Monday, October 19, 2020

Cardboard History Gallery 2 Year Anniversary

 Yesterday was my birthday, and it was a great one. I completed 4 models, bringing my completion total up to 20 NASCAR models on the year. Since mid-August this has been one of the best periods of my modeling career- both the fun I'm having and in the quality of the work I'm doing. I've finally figured out pretty much all of the things that had been holding me back, and the results are coming out great! But this post is about the Cardboard History Gallery, which I launched on my birthday in 2018. making it the second anniversary. 

I have a large portion of it built, but I still have a ways to go. 

What I have have accomplished:

Auto Racing is complete

Hockey is complete

Other sports is complete

Non-Sports is complete

By complete, I mean that the albums are all created for each set, year/topic, person, and team if applicable. 

I'm still working on uploading the basketball by player. That's the largest portion of my collection by a wide margin. I have up to letter N completed, but I still have O-Z to do. I have not done the baseball or football players by person at all yet. 

What that all adds up to?

That's a lot of work. 

I have not really worked on it at all since August...when I got on the modeling kick, I stopped doing cards almost totally. I worked on it I think only 2 times since I got going with the models, and then I only did it because it was raining out, which means I can't work on models. 

I'll get there, eventually...maybe by the third anniversary it will be complete, and then I will just have to work on updating it as I scan things- the break even point. 

Modeling for the year is coming to a will soon be too cold to paint, which I do outside, or even have the windows open. When that happens, I will probably mope for about a week, accomplishing nothing, then get back into the scanning, uploading, and posting here on Cardboard History. 

One other anniversary I want to touch on...yesterday, my birthday, was also the anniversary of getting my very first scanner. Back in 2005 my brother gave me the best one I've ever owned for my birthday. The very first thing I scanned was a card I had gotten that day. Although we didn't know it yet, scanning would go on to be a MAJOR part of my life, and in 2009 I decided to scan my entire card collection. Still have about 1/3rd left to do, or more. 

I'm in such a modeling mode right now that my family didn't even get me cards, they got me modeling supplies! I did get some cards, however. a pwe from Chris, aka The Collector, arrived, and he said some of them were cards I claimed from took me a few minutes to remember that he did a Free Stuff Friday series. I have no idea which ones I claimed and which are a Pay it Forward gift, lol. Since it got too cold and I had to close my window, thus no more modeling, I actually got them scanned. 

This is my first card from the Yo! MTV Raps set. I'm not a huge rap fan but will occasionally mix some into my music choices. Run-D.M.C. is iconic and a perfect card to be the first in my collection. Could this set be any more 1991? That's a good thing, by the way. 
This is an OPC version...I don't have too many of this set.
The Gold Parallel of the Rangers team card from 2013-14 Score. If Panini had given this set a colorful back this would probably be my favorite NHL set ever.

This was actually the first card out...I don't have many from this set either. I do like the design of it.

No, I'm not going to start collecting soccer cards! Although I do have a good number of this set...

Thanks Chris!

Monday, October 5, 2020

Tracking my NHL collection after the 2019-20 season

 This has been a crazy year. I think we all know that. Who could have predicted that my NHL end-of-season wrapup would be written on October 5th, instead of June somethingth? Yet, here we are. 

This is something else unusual, in that we have no real idea when the NHL will play again. Normally the new season starts this very week, and I would be anxiously awaiting it after several months without hockey. This year, the break came during the season, for 4 months, everybody played in a bubble and the season took 51 weeks to complete. And no one knows when hockey will be played again.  If any of our writing survives into the distant future, people who didn't live through 2020 will likely look at the records and think "that can't be right"...but it is. 

I normally write up the end of the season review the day after the season ends, but I have been so busy with my scale modeling that I didn't have time to do that...and I'm depressed about the Rangers cutting my all-time favorite player. Why do they always make the wrong choice? I digress. Now, finally, it's too cold to work on models, so I finally have time to write this post, and do the work required for it. Not that taking screencaps is really work. 

As usual, all information is provided by the Stats page on the Trading Card Database. One thing that's different now is that I am no longer tracking the 1990-91 through 1992-93 Upper Deck sets on the Database. They put the parallel into the base set checklist, and basically make it useless, so I now only track them on paper. So, the numbers will be slightly skewed going forward, but they were never truly accurate to begin with...what with them tagging team, League Leader and multi-player cards to each person that appears, not truly cards of that person or team at all. So this is just a basic concept until I finish scanning everything myself. 

