Sunday, June 6, 2021

Actually doing some card stuff!

 After a two month break, I have actually been working on some card stuff the past few days. I reached a standstill in my modeling due to two factors- running out of supplies and my local hobby shop was closed for vacation, and it got too hot to do anything else, 92 degrees as I type this...too hot for my health to handle. Too hot for the paint also, it specifically says 90 is it's upper limit. 

I finally finished cropping the scans of the blaster of 2021 Donruss I got for Easter....which I made back in April! But that wasn't all. I also labeled the scans I had made in full, cropped and edited, back in either late March or early April, I no longer remember. And it wasn't all NBA, NASCAR or NHL either, there was some Star Wars, even some baseball. 

While cropping images is still causing me a significant amount of pain from my arm injury (which I rehurt badly the other night...usually rehurt it every night but that one was bad) I did discover that typing the cards into my Excel chart where I keep track of what I scan hardly hurt at all. I am not going to say it didn't, but I'm used to living in pain, I can handle this level of hurt. So I decided I was going to do some typing...remember a while back I said I would be doing the typing when I finished scanning everything? Change of plans. 

Hopefully my arm will go back to normal and I can go back to scanning when it's too hot, too wet or too cold to work on models, but I don't know when that will be...IF that will be. For now I'll type, there's probably too many to expect to finish this year. But I literally have nothing better I can do right now. 

However, typing requires unplugging my scanner, and before I did that, I had some stuff that needed scans, mostly oversized stuff that wouldn't fit into one of the white boxes I use for everything, or, in this case, standard sized cards where the issue number is only printed on the package. 

These die-cut Jeff Gordon Lifetime Series cards from Winner's Circle have numbers, but the only place to see it is on the plastic bubble the car and card came with....
While I do keep the cardboard backs, I don't keep the plastic bubbles. They can actually damage the cars so they get tossed...but I've had these three hanging around for the past week and a half until I could get the cards scanned. Even though this one is clearly visible in my photo, I wasn't sure they all were. I was going to match the shape of the bubble to the card to determine which was which, but they have now been scanned and properly labeled so the plastic can go. In case you're wondering, the 50th win car was #1 and the End of the Rainbow car was #2 in the series. I led off with the Chromalusion car because it's one of my all-time favorite paint schemes. 

I had also brought home a bag of packaging from my storage unit...yes, a bag. I had a nasty habit of sending the empty boxes to my storage unit in shopping bags and naturally, many of them got crushed. 
You can even see my hand trying to hold it as flat as possible on the scanner tray. This was a hugely important box to me. Still is. I was essentially out of the hobby in 2007 and 08. I had last opened a box in, I think, September 2006. When my brother brought me a random pack of this set from Target, I loved the set. So much so that he got me this box as well, and I completed the set. I had thought that I would never open another box for about 3 and a half years until this one, and it kickstarted me back into collecting, a high I've been riding ever since...until I hit 2008 levels of burnout two months ago. 

Without this box, there might not have ever been a Cardboard History. I might never have gotten into hockey. It's not hyperbole to say that this is THE most important set post-1990s for me. 
I'm sad to see the box crushed. The impact of this set and the memories are still there, but yeah, it's tarnished a bit now, because I won't be able to forget how my negligence in packaging it up for my storage unit led to it being crushed. 
By the way, there were two other hobby boxes and two blasters in the shopping bag with it and this is the only one that took significant damage. (sigh)

Luckily, the packs themselves fared better. 

 Also in the bag were 3 retail and 2 hobby packs of 2007 High Gear. The last two years of High Gear is a huge gap in my collection...other than a couple of numbered parallels I picked up on COMC over the years these 5 packs make up my entire collection of 2007...21 cards out of a 90 card set, and some of those 21 are inserts. I have about the same number from 2008.

When I repackage the boxes back up for storage, they will be in a sturdy box which hopefully will not let them get crushed any further. 

It's funny, when I stopped typing the cards after each scanning wave, I felt felt like it was a waste of time that could be better spent scanning. Then I actually began to miss it, so much so that it felt like something was missing from my hobby. I eventually devised a way to copy and paste the info from my chart where I track what I scan directly into the various topic charts, which meant it was done right the first time and saved me from typing out each card three times (the scan label, the when I scanned it chart, and the topic chart). I knew that I was planning to go back and type everything in when I was done, but I figured that I would be doing that years into the future. Instead, I will be working on it now, and I will probably enjoy it very much. Like I said above, I probably have more than I can finish typing this year, so even if I don't finish typing them right now, that's OK. I will get closer to completion. The ultimate goal is to have an excel chart that lists every card in my collection...again, years away, but I will enjoy the process. Just need to finish cropping and labeling these packaging scans and I can begin. With the heat wave expected to be 90 or just below for the next 4 days I should be able to get a couple boxes in before I do more model stuff. 

