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    Michael S. Smith

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  1. Great write-up, thanks! I also like those old PYRO/Life-Life 1/32 kits. It's a mark of their quality that the PYRO Model T Coupelet was re-issued in the 21st century by Lindberg. The Lanchester and Stanley Steamer are not easy to find, but you already know that. All the "Vintage Brass" kits used to be cheap at model kit shows and the occasional bargain still comes up on eBay, but not very often. It seems easier to find them in the PYRO boxes than Life-Like. The PYRO boxes are smaller than the Life-Like and better reflect the actual size of the kit. Some other good ones in the PYRO Vintage Brass series: the 1914 Mercer Raceabout and 1911 Mercer Toy Tonneau; 1906 Renault Town Car and Runabout; the 1912 Stevens-Duryea Touring Car and Roadster; 1909 Lozier-Briarcliff; 1912 Packard Touring Car; 1909 Cadillac Model 30; 1909 Rolls Silver Ghost; and the aforementioned Model T Couplet, also released as a neat Pie Wagon delivery vehicle.
  2. Upstate SC yesterday, Sun. Feb. 16. It snowed almost all day, which is unusual for this area. As it got later in the day, the temps kept DROPPING instead of going up like normal. After 5 PM, the temp was still in the 20's and we had healthy snow flurries coming down.
  3. I've sold on eBay for many years, and it has always had a problem with one person buying multiple items. It treats every purchase as separate, and charges shipping on each item. It's really aggravating. A few months ago, one of my buyers bought 2 kits and eBay charged him $23.90 for shipping. When I went to the Post Office, the actual shipping charge was $14.20. I refunded him $9.70 thru PayPal. I always refund excess shipping if it's more than a couple of bucks. This might work: next time put all the items in the Cart. Then message the seller and ask for combined shipping, before you click "Buy It Now."
  4. Heads up! Today 12/21, I visited 2 Hobby Lobby stores. Both stores were re-stocking the model aisle, which was seriously depleted in both. I got a Round 2 GMC Jimmy in one store, a kit I'd never seen in that store before. In the re-stocking boxes I saw the '63 Chevy Impala re-issue, also a new kit for that store.
  5. I remember seeing those articles too. I might even still have them, somewhere in the basement. IIRC, one builder used an AMT '49 Ford chassis for the underside. Plus the Jeep engine you mentioned. I've always wanted to build a stock Henry J. Or even better, the Sears "Allstate" Henry J that was sold thru their catalog in 1952-53.
  6. I just got an incredible deal. Still can't believe it. For a long time, I've been trying to find either the Dragon 1/35 scale kit of the M-48A1 Patton tank or their Magach-1, the Israeli version. I want to build a 1961 "Berlin Standoff" tank and that was the M-48A1. Those kits came out in 2016 and are Unobtainium today. On eBay, prices for either Dragon kit are generally somewhere between $60 and $100 or more. Original retail for them was about $50 to $60. Last Saturday I was on Amazon and decided to search for the Dragon kit. A Magach-1 popped up for $11.08 plus $0.66 Tax, for a grand total of $11.74. I told myself that must be some kind of mistake, or a rip-off. I checked the seller's other items and they had a lot of model kits at regular prices. After thinking about it for awhile, I went ahead and ordered. All this week, I've been expecting the seller to contact me and tell me the price was wrong. Nope. The kit arrived today, still shrink-wrapped and just 1 week after I ordered it. I would have ordered 2 more, but the kit is now "Currently Unavailable." I'm guessing the seller just had that 1 kit still in stock, and wanted to get rid of it.
  7. Weird Shipping Trivia I learned when I lived in Egypt. When fuel prices are high (like now), shippers tend to take the long way around the Cape of Good Hope in south Africa. They want to avoid the transit fees that come with the short cut, thru the Suez Canal. But when fuel prices are low, they pay the fees and use the Canal. Those Suez Canal transit fees are Egypt's second-biggest source of income, after tourism. Like the scale model companies, the Canal just raised its prices again in Nov. 2021: Suez Canal to raise fees, heaping pressure on global supply chains | Shipping industry | The Guardian
  8. Ha! I did the same thing. Bought the kit, took out the gun rack and sold the rest of the kit on eBay. Naturally, not long after that, some guy was selling 3 of the gun racks on eBay for a good price. So I bought them too. Maybe with 4 gun racks, I can piece together one good Winchester rifle. Need it for a diorama idea. I was hoping to find one on a cheap 75mm figure, but they usually have a hand or two molded to the rifle. What a weird hobby...
