Resumption of Monthly Meetings

The library resumed bookings for the smaller meeting rooms in July 2021, but due to limited hours we had to move meetings to Saturdays around noon for the first few months. The Hendricksen room was reopened in October, but library hours were still somewhat restricted, so we met in October and November on Friday evenings from 7:00 to 8:30PM.

The library continues to close at 9:00PM on Friday for the foreseeable future. In addition, bookings for the Hendricksen room are only available 6 months in advance (bookings were formerly taken for 1 year, September-August). So IPMS McKinstry meetings in the Hendricksen room will be announced on the website as the dates become known, and the time will continue to be from 7-8:30 until further notice.

In cases where the Hendricksen room is unavailable for a particular month, the smaller conference rooms are only reservable 30 days in advance. We will put a placeholder date for a meeting on the website for that month, with a note to check back a month or so in advance to confirm date and location.

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In Memoriam – Dan Paulien and Carl Geiger

The IPMS McKinstry chapter lost 2 long-time members in 2021, Dan Paulien and Carl Geiger. Both will be sorely missed.

Friends we’ve lost – Carl Geiger, Mike Titre, and Dan Paulien

Daniel Jay Paulien – Mar. 9, 1970 – Sept. 5, 2021

We lost Dan in September to a freak accident in his home. He left his parents, a son and a daughter, as well an extended family and friends, who will surely miss a gentle and loving soul. Dan was truly a warm and generous person, and though he sometimes presented a gruff demeanor, there was never any doubt that it came from a kind heart.

His interests in modelling were wide, including both aircraft and cars. He was the closest thing we had to a ‘car guy’ in the McK group, where most of the members’ interests run to aircraft. That’s hardly surprising, since he was also a skilled auto mechanic. He loved driving and working on cars (Subarus, in particular) as much as modelling. But Dan was always one to ‘go wide’ when the monthly meeting topic called for a missile or some other less common subject.

If Dan had a particular skill it was in painting and finishing his models. His cars positively shined from careful polishing and spraying. And the metallic finishes he was able to achieve on some of the aircraft he built were incredibly realistic. He was always ready to answer a question or offer advice on painting and finishing, and he did how-to presentations on the subject more than once at the monthly McK meetings.

One of Dan’s passions was to show that, in these days of sometimes ridiculously expensive kits, it was possible to build excellent models from inexpensive beginnings. In these days when many grumble about the cost of materials discouraging new blood from entering the hobby, Dan took many a $3-5 bargain he found somewhere and built something from it that anyone would be proud to have.

Dan was just a great guy, and a valued McKinstry member. He was much too young, and he will be missed.

Carl Albert Geiger – Mar. 30, 1957 – Jan. 20, 2021

Like many organizations, the usual McK monthly meetings were on hiatus for over a year due to the pandemic. From early 2020 to the summer of 2021, members kept in touch sporadically, primarily through email, and phone calls to a lesser extent. Some people are ‘better’ at keeping in contact through one or both of these, and some aren’t. So it wasn’t particularly surprising that we didn’t hear from Carl for a while – he was one of those who might not respond to an email.

However, when we started having monthly meetings again last August, Carl never appeared. He was a fairly regular attendee, but it wasn’t unusual for him to miss the occasional meeting, so we just assumed that he wasn’t able to attend, or something of the sort. However, after no one had heard from him after Dan’s services in September, Norris and Lee checked online and found Carl’s obituary. Our shock at losing Dan made Carl’s passing – and the fact that it occurred so many months earlier – just that much more distressing.

Carl died in his sleep. If there’s any comfort to be taken in his passing, it’s that he died peacefully. He left 5 siblings and many nieces and nephews, as well as many friends, who will miss another kind and generous soul.

Carl was a craftsman. He was a skilled carpenter and made his living with his hands. In addition to building models (particularly aircraft) he was a member of the Experimental Aircraft Association. Aviation was a passion for Carl, at any scale.

