September 4, 2014

Open Box--An Interview With an HPM'er

HPM Member Profile-A Q&A with Chris Nugent
       An introductory entry into a possible recurring occasional feature of the High Plains Modelers blog.

HPM-- Hi, Chris. Thanks for taking the time to chat with us.
C-- You’re welcome.
HPM—You’ve been with High Plains Modelers three years, but we don’t know much about your modeling before that. What was your first model?
C.—My parents bought me a 1/18 scale police van in 1980 for my birthday. While the ash from the Mt. St. Helens eruption drifted down on our house and car, I put it together on a Saturday afternoon. Like any eight year old, I immediately played with it when done and it fell apart. The light bar was clear plastic, and it had these little hokey colored paper inserts that went inside the light bar to represent the colored lights.
HPM—That wasn’t your last foray into modeling, was it?
C.—Oh, no, not by a long shot. My first serious exposure to modeling, and the catalyst for my interest in it, was in an extracurricular class in fifth grade. If you got good grades you could spend the last period of the school day in an elective class of your choosing. One was model building. My mom took me to Don’s Hobbies, where I picked out the venerable then-Monogram kit of the P-61 Black Widow. I painted the entire interior chrome silver and left the outside in the molded black plastic. I’ve been in love with that airplane ever since.
HPM—What do you like about the P-61?
C.—Turrets! It had a dorsal remote controlled turret with four .50 caliber guns in it, not to mention that great big glass canopy for the crew and the radar office in the rear. The twin booms and engines made it a big airplane. I’ve loved any big 1/48 scale plane since, especially the B-17 and B-29, with, again, turrets!
HPM—You left modeling for a while in your teens and early twenties. How did you get back into it?
C.—Of course, interests change as you grow into adulthood. I got into girls and Jeeps, which I’m still into, although I have a lovely wife now. When I first met my wife, around 2001, we rented a duplex in Evans. I finally had a spare room where I could put up a table and a desk lamp. I bought the old Lindberg 1/125 scale Fletcher destroyer. My friends talked me out of rigging the deck guns to shoot .22 bullets. I was crazy. It took me around three years to build it, making some of the modifications I’d read about on the ‘net. When we bought our first house, I was able to complete it in my basement modeling area and display it in my office. I consider this my real re-uptake of the hobby as a serious, adult modeler. I also built a 1/32 Hughes 500 Defender, a favorite helicopter.
HPM—How would you compare your modeling as a kid to the models you finish as an adult? Any differences? Similarities?
C.—Oh, the internet has been a boon to modeling for sure. Before, in the ‘80’s and ‘90’s when I modeled as a young teen, you had to buy books at the hobby shop in order to research your subject. I couldn’t afford that, so I had to trust what was given in the box, and as we all know, sometimes model companies don’t do the best job of researching the subjects they produce. Now, on the internet, you can bring up pictures and whole write-ups on many, many different pieces of equipment, and for free. This has the double-edged sword effect of making your modeling more accurate and interesting, but also more work if you want to accurize a kit.
HPM—And what about being in the club? What can you learn from a club that you can’t learn on the internet?
C.—There is so much. There’s no substitute for talking one-on-one with other modelers about techniques and resources for scale modeling. Plus, I’ve earned many friends through the meetings and various model shows I’ve attended. Definitely there is a huge bonus to participating in a club.
HPM—What advice would you give to parents or to the younger crowd to get them interested in modeling as opposed to video games or other 21st century hobbies?
C.—Well, for me, modeling has always been about getting exposure to the varied and interesting vehicles used through history, both in warfare and in civil applications. Not only can you learn history, but there’s also a technical aspect where it’s possible to learn how aircraft actually work, for example. There’s a rich vein to be explored, once you crack it open, and I think building a model is key to that. Every part you install makes you ask questions, and it drives both the creativity, and the thirst to know more about your subject. It just snowballs.
HPM—Where do you want your modeling to go from here? What’s next?
C.—There are members in our club who are truly gifted when it comes to finishing a model to perfection. I’d like to stand in those ranks some day. There is always some flaw in every model I build, which makes it personal, but I aspire to improve to fewer flaws. If I can become that good, I can inspire others to improve as well, as my club members have inspired me.
HPM—That’s awesome. Thanks for taking the time to interview with us.

C. No problem.

     When Chris Nugent is not blogging and organizing documents in his duties as HPM Secretary, he is building 1/48 aircraft, 1/35 armor, 1/350 ships and submarines, dioramas, and various sci-fi projects. He lives in Fort Collins with his wife and two children.

September 3, 2014

August 2014 Meeting

   Ahh..hello there. Come 'round once again, have you, a second time, for a bit of the old one-two, hey? A wee tipple of the old styrene bashing business? A small portion of sharp blades and sharper wit? Right then! You've come to the right place, mate.
   The usual bandits assembled once again just this side of the border to divvy up the loot and tell tall tales about how their grandmothers used rattlesnakes to weave baskets or something like that. We had around 18 members gather to talk shop and show off models. We also had a small swap meet where club members brought in unwanted kits to sell off or trade. You know how it goes when a pile of models with price tags on 'em shows up.

38 days 'til High Plains Con XXV!!!

Make sure to check the contest web page for the latest updates on this exciting event!

Meanwhile, here's some pics of the latest goings-on with HPM. Tally-ho!

Club members patiently await Larry's tips on airbrushing. "And then you put about five drops of....zzzzzzzzzz......"

Tom's beautiful Panzer IV by Dragon in 1/35

New Scott's Fujimi 1/72 B6N1 'Jill'.

'72 Scott's Russian artillery tractor.

Michael's BT-7 Light Tank

Jim's Minicraft DC-3

John C.'s HobbyBoss BR-86 Locomotive

Gary's Jeff Gordon race car by Revell.

Cody's Lindberg 1/16 race car

Sam and Andrew get a closeup on the Panzer.

Rifling through the loot at the swap meet.

More rifling. Oh, look, Larry woke up! ;)

   That's it for now, modelers. Stay tuned next month for more modeling hijinks from the High Plains Modelers. Adieu!