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    South Carolina
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    Michael S. Smith

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  1. 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.
  2. 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:
  3. 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
  4. Barnum was an optimist, when it comes to the birth rate of a particular American demographic. I remember seeing those "miracle mileage" gizmos, with the same language, in my grandfather's collection of "Men's Action" magazines decades ago. You know, those magazines whose covers featured a ripped he-man saving a buxom blonde from an anaconda or something. They were sold alongside "male vitality pills." "E-Z muscle building powders" and other stuff that didn't work.
  5. I liked the movie...lots of vintage cars and shoot-outs...but I caught one big factual goof that annoyed me. The movie starts with FBI agent Melvin Purvis shooting Charles "Pretty Boy" Floyd. That gets Purvis promoted to hunt for Dillinger. But in real life, Dillinger died in July 1934. Floyd wasn't killed until October 1934, three months later. There are at least three different stories about how Floyd was killed. One from the FBI, which tried to take all the credit as usual. Another version by local cops, and still another story from people who lived in the area.
  6. For anyone interested in the old Revell 1/110 scale "Friendship 7" kit, with the capsule, Atlas booster missile, trucks, gantry etc.: yesterday I stopped in my closest Hobby Lobby and 2 of those kits were in the "Clearance" section. They were priced at $7.99.
  7. Saw "No Time to Die" yesterday. I thought it was a good mix of action and gadgetry, while also humanizing Bond and giving the movie some emotional direction. It has some epic car chases, and the old Aston-Martin really gets a workout. There's a pretty funny scene when the retired Bond is trying to get into MI-6 headquarters, and a young security guard doesn't know who he is. "Bond! JAMES Bond!" Last night I went looking for something short and Halloween-ie, and the EPIX channel is showing "Beast of Yucca Flats." Saw it long ago, but it's a lot worse than I remembered. It only runs a merciful 54 minutes and makes Ed Wood look like Billy Wilder. Rumor says the sound track either got lost or erased, so most of it is narrated (badly). People fire about 500 bullets at Tor Johnson but don't hit him. How can you miss Tor Johnson? He's as big as a barn.
  8. This should keep me busy for a while, until about the year 2045 or so. The fe-mail carrier just dropped off a box from Sprue Brothers. One thing in that box is the Rye Field Model #5042, M4A3E8 76mm Sherman with full interior.
  9. If you're gonna build Israeli armor, you need some Israeli people to put in it! Lucky for us, MiniArt recently issued 2 good 1/35 scale figure sets of Israeli tank crews. Miniart #37086 "Israeli Tank Crew Yom Kippur War" is 4 full, standing figures. One looks a lot like Ariel Sharon, he's wearing the standard olive-green IDF fatigue uniform. The other 3 are wearing the tanker coveralls, adapted from a NOMEX flight suit, and the post-1967 tanker helmet. MiniArt #37076 "IDF Tank Crew" is suitable for a Merkava tank or other modern Israeli vehicle. A nice touch with this set is a female tanker, which is accurate. Both men and women in Israel are subject to military conscription. She appears to be adjusting her helmet so that her pony-tail fits inside, another nice touch. Pic below. The Yom Kippur War figures would also be suitable for the 1967 Six Day War, if you swap their helmets for the U.S. M1938 tanker helmet, modified with a boom microphone and some wiring. The tanker coveralls were new then, and rumors spread that they caught fire easily. So many tank crews continued to wear their regular fatigue uniforms. There wasn't much "uniform" about 1967 IDF tanker uniforms, as photos from the time show.
  10. Good job! Looks like it just came out of the Back Forty. Somehow I lost the exhaust pipe on mine, so I made up a vertical exhaust and guard. Also stuck in a more vintage battery and strap, dumped some well-used tools in the toolbox, etc. It was a fun build.
  11. AMT did '96 and '97 Explorer kits. I have one of each in the stash, but am not sure what the differences were, if any. The '96 says "4x4" on the boxtop and the '97 doesn't, but both kits have a 4WD chassis. I'd guess the chances for a re-issue are slim, since I've read...probably in here...that they didn't sell very well at all. I remember seeing them dirt cheap at kit swap meets long ago. You should appreciate this: they were often dissed as "Mom-mobiles." 🤦‍♀️ Which is a shame, I'd like to see them re-issued myself. A lot of police agencies used Explorers in the 1990s.
  12. Flea Market Day! Found this lurking in a box of common kits and stuff I already have. There may even be enough parts in the stash to make this a stocker. I think I have a Tempest body with some glue-bombing where side exhausts were welded on...
  13. Yep, "Bear Bait" was the '79 Chevette kit. It had the 2 figures from the earlier releases in the box, but not the tent and other neat accessories. I never knew that until I read Faust's review of the kit. MPC 1/25 1979 Chevette “Bear Bait” (OOB) | The Sprue Lagoon (wordpress.com)
  14. For anyone who might be trying to find them, those Lindberg lightbars were sold separately as "Emergency 911 Accessory Kit." Only 2 were issued. Kit #72716 had a Vector lightbar, kit #72717 had an MX-7000. Both sets also included the pump shotgun from the Crown Vic kit. Emergency 911 Accessory Kit, Lindberg 72717 (200x) (scalemates.com)
  15. Thanks, great write-up on this oddball. The box art had me thinking it was Fujimi from the 1970's.
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