Carl’s models were simply exquisite. He was another modeler who could make a silk purse from a sow’s ear. He built older kits that were more toy-like into beautiful scale replicas of the actual airplane. And he took new kits that offered state-of-the-art detail and built models that were up to and beyond their potential.

Carl was generous to a fault, always ready to offer advice, help finding materials, or just good conversation. He always had a smile for you, at the very least. McKinstry meetings will be diminished by his absence. Carl, too, will be sorely missed.

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Meeting Changes due to Covid-19

The Arlington Heights Public Library has been closed (and reopened, and closed again, and opened again…) due to the Illinois state efforts to manage the pandemic.  At the moment, the library itself is open with restrictions – see for details – but all meeting rooms are closed.  McKinstry club meetings will be cancelled until the library reopens and allows meetings to take place in their facilities.  The 2020 meetings after February were cancelled, and no new room reservations can be made until the library begins accepting reservations again.

The planned theme and program schedules will be restarted in the current order once meetings resume.  So the March theme (twin-booms) and the program (Dave Kopielski showing how to illuminate models using LEDs and fiber optics) will be on tap for the next meeting.

The meeting information on the website will be updated as the situation changes to reflect our best guess when we’ll be able to get together again.

In the meantime, the Tick has finished newsletters covering all the meetings through February 2020, and those are available on the Newsletter Archive page of this website.

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Repairing, Cleaning, and Polishing Clear Parts

Repairing, Cleaning, and polishing clear parts and canopies.

by Dave Kopielski

I have had a few requests on how I get my canopies so clear looking. Many times the clear parts in kits can get scuffed in shipping if they are not protected or come loose. Also some jet canopies or bubble top aircraft can have a seam from the injection molding process that runs down the centerline of the canopy.

Some folks like to dip the canopies and clear parts in Pledge Future. I prefer to polish them and feel they look better and much clearer.  To start with, many vehicles today have a clear plastic cover over the headlights. Over time and driving in the elements the plastic gets foggy and starts to yellow. There are many products on the market to clean them up. These products also help us modelers as well. I have tried many products and found and that works very well on the clear styrene plastic used on the models we build. The product I use is made by Meguire’s, a company that makes many products to keep your vehicle clean, shiny and protected. The product they make is called PlastX. It is a cleaner and polish for plastic parts.

So the first part I have a clear nose for a 1/48 Monogram B-17G. The kit was bought at a goodwill store and has all the sprues loose in the box. This has caused some scuffs on the nose. The first step is to take a small dish and put a couple of drops of the PlastX on it. Then using a cotton swab I dip in the PlastX and in a circular motion I scrub and polish the affected areas then I polish the rest of the nose inside and out. After a few moments I let it dry a few minutes then use a microfiber cloth and polish and wipe clean the part.  Here are the photos of before and after.

Before polishing

Before polishing

After polishing

After polishing

For removing the seams on canopies the first step is sanding down the seam with 600 grit sandpaper. Only sand a small strip where the seam is. Once the seam is gone, the next step is to use 1000 grit sandpaper and sand in a slightly wider area than you did in the previous step. Then the next step is to wet sand with 2000 grit sandpaper in a wider section. The reason is this prevents any distortion where you removed the seam. Then as similar to removing scuffs, the PlastX is applied with a cotton swab.

The area that was sanded is cleaned and polished for a minute or two and then a quick polish of the inside and out of the canopy is done. Let dry a few minutes then polish with a microfiber cloth.

While it is difficult to see in the photos, the canopy looks clearer and has more shine to it. I typically run a quick polish over clear parts even if there is no visible scuffs as once polished they much are clearer and shine better. 

Canopy seam

Canopy seam

Seam removed

Seam removed

Polished canopy

Polished canopy

Polished canopy

Finally, once the canopy is masked and ready for paint you will need to take a cotton swap dipped in thinner or rubbing alcohol and go over the areas you will be painting. This will clean off and residue that may have built up on the frame details on the canopy. Otherwise the paint may not adhere very well.

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