October 2002

Yep, our first Newsletter!

What’s Happening Here!?!

The answer to the question is, “WE are!” Southern Maryland Scale Modelers is in its third year of existence. During our first couple years of meetings at the Charlotte Hall Library a small but very loyal group gathered every month, with average attendance numbering three to five. Meetings were very informal, just a bunch of guys getting together once a month to talk about models. Since we have begun meeting at Doug’s (Thanks Doug!) we consistently have ten to fifteen members present and new members appear at nearly every meeting. We made our presence known to our community by providing a display of our craftsmanship and supervising the Make ‘n Take at Doug’s Grand Opening. Which brings us to the newsletter that you’re reading.

SMSM must become a bit more formal and organized if we are going to continue to grow and flourish, and Mike Morris has volunteered to help in this effort. Mike has a lot of experience in running a model club, something that yours truly lacks, so I gladly accepted Mike’s offer. Small World is the first product of “SMSM, The Next Generation”. Your newsletter will include:

IMHO – Express yourself! But remember what the H stands for and the old saying about opinions.

What’s in the Box? – Just opened up the latest Edufutamitalidragawa release? Tell your SMSM buds what you found.

Builder’s Review – Tell us what it was like to build that beast. Also, any modeling product that you have used can be reviewed here.

Hints and Tips – Tricks of the trade learned the hard way or at your Pappy’s knee.

Calendar – Upcoming events of interest to modelers.

Swap Meet – The place to acquire or get rid of model related stuff.

Note that earlier I said, “Your newsletter…” Though I will gladly serve as editor, I’m depending on you guys to give me stuff to edit. You need not restrict yourselves to the six categories listed above. Anything related to the model hobby that you would like to write about is fine. Just email it to me and I’ll find a place for it. The first Saturday of the month is the deadline for submissions. Lets make Small World a newsletter by the members, for the members.

(Note: I must extend thanks to my daughter, Delia. Using her skills and experience as a former high school yearbook editor, she was a great help in putting together our first newsletter.)


Chuck C.


*In My Humble Opinion

“Diversity” is a word that we hear a lot. Diversity in your investments is a good strategy in this wacky economy, and diversity is currently a buzzword in the education profession. Diversity of our hobby is something that we need to keep in mind.

There are many modeling genres to choose from; aircraft, space, armor, figures, automotive. If you break them down by scale and subject, each category has a long list of subcategories. Some modelers make a conscious choice to build exclusively in one or two scales or model only a specific category of subjects. This is a hobby after all, and one should be able to choose freely how they participate. There is room for everyone in modeling and in our club. I hope no one ever feels left out at our meetings. If you’re a modeler, then you belong.

There is plenty of modeling interest to go around and no matter what your modeling muse, the basic model building techniques are the same. Though I have no interest in building a WW I scout plane, I will gladly listen to someone tell how he rigged his 1/72 scale Sopwith Pup. I may be able to use his techniques to add fuel system plumbing to a 1/43 scale racecar. We can all learn from and help each other, but only if we keep our minds open to the great diversity of our wonderful hobby.

What’s In The Box?

Nissan 350 Z

Tamiya kit no. 24246

MSRP $29.00

A “curbside” kit (no engine detail) molded in black and silver-grey styrene, clear, translucent red and amber, bright chrome and satin chrome. Soft vinyl tires, poly cap wheel retainers and metal wire axles.

The chassis is a simple assembly. All of the suspension, frame structure, lower engine and drivetrain detail is molded into the one-piece platform. Brakes, muffler, tailpipes, wheels and tires are all that you add. While simplified, the chassis shows a lot of finely engraved detail. Careful painting should yield nice results, and the instructions provide painting guidance. The wheels have a nice satin chrome finish and the tires have very fine tread and sidewall detail.

You have the option of right or left-hand drive when assembling the platform style interior. Finely engraved detail abounds, and decals are provided for instrument faces and speaker grills. As with the chassis, careful painting will bring this simple assembly to life. 

The silver-grey body accurately depicts the prototype. I could find only four mold marks; two running from the backlight across the rear decklid and one from the bottom of each taillight opening down to the bottom of the rear bumper. This body will be ready for paint in no time. Die cut masks are provided for painting the black trim around the windows. Self-adhesive metal transfers are provided for all body logos and scripts, a BIG plus.

This kit certainly maintains Tamiya’s reputation for excellence. Though the parts count is low, finely engraved detail is abundant. An out-of-the-box build will quickly yield a nice display model.