Using my posts from previous years, I'll look and see how the top 10 in the three main categories have changed...

I begin with the players:

Finally, the King holds court, taking the top spot from the Great One, and also being the first player to clear 100 cards! And the only one- actually speaking Gretzky ends the 2019-20 season at either 96 or 98 cards in my collection, I forget. It's the first time since I began tracking the stats at season end that there is a change in the lead. I don't know if he can hold it forever, as players in the 1990s got a LOT more cards than players today, since there were many card companies instead of one. As it turns out, there is a lot of change in the Top 10 this year, largely due to that huge purchase I made of early 1990s cards at the one and only card show I went to in 2020. Mark Messier and Brett Hull in 3rd and 4th place are the only two spots in the top 10 that did not change from last year. Eric Lindros jumps up to 5th, after not even cracking the top 25 last year, all due to that card show that yielded at least 40 new cards of him. It's the largest jump in the three-year history of the project...and may hold the record going forward as well! Brian Leetch drops one spot to 6th, and Patrick Roy jumps from 10th to 7th. Joe Sakic drops from 7th to 8th, and Jaromir Jagr drops from 6th to 9th...I'll have to change that. Mario Lemieux holds down the 10th spot. Dropping out of the Top 10 is Teemu Selanne, who falls to 12th. Interesting to note that the two Fleurys, who are not related, are tied. Mats Zuccarello, my favorite skater, makes the screenshot for the first time. Totally missing is Vincent Lecavalier, who falls all the way to 41st, in a tie with Paul Coffey, P.K. Subban and Pierre Turgeon with 35 cards. Lecavalier held the #1 spot at the time I began collecting the sport, since he was (and still is) my friend's favorite player, the friend who sent me 2000+ cards back in 2015, including his duplicates, which put the Lightning and Lecavalier at the #1 spots. 

The teams stay somewhat more stable down the middle, but there is massive movement in the top 10! The Rangers jump from 871 to 1437, due in large part to back in November when I got most of the 70s and 80s Topps Rangers cards. The lead the Rangers have over second place moves from 210 to 591, meaning that the gap between teams, if it was cards, would rank 19th among all I don't forsee the lead changing hands ever, so watching the gap will be fun. Second place changes again. I've done this three years, after my three full seasons watching the sport, and it's been a different team each time. First the Devils, then the Canadiens, now the Bruins take the second spot! But wait, looking closer, they are TIED! But not really. Huh? Part of that purchase I made in November included two Bruins cards that were in such poor condition that I didn't list them as part of my collection. Even though they are in my possession. So the Bruins actually do hold 2nd by themselves. The Red Wings jump from 7th to 4th, a big jump. The Blackhawks jump from 10th to 5th, making the entire top 5 composed solely of Original 6 teams, for the first time ever. That's interesting, because I don't really have access to a lot of cards from the Original 6 era- however the November purchase included about 3/4ths of the Parkhurst Missing Link cards, which are all Original 6. That must be what did it. The Devils, which had been 2nd just two years ago, drop to 6th. The Kings, which started in 6th, moved to 5th, and now dropping to 7th. The Penguins drop from 6th to 8th, and the Flyers make a huge jump- from 14th to 9th. The Maple Leafs, the last Original 6 team, are in 10th, 22 cards away from putting all the Original 6 in the Top 6. The Canucks are the team that the Flyers knocked out of the Top 10. Looking deeper, I find it interesting that the Sharks and Jets have held 19th and 20th in all three years. (The Database combines both Jets franchises, I do not, another reason I don't consider these stats accurate). Some other teams have held steady over the years as well, although changing position, they have not changed more than one spot. The Sabres have either been 16th or 17th, the Capitols either 18th or 19th, the Hurricanes either 24th or 25th, and the Stars and Senators have swapped 21st and 22nd between them. The Panthers started 25th, moved to 24th and now are 23rd...I will be curious to see how they rank next year. 

