Tuesday, January 12, 2021

First update of the year

Slow baby steps. May not look very different in the picture, but I have fitted a number of things on the body - side mirrors, little winglets in the rear behind the airbox, the 2 chimney like thing on the sidepod. Also assembled the front wing assembly.

Next would be test fitting the rear suspension, may be assemble the rear wing.

Bought myself a State Park Pass, so this year I will probably do more hiking. And this guy was my latest encounter in the woods. A Texas Nine-Banded Amadillo.

Thursday, December 31, 2020

Almost done with 2020

 Today is the last day of 2020, it's been a strange year. Because of the pandemic, a lot of events got cancelled. In fact I was really looking forward to run the 2020 Tokyo Marathon, and the trip to Kagoshima afterward. Unfortunately, just like everything else, event was cancelled and my trip was cancelled.

I am thankful that the pandemic forced me to set up my workbench again and restarted building model cars. I am doing it at an extremely slow pace.

I have a collection of 1/43 models of the cars that I owned. The only missing one has been the model of the Ford Bronco II when I was in Boston back in around 1998. Finally found a decent model of it. In the 007 movie Quantum of Solace, there was a scene that James Bond drove a Ford Bronco II. And the model is the movie version of it, red in color and with dust painted on the body and the windows.

The Bronco II was very beat up, and has rust everywhere, but it was with me during a difficult time of my life. I cannot leave this model as is. I have 2 options. One, repaint it in white just like all the other car models. Or Two, modify it to look exactly like the one that I had. Either option, I had to disassemble the model and strip everything off. Last weekend, it took me a while to take the thing apart.

In the process, the windshield wipers and the rear wiper are damaged since they were glued in. I am going to replace them with photoetched ones from other kits. Also, the model does not have any side mirror, I will need to find a pair and add to it.

Next step will be stripping the paint off. It'll be in 2021.

Sunday, August 9, 2020

In Limbo. But with a good reason

 We all do things for a reason. Or not do something for a reason. There is always a motive behind our action.

No new update on the MP4/23 front because I did not spend any time on the workbench. Not because I was traveling like in the old days. During COVID-19, can't go anywhere anyway. Not because I was busy training for any marathon - all road races were cancelled.

Then, why? It went back 2 weeks ago when I was working on the kit. Even though I am not planning to go nuts to chase after all the minute details (I don't have the skill nor the tools like some of the master builders), I still want to do a decent job. I did have some photographs that I took way back when at McLaren when I was in UK many years ago. Unfortunately, I don't have any picture of the exhaust area. Nor was I able to get any good picture from Google search. I am pretty sure F1 Modeling magazine published back then would have photographs from all angles. May not be from the same race, but would be good enough for reference. So I bought a copy that I think would have what I need from eBay. The cover is an MP4/23, I hope it's a good sign. I am just waiting for it to get delivered. As of today, it should be here tomorrow! Feeling excited.

Went to another Cars and Coffee yesterday. Here are some pictures of pretty cars.

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Looking at (1/1) and working on (1/43)

It's third Sunday of the month, that's the Ferrari Club's cars and coffee. Turn out was great, I got to see 2 488 Pista's, and the craziest thing - 2 Enzo's!

And of course, other cars also showed up, like a Lamborghini Aventador SVJ and a Murcielago.

After lunch, back at the workbench and continue working on the MP4/23. Continue to clear the white metal parts. Also carved and hollowed out 1 brake duct (3 more to go and 1 more air box) to make it a little bit more realistic. The one on the left is done, the one on the right is not.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Step By Step (Not the New Kids Song)

Taking a different approach building this time. Growing up building plastic models, I used to just buried myself in doing that and focused on just building. This time, I am only spending may a hour or two each night after dinner working on it the past few nights. Slow and steady. No rush, eventually it’ll get done. This will be just a simple build. Not going to chase getting the details right or adding detailing parts.

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Return of the penny

Once upon a time, I was quite crazy about building 1/43 miniature cars. I was spending all my free time building, thinking about different projects, buying reference books, looking at eBay listings and bidding on kits (and I wonder why I collected all these kits?)

This time, I think I am back. Only back to building, won't be buying any new kits for sure.

Spent the entire Saturday cleaning up the body of this guy. That means I picked 1 out of the 4 choices.

2008 McLaren MP4/23 Monaco Grand Prix!

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Taking the First Step

Picking up the Lotus or the Williams work in progress would be a challenge. Even though I tried my best to pack up everything before I moved, I just lost track of where all the parts are.

Last night, as a first step, I took inventory of all the kits that I have collected through the years. I was shocked. I have now collected over 100 kits - Tameo, BBR, MFH, Studio27, Provence Moulage, Renaissance, Starter, FDS, Meri, you name it. There is just no possible way that I can finish building all of them in my lifetime. I probably will sell some of them on eBay.

Anyway, I have narrowed down to build one of these four:
  • 2005 Renault R25 Chinese GP
  • 2006 Renault R26 British GP
  • 2007 Ferrari F2007 Chinese GP
  • 2008 McLaren MP4/23 Monaco GP

What do you think?

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Return to the Workbench

Can't believe my last post was 2 years ago! Too many things happened in the past couple of years. Left my old company, relocated to a different city, different state. When things seemed to be stabilized, the stupid virus turned the world upside down.

One main reason I put down building 43 was my addiction to training and running marathons. So far, I completed 5 marathons including 2 world majors (Chicago and New York). Was going to run Tokyo Marathon this year, but you all know what happened. Now that all marathons are cancelled, I do not have any goal race, and no point doing any serious training.

So, I just decided to come back to building 43. Got rid of a lot of things when I moved from Chicago to Dallas. The first order is to clear some space in my home, setup a workbench and replenish supplies. It probably will take some time before I can actually restart and pick up where I left off. So, stay tuned!

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Porsche Reimagined By Singer

I have been abandoning my 1/43 projects for like 2 years now. Partly because I picked up endurance running and had been training. Since then I ran 2 full marathons, a couple of half marathons, 15k, 10k, 5k races.

So in order to satisfy my passion for miniature cars, instead of building them, I resort to purchasing completed display models.

Lately, I started to obsess about classic Porsche 911. The design to me is timeless. I am especially fond of those ones that Singer Vehicle Design reimagined.

This one is from Make Up Co., Ltd's Vision brand. Not as expensive as some of the BBR and MR ones, but quite a bit more expensive than Minichamps and Spark.

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


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.