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December 7, 2001


Well, good ole' 2001 is just about to end. Man, what a disappointment, uh?!!

If you jumped back in time and found us sitting around the back stoop in 1965 and told us what this year would actually be like, we'd have dragged you into the alley and beat the shit outta ya!!

"Whatcha mean, the most 'futuristic' car is a PT Cruiser?!! My Grandfather drives a car that looks just like that!! Get outta here, ya flake!"

No, instead of visions of a Jetsons' neighborhood, exotic space stations with shuttles going back & forth to the Moon, Faster Than Light space travel, half the population living under the Seas, everyone going to school on Jet-Packs, moving sidewalks in every city, medical advancements where the average lifespan is 120 years, robots cleaning our room, (and taking out the fucking trash, mowing the lawn AND shoveling the driveway!), what did we end up with... ??!!

Two Towers crashing down!

That's it! That's the legacy Year 2001 will forever be remembered for!

What a waste of a good vision!!

And what are we doing? We revert to our youth and find enjoyment building 1954-era Godzilla plastic models!!

Well, actually we would build them if we weren't so busy bitching about um!! In the 40+ years that have passed, our generation might not have advanced the human race all that much, but we certainly have the act of Bitching down pat!!!

Can I get an AMEN!?!!

Let's face it, Styrene lovers, if you want quality casting DON'T look for it from U.S. Modeling companies!! It eats into their profit-margin! The quicker you realize that, the happier you'll be!! I can't figure out why most of these yahoo's are in this hobby to begin with?!

If you BUY the new 16" Godzilla and decide to build it, then you try to make the best damn looking Godzilla your talent can achieve! If that means finding alternative railroad cars cuz you don't like the ones that came with the kit, or the buildings don't suit ya, and you make your own base... that's what this hobby is all about!! It's called 'Modeling'!! If you like the kit as is, but the detail is lacking, then scratch it back in where you think it belongs!! If you don't know how to do this... well, many of you love styrene because it's cheap in price, so practice your skills on these 'cheap' kits and experiment!! So you blow it! So what?! You'll learn from it nonetheless!!

Here, bitch about something constructive...

I have to be honest here and admit that I was slightly disappointed to learn that Polar Lights' Jetsons', BTTF DeLorean, & Ecto-1 kits will be pre-paints. Snap-together's don't bother me. I've bought many of them myself and although I usually cut off the tabs and revert to good ole' glue & putty, at least you have to paint it, which keeps it in the model category.

But a pre-painted, snap together is NOT a model! Sorry! My oldest son has always had a love for Japanese animation, & buys up four or five of these Gundam kits to put together almost every week. Don't ask me why? I look over his shelves, and although each robot is a different size with a different shield here or there, to me they all look like regurgitated 'Voltron's!!

But models? No way! When he was six years old his #1 favorite toys were Lego's. Even back then he'd make these elaborate figures and have them marching and fighting across his playroom floor. And that's what pre-painted, snap-togethers are... a variation on the Lego theme. No more, no less. Here's your instructions... snap this piece onto this piece onto this piece & wa-laa! You're done... go play!

Face it, if you remove glue and paints from the equation, all you're left with is a toy. Calling it a 'model' is ludicrous! (and yes, you CAN paint the Gundams, but you CAN paint Action Figures too! Reality is, kids don't!!) Now shut the fuck up.

And please don't tell me it'll get the kids back into modeling!! (Gawd! I'm so fucking sick of hearing THAT song!!!) What it does is continues the instant-gratification syndrome they're use to now. If you introduce glue and paints to the equation you can actually see the light flicker out in their eyes!! I don't mind PL introducing these toys into the market, in fact I'll still probably pick up the Jetsons & DeLorean... but at least call a spade a spade, please.

(And yes, I did read Metzner's post on how you could always paint the saucer section and seats! And yes, I picture him laughing his fool ass off while he typed that, as well!! You idjits wouldn't see sarcasm if it hit you upside that pointed head of yours!!)

And that's the death-toll sound you hear for 'our' favorite hobby. Because once us old dinosaurs start dieing off in huge numbers over the next 30 years, so too does the art of models, true models, die with us. Even those Yahoo's up there bitching about the Godzilla want everything handed to um! Heaven forbid they have to restore detail BACK into a kit!! Buy putty??! Why don't the seams go together 'seamlessly', damn it!! If you can't appreciate the work that a model kit requires, be it styrene, vinyl OR resin, then go buy a Gundam or that Ecto-1, snap it together and place it proudly on your shelf and beam excitedly on how good a job 'you' did!!

