24th GSL International Scale Vehicle Championship Contest Photos

Peter Go’s 1/16-scale 1908 Rolls Royce Silver Ghost features incredibly delicate wire wheels and many other fine details.

If you’re a male of a certain age, chances are you built at least one model car kit in your younger days . . . maybe several. You got a kit from AMT, Monogram, or Revell and some paint and glue from Testors, put down some newspaper on the dining room table, and did your best. Maybe your finished product turned out good enough to occupy a spot of honor on your bedroom shelf, or maybe it ended up being fodder for firecrackers in your driveway.

Today, there are passionate groups of adult model-car builders who have taken a hobby that started as a 1960s fad and elevated it into a true art form. And the place to see the best of these miniature wonders in person is the GSL International Model Car Championship—a prestigious contest that was created back in 1979 for the upper echelon of automotive-modeling artisans. It’s essentially the Academy Awards of hand-built scale vehicles. GSL stands for “Greater Salt Lake” (the contest is held biannually in Salt Lake City, Utah), and this year’s running was the 24th edition. More than 300 models from 80 or so builders were on display in the Salt Lake Sheraton Hotel this past weekend.

Though the competition is intense and judging is taken very seriously (a trio of expert judges spends over eight hours painstakingly analyzing the entries), the atmosphere is wonderfully congenial and welcoming. Builders happily share techniques and genuinely enjoy each other’s company. The contest is the main event, but there are plenty of other attractions over the course of the four-day show. Master modelers explain their building techniques in instructive seminars (this year’s show included demonstrations of 3-D printing, metal shaping, and cobalt plating), and shuttle buses ferry attendees to the nearby National Model Car Builder’s Museum for tours (both GSL and the NMCBM are brainchildren of Salt Lake City-area attorney Mark Gustavson).

The best of the models on display at GSL reach a level of craftsmanship and precision that rivals that of the premier full-size car restorers and fabricators. Here’s a sampling of the amazing works of art that were on display. For more information, check out http://www.gslchampionship.org.

The big winner at GSL this year was Greg Nichols’ “Backdraft”—a completely scratch-built, T-bucket-inspired hot rod chock-full of hand-machined metal parts. It took home the coveted “Best in Show” award, along with several other honors. The “Backdraft” name is inspired by the model’s rear-mounted radiator, which is positioned just behind the driver’s seat.

Mike English brought several amazing motorcycle models, including a 1/9-scale Bianchi 350CC (background) and a 1/9 one-off custom bike. Note the leather riding gloves on the saddle.

Advanced modelers use ultra-thin “photo-etched” metal parts for extra-fine detailing. Gary Kulchock crammed several projects’ worth of his own custom-made pieces onto this jam-packed sheet, which measures roughly 11 inches by 17 inches. It’s a work of art in and of itself. A Jeep grille, a manhole cover, various gaskets and brackets, speaker grilles, and a myriad of tiny bolt heads are just a few of the precision-crafted bits.

Master modelers utilize advanced painting techniques to make simple plastic-kit parts look like weather-beaten old steel. “Hollywood” Jim Fernandez built this 1/25-scale 1950 Oldsmobile 88 drag car to look as if it had spent the last 40 years decaying in a junkyard. Did you notice the robin’s nest (with egg) in the rear carburetor’s velocity stack?

Jimmie Harris’s wondrously weathered 1923 Ford Model T “peddler’s truck” looks like something out of “The Grapes of Wrath.” It’s complete with pots and pans, a bulb horn, and a rooftop chimney.

“Hollywood” Jim Fernandez’s heartwarming 1/25-scale diorama “Making Memories” makes fantastic use of color: The under-construction pedal car and ’32 Ford coupe are finished in full color, while the cluttered garage backdrop is rendered in muted black-and-white-photo tones. The level of detail here is breathtaking.


