Scott... right you are. That was an Albatross, IMO hands down the coolest-looking WWI plane of them all... a Fokker triplane in red would be my runner up... Anywho... back to land-based vehicles. After several hours of building. I now have a matched pair of English hunting shotguns for my woody. This is a first for me... in all my years of building scale models, i have never built a model gun And now I've built two! I stained the stocks and sprayed them with several coats of gloss clear acrylic. The barrels are styrene tube, and various small detail parts are made of bits of styrene rod, tube, and sheet. The "metal" side plates were cut from aluminum duct tape, and the triggers and trigger guards are soft silver wire that I flattened with pliers and bent to shape (I found the wire in the jewelry aisle of Hobby Lobby... it's a little harder than solder, a little softer than aluminum rod). The guns scale out to 48" long (30" barrels). They aren't 100% super accurate, but they will do the job representing period-correct shotguns in my woody. I think they turned out pretty well.
I remember the Leroy lettering system with those white templates that sort of looked like rulers, and that weird little gizmo that held the technical pen while you traced the letters on the template. Wow! Can you believe things were that primitive in our lifetimes? I still have a bunch of Rapidograph pens, with the 35-40 year old ink still in there and fused solid. I'd have to soak those pens for weeks if I ever wanted to get them to work again!
I'm old enough so that when I was in college, our photo classes were still with film and photo paper. I don't know when digital cameras were invented, but if they existed when I was in college, they didn't exist in the mass market. We learned how to do everything the "old" way... load our own 35mm spools with bulk film, load our view camera film holders, delevop our own film (B/W and color), print in the darkroom, "burning" and "dodging" and the whole nine yards. I remember the process of developing 35mm color film was particularly tedious... the whole "chemical A to chemical B to rinse to chemical C to rinse to chemical D" etc. process took, I seem to remember, around two hours! And when I started doing graphic design, we still did it on art boards with Rapidograph pens and acetate overlays with "Parapaque" cutouts where the images would appear, and photostats of the images "for position only" on another overlay, and having the type set on paper and cutting up the type and pasting it down. What an involved, complex process. About as labor intensive as you can imagine. Today I do it all in Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign. Today I can do in an hour what would have taken me all day to do back then, and today I can do things with graphics and photos and type that weren't even possible back then, let alone easy. Doing what I do electronically vs. "the old way" has given me literally an instantly available unlimited color palette, the ability to do anything to a photo that I can imagine, and I never have to clean a clogged airbrush, I never run out of acetate or art board halfway through a project, and I can correct mistakes infinitely with no trace. I can't imagine ever going back to doing what I do the way I used to have to do it.
This morning I heard my first-ever mass-media commercial for 3-D printing... a radio commercial for a local company that offers it. Yep, when the ads start appearing in mass media, the product and/or service is definitely here... and in the mainstream. All of you guys who were so sure that 3-D printing was some sort of fairy tale that wouldn't arrive for years, if ever... guess again.
Time to build me a couple o' shootin' irons! The stocks were cut from basswood with a sharp X-acto blade, and the rough shaping was done with said knife... raw piece on the top, lower piece with the beginnings of the shape carved...
Once I had both stocks roughed in, I used a sanding drum chucked up in my Dremel to quickly get closer to the final contours, using the photos Skip supplied as my reference. Finally I went to hand sanding to get the contours right. No real secret to doing this, it's just a matter of patience. Always easier to remove wood than to replace wood. After about an hour of very pleasurable work (I love woodworking), I was pretty much ready for stain...
Yes, the gun case is custom made... by me! Anywho... here is the finished case mounted to the inside of the tailgate. Well, almost finished... I still have to make the lid that keeps everything in place when the tailgate is closed. I filled in some of the open spaces of the compartments with scraps of balsa wood, and Bondo over the top to smooth everything out... but I did leave a few open areas, perfect for storage of hunting knives, shotgun shells, etc. The green "felt" is the same green as the rest of the upholstery...
Right, the USPS has a weird sort of "semi-independent" status, which is sort of like having no status at all. But they are losing BILLIONS of dollars any way you slice it, so obviously there is something very wrong with their current business model. Even without the federally mandated pension payments, I don't see how they can ever become a profitable enterprise at the current price they charge for a basic unit of mail (49¢). My guess is that if they were to charge a realistic rate, a rate at which they could make a profit, a stamp would cost more like 2-3 bucks, not 49¢... and that price would only drive more people away and cause an even bigger reduction of volume. I don't see how the USPs can ever right their ship.
But the only reason that situation exists as is is because the USPS exists! Get rid of it, and you can bet that someone will immediately fill the void left when USPS disappears. Nobody would be left out of mail delivery. One possible scenario: the "big guys" (let's assume FedEx and UPS take up mail delivery after USPS goes away) sort/deliver the mail to the local PO... then a smaller local mail delivery company takes it from the PO and delivers it house to house. That's just one way it could work. Existing PO buildings could be saved... the only difference is that either FedEx or UPS would now staff and run them instead of USPS. FedEx or UPS could buy the mail sorting centers and POs outright, or lease them from the government... or build their own, new postal facilities if needed (or just rework their existing infrastructure to handle and sort regular mail). There are all kinds of possibilities here that could work, probably better and more efficiently than the current system.
And at that price the USPS is losing billions of dollars a year. The facts are the facts. "The mail" just isn't as vital as it used to be. Like Tom mentioned, back in the day, the US Mail was the primary means of communication, both in business and for personal communication. It was so important that mail was delivered several times a day! Then came the telephone, and letter writing became "old fashioned." Then came the internet and email to further cut the need to communicate via paper letters sent to the recipient. Then came online bill pay, eliminating millions of paper bills and paper bill payments. You can see where this is going. The volume of "mail" has declined severely, yet the PO is still this gigantic bureaucracy staffed and set up to handle a volume of mail that just isn't there anymore. Then, to top it all off, add in the cost of all the postal worker pensions and you have the perfect recipe for disaster... a gigantic, overstaffed bureaucracy that doesn't make nearly enough profit to cover its expenses. IMO the smart thing to do would be to eliminate the USPS altogether, and privatize mail delivery. FedEx and UPS could probably do a more efficient job delivering "the mail" than the USPS can, and the fact that customers would have a choice as to who they want to use for mail delivery would result in competition between carriers... keeping efficiency up and costs down. Let's be honest... we could all get by just fine without Saturday mail delivery. Heck, we could probably get by just fine with one day a week mail delivery.
Notice that the door panel lines stick out! That alone means some serious body work, never mind the rest of the kit. If your intention is to build an accurate replica of this car, like the guys have said... you are in for quite an adventure.