The Grand Gathering of August 2018

I apologize for the lateness of this update. I’ve recently had a cutback in hours at work, so my overriding priority right now is to find a good replacement job. Thus, frivolities such as these club updates take a back seat. (If you happen to know a Tampa Bay area business that’s in need of a hot-rodding creative, please let me know!)

Nonetheless, our August meeting was indeed grand. Good group of people, including a couple o’ members we hadn’t seen in a while. And one stupendous structure.

Hey, get to the photos!

August 2018

Bill does very well for himself by buying this Hot Wheels 20th Anniversary 3-pack. No idea what the CW/CP price tag represents. Circus World, maybe? If you know, share in the Comments!

Twenty years, and only three cars? That's ... not too productive.

Twenty years, and only three cars? That’s … not too productive.

Sorry for the glare and shadows. This is actually the last photo I took, before my camera’s battery went out.

Bill also bought this good-looking Indentor, an entry from the Crack-Ups series. I was hoping to get a really nice photo of it…

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…But unfortunately as I was setting it up, I broke it.

I'm such a bad person.

I’m such a bad person.

A bit of a departure here: Some nose art on a Midnight Otto.

I mean, it's on a door, but still ... nose art.

I mean, it’s on a door, but still … nose art.

Ed was at the meeting. It’s always good to see Ed. He’s a great guy. But I wish he’d bring some stuff to the meetings once in a while. He never brings nothin’!

And I mean -- NUTHIN'!

And I mean — NUTHIN’!

Amongst his nuthin’, Ed had this oddball little fellow.  Threw us all off for a little bit, because we couldn’t ID it. Then we figured out why we had trouble recognizing it…

...Because it usually has a Volkswagen Drag Bus shell wrapped around it.

…Because it usually has a Volkswagen Drag Bus shell wrapped around it.

Mike C. has been absent from the club for the last few months. He made a delightful surprise appearance at our August meeting. Looks good, sounds good. And to make his return complete, he bought some items. A few. You know, three or four.

Some of Ed's nuthin', and some of BTM's nuthin'.

Some of Ed’s nuthin’, and some of BTM’s nuthin’.

Big Tractor Mike bought this set from Ed (leaving him with nuthin’), which features a Batman “action guide”, and three Batman-themed vehicles: one of the over five hundred eighty six variations of the Batmobile; a Joker-themed Evil Twin (a sly choice for comic book aficionados), and a Bane-themed whatever that is.

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By day, he’s Big Tractor Mike. By night, he’s the BaTMan! (See what I did there? I hope you see it; it’s very clever.)

Original Ken picked up this lovely Mercedes 350 SL (Majorette, 1/60 scale), which I actually thought he bought at the previous meeting, but no.

Yes, now. Then, no.

Yes, now. Then, no.

Man, I dig those reflections.

Well-appointed interior, and an opening trunk, which is always nice.

Plus a few nicely embossed -- if somewhat overscale -- surface details.

Plus a few nicely embossed — if somewhat overscale — surface details.

And now for the Big Thing of the Meeting: The Grand Barn, a custom hand-built replica of an actual barn, by Doug. I don’t know what scale Doug built it at; nor did I ask him to place his hand in the photo. He was discussing the barn with another member, and just happened to point out a feature right before my camera’s timer fired. A lucky accident, as it gives you some idea of the size of the model.

For additional reference, Doug is 9'12" tall.

For additional reference, Doug is 9’12” tall.

I call it the Grand Barn for several reasons, such as its sheer scale, and its incredible detail.

Click below for sheer scale.

Click below for sheer scale.

Size: 1000 x 486 pixels.

This build is loaded with details.

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Details such as the pallet leaning against the wall.

See the small sub-building on the right? It will become important later.

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Foreshadowing.

Size: 1000 x 562 pixels.

Note the gleam just off the right of the nose of the contented cow on the left. That’s light reflecting off the artificial water in the trough. Yes, artificial water, a product used to add yet another touch of realism.

The staining around the base of the trough indicates these are some sloppy Santa Gertrudis.

The staining around the base of the trough indicates these are some sloppy Santa Gertrudis.

Note the real metal chain on the post in the above photo. It’s used to shut the open gate in the below photo.

And yes, you *are* seeing an actually lit light.

And yes, you *are* seeing an actually lit light.

Size: 1000 x 536 pixels.

Here’s an interior shot of the upper section, in which you can see some of the amazing detail that Doug put–

Ha! I’m foolin’! This is actually the storage shed in back of the Sports Bar.

Oh.

Oh.

Fooled you twice! It really is a shot of the upper interior, as you can see in this farther-backly photographed photograph.