My, How Time Flies at Mark Twain Hobby Center

My, how time flies. Dan McEntee, our longest part timer (32 years) stopped by yesterday and showed me the first Mark Twain Hobby Center newsletter. It was dated November 1980. Since it was only 2 pages I thought that it would fit into this post. What is really interesting are the products and prices from 33 years ago. One great example was the Lindberg Blue Devil Destroyer plastic model kit. Back then we had it on special for $17.99. Now they retail at $129.95 with a street price of about $80.00. Or how about the Kraft 6 channel sport series radio with servos and receiver for $235.00. Those were the days.

One other thing that you don’t see much of any longer is the fact that I typed this newsletter on an electric typewriter. I know, some of you that are quite young are asking what is an electric typewriter. Heck, sometimes we didn’t even use correcting fluid, we just typed right over the mistake.

Anyway, I hope that you enjoy going back a few years in time.

Dennis

PS Don’t expect these prices to be valid today. (That’s a disclaimer)old newsletter

old newsletter-1


Are You Immersed In Your Hobby?

World War 1 Soldiers in France with a Bee Suit

World War 1 Soldiers in France with a Bee Suit

While this picture is not related to any of the hobbies that we carry at Mark Twain Hobby Center, I am using it to ask you “Are You Immersed In Your Hobby”? This fellow certainly is. This is a group of World War 1 soldiers in France obviously taking some needed rest. The “Bee Suit” that the one soldier is wearing is actually a swarm of honey bees. To do this he took the queen from the swarm and placed her on his clothing up around his neck. When the rest of the swarm located her they lit onto his clothing and neck and hung out forming the “Bee Suit”. Obiously, this soldier had the hobby of beekeeping back in the states and was used to being around the bees as he is very comfortable with them. Do you take the time to show people your hobby, or spend time telling others about the neat things that you do? Do you get really excited about the things that you do or build and want to share it with others? I certainly do and think that if you were to put out a survey it would show that those that enjoy their hobby the most are the same ones that share their excitement and joy with others about that hobby. Clubs are a great place to find others that have the same hobby interest and passion as you. How about sharing with others through such outlets as nursing/adult day care centers or at the library or in the schools?

Over the years that we have been in business, we have put different groups in touch with hobbyists that would go out and spend a little time with others sharing their interest and passion. One such event dealt with older men in an assisted living facility that enjoyed building balsa stick models. Dan McEntee spent time with them talking about the models and showing what was available and tips on building these models. The feedback from the facility was phenomenal as each person shared their memories of building models as a kid. Or about the times that were spent with Cub Scouts giving tips on building better Pinewood Derby cars.

Check with your church or local community center to find out the possibility of setting up a beginning model building class or take a youngster out to the field the next time you fly. You will be surprised at the effect that your enthusiasm will have on them.

Take a look at the soldiers that surround this bee hobbyist. Want to bet some of them will go back to states and set up a bee hive.

Spread the word, hobbies are fun

Dennis


110St Tactical Fighter Squadron “Lindbergh’s Own” Missouri National Guard

110st TFS MO ANG Photo

Members of the 110st Tactical Fighter Squadron

The 110th Observation Squadron was established by the Militia Bureau on on June 23,1923, which authorized the immediate organization of the 110th Observation Squadron, 35th Division of Aviation, Missouri National Guard. The units first headquarters was located in a filling station on Manchester Avenue. From this location it was moved to a small room over a grocery store on Olive Street Road In St Louis County. Meetings were held at the Airport, which at the time was little more than a pasture, there were no airplanes and no uniforms for the enlisted men.

Through the years the unit grew in equipment, men and stature while serving the country in WW2 as a fighter/reconnaissance configuration and winning the Presidential Unit Citation for action in the pacific. After being re-designated as the 110th Fighter Squadron in 1946 the unit’s service also included the Korean War, Berlin Airlift Crisis and many of it’s members served during the Vietnam War.

Keeping watch over the Saint Louis skies in F-100, F-4, and F-15 fighter jets the unit was slowly moved from the local Saint Louis area with the new designation as the 110th Bomber Squadron in 2008 and now flying B-2 bombers out of Whiteman Air Force Base in central Missouri.