On that topic, here are the first 25 builds I've completed in 2021. It's been a good year for modeling, and it's just going to get better, since I have finally figured out what I am doing. I had, at one point this past week, 30 builds painted and ready for decals, the most I've had ready at any one time in my life. I'm not sure where I'm at now because I decaled 8 of them, but I also painted more, so it's probably holding right around there. Some of the builds I'm doing have been waiting a very long time...some of the decals have been in my possession since 2005! I'm making a conscious effort to build down my stash instead of putting them off for various reasons. One of them I just finished, not yet done at the time I made this group photo, got put off for so long for the simple reason than it's an ARCA car, when my focus has been on Cup. That's the one that I've had since 2005 for sure. Instead of saving the donor body for in case I got another Cup decal set some day, I decided to just build it, and I'm glad I did. I haven't even photographed it yet. 

The builds here cover a wide range, with the earliest being 1951 (the black 88 on the far right) all the way up to 2021 (the black #1 on the far left), and in fact, this is the first time ever that my first car from a year is one I made. Every major decade is represented here, which I love as well. 1949 is not, but NASCAR only ran 8 races in what is now the Cup series in that decade, and it should appear in the Next 25 as well, eventually. There is only one car that can be built from that season right now, and of course, I'm building it. I've also been working on the easy conversions as well. For example, the Coors #9 on the 4th column, top row, was censored due to the Coors sponsorship, so I was able to correct it by just adding the decals. I have had the correction decals for so long, yet I just hunted down the donor this year. The hobby shop I got the decals at closed in circa 2011, so yeah, it's been a while. I'm also getting closer to having my NASCAR by the Numbers project complete...I have 13 numbers left to build, and 5 of them are currently in progress. The 84, 59 and 81 seen here are all the first cars I've ever built for those numbers. I still need to build a Cup 87, since that one is a Busch car, and for that project only Cup cars count. 
They are, from left to right:
2001 Shawna Robinson (Completed 1/1/21)
1993 Rusty Wallace (conversion from censored car)
1995 Rusty Wallace (another conversion from censored car)
1989 Bill Elliott 
1989 Brett Bodine (a conversion, in 1990 Racing Champions issued the car that Morgan Shepherd drove. The same paint scheme was used by Brett Bodine in 1989 so I just had to change the name. I also added some details that Racing Champions didn't bother with, like the number on the nose and the sponsor on the back)
1999 Ricky Craven
1969 Dave Marcis (a conversion, added sponsor and some minor bits)
2004 Jeremy Mayfield Hemi (the 7th Mayfield car I've built, making him tied for the most I've made of any driver)
2013 Tony Raines (also my 7th Raines for the tie. The camo was a full body wrap, not easy!)
1970 Talmidge Prince (a sad car, he was killed in his first race, in this car)
2021 Kurt Busch
2019 Ryan Truex
2012 Jason White (one of only two career Cup race was in this car at Pocono)
1996 Darrell Waltrip (a conversion, only build with no decals. I added the foil to the numbers and the strip separating the orange from the rest of the car)
1951 Frank Luptow
2020 JJ Yeley (You'll see this car in a future post, not sure when but I want to do a post about when other sports sponsored NASCAR. It's specifically the reason I chose to build this car)
1970 Richard Brickhouse
1955 Fireball Roberts
2000 Ron Fellows
1988 Derrike Cope
1976 Earl Ross
2001 Mike Wallace (one of the few full season cars from the 2000s I had not done yet)
2002 Boris Said (the first silver car I've ever been happy with)
2007 Martin Truex Jr. 1957 Chevrolet scheme
2011 Scott Riggs. This is a special car to me. It was the last one I started before I got sick in 2013 and thought I could never build again. I lost the chassis in the time between 2013 and 2020, but I found it in May and was able to finish the car. It is the last build I brush painted, and had the chassis not gone missing it would have been completed last year. 

Of these 25, it is the only car in my collection of Prince, White, Luptow, Brickhouse and Ross. It is the only car possible to build for Prince as it was his only car, and Luptow, it's the only car buildable, although he did run 5 total NASCAR races. He unfortunately was killed in a race at Lakewood Speedway in 1953. The majority of his career was outside NASCAR. While researching him I found out his daughter married Rocky Hodges, a sprint car driver who I've had cards and diecast of in my collection since at least 1994. I know I will build another Brickhouse and Ross car eventually, and White is unknown. I currently have no plans to do any of his Xfinity cars as I rarely do that series, but I have a friend who occasionally gives me decals and donors so I can't rule it out. He's also still active in the sport, so he may run some scheme I just have to build, or he may run in Cup again that I decide to build. I don't believe his 2011 car has decals available. 

Since I made this, I've finished 5 more cars, and once I can get back to my hobby shop to restock supplies, I will be able to finish 8 more. My second 25 builds of the year is really not that far off. There aren't any new numbers in the next batch, but there are two new drivers I've never built before, but that's just what I've done now. By the time I hit the next 25 and make the next group picture I expect that will change. 


  1. I like how you identified each car individually.

  2. When I collected Nascar, my ocd forced me to keep the cars sealed. So they were hung by tacks on the wall. Same with any figures I had

    1. My OCD forces me to open them all, even if they are just very minor differences

  3. So many models. You're the man, Billy! Also cool to read the story of how that one box of cards had such significance.

    1. Thanks! I've finished 12 more since I made this, and have about 25 more in various stages of progress