That may be something weird about HobbyLinc. I noticed the same thing recently on a 1/35 kit, the MENG ZSU-23-4 Shilka. Showing the exact same box art, the kit number was showing as "TS-023" for one listing, but "TS-23" on the other. And one was priced higher than the other. I thought it was strange, but it sounds like you've found something similar.
Floquil makes a product named "Easy Lift Off" for removing decals. But it will also remove paint if you use too much of it. I used to have some Floquil ELO, but haven't used it in years. I mostly do the "Apply tape over and yank it off" that Snake mentioned.
OK, I just went down to the basement and squeezed mine. No, the handle isn't soft. I wish it was too. The handle is covered in black plastic (?) and is nice and fat. Probably because of the battery, but a good side effect is that the wider size makes it fit better in my hand.
Several companies make "oil & grease stain" paints that really look good on an old engine. TESTORS has some in its CreateFX paint line. I have an older bottle from MIG Productions, which is now called Ammo Of MIG. I'm a cheap old geezer who usually likes to make my own oil/grease mixes from with thinned oil paints. But I have to admit, these pre-mixed stains look better than anything I have come up with. Another great "weathering color" for lots of stuff is TESTORS "Rubber." It comes in the small bottles and is sold at Hobby Lobby. This is a very dark brown, near-black, that looks great on old heater hoses, electrical wiring, etc.
Me, with the 40% off. Perfect timing, as I mentioned in another thread - at a flea market this morning, found a guy selling cheap 15-pack #11 X-Acto blades. Over in the Hobby Lobby Clearance aisle, found some nice scenic stuff for dioramas - scale earth and light green grass. The earth is fine enough that it might work as carpet/flocking. For me, that's half the fun of Hobby Lobby and Michael's- walking around looking at random stuff, and wondering how I can use it for modeling.
Went to a giant weekly flea market (the Jockey Lot in Anderson, SC, definitely worth a look if you're in the area). Saw some models but already had/didn't want any of them. I'm pretty sure most of the kits I saw came from the big Ollie's sale a few months ago (see below) - MONOGRAM '37 Ford, LINDBERG "Color Me Gone" Dodge, etc. But I raided Ollie's several times during that sale, and all the Flea Market kits were marked up higher than the Ollie's price. So no sale! One flea market vendor had a bunch of X-Acto stuff. For $2 each, I got 2 of the #11 blade refill packs with 15 blades per pack. Continuing on a theme - then went to Hobby Lobby and used the 40% off coupon for one of those neat X-Acto handles with the LED light. No new kits that I saw and none Clearanced. Same at Michael's. OLLIE'S ALERT: someone mentioned seeing more model car kits at Ollie's recently. The one in Anderson, SC didn't have any LINDBERG Dodge trucks. It did have a couple of LINDBERG Tenn. State Patrol snap-kits. And a whole bunch of the re-popped HAWK "Rube Goldberg" kits, Torture Wheels, Iron Maidens, etc. Also some of the old LINDBERG aircraft and the German armored car. Maybe they held back some of the stock from the Big Buyout for this year's Christmas season?
LMAO at that all-caps blast of text on the side of the box: BUILD THE SPORTY STOCK VERSION! MPC'S FAB VOLARE RULES THE ROAD WITH AUTHENTIC DETAIL AND FACTORY LETTERED TIRES! "Fab?" In 1980? Really? Why not "groovy Volare?" Yes, I did get one of these. And will probably build it as a boss rusted-out bomb. And thanks to Adam for another great review. I always look forward to the next one.
FWIW, I've been using the same 3 bottles of CA for a year now; 1 each of Thin, Thick and Medium. This is the "Extreme" brand, sold at Hobby Lobby. All seem to be still working good without any special handling. I just keep them on the workbench in my basement. The biggest problem I have is the one that everybody probably has - hardened glue build-up on the applicator, so the top no longer fits tight.
We did that too, with almost as many Secret Formulas as using Future on model cars. That was a long time ago, but I remember melting the solid boot polish and applying it with a soft rag and water. The Future was just a finishing touch to give the toes a real mirror shine. I sometimes laugh at still using Future for my hobby, all these years later. I also remember experimenting with Brass-o to polish plastic model cars back then. Which worked pretty well, as long as you cleaned out the residual "grit" from the stuff. On edit: I should have said "Brass-o to polish UNPAINTED plastic model cars." It's about as abrasive as sandpaper, and seriously stinks as well. I was remembering when I was still in the Corps and won a ribbon at a local contest, with the MONOGRAM '30 Packard Boat-tail. The coral/brown colors of the bare plastic looked really sharp, and polishing them with the Brass-o worked well. Though as I remember, it took a lot of polishing.
