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About Mike999

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    MCM Ohana

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  • Scale I Build

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  • Location
    South Carolina
  • Full Name
    Michael S. Smith

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  1. Does anyone remember this?

    The YMBC was run by Parents' magazine, not one of the model companies, so it figures the Club offered kits from different brands. Here's a 1967 ad and info on YMBC. Somebody posted the ad in a thread recently. Maybe the "Aurora 1/32" thread??? https://clickamericana.com/eras/1960s/join-the-young-model-builders-club-1967 As for that 1/32 scale Malibu police car...I've often thought about building a diorama around an "Iraqibu." Maybe some American soldiers in Iraq looking one over: "In 1981, the Iraqi government placed an order for 25,000 Chevy Malibus to be used as taxis from General Motors Canada. The special-order taxis came with the weakest V6 mated to a unique three-speed manual mounted on the floor. All the taxis came with air conditioning and heavy-duty cooling as well, because it's the desert and the desert is hot, in case you didn't know. GM shipped 13,000 of the things before Iraq suddenly pulled out of the deal, leaving over 12,000 Chevy Malibus custom-built for the desert sitting on the dock in Halifax, Nova Scotia, which is not a desert. Iraq claimed it was because of quality issues, and considering what GM was cranking out back then it's not far-fetched. In reality, though, it was probably because paying for a war and placing special orders for taxis at the same time doesn't make much sense. The Malibus continued to languish in port until GM finally realized that no, Iraq was probably never going to take delivery of its taxis. Eventually they were all sold off to the Canadian public at a greatly reduced price, probably because no one needs a desert-ified Chevy in a place that has no deserts. Also, I hear it gets cold there. The "Iraqibu" can still be found prowling Canadian streets today, and they are a bit of a rarity." https://jalopnik.com/this-chevy-malibu-tells-a-far-out-story-from-a-far-away-856827455
  2. Grim Reaper

    Good job! And that nameplate really does finish it off nicely. I have that Grim Reaper kit on my buy list. Back in the 1970s, a very talented modeler scratch-built a similar figure. IIRC, he started with a skeleton from a "Pirates of the Caribbean" kit (of all things). He dressed Mr. Bones in black tissue paper stiffened with white glue (an old-school modeling trick). He also scratch-built a scythe for the figure to hold. He made up a nameplate saying "Black Plague - Europe, 14th Century." For a long time it was in the window of a hobby shop in Orange County, CA. Wish I could remember that guy's name. His work was often featured in the "Scale Modeler" and "Military Modeler" magazines. When I moved from the West to East Coast a few years ago, I threw out a lot of my old magazines. Which I'm regretting now, of course.
  3. WTH! Someone paid $2600 for a pre-built model. Why?

    I checked some of the seller's feedback, which is 100% positive (as a seller and buyer). Along with the high-buck built-ups he's also sold some old kits and parts for what seem to be reasonable prices. But those built-ups! Wow. In just the past 6 months, he has sold the following: 1976 Ford Gran Torino - Pro Built 1/25 Revell $717.07 1958 Cadillac Fleetwood Sixty Special - Pro Built 1/25 Jo-Han $1,030.99 1961 Ford Falcon - Pro Built 1/25 Vintage AMT $462.07 1963 Oldsmobile Starfire - Pro Built - Restored 1/25 Jo-Han $560.00 1972 Oldsmobile Toronado - Pro Built 1/25 Jo-Han $750.00 1959 Oldsmobile Station Wagon R&R Resin & 1959 Olds 98 JoHan Promo $152.50. Hmm...that sounds more like a project that got dropped. Happens to the best of us, I guess.
  4. First tank