F-100 of 110st TFS Missouri Air National Guard

F-100 of 110st TFS Missouri Air National Guard

A full history with additional information on the linage, assignments and aircraft can be found here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/110th_Fighter_Squadron

Mark Twain Hobby Center has commissioned one of our manufacturers to provide a souvenir to this great group of men and women. We now have available a 14 inch full color sign that has been distressed to look old that resembles the patches of the 110th Tactical Fighter Squadron from about 1960 to the early 1990’s. This is a great new wall hanger for your den, aircraft collection room or garage and will compliment any memorabilia or model collection. The design is the same as that shown on the side of the aircraft in the photographs.

Lindberg's Own 131st TFS Sign by Mark Twain Hobby Center

Lindberg’s Own 131st TFS Sign by Mark Twain Hobby Center

These are in limited numbers so don’t wait.

Happy Flying,

Dennis


Fall Sale

Well, here we go again. Friday, Saturday and Sunday (November 16,17 and 18) only. Mark Twain Hobby Center will be having a 20% OFF whatever you can carry to the register sale. So load your carts into your car and come on in. Just as a reminder this sale does not include gift cards, lay-aways, consignment or used items or special orders of our Ebay store. However, anything else that does not fall into those categories is on sale, even stuff that would normally not be discountable.

This is our way of saying thank you to all of our valued customers and friends.

Mark Twain Hobby Center 20 percent off sale

Mark Twain Hobby Center 20% OFF sale


Hobby Clubs and You

Over the years I have seen many a hobbyist go strong in their particular area of interest only to peter out as time went on because they did not have anyone to talk with that shared the same interest. Or there were times when the kids soccer games were over and the hobby interest was rekindled and the search was on to rejoin the group or club once again. While the number of clubs or number of members might not be as great as it was years ago before competition with the web or television there are a surprising number of groups or associations out there with your particular hobby interest. Here is a list of groups that we have put together:

http://www.hobby1.com/Hobby-Links.html

I am sure that there are some clubs or groups that were missed, and I welcome your response to let me know of them. Whether your interest is Model Railroading, Radio Control Airplanes, Boats or Car/Truck racing, War Gaming, building Scale Models, it really doesn’t matter, there is a group of like minded people like you. As a rule there are also blogs and forums on the web that cater to your interests as well. Even if you are not a “club person” per say, just hanging around friends that share the same interest has always been motivation to keep plugging away at a project for me and will do the same for you.

I encourage you to look into and join or support the local hobby club or association that shares your hobby interest.

Keep on hobbying

Dennis


New Production Custom Made Aircraft Display Cases

Protect your 1:72 plastic or die-case model airplanes from the elements while displaying them in style. This case will allow you to do both with the included Hobby Master airfield display base. Airplane not included.

Specs
Inside Length: 10 5/8″ (26.99 cm)
Inside Width: 7 7/8″ (20 cm)
Inside Height: 4 1/2″ (11.43 cm)

These cases are custom made for us by Showcase Products and are beautiful to say the least with a black stepped base and very clear and clean seams. This particular setup includes the Hobby Master airfield base which shows the models off quite well.

Happy modeling

Dennis


DML Die Cast C-17 Special Offer

Kevin has worked a special deal with DML for more of the die cast C-17 models at a substantially lower price. This beautiful diecast model is the Globemaster III operated by the 62nd Airlift Wing (62 AW). This formation containing 7,200 personnel is based at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in the state of Washington. The active-duty unit is part of the Eighteenth Air Force of the Air Mobility Command.

When these models first arrived in early summer we were able to price them at $44.95 which was discounted from the retail of $55.95. With this SPECIAL OFFER we are able to sell the limited stock for $24.95. That is 55% OFF the retail price. Now that’s a deal. If you have ever seen one of these impressive aircraft you will never forget the experience. They are huge!

Built by the  Boeing and is used for strategic airlift purposes. Currently serving  within the air force ranks of the USA, Australia, Canada, NATO, Qatar and the United Kingdom.

Grab one today before they are all gone.