Photos of readers

August 11, 2020 • 2:30 pm

This is the last one in the tank, so please send your contribution pronto!

Today’s reader is Kevin McCarthy, whose captions are indented:

Model Build Day.jpg
The entire family builds models for fun. So, this quarantine, we’ve been doing a fair bit of building… because the entire dining room table is covered. If you’d like, I can include pictures of the builds. My boy got me my first model for Christmas, at the same time my wife got him one. Then she saw us having so much fun building, she had to do it too. Over the years, we’ve gotten more skilled and now, repaint, detail, and generally make some high quality builds.
This is me with my first truly new car. It’s Volvo’s PHEV. Since I work from home and rarely need a long trip, my first tank of gas lasted me just over 1000 miles and 5 months. I can go for a month or two before even using the gas engine. My total since January (when I picked it up) is 76.5 miles per gallon.
Baby Cookie sleeping on my laptop. My son begged us for years to get him a kitten. Well, we wanted him to appreciate the work. So, he volunteered all summer at our local no-kill shelter. The week before school started, we agreed that he had earned the right to care for a kitten. This is her, the spoiled rotten princess that she rightly is. As a kitten, she was pretty sick. So one way of keeping her warm during the day was her sleeping on my work computer.

38 thoughts on “Photos of readers

        1. Thank you. Obviously, I just show the best ones here. It’s taken about 4 years of effort to get the skills I have. I love the first few models I built, but I’m really proud of these latest ones.

          It takes 2-4 months to finish one with all the painting and detailing. So I only do 3-4 a year.

        1. Months in some cases. Since I have to paint in the garage and I live in Texas, it’s pretty much a spring/fall activity. I can get a few hours in if I get started about 6am.

          But with work and everything, I get about eight hours of work each week. These took about 2-3 months. The F91 was the quickest. I took the entire week of Thanksgiving off and finished in a week.

        1. I don’t do battle damage. I like the shiny newness. I know war machines in wars and stuff always get messed up, but I treat mine a little better.

          Maybe if one gets knocked off a shelf…

      1. These are terrific, Kevin. My son was a model-building enthusiast too (robots, cars, planes), and Gundam was his favourite. He made the first and third ones you’ve shown; I can’t remember if he did the second one. They’ve been passed on to his nephews.

  1. I hope that Cookie is better now. Of course, she’s got used to sleeping on the laptop, but that would have happened anyway!

    1. Cookie is fine now. She is a rotten two year old as of last week.

      She can get away with absolute murder in the house because she is the cutest thing in all creation. She still expects a ride up the stairs in the warm laundry straight from the dryer.

  2. A fine looking family, car and especially cat. Looks like a tortie and they are the best. We have had one for about 8 years now.

    1. In spite of my atheism, sometimes I just feel it was meant to be. He waited all summer and picked out a new kitten every week.

      In the end, she came home with him.

    1. Thanks. I love my car so much. I’m getting older and, while I still love the power, I prefer quiet and comfort over speed. The Volvo is super comfortable.

      It’s not for everyone. Someone with a long daily commute or frequently goes on road trips won’t get the benefit of the battery and electric motor. But it works perfectly for me. I can do all my weekend running around town.

    1. Thank you. They are amazing. I wouldn’t half as great without them.

      My wife is a professional tutor, which gets the boy mad, but he’s in 8th grade taking HS algebra… so there’s that.

      It is really great that we all have a hobby we can do together.

  3. Nice work, thanks for posting some photos. Are you using Vallejo paints? It looks like Vallejo bottles in the photo; it’s my favorite paint, Tamiya being a close second. I’m a modeler myself (mostly WWII armor), and am happy to see your kids enjoying the hobby. It seems that most modelers are middle-aged (like me). I blame video games!

    Your mpg is so good, you probably need to add fuel stabilizer! 😄

    Cute kitty as well, glad to hear she’s healthy.

    1. I’ve just started with Vallejo and airbrushing. All of these models are done with Tamiya rattle cans. Expensive, but the blue and red are just perfect. I still haven’t found the right Vallejo red or blue.

      I don’t like weathering and damage. I like my models pristine and shiny.

      1. I got hooked on “Mr. Hobby” paints in Japan. I even spent the money for the imaginatively named “Mr. Linear Compressor L7”, with the upgraded “Mr. Air Regulator”.

        But naming aside, I have just never seen better quality hobby paints.

        1. Mr. Hobby is impressive. Need the leveling thinner to be effective in airbrushing activities. Funny names to be sure though. Vallejo isn’t good for an airbrush, too thick; it’s a paint brush tool. Why I put Tamiya as a second since it is useless without an airbrush.

          Had to put up my website for an explanation of my world of creation. Not supposed to on this site though. sorry Jerry, it was determined.

          1. The Vallejo Game Air and Mecha lines are designed for the airbrush. They “say” you can use them straight from the bottle. But I always thin them about 3:1 and then airbrush.

            1. I’ve never tried it, but I’ve read filtering Vallejo paints make them usable in an airbrush. You’re right about the Vallejo “air” line. And yes, the “air” paints still need to be diluted even though they say use straight from the bottle.

  4. Seems like an awesome family, and what a great way to make your son appreciate the value of a kitten’s (or other animal) life, not to mention the value of charity. That’s really a stroke of brilliance, and a whole summer of charity was done through it. Great work!

  5. That’s a very nice car. Both my wife and I have a Chevy Volt PHEV, 2017s (not the pure electric Bolt). Only one new, essentially my first also–had a demonstrator Element, not quite new, and a million used cars. I’m another one of those very happy owners who are baffled by the sales being too small for Chevrolet to keep it going.

    They were very honest with the electric range, about 85 km. But there is a huge difference between summer and winter, something like 100 versus 65, with our very conservative driving habits. Your winter won’t be as cold as southern Ontario.

    I’m wondering how the Volvo range stacks up against their advertising.

    1. As far as I can tell, the advertised range is quite right… about 21 miles for me.

      While the cold doesn’t affect us much here, the heat is brutal. And running the AC at full blast kills the battery. I went to the store Saturday and it was 116 F in the car. The heat index was about 111 F. So, yeah, that takes a toll.

      On the other hand, it’s absolutely brilliant for high traffic or sitting and waiting to pick up the boy from school. No gas used, no emissions, but I’m still in a cool cabin with the radio going.

      I’ll also point out that I have solar panels, so the car charges during the day from the panels.

      1. We’re similar on the solar panel side too; I’ve had 10kW, about 50 panels, on my roof for over nine years. I imagine your climate helps them produce more than ours does.

        I find the Volt heater in winter reduced range more than I’d expected, but the AC in summer less than predicted. But we have lots of months where you seldom need either. With most other Canucks, we are not very far north where we live.

    1. Yeah, if it’s not on battery, then the published mileage figures are 21 city and 32 highway. And I find those figures likely to be really optimistic. Of course, most Texas highways are 75mph and the tollways around where I live are 85mph.

      By keeping the battery charged and sticking to around town (thanks Covid-19), the gas engine only comes on when I stomp on the accelerator or if I’m doing a lot in one day. But since I don’t commute, it’s perfect for me.

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