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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March Update, brought to you by Windows 10

No kidding there. My old laptop was a WinXP model. Support for that OS ended in 2014, and support for the various programs I was running on the laptop naturally dwindled over time. I have finally bought a new Win10 model, and I’ve spent the better part of the last two weeks by turns either beating Windows into submission or flailing about helplessly at its ingrained obstinance.

After installing a better browser and security software, uninstalling bundled junk, installing importantly useful software such as my drafting program, uninstalling more bundled junk, installing my camera and printer, uninstalling even more bundled junk, etc.,etc., I finally have the thing in a basically useful configuration.

So, get to the photos!

March 2017

Greetings, Citizen! I am looking forward to your assistance in enjoying this March 2017 update. Let’s begin this rousing adventure!

Batman begins...

Batman begins…

Doug bought this 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona Hemi from Big Tractor Mike, as a gift for a very special person.

At 1/64th scale, it's actually a semi demi hemi.

At 1/64th scale, it’s actually a semi demi hemi.

He also bought this Case International planter…

(These are all ERTL models, by the way.)

(These are all ERTL models, by the way.)

…As well as this similar implement.

Which folds out to sleep four comfortably.

Which folds out to sleep four comfortably.

Of course, farm implements to be useful must be attached to a strong, sturdy tractor. Doug has chosen this handsome Allis-Chalmers model.

Nice.

Nice.

BTM added yet again to my collection of DeLoreans with these two offers. First is this sweet Hot Wheels Entertainment-series hover-mode model. I appreciate this one because it’s not only a great variation on the DeLorean theme; it also gives me a MOC model to pair with the one I loosed in September of ’15.

''Hover'' mode, or ''really, REALLY parked'' mode.

”Hover” mode, or ”really, REALLY parked” mode.

The other one is this cartoonishly-proportioned Happy Meal prize. And I mean cartoonish in the literal sense, as it’s based on the 1991 BttF cartoon. Which you forgot all about, didn’t you? (Can’t blame ya.)

Hmm ... Time machine looks good with a Big Block.

Hmm … Time machine looks good with a Big Block.

Actually, that “big block” isn’t merely decorative. It houses a friction motor, the flywheel of which has a layer of flint. Which is also why it’s transparent; give the toy a strong-enough push, and the motor will generate sparks to simulate the “time travel” effect:

1.21 Gigawatts! from Suncoast Diecasters on Vimeo.

By the way, this video is raw, unedited and lacking the quirky title and credits typical of our other videos because in designing Windows 10, Microsoft did away with Movie Maker. Just another in MS’s long history of thoughtful and considerate decisions[citation needed]. I still have my old WinXP laptop, so I do still have access to Movie Maker there; it just means shuttling videos to & from on portable storage. If you happen to know a good, safe, simple (and preferably free) video editor & converter for Windows 10, please let me know in the Comments.

And in case you’re wondering what that white object protruding out of the side is (mis-identified by Big Rob as “a wad of gum”), it’s good ol’ Doc Brown himself. Which just proves the adage:

"Some things were not meant to be seen in close-up."

“Some things were not meant to be seen in close-up.”

Speaking of Big Rob: He too also bought some stuff from BTM. Starting with these two Cheetah models by Johnny Lightning. Apparently JL learned well from Mattel that the same model can be re-packaged as a different series to sell it again with otherwise little effort (e.g., my many HW DeLoreans). The red one is “Rebel Rods”, while the green one is “Street Freaks” (cross-referenced with “The Spoilers”).

Toy car collecting: Made for the spreadsheet era.

Toy car collecting: Made for the spreadsheet era.

And finally, Big Rob made the Big Buy from Big Tractor Mike with this Big Scale Batmobile. And I do mean big, as in 1/24th-scale big. It’s by Metals Die Cast, an offshoot of Jada. Sweetly detailed, and elegantly packaged with yon Caped Crusader standing alongside his crime-fighting chariot.

Nana nana nana nana -- Diecast!

Nana nana nana nana — Diecast!

Nicely finished, literally and figuratively, with “trident” exhaust pipes, “batwing” fender flares, and drag ‘chutes on either side of the exhaust nozzle.

Wait, does a turbine engine really need zoomies?

Wait, does a turbine engine really need zoomies?

Even the Boy Wonder is included. He’s in the passenger seat, using the Batphone. He’s probably crank-calling the H.I.V.E. Tower again.

"TRAIN! PAY ATTENTION! MANDATORY MEETING!"

“TRAIN! PAY ATTENTION! MANDATORY MEETING!”

Starring George Reeves as Superman.

Sorry. My mistake. I meant "Starring Ben Affleck as Michael Keaton".

Sorry. My mistake. I meant “Starring Ben Affleck as Michael Keaton”.

Well, there’s no need to recite its thoroughly obvious qualifications. With zero hesitation I happily and readily declare this sweet, super-size Batmobile miniature as Suncoast DiecastersFind of the Month(*) for March 2017. Congratulations, Big Rob!

The small dark rectangular thing is something BTM threw into the deal. Not sure what it is. Candy bar, maybe.

The small dark rectangular thing is something BTM threw into the deal. Not sure what it is. Candy bar, maybe.

See you at our April meeting!

~WM