RATING: highly recommended

Hints & Tips

In our inaugural issue of Small World, we are introducing a segment called Hints and Tips. You can share with the club some of the special or unique tricks that you use for modeling. Here are some of my favorites.


A lot has been written on how to attach clear canopies without the ever present fogging or fingerprinting disasters that often occur. I use Watch Crystal Cement. It is used for cementing watch crystals into wristwatch cases. It is available from Micro-Mark for about $4. It won’t fog or attack the plastic, yet when it cures, the windshield or canopy (For Doc: windscreen) will be firmly attached. It will work on any clear application, whether an aircraft, armor, or automobile.

Handy Parts Holder

I keep a round block of closed-cell Styrofoam on my workbench as a resting place for small freshly painted or glued items. Attach the item to a toothpick or length of sprue (toothpicks work best) then shove into the block. This keeps all your small ready parts in the same place, keeps them elevated and out of harms way.

Photo Etch Storage

Tired of searching every box and drawer for your stash of photo-etched detailing sets? I solved my problem with a 3-inch 3-ring binder and storage sheets for 3.5” floppy disk. The sheets have multiple sleeves to hold the disk. The brass slides nicely into the sleeves of the storage sheets. This keeps them flat and easily viewable. The binder and storage sheets are readily available from Staples here in town.

What are some of your best tips?

Mike Morris


OK now, I know somebody out there has their finger firmly on the pulse of the modeling world. What I’m looking for is a volunteer, someone to compile the input for this section of the newsletter every month. Give us a look three to six months down the road. Include any event that might be of interest to a modeler. Model shows, contests, and swap meets would certainly qualify. Air shows, car shows, historical recreations, or museum events could also be of interest. Of course, any member could make input, but I want someone to act as a clearinghouse for all the info. Just pull the calendar together and email it to me once a month. Any takers?

Swap Meet

Here you go, guys. Kind of like eBay except you don’t have to worry about losing out to a sniper or someone with more money (or credit card debt) than sense. We all have a special section in our stash for the “what was I thinking when I bought THAT” models, but you may have what someone else is looking for. It’s that whole “one man’s trash…” thing. List your wants and for sale items here. You just might make a fellow modelers day while making a buck for yourself!

Builder’s Review

Mach 2 PBM 3/5 Mariner

There are times when we modelers must step up and say: “Hello my name is Mike.” No wait, that’s the wrong meeting. Then again!


Currently resting on the modeling workbench is the 1/72nd scale PBM 3/5 Martin Mariner by Mach 2. An unpretentious little model consisting of approximately 100 parts molded in a light gray and clear styrene. A modicum of detail and a very appealing set of decals will make this a sheer joy to construct.

Who the @#$%^& am I kidding, this thing is a piece of  @#$%^! Well, that’s not entirely true, but it is rough and I do mean rough. Fit is poor at best, a good example is the four pieces of the vertical tails, none of them are equal in size. However, after some filing and sanding I believe the correct shape can be achieved. As for the correct size, I don’t have 3-view drawings in 72nd to compare them with, however I imagine it is somewhat close.

Look up the word flash in your dictionary and you’ll see the caveat: See any Mach 2 kit! Flash is heavy and in some places will need more than just a knife to remove. The plastic itself is heavy and has the consistency of a fine emery board. The clear parts may require a complete sand and polish job or maybe vacuforming of a new one. I doubt I will even use the side windows and just rely on my trusty Crystal Clear from Micro-Scale.

I will have to order new propellers from Aviation Usk Nebraska as one of mine is not fully formed at one of the tips and the beaching gear will need to be scratch built as they are very brittle, frail and rough in detail.

Interior detail is fine. Four seats, walls, instrument panel, and two yokes make up the cockpit. The guns are rough and will need a little extra work, even if it’s only replacing the barrels with rod or tubing. After all, it is 72nd scale and you will not see much through the windows or canopy.

One of the things I find most scary about this model is the engines. While they might think they look like PW 1830s, they don’t and I’m not sure that they will even fit into the nacelles without much reshaping. May add the correct engines to my Usk order.

The decals are okay as far as I can see, not Two Bobs or any other top of the line decal manufactures quality, but I don’t see any problems using them.

Since I am a seaplane nut and I love these birds, it will make a nice addition to my inventory of 1/72nd scale seaplanes. But this will be a challenge to build. What’s on your workbench?

Mike Morris

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