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And if you still doubt me, compare the light spill between the boards in both pics. You’ll see they match.

Size: 1000 x 882 pixels.

How’s this for detail? Lightning rods!

Not to mention that double-hung window.

Not to mention that double-hung window.

More evidence of Doug’s attention to detail: Each piece of this door is hand-cut, and the hinges work.

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It’s also evidence of his patience: That door is *barely* the size of a postage stamp.

Remember that sub-building I mentioned earlier? I wanted a shot of the interior detail, so I set my camera on the table with the lens just outside its door. Didn’t turn out as I’d hoped.

No idea how I got a nicely focused shot of the far fence *and* light smear like someone kicked my camera.

No idea how I got a nicely focused shot of the far fence *and* light smear like someone kicked my camera.

I knew I had to try again while I still had some battery. So I reviewed my camera settings, pushed the camera’s lens into the door, and hit the button…

…Ten seconds later, I got the shot. The modified flash setting lit up the interior details nicely while also creating rich shadows, and you can still see that the lights are lit.

Let me emphasize: This shot was taken with my camera's lens *inside* the doorway.

Let me emphasize: This shot was taken with my camera’s lens *inside* the doorway.

Impress yourself with Doug’s amazing detail by clicking the link below:

Size: 1000 x 750 pixels.

For its  size, its realism and its astounding and near-overwhelming quality of detail, Big Tractor Mike and I declare Doug’ custom hand-built Grand Barn to be Suncoast DiecastersFind of the Month(*) for August 2018! Many congratulations, Doug!

See you at our September October meeting!

~WM

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February 2017

As you might guess, with Gary’s passing there was a bit of a down atmosphere to our February meeting. This was made more palpable by the absence of Original Ken, who was out with the flu, and the news from another member that he had suffered a brief seizure between this meeting and our previous one. (If you would care to pray for our group, that would be appreciated.)

Nonetheless, there was camaraderie, conversation, and trading.

I have moved the post on Gary’s loss to our In Memoriam section.

On a lighter note. I’ve activated a new feature on our site. At the end of every post is a short list of related posts. That list has only been text links; now it features a thumbnail of a random photo from each post in the list.

February 2017

Doug brought in this sweet custom-built storage he found at a flea market. The front panel swings up & latches to lock in the three drawers. He intended to offer it to Original Ken, for to storage his slot-car stuff. Ken (via phone) politely rejected the offer. So, Big Tractor Mike bought it instead. This is all very exciting! Or at least, I thought it was….

You seem board, Doug!

You seem board, Doug!

From Ed, Big Tractor Mike bought this Treasure Hunts-edition ’57 T-Bird for a friend who particularly collects such things.

It's a THunderbird! Get it, ''THunderbird''?

It’s a THunderbird! Get it, ”THunderbird”?

Also from Ed, Big Tractor Mike also bought this compete four-car set of Silver Series II vehicles. Mike was fortunate to get the whole set in shot … unlike how we used to have to do it.

Oscar Mayer? Looks more like an ARMOUR hot dog! (Man, I am good today!)

Oscar Mayer? Looks more like an ARMOUR hot dog! (Man, I am good today!)

I bought this sweet T-Hunt$-edition Classic Packard from Ed. He had several such models, so I set them all together to determine which one looked best. Then I noticed that one of them things is not like them others. One was spectraflame blue, with white-walled chrome-blue DDRRs. Turned out Ed had a Super amongst his plain ol’, everyday, run-of-the-mill T-Hunts (wait, did he really just type that?). Ed’s asking price was reasonable (I know, because I asked), so I added this to my small but feisty collection of T-Hunts.

Not just classic, but classy!

Not just classic, but classy!

From Mike I bought this large Majorette Ford Coupe. It’s been years (if not decades) since I bought a Majorette; the model is cool, and Mike’s price was fair, so I treated myself.

Yes, the cardboard is beaten up. And yes, you are seeing staples.

Yes, the cardboard is beaten up. And yes, you are seeing staples.

Pretty snaZZy-lookin’, wouldn’t you say?

And yes, you are now hearing a ZZ TOP song in your head.

And yes, you are now hearing a ZZ TOP song in your head.

…But you must agree that this, er, “top-down” style is much cooler, with a more aggressive look to it. Also, this at 1/43 scale, which makes it even better. For its sharp, racer styling and powerful look, I declare this model to be Suncoast DiecastersFind of the Month(*) for February 2017.

And yes, I have now run out of funny captions.

And yes, I have now run out of funny captions.

Hey, grab yourself a larger version of the above image.

See you at our March meeting!

~WM