    Nice dirty build! That's the vintage Italeri Panzer 38(t) Skoda light tank, still looking good. Pic below of the original "white box" issue, when the company was still spelling its name "Italaerei." According to Der Experten, the Italeri kit is an Ausf. C model, manufactured from May to August 1940 and used in the invasion of France. Like its older brother the Skoda 35(t), it got into the German army when Hitler took over the Czech munitions industry in 1938-39. The 38(t) soldiered on for a long time, thru the Russian campaign, but was eventually outclassed and converted into many different versions of light self-propelled artillery and anti-aircraft guns. Including the famous Hetzer light tank destroyer, also modeled by Italeri. Along with the Italeri M13 Italian light tanks, US Jeep and M4A1 Sherman, etc., back in the 1970s this was one of the kits that showed Tamiya it now had some serious competition in 1/35 scale armor.
  5. 1/32 Aurora

    Interesting old thread about these kits at the Coffin Corner. It has many large photos of 1/32 Aurora box art. But the thread is from 2014, so the Photobucket Monster killed a few pix. http://coffincorner.proboards.com/thread/18855/old-aurora-boxes This comment goes along with THarrison351's post above: "For kids in the early 60's these kits were the ones you would get as starter kits, small size, cheap, few parts, easy to put together. They were found in drug stores and 5 and 10's like Woolworths, Grants, Ben Franklin, etc. Lots of them were 79 cents, way cheaper than their 25th scale counterparts. In this same crowd were 32nd scale kits from Palmer, Pyro, Renwal, Hawk, Lindberg and Monogram. If you were a serious minded larger scale kit modeler and you got one of these it was usually deemed too simple and out of scale to build, and didn't have proper scale parts for scavenging. Probably why a good number of them survived, just getting tucked away intact. Surely the rest of the many hundreds of thousands produced were quickly turned into one night build glue bombs and disposed of with the next cleanup of the bedroom! Beside the box art cool there was serious tooling effort in some of these kits as accurate scale replicas, even the ones from Palmer in this scale. There was also a sales outlet for slot conversion in 32nd scale that helped keep sales up during the slot craze."
  6. 1/24 aircraft engines

    Tom's Modelworks does some photo-etched parts for those 1/28 scale Revell kits: guns, interior sets, wire wheels etc. Some car builders have used those wheels on 1/25 scale dragsters and motorcycles. http://www.tomsmodelworks.com/catalog/index.php?cPath=22_31
  7. Seventies Land Yachts?

    Minor correction: that kit is a convertible with the option to convert it to a pick-up. It cannot be built as a hardtop. I have the older Model King reissue, which is the same as the latest Round 2 kit (minus the boat). If you want a hardtop, you have to find a resin body or do some scratch-building.
  8. 1/32 Aurora

    Maybe this will help. It was posted in one of our box art threads. And that box art tells a great story. The more I look at it, the more I see. Somebody said the artist, Mort Kunstler, used his own kids as models for the rug-rats on the fence. EDIT: that was weird! Casey and I posted the same thing at nearly the same time.
  9. 1/32 Aurora

    I always liked the art for Aurora's "Demolition Demon." The boxtop text says '57 Ford, but the art (and parts) sure look like a '56 Ford. While looking for that, I found the the Airfix 1/32 scale Sunbeam Rapier. With driver escaping from burning car. Quick, send the Aurora Meat Wagon!
  10. 1/32 Aurora

    He's dropping her off at work. See the blacked-out rear windows of the Meat Wagon? Posing as a nurse, she'll spend her work shift secretly harvesting limbs and organs to stash in the back of the Meat Wagon. They need those things for their secret medical experiments - creating an army of neatly-groomed zombies in letter-sweaters who will kill every living thing on earth with sheer boredom. I remember those three (?) Aurora 1/32 kits in Monogram boxes. The awesomely talented, and sadly late modeler Duane J. Pfister built a great 1/32 "Used Car Lot" diorama with them. I know his dio used the Pontiac GTO and maybe the Mustang. It was in an issue of "Scale Modeler" magazine. He converted military figures into a used-car salesman wearing a Hawaiian shirt and his sucker. The cars were rusty and dented with ridiculously high price tags. Just like the real "Buy Here-Pay Here" car lots in Southern Calif. catering to young military personnel. I thought I had that SM magazine but can't find it. Starting with nothing but a set of wheels and sheet plastic from "Yard Sale" signs, Pfister scratch-built a 1/25 scale M25 Dragon Wagon tank recovery vehicle. And its trailer. Now THAT's scale modeling!
  11. Tamiya 2 1/2 ton truck