The seasons are the last of the "big three" stats, although the Database provides 5 different stats. It's fun to me to see how the current season places in with the cards added only during that season. As it turns out the 2019-20 season is the largest total of cards added during that season, coming in at exactly 1375, good enough for 4th place all-time. That is due to the fact that I got a hobby box of both UD series, O-Pee-Chee and Topps Stickers, which all adds up quite a bit. The one I wanted to key in on was 1993-94, which is the year most of the card show 90s purchase contained. It was enough to move 1993-94 from 10th to 6th, exactly 700 new cards since last year. 1997-98 is the year that drops out of the Top 10, falling from 7th to 11th. I added less than 100 new cards to that season. 

The sets can really change a lot from year to year...even a blaster is enough to move a set into the Top 25, and a hobby box of the right set can just about put a set into the top 10- note that the 2019-20 Topps Stickers jump right to 12th on the strength of one box! 1990-91 Pro Set has held the top spot since I began tracking this info, and it's one of my favorite sets, so you won't see me complaining about that. 1990-91 Score American, thanks to the Factory Set I got as a gift this season, jumps from 25th all the way to 3rd, it can't get any higher since I have completed it! 2019-20 Upper Deck is the only set from this year to break into the Top 10, and it knocks out last year's set, which I didn't do a hobby box of either series so I'm surprised it's so high. Last year's MVP factory set, which is complete, also falls out of the Top 10. 

Looking at the brands, Upper Deck has such a huge lead that I doubt it can ever be caught...that's what happens when you produce a 500 or more card set every year for 30 years. The lead UD has over Topps is exactly 2600 cards...that would be 2nd itself if it were a thing! Really puts it in perspective to me. Topps moves up to 2nd due to getting the 1990-91 Factory set and the 70s and 80s Rangers (and others). O-Pee-Chee drops to 3rd, but I suspect it will retake 2nd because O-P-C is still issued while Topps has not been since 2003-04. MVP drops to 4th, while Score moves to 5th, from 7th. Pro Set holds 6th, which is pretty amazing because they only issued three sets! And one of them has only 11 cards in my collection! Ultra drops to 7th, while Panini Stickers hold steady at 8th. The Database counts Score American differently from Score and that alone ranks 9th now, again on the strength of a factory set. It knocks Artifacts out of the top 10. The fact that Artifacts ranked in the top 10 really tells you how much being available at retail in blasters really shapes my modern collection. Parkhurst holds on to 10th. 

My oldest and lowest SN card are the same as they were last year, no change there. Since my lowest SN is 1/1 I doubt that will change, but my oldest might someday. 

and in case you are wondering, I actually transcribed all this info over to an Excel chart to make it easier to reference from year to year, LOL. 

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

What I've been doing instead of cards

 I have not really done any card stuff this month at all. Instead, all my time has been spent working on models. For the past 9 years, since 2011, I've been in a major slump, where nothing I had been trying to do worked. I still grinded out of a few models most years, but I have thought about leaving the hobby totally. On multiple occasions. I didn't, though, and finally saw some success returning in 2018 and 2019. It all came together in 2020. My normal success rate on doing anything is under 10%...or at least it had been since 2011. For some reason, and I don't know what other than all the failures taught me what NOT to do...but in 2020, I'm operating at an about 95% success rate! As you probably know by now my passion in modeling is documenting NASCAR history in scale. in 2007 I finished 21 NASCAR all time record. It got worse after that...For the entire decade of the 2010s, I finished a grand total of 15 NASCAR models. 5 of them were last year...but in 2020, I've already completed 11 NASCAR models, and I have 4 more that will be done in short order...and more than 30 more in various stages of completion! 

Here are the first ten models I've completed this year. Since it is the first time since '07 that I've completed 10 in a year, I wanted to celebrate so I made this chart. All but the first three were finished in September, and the 11th, not yet photographed, was as well. May finish off one more before the month ends as well. 

Here's a little blurb about each build:

1988 #63 Jocko Maggiacomo. This is a car I never expected to be able to build. Then decals were surprisingly made. Jocko is from Poughkeepsie, NY, the next town away from me (actually it's a city, but, you know). I actually went past Jocko's race shop, where the real car was built, many times, but didn't know it until it exploded due to a gas leak circa 2004. Luckily it was the middle of the night and no one was hurt. Jocko is most well known for t-boning Bobby Allison at Pocono in 1988, in this car, ending both of their careers. It is the first #63 I've built- and is in fact the only #63 possible to build. 

