David Knights' Weblog

September 26, 2013

Sprue Cutter’s Union #10

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 9:28 pm
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This week’s Sprue Cutter’s topic is an interesting one.

– What are your spending habits? –

Mine have changed over time.  When I was single, with plenty of time, I was a voracious purchaser of hobby kits and related items.  As I’ve gotten older and the stash has grown, my purchases have grown more restrained.  Given that I have nearly 1000 kits, more than I can build in a lifetime, new stuff doesn’t hold quite the same attraction.  Now that doesn’t mean I’ve given up buying kits.  I estimate that I have bought 15-20 new kits this year.  Most have been lower priced Airfix kits.  (BTW, the new Airfix 72nd kits are the best deal in the hobby right now.)

In fact kits aren’t really the biggest part of my hobby purchases.  Books and magazines are.  My wife has said that I am a librarian with a model collection on the side.  Hobby magazines.  Now there is a Sprue Cutter’s topic for the future.

Our leader.

Yet Another Scale Modeller

September 24, 2013

Take note cultural relativists

Filed under: Politics — dknights @ 2:21 pm
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This is where things will end up.

September 21, 2013

Sprue Cutter’s Union #8

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 8:20 pm
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I am a bit late getting to this week’s Sprue Cutter’s post.  The subject is:

– What paint(s) do you use? –

I could write on this subject for hours, but I won’t.  I’ll just suffice it to say, I HATE acrylic paints.

The Tamiya acrylics are the best of the acrylic scene, but even those are just not good compared to even an average enamel, such at Model Master. I will use acrylics for small detail brush painting, but other than that I consider them pretty much useless.

My current favorite paints are the White Ensign Models paints.  They spray beautifully and the colors are very nice.  The only problem is that due to changes in postal policies in the UK, you can’t order them directly from the manufacturer.  There are few sources for them in the US.  I order them from MidTenn Hobbies.  Of the more common Model Master line, I find that their RLM colors are the best of an otherwise mixed bag.

I use tube oils for weathering, mixing them with mineral spirits.  I’ve also used tube oils in the very limited figure painting I’ve done.

Other Union Members

A Scale Canadian
Yet Another Plastic Modeller
Jay’s Scale Model Adventures – New to the Union!
The Eternal Wargamer
Migrant’s Wanderings
Scale Model Workbench
And our leader: Combat Workshop

September 15, 2013

Book Review: Confederate Blockade Runner 1861-1865

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 7:37 pm
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Book Review: Confederate Blockade Runner 1861-1865
By Angus Konstam
Osprey New Vanguard Series #92
ISBN 1 84176 636 4
48 pages
8 pages of color illustrations
Price $13.50 at Scale Reproductions Inc.

To me, one of the fascinating parts of the civil war is the naval war.  It was a time of great advances in naval technology.  The first battle between armored ships took place and by the end of the civil war, the era of the wooden ship was firmly at an end.  Additionally, the size and power of naval guns grew exponentially to keep up with new armored ships.

I’ve got a particular interest in the part of the naval war that revolved around blockade running.  The idea of fast greyhound-like ships sneaking in and out of southern ports and trying to avoid the, by the end of the war, massive U.S. naval power guarding those ports.  Sadly, there aren’t a lot of books on the blockade running ships themselves.  Thus, this book, published in 2004 fills a void.

The book is by no means comprehensive.  It is only 48 pages, with 8 of those devoted to color illustrations of various blockade runners.  Amazingly there are quite a number of period photos in this book of various blockade runners.  The author has done a good job of gathering these and they serve to illustrate the wide variety of ships that were used as blockade runners.

The text is well written and is easy to read.  It covers blockade running from the early years, when almost any ship could be pressed into service as a blockade runner, to the end of the war, when, one by one, the southern ports were closed and the remaining ones were more closely guarded.  The tightening of the blockade, and the money that could be made from even a single successful trip lead to purpose-built ships being manufactured to break the blockade.  Most of these were made in Great Britain.  Camouflage was also to see its first appearance in naval warfare as blockade runners were painted shades of black and gray in an attempt to make them less visible to the Union navy patrol ships.

This book is a welcome addition on a subject that has not been sufficiently documented.  Sadly, for the modeler, there aren’t any plastic or resin kits of a civil war blockade runner.  I hope that Flagship models or one of the other “cottage industry” manufacturers will remedy this in the future. I recommend this book.  My only criticism of the book is that by the end of its 48 pages, you find yourself wanting more.

September 12, 2013

Sprue Cutter Union #8

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 8:49 pm
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This weeks topic

– How has living in the small scale world influenced your day-to-day view or understanding of the 1:1 world? –

There are a couple of ways to approach this topic.  For me, I think that the biggest influence that modeling has had on me is the way I look at nearly everything and wonder, “How can I use that in modeling?”

I can’t walk thru a Michaels or other craft store without looking at everything and wondering if I can use that in modeling.  Same thing applies in the home improvement store or the office supply store.  I like modeling tools and look at things and wonder if they can be a tool in my hobby.  Harbor Freight is a particular challenge.  I nearly always walk out of there with something.  THis is despite the fact that my ship is filled with tools that I haven’t yet used, or used only once.  I think this comes from the fact that I know my limitations as a modeler, and I am looking for anything that might make me “better”.

Here are some other answers to the question:

Our Fearless Leader

Scale Model Workbench
Migrant’s Wanderings
The Eternal Wargamer

Yet Another Plastic Modeller


September 10, 2013

Some cultures ARE better than others

Filed under: Politics — dknights @ 12:43 pm
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And we need to stop being shy about saying so.  Example here.

This isn’t good news

Filed under: Politics — dknights @ 8:47 am
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Story here.

September 9, 2013

There is too much money sloshing around in government at all levels

Filed under: Politics — dknights @ 2:09 pm
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Here is the latest examples of this in Illinois.

September 7, 2013


Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 10:14 pm
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The Special Armor V-2, in progress.



2013-09-07 21.36.14

September 6, 2013

Neat WWII find

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 4:57 pm
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Story here.

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