Logistical non-nightmares

The IPMS nationals this year are in Phoenix, which is reasonably close to where I live in the San Francisco Bay Area. “Reasonable” is a relative term; it’s still 646 miles away, according to Google maps, or 12 hours (okay, 9 hours if you drive it California-style). I have British friends who go pale at the idea of a jaunt 45 miles to Sacramento, and I know many east-coasters look at those numbers and shake their heads, but this is the price you pay for living out west. My wife’s family used to drive around the U.S. on vacations and that was a normal leg of a trip. Of course, now she’d never dream of driving that far and instead insists on going by plane.

I’m lucky it’s in driving distance, but not because I’m driving. I have to attend the CRM Evolution show in New York Aug. 1 through 4 – which means I’ll miss the first day of the nationals. The plan is to fly to Phoenix on Thursday morning (maybe with Elizabeth, maybe not) from New York, and to meet my models there. Some members of my club are indeed driving down, so I’ll give them my entries (and maybe a small bag with some clean clothes!) and they’ll drive them to Phoenix. I’ll ship the Obscureco inventory down and pick it up on-site and get my table set up. And then all will be well.

In 16 years this is the first time a work event has conflicted with the nationals, which is pretty amazing. I can hardly complain at all. And, coming from humid New York to Phoenix, I may actually appreciate the “dry heat” comments for once!

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The next Journal: great for talking Egyptian cars into IJN battleships and watching “Knightrider” in space

This week, we’re throwing together the next issue of the IPMS/USA Journal – and by throwing, I mean working hard, fast and seemingly out of control. However, with the team of people we have, especially John Heck, it’s more like a deliberate juggling act than a slapdash rush to meet a deadline.

This issue features part one of a two-parter on building U.S. manned launch vehicles in 1:200, a build of the Moebius Models Mummy, the Hasegawa 1:350 Mutsu, a remarkable lighted build of the Knightrider K.I.T.T. and a story about a major model project at the National Museum of the U.S. Navy. If that’s not variety I don’t know what is.
If you aren’t an IPMS/USA member, you’ll miss out on this issue, the July-August issue (which will drop around the time of the nationals, I suspect). You should get over to the IPMS/USA website and join if you aren’t a member. Trust me on that.

I’ve been twiddling about on the P-40 this week, hoping to get some decals on her shortly. Elizabeth is having knee surgery on Friday, so I may be busy/not busy for several days. I’d really like to have the model done for the Region 9 contest on July 25, but I don’t want to jinx myself. Also, Keith Bunyan is visiting from New Zealand next week, providing a welcome distraction from models but also presenting a distraction from models, if you know what I mean, so the contest may be out of the question unless I get a good session of building in tonight.

Also, one other item: my wife’s aunt Peggy sent two boxes of items that belonged to her husband, Maj. Hank Salisbury, USMC. One was filled with books, Pacific invasion maps (with Japanese artillery, airfields and buildings marked on them!), a USMC first-aid kit packed with its original contents, and a silk map of Japan, Korea, China and the Soviet Union. The other box had this:

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This is what 53 Comet metal ship ID models look like. They’re not all Comet – several are from other manufacturers – but they all date from World War II. The notables in this collection are five unusual 1:300-scale destroyers, the carriers Yorktown, Independence and Ranger, the battlecruiser Alaska, Japanese cruisers Mogami, Aoba and Takao, and battleships Texas and Massachusetts. I’d like to find a home for them in a museum, but I may bring them to Friday night’s Silicon Valley Scale Modelers’ meeting. They’re pretty accurate, and they survived many years as toys for Hank’s kids, so they’re obviously battleship tough!