFTER I've had the fun of building them, and had no further wish to display them, or take them to shows--but that is the extent of it.
     
    Art
  11. Art Anderson added a post in a topic 1957 Ford Engine Color   

    I believe that the metallic bronze came about in 1949, but later in the year.  Here's a 1950 Ford flathead V8 in bronze, in a Country Squire wagon:  
     
    No, that Ford engine color is a dark metallic copper, AKA bronze.   http://www.popularrestorations.com/images/Restorations/Restoration011/data/images/1950_ford_engine_bay.jpg
     
     
  12. Art Anderson added a post in a topic Even ''Predicta''kit has accuracy issues   

    Bear in mind, in the 1960's, ANY model car kit (indeed ANY plastic model kit) resulted from tooling patterns that were hand-carved by hand--thus subject to the interpretations of the pattern-maker, even the draftsman who did the drawings.  In addition, given the frantic pace at which Monogram (and all the other model companies) was releasing new model kits (of all subjects), time frames were very short.  There simply just was not much time to study, carve, re-study, make corrections here and there.  There were a lot of inaccuracies in model kits of all subjects back then and given that pretty much all subject areas of plastic model building were primarily kids--no IPMS-style rivet counters to argue.
     
    Art
  13. Art Anderson added a post in a topic 1957 Ford Engine Color   

     
     
  14. Art Anderson added a post in a topic Roll Cage   

    One more thing:  When I've soldered up brass for model work, I've settled on Stay-Bright Silver Solder, which is a low temperature silver solder, and comes with flux.  The advantages of silver solder are (1) it's far stronger than ordinary lead-tin solder, and (2) it takes more heat to melt a silver solder joint than it does to make it in the first place, making assembly a whole lot easier.    Also, be looking for a set of miniature needle files (3-4 inches long), as the round or "rat tail" files in those sets are perfect for "fishmouthing" the ends of pieces of rod or tubing that one is going to join in a "tee joint".  Also, those needle files are great for smoothing solder joints as well.
    Art
  15. Art Anderson added a post in a topic Kits gone at WalMart again   

    From my experiences at Playing Mantis (Johnny Lightning), Walmart (and the other Big Box outfits as well) began downsizing their toy departments after the 1993 Christmas selling season, to make way (those stores are limited in size, BTW) to make way for other merchandise lines that would turn over faster, be more profitable.  Most are perhaps unaware anymore that 9/11, in many ways burst a lot of bubbles in retailing for the holiday season.  The toy industry (and like it or not, to those retailers, model kits are toys!) took a major hit in 2001, and '02 & '03 were in many ways just as dismal.    Think of it this way:  Model car kits take up a lot more cubic feet of selling space than say, hooks of blister carded stuff---a dozen or more bubble-packed toys can fit on a pegboard hook, and turn faster than the 4-6 model kits that take up the same amount of space.  As Tom has so wisely reminded--Walmart et.al. have little sympathy where issues of inventory turnover are concerned.
    However, there is an upside:  Losing the big box store market forced model companies to get going, develop new products that while pricier, are more the model cars we get excited about today.  Most of the more esoteric models seen from US model companies likely would never have seen the light of day, were their industry so dominated by mass merchandisers as it was for a few decades in the not-to-distant past.
    Art