1999 #58 Hut Stricklin. This is a pretty obscure car, running only three races in mid/late 1999. My main goal right now is to build one of every number and I needed #58, so I built it. 

1981 #22 Stan Barrett. Another more obscure car, Barrett was supposed to be the full time driver of the Skoal Bandit team, but it didn't go well and he and the team parted ways after only 10 races. Harry Gant replaced him...and stayed with the team, albeit with two owners, until he retired after 1994! This project is one that had been stalled out since 2008, because I messed up the paint. I was able to polish it and save it, which is a big deal- first thing I've ever successfully polished. 

2016 #16 Greg Biffle. I wanted to build this one because the paint scheme, only used at Daytona in February 2016,  reminded me of the chicken bucket. It is also the first #16 I've built. The roof and trunk stripes are supposed to go the entire length of both but the decals are too short. I didn't want to spend the money on a second set just to get more stripes.

1999 #24 Jeff Gordon Star Wars. This was a tough one- the hardest decal job I've ever done. The entire car was covered in full body wrap decals, and it was the first full body wrap ever made in decal form..when the car was new. Decals don't age particularly well and this was a major, major challenge. I don't build Busch cars of Cup drivers as a general rule, but I will make exceptions for certain cars. This one has been in progress since 2012 at least,  that's when I posted an in progress shot to my Fotki. 

2001 #36 Ken Schrader. This car was raced only once, the first race after September 11th, 2001. M&Ms took their logo off the car and made it just look like a flag. Totally coincidentally, I finished this on September 11th, 2020.

1969 #98 LeeRoy Yarbrough. I built this one now because the box got wet and moldy and I lost a place to store it, so I figured, might as well build it. Unfortunately I painted the hood black before I realized that the decals were specifically for the white hood version. I later determined that the car ran white hoods in 1969 and black hoods in 1970. If I can locate another hood, I will paint it up and transfer this black one to another car. It's only the second Mercury race car I've ever built.

1998 #12 Jeremy Mayfield. A car I have great memories of, and one I've always wanted to build. Finally, I did, although the Pegasus on the side is way too large and shattered on me badly. As a bonus, it's the first #12 I've built, surprisingly, as that's a popular number with a lot of different decals available. 

1992 #1 Rick Mast. This one is, by far, my favorite build of the year. I have been trying to build this car since 2005. This is the third different body I've started trying to do it. I had to combine decals from 6 different sheets to build it since there was never a sheet made for it, specifically. I also had to polish it...a lot of work went into this build. Rick himself commented on it on Twitter! 

2005 #16 Greg Biffle.  I actually started this one in 2019, before I even had the decals for the KFC car, but it took longer to fix it so I ended up completing the KFC car 3 weeks earlier. Pretty unusual for me to build two cars from the same driver in one month, as I am all over the map. Now I have to decide which 16 I want to put into my chart. 

I'm not sure if I ever showed the chart on here...back in April I made something in PhotoScape that shows the numbers I've built and the spaces for the ones I have not built yet. Since I made it in April, I've finished 4 new numbers, and was able to add 36...not a new number, but I was unable to find the photo of the #36 I had built previously. Not pictured above is #03, which I finished last night. I have #s 02, 48, 57 and 60 progressing nicely and other numbers will join them, hopefully. Since I paint outside, it usually gets too cold to build by the end of October so they may have to wait until 2021. I'm doing fast work, but not rushing. If I didn't want to put in the effort to make them right, I could go a lot faster, but I want to have something I'm happy to look at, instead of looking at it and thinking "I could have done so much better"

Although the number project is my main focus, it's not the only things I'm doing. Finally able to build properly, I'm jumping all over and doing cars I've always wanted to do, which includes another #7, #8, #11, #42, 43, 98, and more. 

The biggest thing holding me back over the years was body work. Monogram made the bodies in multiple parts, where the real cars did not have these huge gaps, and I couldn't live with just ignoring them anymore. I have been fighting with the seams for more than 15 years, and always failing. Until 2020. At Christmas last year we visited a hardware store, which has a Christmas train display, and I purchased a tube of Bondo. I had read that it was the best thing to use several years previously, but had not been able to find it. That changed everything, literally, this was what I needed and now I've been able to do seams. That has allowed me to pull out dozens of old projects- about 30- that I had considered failed projects. I have been able to resurrect them, and although I have not finished any of the cars that I resurrected with the filler, they are coming, soon. I got the first coat of paint on one of them and getting closer to paint on many others. It's not exactly a fast process but I'm getting there, and spending a lot of time working on it. 