    Nice model and load! I used to see that Value Gear guy at kit shows in Southern California, or at least his local sales rep. They were very nice people and also threw in a bunch of extras if you bought from them in person. Interesting. His website says he moved to Ireland 2 years ago, about the same time I moved from the West to East Coast. Here's his webpage. He does have some items in 1/20 and 1/16 scale: http://www.valuegeardetails.com/

  13. 1/32 Aurora

    And as Mr. Zevon said, "Bring lawyers, guns and MONEY." I just checked the 2006 edition of Tom Graham's book "Aurora Model Kits." So 12 years ago, original 1/32 hot rod kits were going for an estimated $45-70. Except for the '39 La Salle "Hearse With A Curse" and '37 Packard Ambulance "Meat Wagon." Their prices were $85-90, with the note "Collectors seek this (kit) because of unusual subject and short production." Graham says: Aurora originally released 22 hot rod kits in 1/32 scale. All used the same 409 Chevy-based engine except for kit #603, the '27 Ford T Coupe "Snap Dragin." It has a Ford 390. And the 409-based kits had different carburetors, manifolds and exhausts to make them look a little different. Your best/cheapest bet is to find one of the 6 kits from the final re-issue before Aurora shut down, with photos for box art: the Dune Buggy, '32 Ford Sedan, '22 T Sedan, T Dragster, '24 Buick Touring and '32 Ford Pickup. Their kit numbers were #620-625. The Dune Buggy was a re-issue of the earlier 1/32 Hurst Baja Boot, without the roof and spare tires. Those kits were going for $25-30 back in 2006. As you can see, Graham's book is a treasure trove of Aurora trivia, and it has small color photos of all the kits (including the 1/32 sports cars). The latest 2017 edition also covers Moebius, Polar Lights and Atlantis re-issues of Aurora kits. I don't have that book yet, but may have to fix that... https://www.amazon.com/Aurora-Model-Kits-Moebius-Atlantis/dp/0764352830
  14. Best Way to Store Molotow Pens?

    I tried that with a 1mm Molotow pen that had a stuck tip (wouldn't move up or down). Dipped the tip in alcohol, then pressed it down on a piece of scrap paper. A LOT of liquid came out at first, after the dip. Then it went back to working fine again, with just a "dot" of liquid coming out when the tip is pressed. It's still working fine and that was a few months ago. I didn't waste the liquid that came out. I dipped a fine brush in it and applied it like regular paint. I know Molotow is an alcohol-based ink, but it seems to thin and clean up OK with Tamiya X-20A regular acrylic thinner. To answer the question in the OP, I store the Molotows tip up. The same way I store Micron pens and similar markers.
  15. Car shows on the tube

    Chasing Classic Cars, though I always end up hating Wayne Carini just a little bit. :-) Well, OK, envying. Really loved the show where they pulled an immaculate, unrestored Hudson Hornet out of a barn. The owners were longtime family friends of Carini, IIRC. Jay Leno, to see what he'll do next. If your summer vacation takes you to the Los Angeles area, make sure you hit Autobooks in Burbank on a Saturday morning. You might run into Jay Leno and one of his cars. I was there once when he pulled up in the Baker Electric. He instantly drew a crowd and was very gracious in giving autographs and talking about the car, etc. Watched the whole season of the new Wheeler Dealers. Tolerable, but Edd China is sorely missed. I felt kind of sorry for the new mechanic, who had a big pair of work boots to fill. And in some perverse way, I actually sort of miss the worst and most fake car show ever, "Desert Car Kings." I also liked seeing what those boneheads would do next, even though it usually made me cringe. I'll never forget their "restoration" of a '62 Ford Galaxie. They shoe-horned the interior from a '64 Ford into it. They also pulled the original 292 engine and replaced it with some rusty boat anchor they found in one of their junk piles.