And let's not forget that '...resin is just TOO expensive!' Yeah, well stop buying up Play Station 2 games and maybe you can pick up one or two GOOD resin kits! But seriously, if you have to wait until the kids are outta college, I understand... but the Styrene kits are drying up and unless you're happy building the ENTERPRISE 463 times or the BATMOBILE 2,125 times, then you're going to have to get your fix somehow!

No biggie. I and many others who love this hobby will not only continue to buy new kits, if and when they come out, across ALL plastic mediums, but we already own enough unbuilt models to last us the remaining years we have. I'll be happy building them as will a few others out there that really know what modeling is all about and don't mind the effort required!

Received a lot of feedback from last weeks column. Glad everyone enjoyed it! I know I found the input fun to read!

Received input from Ed Bowkley slightly too late to include with the others...(apparently he needed more time inorder to put more than 4 words together... and no foul words were uttered at all! Shit, I'm so proud of the big lug!!)  :)

"For my company, Diceman Creations, I have ALWAYS tried to promote the sculptor. From day one when I sent pics of kits in to the magazines, the sculptor was always listed. I ALWAYS listed the sculptor on the sign I make for shows that has the price on it. On my retail and wholesale list, the sculptor is listed right in the description of the piece either at the beginning or the end. On my web page the sculptor is listed under the piece they sculpted.

Back in the day when I had the crappiest box art there is, I named the sculptor. Now that my partner, who is also the sculpting half of the company, Ed White, is doing the box art as well as sculpting...well with his better looking box art, the sculptor is listed. In my ads in Model Maniacs Magazine (the only ad space I can afford), all the sculptors are listed in bold type.

So it's pretty safe to say that, Yes, I promote the sculptor and I promote my company. It goes hand in hand that without the sculptor, I have no product. And without my company, the sculptor can be losing a source of income. Every sculptor I have ever worked with got name recognition, without asking for it. I just figgered it was the right thing to do!"

and Martin Cage of Budgies Kits, writes -

"I always like to put my sculptors names on the box art. This is out of common decency but it don't matter. Unless your name's Mike Hill no one gives a toss about other UK sculptors.

Joe Bailey is probably the best sculptor in the UK but you mention his name and people say who?!

Another point is about freelance sculptors. A freelance sculptor takes no financial risk. If you only sell one kit a freelancer still gets his money!! Believe me Buc, sculptors are a funny breed. I think Larry summed it up when he said that most sculptors are flakes!!!"

Thanks, Ed & Martin, (I think!) for the input and again thanks to everyone who replied last week! Appreciate it!!

Dateline: Sunday - Dec 2 - 4th;

In other news, our good friend, Ivie, has taken his ball and run home! For the SF Digest he puts out every Saturday night will be no more.

Boo-Hoo!! My pussy hurts!!   (Apologies to Suzi!)

Of course, I get a bucket load of e-mail/AIM/ICQ msgs the instant this news came out. Noticed a few went to Ivie as well!!

Personally I'm eating this up with a spoon because, once again, it's all smoke and mirrors! The one e-mail I thought covered it pretty conclusively was this one, quoted anonymously...

"Well, I know if there's one man that will probably have the same things to say as I do about the Cult digest, it will be you. Look forward to reading about it in the Sprue."

"Personally, my two thoughts. First of all, if he does discontinue the digest, he brought it on himself by not editing out Dave's comments. If he wants to run his site as a reputable business, he needs to edit Dave's submissions like any other editor of a magazine would do. He publishes those rants strictly for the site traffic."

"Second, it's a marketing ploy by Steve. I say he wants to generate traffic from this by ending the digest, and then will bring it back in a few months."

"Oh well, I enjoyed the digest, although it has been a bit light in the last few months. After Dave's current rant, I had actually thought about unsubscribing on my own, but would have missed the exclusives page."

Yes, I agree...Ivie's infamous Merriman ploy!! Damn if this ain't getting old! Especially loved the "Ivie plays all bent outta shape" and "No more digest for you!" cards!

What a Ma-roooooon!

THEN!!!... (laughing uncontrollably, now!) they have the gall to say David's at fault for the cancellation of the Digest!!

Huh??! (Yes, David, they are a moronic bunch!!)

All David does, you brain dead aborted fetuses, is send his pearls of wisdom up Steve's way! It's up to Steve to decide to publish them or not, and if he does, then Dave's off the hook! And anything that ultimately appears in that digest is on Steve's head. Hell, the Sculpting message I quoted from Diceman, above, has the last paragraph deleted from it. It was a pretty strong attack against two sculptors and since I didn't know them, and therefore couldn't verify Ed's claims, I deleted the paragraph! That's my call, and my call alone.. if Ed wants that info to be known by Modelers at large, he has avenues where he can tell that tale, believe me... and he understands that!