  9. Interesting. Still no Olds at my closest Hobby Lobby stores, convertible or hardtop. I've been to 2 different HL's this week. The newest kits they had were the Popper Pinto and the Bulldozer. The closest Wal-Mart has a few Round 2 kits left. The "Coke" 41 Plymouth, '32 Ford Sedan Delivery and a couple of the old MPC Trikes. This store did not restock after October, when the Round 2 aisle display suddenly showed up. After a couple of weeks the display was gone, and the kits were shoved onto the regular toy shelves.
  10. A pair of the Round 2 '63 Nova wagons with trailer and other goodies. The only hobby shop for many miles had them in stock. I had planned to order them online, but this way I don't have to pay shipping and get them immediately.
  11. That funny-looking thing beside the hydrant is a mail bag, with "US MAIL" stamped in it, no less. Also in your pic, the machine gun and its tripod. The figures in the kit are a uniformed cop and a gangster. (Or innocent bystander.) I found that kit, complete with just a little assembly, at a local flea market for a VERY good price. Here's the geegaws and figures sprue:
  12. That is the original, in the bigger box. I believe it was also the only Monogram '59 Caddy with a vinyl top molded in. The vinyl top was an option on the Seville and a fairly popular one, IIRC. Later issues removed the vinyl texture from the top and were usually in smaller boxes. The "California Wheels" issue shown below was in a box that was just too small. Because of that, they're often found with the bent roof pillars mentioned in a post above. Something to watch out for if you're buying the kit at a swap meet or on eBay.
  13. Go for it! That's a really nice kit, with optional parts like the rollover bar and seats. The "Snap" name might put some people off, but shouldn't. I treated mine like a regular glue kit. Somehow I managed to lose the exhaust pipe, so just for fun I made a vertical exhaust stack/heat shield.
  14. Just stopped at the closest Hobby Lobby today, since it's 40% off week. They had 1 new kit, at least new to this store: the Round 2/AMT Construction Bulldozer. I was tempted, but didn't bite. I'm trying to downsize the stash and don't need any more stuff taking up space. On the Tamiya M-41: every HL around here has had that kit for YEARS. If they carry one Tamiya armor kit, you have to wonder why they don't carry more. HL used to have one of the new-tool Tamiya Shermans in stock, but I haven't seen it in a while, at any store. (There are 3 Hobby Lobbys in driving distance.) On M-41 kits in general: if you want a really nice M-41, ignore the Tamiya, it's a very old and simplified kit. Put the money toward an AFV Club M-41. Back in the 1990s, both AFV Club and Skybow did M-41 kits. AFV Club did the M-41A3 and Skybow the M-41A1. Skybow went out of business and AFV Club got their molds. (Both companies were in Taiwan.) Today, if you get the AFV Club M-41G (German/Bundeswehr), you're getting the old Skybow kit. Some builders thought it was a little better than the AFV Club M-41. But both are great builds. This is the Skybow kit in the AFV Club box, Kit Number 35S41:
  15. The link below will take you to a VERY detailed build of the "Werkstattkraftwagen" by the awesome modeller Panzerserra. It includes a history of the Russian GAZ 03-30 bus and photos of them being built. He agrees with Der Experten on the military modelling sites: Minicraft put too much stuff on top of the bus. That roof rack is holding a pair of 200-liter fuel drums, jerry cans, a spare wheel/tire etc. The roof of the bus was made of wood covered with painted canvas, not metal. So it probably wouldn't have supported that much weight. https://panzerserra.blogspot.com/2020/11/gaz-03-30-1938-4x2-werkstattkraftwagen.html
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