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Everything posted by pigsty

  1. "Twenty quid for a go on yer bouncy castle! What's that all about, then?" "Inflation."
  2. Yes, as I expect to be on the door first thing Saturday, I'm looking forward to this bit of fun. Still, it's bound to be quicker than processing people who pay in cash by smashing their piggy bank and bringing every 5p piece they've ever seen. I expect that's down to scale. Below a certain threshold the rule are different.
  3. Thank you to Brampton for another top show. Couldn't fit a fag paper between that and the 2019 version - nice to see things tolerably close to normal again. Even a queue outside before they opened!
  4. My view: charging clubs for their tables would be like people paying to be in the cast of a play. There are times when they need to, but even the smallest village drama society usually manages to cover its costs. Though they do have the advantage of being able to coerce family members into turning up. But that leads to my next thought. Someone's asked do we have too many shows? Perhaps it should be do we have too many big shows? The difference between small and big tends to be the venue. Well, duh - but what I mean is, the bigger the venue, the more likely it is to be commercial. And as we all know, commercial operators tend to whack up their prices way beyond reasonable amounts - as Black Knight has just pointed out. Smaller venues like village halls and schools seem much more affordable. Can anyone vouch for differences in rates charged to traders? And whether smaller shows have enough footfall to make it worthwhile?
  5. To some extent that's what happens at Telford. At most competitions entrant fees pay for the trophies; many of them at Telford are sponsored. But not all, by any means.
  6. As it’s come up, and to avoid bunging up the thread about Telford, and above all because it’s interesting … I thought I’d start a separate thread about how to pay for a model show. These are my views and I’ve never organised a show myself, only helped out. But one of my clubs does run one, and inevitably that will colour my approach. Some people have been suggesting that participating clubs should pay to get in. Meanwhile, others are suggesting that they go to shows for the trade and for them, the clubs come second. I think both points of view are missing important factors. Here’s the way I see it. model shows aren’t only for dedicated enthusiasts who want the latest release, or under-table bargains, or topping up with Tamiya Extra Thin. They’re also for ordinary modellers, dabblers, and the general public who don’t build models. Club displays are there not only for experienced modellers to impress one another, but to show interested people things they might never have seen before. One of their most important purposes is to inspire visitors to get into the hobby for themselves. In short, they’re why the show is there at all. model clubs don’t get anything from attending, apart from looking at one another’s output and socialising and getting their own inspiration - and maybe picking up some new members. Most importantly, as clubs they don’t get anything of monetary value. Meanwhile, traders’ presence at shows is an economic transaction - they pay a fee, they turn over more, they take the balance home. All hopefully, of course, not guaranteed. But none of that applies to clubs - they don’t aim to make money. but model clubs often do pay. Many shows are wise to the trick of using the club as cover to get the whole membership in for nothing and issue only three or four free passes. Other club members have to pay as the public do, even if they’re displaying. Whether they police this effectively is another matter, but it’s a useful principle. IPMS members pay to get into Telford through their membership. With six magazine issues as well, this is a bit of bargain, but that doesn’t mean members aren’t paying. If you start to charge clubs for attending, you’re converting them from part of the show to part of its attendance. That almost amounts to being charged to get into a shop. I don’t think it would go down at all well. A small charge for extra tables is fine - the club is effectively asking for more attention than others and it’s reasonable that it pays covers the extra cost that entails. But charging all clubs for all their tables is another thing. Nonetheless, if traders tell us they find shows marginal and might stop attending, there may be a problem. There are really only a few ways to solve it. The starting point has to be, what is all the money paying for? It’s the venue and the furniture, essentially. And where does all the money come from? From visitors (including club members over the four free passes), from traders, from raffles - and from catering. I can’t prove it, but I’ll bet that makes a difference. It helps break shows down into three broad groups: those where the host club has control over the catering and gets the revenue from it. We in North Surrey reckon we could ditch the show and run a pop-up café, and make no less money from it. However, to be practical, as you’re relying on members and their other halves, this works only for smaller shows. those where the venue controls the catering and keeps the revenue. This works best for bigger shows - in bigger venues, more likely to have paid catering - and the critical mass of the show is what ensures that enough punters come through the door to keep it viable. those where the hosts bring in catering but neither they nor the venue gets the revenue. They’d fall somewhere in between. But another important factor is the cost of the venue. The larger and better run it is, the more likely it is to charge more, which means everyone else has to pay more to cover it. And as these venues are more likely to control the catering, that puts even more weight on other charges. The sheer size of Telford seems to make it a bit of a special case. I almost wonder if it might be getting so professional that it’s marginal for a model show where so many of the attending traders are on a thin margin themselves. But then, other places are more expensive again, or less flexible. Don’t forget, the IPMS has scouted alternatives and not jumped at any of them. One other thing to bear in mind is that Telford 2021 is going to be unusual. If there are fewer overseas attenders - clubs and traders alike - that’ll affect the economics, especially if it deters UK punters. But there’s no reason to think it’ll continue like that forever, and anyone saying this is definitely the beginning of the end is abusing their crystal ball. And perhaps there are relatively small changes that could help. One that’s been mooted is charging for competition entries. It’s surprising that Telford doesn’t; many other shows do. I’m sure some would complain - there’s always a faction that treats something they’ve got used to as an absolute right - but, properly explained, I’m sure most would understand why and accept that it would only bring Telford into line with a lot of other shows. And some people turn up only to compete, as we know - would they be deterred? There might be other helpful changes too, that others can think of. Right, then - discuss.
  7. The more matt your surface is, the better the pigments will stick. Conversely, if you have anything on there that's not a matt finish, that'll make it harder. Nonetheless I've found that you can apply chalk pastels (much the same thing, only cheaper) to a couple of coats of Klear and to Halfords Appliance White. Your varnish may not be the problem but, while I'm not sure what your chipping fluid is, I'd bet it's repelling the pigments. Personally I'd: do the soot last. Paint chips less than people think, and a bit of chipped paint covered in recent muzzle staining is more authentic than fresh chips going through the staining or use paint. I've always found that pastels go on much paler than they seem on the stick, or even on the paper. That's great, because you can add layers to deepen your colour, but I'd struggle to get enough on to make a convincing muzzle stain. I always find that dry-brushed black, followed by dry-brushed dark brown, looks pretty OK.
  8. Do you mean the sort of dreams where you wake up sweating at three in the morning and you daren't go back to sleep?
  9. Thanks very much for a good little show, as always. Nice to be back, and nice that so many exhibitors and visitors felt the same. And we're already booked in for next year!
  10. I spoke with Alec yesterday at the Chiltern show and, with his permission, it's like this. He's not giving up producing stuff, but he is giving up being a primary seller. All to do with the amount of effort it takes to make up packages for posting, which his physical condition won't let him do. He's making arrangements with one seller each in the UK and elsewhere to take his stock and be the primary vendors in their territories. So the product line will continue, but we'll all have to get it by a different route. This will probably be explained better on the AlleyCat site in the next week or two. And I'll be getting the last few bits for my Warwick at Brampton on the 26th!
  11. Ooohhh ... What happened? Bliddy computers, that's what happened. How I hate the things. Best I can do is leave in the address as plain text - you'll have to copy it into your search window, I'm afraid.
  12. Thank goodness, apparently just minor injuries in this prang today: https://www.dailyecho.co.uk/news/19559520.plane-crashes-bournemouth-air-festival-display/ You have to love the journalism, though. On one source it was "at an air show in Bournemouth", as though there were two or three. And another feels it necessary to point out it's the tenth anniversary of the nasty Red Arrows incident ...
  13. pigsty

