Tuesday, November 1, 2016

On the run instead of the workbench: 8k/10mi/13.1mi/26.2mi

It's been quite a while without any update. A lot of things happened since, some good, some bad. I am still around. Unfinished kits are still sitting on the workbench. I swear I'll get back to them soon.

Last year, I and a bunch of friends signed up to run the Hot Chocolate 5K in Chicago last year for fun. I've never ran more than 400m in my life and I've been just sitting around and eating for the past couple of years. To get me in shape to at least complete the 3.1 mile race, I started my running. Unexpectedly, it became my therapy, gave me time to escape from the harsh reality and to cope with life in general.

Early this year, to give myself more reasons to keep training, and something to look forward to, I signed up for the Chicago Half Marathon in September. I signed up for a couple more races in between. The Shamrock Shuffle 8k race in April, the Soldier Field 10 mile in May. In the process, I started to do Saturday long run with Nike+ Run Club in Chicago. Gradually increasing my mileage. It's amazing that only in a couple of months, from barely able to finish running 1 mile, I was able to run 15+ miles. A buddy talked me into putting in an application for the Chicago Marathon. Since there is a lottery for the entry due to its popularity. my original plan is to try 26.2 miles in 2017, if I get in this year, I'll defer it to 2017 and if I don't, I'll put in an application again next year. Then, I got this in my email:


I got in! With the encouragement of Running Club buddies, I kept on training for the Marathon. In the mean time, work travel got kind of out of hand the second half of the year. Since August, I can count the number of days I spent at home with my hands. To keep up with my training, I ran wherever I was - along the Danube in Budapest, Hungary, along the Rhine in Prague, Czech Republic, in Bochum, Germany, in Suzhou, China and in the middle of nowhere in Pennsylvania. Got lost running in places that I don't know, but thanks to Google Map, I could always find my way back.

With NRC Budapest
Made a wrong turn and got myself lost in Prague
3 weeks ago, I ran my first ever marathon and I managed to finish it! Accomplished my primary goal of finishing a marathon, missed my secondary goal of finishing it under 5 hours by 00:01:16. 


Sunday, October 25, 2015

Chasing the finish line


Today's USGP surely was exciting to watch. The best part is I don't have to get up early to watch it. Instead, I was at the workbench putting decals on the Lotus 107. May be I can still meet the deadline?

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Back to the Future


Today is Oct 21, 2015. In the movie Back to the Future II, Marty McFly travelled from 1985 to this date in the DeLorean.

Talking about time, it is almost end of October. Last week, I realized:


I have to finish the Lotus 107 before end of November! The FW29, since it's been taken so long already, I am going to just focus on the Lotus 107 for now and try to get it done. And I am not going to try add any more detail because of time. Last night, I primed the body, base, front and rear wings, which you can see in the top picture.

Of course it was a movie and time machine does not exist yet. But I was able to time travel through the internet.


Two Tyrrell 023s from eBay: Brazilian GP and San Marino GP. I did not know that in 1995, Tyrrell 023 came in 2 different livery. They ran a dark blue colored car before switching to the white body with blue during the 1995 season. the Brazil one was the dark blue one.
Direct from BBR, two Ferrari's. They were on sale at their web store, but as usual with any order from Italian companies, took them quite some time to process the order and ship them to me. They are new old stock. But the cast quality is fantastic.



Saturday, August 8, 2015

Shopping



I slowed down buying kits quite a bit nowadays, but the rate is still not zero. Found his BBR Williams FW16. The first 1/43 F1 kit I built was a BBR Ferrari F399. Haven't built another BBR kit since then. I am sure I will get to this one some time. This kit was fairly old, but the quality of metal casting is very good. In my opinion, better than Tameo of that era.


On the reading material front. The latest issue of Model Graphix is quite interesting. The main feature is on layout of model building space. Now I have some ideas to improve my workshop aka living room.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Continue at snail speed


Decal application count = 2. At least I can blame the weather this time. Weather has been nice in Chicago. There aren't many nice days here during the year, so I have to go outside and enjoy it when I can. Fall and winter are just around the corner.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Resume

Not much. Just 2 tiny pieces of carbon decal. Progress is progress, no matter how small it is.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Bonjour!