I would expect everyone understands that! But if folks are blaming Merriman, then apparently that understanding is lacking in some! (Hell, generating a spark between two brain cells is lacking in some!!)

What irritates me isn't what David says... I laughed my ass off Sunday morn when I read his piece... it's that he's allowed to say them unfettered, yet when those on the other side of his attacks try to have their say, their posts are censored or deleted! (A practice Ivie has down pat!) Ivie at one point even stated he didn't want personal attacks written against David, yet David certainly had that right via the Digest?!! What's wrong with this picture?!! Or when Ivie is called on the pad for publishing a piece not related to modeling, he responds by saying 'Hey, I didn't have time to edit it... all I did was receive it and throw it in there! Don't blame me, man!!! I'm busy!!!'

(How much time does one have to expend cut & pasting a bunch of individual emails into a document, and post 3, maybe 4 photo's on an exclusive page?!?! Ppppllleeeeaaasseeee!!! Ten minutes max??! Hey, Ivie... use a fucking laptop and you can do the whole thing while taking a healthy dump and still have time to read the comics & clip your toenails!!!)

I agree with the poster above... Ivie is 1) playing the Lemmings like a violin, 2) doing it for the increased traffic & egoboo factor, and 3) like Michael Jordan, will spring up one day in the near future and proclaim from high atop the mountain that the "...Digest is COMING BACK!!" And he'll be hoisted up on shoulders and paraded through the streets as 'da man'!

And that, boys & girls, is what this is all about in a nut shell! Poor ole' Ivie has one gigantic insecurity problem! Whereas Merriman could give a flying fuck how folks feel about him, Ivie has a sick unresistable urge to setup situations so that when they get out of hand, allow him to then come in and play the 'calm, controlled, mediator'. Not to mention a never ending hunger for accolades. If he doesn't get them often enough, then he starts to go into withdrawals... as the ongoing 'SF Modeling Digest' thread on his BB illustrates. He requires, nay, he NEEDS, like a strung out druggie, the pat on the backs, the job well done's, repeatedly and in heavy doses, just to feed that unsated ego! And the little rodents trip all over each other delivering um, like slobbering fanboys!!

Actually, what he needs is to be taken out back, beaten to an inch of his pathetic life, and told to grow the hell up!

(Update Wed, Dec 5th) - I just got Ivie's "changed" format today. (See, that didn't take long, now did it?!)

Besides the new name, (Retro Rockets??! Sheesh! Ain't that cute?!!!), can't see much of a 'change' here?! Going to the same people, filled with the same info, & layed out in the same format... Did he come to his senses?... was his over-inflated ego amply gorged by the benevolent masses in sufficient posts? Or is it more likely that he achieved the goals he set out to do, and is now planning the next uproar as we speak? (Using Merriman as his voice piece, of course!)

Let's see if the future holds any further Merri-ism's. But more importantly, let's see if the masses start to finally catch on to his pathetic manipulations!

In closing, let me just say that anything said here in the 'Sprue' is open to discussion. If something I say here rubs you wrong and you want to 'set the record straight' or 'have your say', that I will gladly give you all the opportunity, right here, to have that chance. Unlike Ivie, I won't play a 'one sided' game where I can say anything, while you can't... unlike Ivie, ALL my Sprue's are here for the reading. I don't snipe anyone, and then take it down later... and if I was wrong, I don't apoligize this week and take it down the next! ...unlike Ivie, I won't ignore you and then talk behind your back on public chat rooms... if I call you 'friend', I won't belittle you at shows where you're not in attendance! And unlike that chickenshit, I don't need or require another writer to hide behind on issues that might be deemed controversial, then play Mr. Innocent when called on it!

You don't have to agree with my 'world view', and heaven knows I'm not always right, but it's me, and me alone, typing these up each week. I'll take the credit and I'll take the heat for anything that appears under that banner up there! I'm secure enough, and more than willing enough to hear all views and share all views, if you have the convictions to state them.

You have my word on that.

With January right around the corner, it'll soon be time for the annual GLUIE Awards!!

I have a handful of kits that I need additional information on, which I'll be putting up on the site with question marks. If everyone could take a look at this PAGE for me and let me know if they came out, who produced them, etc... I'd be grateful!!

Also look over what's up on the New Release pages already and make sure, 1) I've got everything that's been available to purchase this year, and 2) anything up there that DIDN'T come out, let me know as well!! Of course, if there's any mistakes elsewhere listed, give me a shout!

I'm looking at the 2nd week in January to hold the voting for 'Best of 2001'!

Today's December 7th... thank an old World War II veteran today and shake his hand!!

Til next week...let me know what's on your mind!

Happy Modeling - Buc       Email   Archives