    Joint flaws

    I agree with Ade H about the light. If you suspect there's a flaw, raking light is brilliant for showing it up. And if that fails, there's touch. Your fingertips (and your tongue, incidentally) are remarkably sensitive - with your eyes shut a human hair can feel as big as a pencil. If the space is too tight, there's your nails; and if that won't fit, I use a pin. Just hold it gently and draw it across the joint and you'll feel any ridge, gap or step very easily.
  14. Just to check, you do have IPMS Kent down for attending?
  15. Well, one of them. The C-17 came from Douglas, the F-18 started at Northrop, the CH-47 wouldn't be around if it weren't for Vertol, and the AH-64 was invented by Hughes. But there does seem to be remarkably little actual Boeing stuff in their range, doesn't there?
  16. I’ve just finished this, the well-known 1/48 Ford from Tamiya. The only addition is Superscale decals for VMF(AW)-115 - one of the units in the kit’s decals, but much nearer the end of their time flying the Skyray. Well, that and a couple of rudimentary seatbelts, because the cockpit’s surprisingly sparse under that tall canopy. I got aftermarket decals to do something a bit different, and it was a good thing I did, as it turned out the kit’s decals were shot. They looked fine, but when I tried to use one of the walkways I found it just wouldn’t let go of the backing paper. I did without - there seem to have been any number of approaches to walkways, including not having any at all. I’ve not been having a lot of luck with Tamiya decals … but then, I do stow kits for an awfully long time before I get around to them. This one’s a stripling - only 17 years old when I finally built it. The kit itself is pretty good. I came across the same little foibles as just about everyone has found: wing profiles that don’t match either side of the fold, and odd intakes with half a duct leading to an engine face attached to a bulkhead. But you can batter the wings down, and you can barely see into the intakes. My own discovery was that the windscreen wouldn’t sit properly on the nose: there seemed to be a bump at the front that held it away and wouldn’t respond to filing without removing some of the frame. Formula 560 to the rescue! Also, a common feature of kits with automatic slats: it gives you a well to sit them in, instead of the flush fit at the trailing edge. That lets you build it slats-in but isn’t so good slats-out. But the fix is dead easy: a thin fillet of plastic card (or in my case yogurt pot) sanded flush does the job. And you can even leave its forward edge untidy and ragged, as the slat hides it. Other features of the kit are better, like the foolproof fin attachment and the neat handed pins so you don’t mix up the left and right tanks. The basic paint scheme is Halfords Appliance White and Humbrol 129 light gull gray (several coats). I painted the intake lips as I had no confidence whatever that anyone’s decals would work. And overall, I thoroughly enjoyed myself.
  17. Really? Surely by now it can't be beyond the wit of man to come up with something that looks like smoke but doesn't use diesel fuel. Anyone who's ever objected to an airliner dumping fuel over their house will recognise the problem, only more so, because it's bus fuel they're dumping. Six hundred tons of it in a year! It'll make a nice change to come home from a show not smelling like the back end of a narrowboat.
  18. Always remember the very simple advice on this. There are two ways to do a cream tea: jam first, and wrong.
  19. Klear is reckoned to be quite good as a substitute for more specialist liquids. As ever, though, best to try it out on some disposable bit first.
  20. And then it's only a matter of a couple of fairings and some Indonesian markings, and you have a Surveiller! I said maritime was getting expensive, didn't I?
  21. If all goes to plan I'll be at the first North Surrey club night in ages, next Monday (16 August). There's at least three people there who might know. If you send me a PM with the details - subject, material, scale, manufacturer - I can pass them on and hopefully get you a response early next week.
  22. The BPK 737-800 is over £120 at Hannants. Any hints as to the price on this? What with this and the Argus conversion, maritime patrol's getting to be an expensive business. Doesn't stop it being tempting, though.
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