Over Christmas last year, I got to know a friend's family friend who moved to France for over 30 years and he has been working as a guide at the Louvre. Since I haven't been taking any real vacation for some time now, I decided to visit him before he retires. So I went to Paris last week. After spending the majority of the week visiting museums, churches and palaces, all of a sudden it dawned on me that I should go look for miniature car stores in Paris. Quick check on Tameo's web site and I found the store Boutique Auto Moto. The store is full of model cars of all different scales. Not a whole lot of kits on display, but whenever I started to ask about this and that, Nicolas from the store will go down to the basement and came up with a kit or two. There must be a lot of treasures hiding in the back.








The best part is when Nicolas pull out this Renaissance kit - 1981 Renault RE30, a kit that can be built into the version that French F1 Champion Alain Prost scored his first Grand Prix win at the French GP in 1981. A model of a French F1 car of a French F1 Champion that won French Grand Prix made by a French company available in French store in France, I must have it! So here it is:


The store in Paris is at 6, rue des Halles, 75001 Paris. Very near the Louvre and Palais Royal.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Le Mans Weekend


Got this delivered to me right before the Le Mans weekend. Wonderful pictures of Group C cars raced in Le Mans between 1982 and 1991.

Nothing much to report on the building side of things. Absolutely ZERO seat time in front of the workbench lately.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Gravity


Oh well, gravity struck again. Sigh...

This is how it happened. I bought this parts holder painting:


Notice that the alligator clips are snapped onto these 2 horizontal rods. They rely on friction to hold the clips angular orientation. It would have been fine it the pieces are from plastic injection model kits, as they do not weight much. So the torque at the joint would not be greater than the static friction. Unfortunately, for a 1/43 F1 car body which is made of white metal, the weight is too much to handle. After I was done painting, I left the body kind of balanced on to of that alligator clip, about 6" above the metal rod at the base. Then I heard the blunt sound of a block of metal hitting my wooden floor. Mass x Gravity x Length of Moment Arm > Torsional Friction happened. Now I will have to fix that stupid wing, again.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Just do it


Last weekend was Memorial Day long weekend. I thought I was going to spend some quality time at the workbench. Unfortunately, laziness overpowered me and I did absolutely nothing.

Well, I forced myself off the couch and did some masking. Will spray some blue on pretty soon.

And then disaster struck again...

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

About time to get some real work done


I think I am done with test fitting this. Time to wash the parts, prime and throw some paint on. And start to put in all the little details.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Tulips and buffalo in the city






It's that time of the year again! All the tulips along Michigan Avenue are blooming. At the same time I found a buffalo on top of the Red Line Subway entrance on Chicago Avenue. Apparently, that's for promoting tourism in Montana.


And the reason why I was roaming around the city and not at my workbench this weekend? Waiting for paint to dry.


Friday, May 1, 2015

Mystery solved


When I was struggling to find the answer to the color of the Lotus 107 seat, I found this book on eBay with a lot of detail pictures of 107 and 107B.


And the answer to the question is RED!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Tools and productivity


I like cooking, but I hate washing pots, pans, and dishes. Same thing applies to airbrush. While dishes can stay in the sink until I have the motivation to wash them, I must clean the airbrush right the way or risk having the nozzle clogged. And with just a single airbrush, I have to clean it before I can spray with a different color. But the time I am done cleaning, my motivation to spray is usually gone.

Today, the problem is partially solved. I got a second airbrush, an Iwata Neo. It's a relatively cheap airbrush, but it is quite similar to the Iwata Eclipse that I've been using. Some reviewers said that it is not as durable, but the way that I am using them, it probably will last a long time.

Also bought some quick release connector so I can switch between the 2 easily. I immediately started spraying the FW29. If it wasn't because I ran out of semi gloss black paint, I would have finished painting all the black colored parts.


So, at least for today, my productivity improved. Let's see how long this motivation can last.