In fact, I'd be working on models now, but it's going to be rainy for the next three days, and I took tonight off to watch the last game of the Stanley Cup Finals. (writing this at 1:40 AM on Tuesday...basically still Monday)
But even though I'm not actually working on models today I'm still thinking about them, still looking at my chart thinking about what cars I want to build for those numbers, and more. My modeling hobby has my full attention and will continue to do so until it gets too cold to build this year. 

Wednesday is my brother's birthday so I likely wouldn't be doing much building that day anyway, since we will need to celebrate that occasion! 

It really feels good to be able to say "I build race cars" again. 

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

A Lake George run

 We were scheduled to spend a week in Lake George, capped off with the Adirondack Nationals, which is my favorite week of the year. Well, then the coronavirus happened. Put an end to that. However, knowing that many of the cars would be in town anyway, my brother and I made a one-day trip up and back, along the way stopping at the Saratoga Automobile Museum so I could see the Dyson Exhibit, and say goodbye to the two cars from the permanent collection that they are auctioning off this coming weekend (or they have already by the time I publish this, not sure)

Our first stop was the Capital District Welcome Center. It opened last year and has become a favorite stop.
Me in front of the bas relief of the Albany skyline.
The new exit on the Northway, specifically for the Albany International Airport, is now open. They said it would open during 2020 and they were correct. 

This photo, of the Twin Bridges over the Mohawk River, is my favorite photo from the entire trip.

Part of the reason for going on this adventure was to get my favorite places for my Places I've Been project, which I began last October- just weeks after we had been in Lake George. 
Does this business make you bloggers think of anyone? :) 
Now at the Saratoga Automobile Museum, we see the Dyson Racing exhibit. Dyson Racing is based in Poughkeepsie, NY, which is the next town from me. 

One of the cars in their Auction is the van used in the Dumb & Dumber movie. I've never seen it and have no intention to, but you better believe I will photograph the van.

The most famous Dyson car.
An actual AAR Eagle.

1913 Isotta Fraschini race car. There are better lit images in the album, but this photo is just too cool.

An unrestored Model T.
This Pierce-Arrow...
...and the Maxwell are the two that are being sold at auction. The 1910 Maxwell- the second oldest car in the museum- is being sold with no reserve so it was absolutely my last chance to see it. It's the only Maxwell I've ever seen. I'm quite unhappy they are leaving. Maxwell, if you don't know, became Chrysler, after Walter P. Chrysler bought it and renamed it after himself in the early 1920s. He would later buy Dodge Brothers and launch Plymouth, DeSoto and Imperial, becoming one of the "Big Three" auto companies, with Ford and General Motors. 
This Franklin Airman was once owned by Charles Lindbergh, and was also once part of the Henry Ford Museum collection. 

One of the cars used in filming the Christene movie. Which I refuse to watch since I know what they do to one of the cars. 
After we left the museum, we had to get lunch, and Long John Silver's was the choice...long one of our favorites, we can only get it up there. Well, it was drive-through only...what to do. We couldn't get chicken grease on the steering wheel or my camera, so my brother had the idea to use some of the gloves that my mom keeps in the car- and it worked perfectly! We were both able to eat and then just took off the gloves- no grease on our hands at all. Perfect. Now every time I look at this image it makes me hungry for more. If only it wasn't almost 3 hours away...
The Northway in Queensbury- one of my favorite views in the world. Prospect Mountain in the distance, a place we have been.
Didn't expect to see an airplane in the water!

I always knew this is the exact spot I would take my photo for Lake George in my Places I've Been project.

Lake George isn't ALL about the water, there's also scenes like this.

Now, while the Adirondack Nationals were cancelled, many of the cars went up anyway...and there was all kinds of controversy about it. So much so that they may not allow the show to come back, which would really stink. But here are some old cars anyway. 

We didn't actually get out of the car in Lake George. It may be our only trip there this year, I don't know yet. I sure hope not.

The photos are broken up into three places on my website: Lake George 2020 Dyson Racing Exhibit 2020 Adirondack Nationals

As an aside, Blogger seems to have changed the photo addition tool in the middle of creating this post, so if the sizing is off that's why.