When I was a Drill Instructor at MCRD San Diego about 150 years ago, we used Future on just the toes of the boots, to make them really shine. And we only did that for special occasions, like the Drill Competition at the end of First Phase (the third week of Boot Camp). Along with another DI, I learned the hard way that putting Future on boots was technically a violation of Marine Corps uniform regs. I found that out when we were merrily Futur-ing boot toes and the Officer of the Day walked thru our squadbay. He was a Second Lieutenant (naturally!). He didn't say a word to us directly. But went back to the office and made an entry in his log book about the Future. A few days later, our Company Commander (a Captain) called us in and said he had to put some kind of response in the record, since our crime was officially recorded in the logbook. So he gave us an "unofficial reprimand." Meaning he just told us not to do it again, or at least not to get caught doing it again. But he was nearly LOL'ing the whole time he reprimanded us. And let us know that he thought it was a really nit-picking thing for the Lt. to do.
Heh! Now I find myself wanting a 1/25 scale MilSpec '70 Ambassador wagon. From "U.S. Military Wheeled Vehicles" by Fred W. Crismon (Crestline Publishing, 1983): "Purchases of military vehicles are usually done on a low bid basis. Occasionally this leads to a less than desirable product, and this AMC Ambassador station wagon of about 1970 is a prime example. Known to private buyers as the most luxurious of the AMC fleet, these military "Ambassadors" should have been a total embarrassment to the manufacturer. Sheet plastic upholstery, minimal insulation, black rubber floor mats, a black painted instrument panel and a high noise level provided by the 232 cubic inch 6-cylinder engine gave an impression of total austerity. Although technically "just what the Army ordered," the cars were noisy, harsh riding when loaded, and not very reliable. They encouraged many a military member to never own an AMC product."
The fe-mail carrier dropped off a big box from an online retailer. Including the AMT "Blazing Bison" Puller Tractor. I had this one years ago in the original "Meisterbrau" version and stripped it for parts. I have zero interest in Puller Tractors. But I am interested in the 3 Arias Hemi engines and the great accessories, like the wagon, ice chest etc. So I may strip this one down too. Not sure yet. Those rear tractor tires should be useful for something... Also grabbed an interesting "police car," even if it is in the Wrong Scale of 1/35: the ITALERI 4x4 IVECO Tactical Vehicle "Lince." As usual, ITALERI's box art is underwhelming, but this is a really well-done kit. The interior safety belts and harnesses are done in photo-etched metal and all 4 doors are separate parts:
Some great builds in here, thanks for the inspiration! And I do love that MONOGRAM '30 Ford Coupe kit. Just checked the spreadsheet and I have 4 of them. Will buy more if I see them reasonably priced. Along with fantastic rod material - they're a great source of stock parts for the '30 Ford Phaeton and '30 Woody, which haven't been released in completely stock form for a long time. I also have a couple of Herb Deeks' resin 4-door sedan bodies that were made to fit the MONOGRAM kit. I'd also like to see the very attractive '30 Cabriolet reissued too. It hasn't been available for a long time either. Even better, put all the Coupe/Cabriolet parts in one box and give us the original 6-in-1 version. In a nostalgic long box with a nostalgic instruction sheet, as long as I'm wishing.
Michael's sent me a 50% off coupon and I used it for the REVELL '83 Hurst Olds. Intended to wait for a stock version, but decided to take the plunge for $13.99. I'm thinking about building it as a well-used work car anyway, so I can probably whack down the hood scoop etc. This week's Hobby Lobby 40% coupon went toward another MPC '60 Corvette. My second. I really like all the extras in that kit, like the skis/rack, driver figure, different tops, tonneau cover etc. Thought I might use some of those parts on other C1 Vettes. Hobby Lobby had a few kits on Clearance sale. These are sitting on an "island" near the model kits in my store. Not on the usual Clearance wall/aisle. Only saw a couple of cars. The Piranha/Super Spy was about $19 and the AMT Li'l Hot Dogger about the same price, IIRC. They mostly had aircraft kits discounted: AMT 1/48 Stinson Reliant, REVELL 1/72 Twin Mustang, and the MINICRAFT 1/72 Martin Mariner (a very nice kit).