Hub Hobby Shop

Feature Stories

Behind the Scenes

Behind the Scenes is a series where we interview folks who we find do very interesting things and we’d like to know more about it. The one thing they have in common is that they are passionate about what they do.

Rosebud by Jim Letten on the demolition of Hub Hobby’s old bulding: “We couldn’t travel to North Africa or southern Russia or Normandy, nor certainly not back in time…or could we? No—we could, and we did. With every examination of box art—with the purchase of that Airfix Junkers JU-52 seaplane or that Aurora Panther—we were at sea or in the skies over Europe or the hedgerows of northern France.”

harnessing the wind

Harnessing the Wind

Harnessing the Wind – an interview: “On a summer trip through the prairies of Texas, Rachel Pizzolatto noticed the turbulence caused by her dad’s car.  And then she thought that with hundreds of other cars travelling the interstates, a source of potential energy was just waiting to be harvested. But how to do it?  Thus began a 2 year (and counting) exploration – experimenting with designs and different material on how to accomplish that goal. It would turn into a school science fair project titled “Can a Modified Windmill Generate Electricity in an Interstate Traffic Setting?”

Far from the ubiquitous Plaster-of-Paris volcano or Styrofoam ball solar system, Pizzolato (a 7th grader at John Curtis Christian School) built a Plexiglas tower which encased turbines constructed of K+S Metals brass rod, Bud Nosen balsawood, and Taskboard.” – – Jeff Junker

Whisper: the Images of Bill Wolfe – an interview: “A fixture on the scale model contest circuit, Bill Wolfe is often seen lugging his camera around documenting the contestant’s entrees. He seems like a normal guy, but his photographic skills set him apart from the average photographer. Anybody who has a smart phone takes pictures. But few effectively capture the nuances of creations which held together with Testors Cement the way Wolfe does. There’s more. He’s had ten years’ experience as a wedding and portrait photographer, as well as shooting cityscapes.  His magical landscapes draw you in and seem to whisper: “Come closer.”  –  –  Jeff Junker

Mississippi Coast Model Train Museum – an interview: “While visiting his son on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, Helio Valdes was looking for a hobby shop to visit. What he found instead was the Mississippi Coast Model Railroad Museum (MCMRM) in Gulfport, so he paid it a visit.

“I thought I was joining a club,” said Valdes. It turned out that in joining the club, he actually signed up to be a volunteer at the museum. The Gulfport train club runs the museum.”  –  –  Jeff Junker

Dickens Christmas Village – an interview: ” Carol Rice sits contemplatively, surveying the landscape of the tiny Victorian town and reflected on the growth of her “Dicken’s Christmas Village”.  In a hamlet where miniature Scrooges and Marleys are almost as abundant as the horse-drawn sleighs, this village comes to life once a year. Its housing stock consists of porcelain buildings and figures by Department 56, which pay homage to characters and places inspired by the novels of Charles Dickens.” – – Jeff Junker

The T.F. Monti War and Peace Model Museum – an interview:  “Every modeler’s dilemma is what to do with a project when it’s finished. It’s easy to find a place to display a model or two, but what if you have a dozen? Thomas F. Monti’s problem was even bigger: he had over 4,000 completed models. His sons came up with a solution – – Build dad a museum.” – – Jeff Junker

The Streetcars of New Orleans – an interview:  “Earl Hampton fell in love with the New Orleans streetcars at an early age. From riding them all over town as a youngster to photographing them and recording their history, he compiled a massive amount of what was to become historical documentation of a transit system which has had ups and downs since the mid-60s. Chronicling the wide swings in popularity of this light-rail system – from its near demise to its vibrant comeback – has been his passion.” – – Jeff Junker

Feature Stories

55 Years Gone – The Hub’s Hurricane Katrina Saga by Jeff Junker: “It’s not anything like you see in the news,” commented Marietta Battle. “On the news, it’s one house or one business. When you see it in person, it’s every house and every business.”

A Tale of Two Tigers: “Taking a second look at this model, I decided to start again. This time I wouldn’t be restricted by the rules of an ‘out of the box’ category. Not that I planned to make any wholesale changes.” – – Bill Wolfe

Forest Primeval – a trip into the Honey Island Swamp: “We headed down the West Pearl River towards it mouth, and then took a westerly turn into an oxbow. It was here that the voluminous canopies of cypress and tupelo gum trees seen from the raised portion of I-10 open up in hauntingly prehistoric vistas.” – – Jeff Junker

A Clash of Arms by Robert Caruso “All in all, figure painting is a most relaxing, enjoyable way to recreate worlds in miniature. The masters of this hobby can relive a piece of history in their works.”

Afrikan Tiger by Paul Pressler “I have been focusing on constructing models of vehicles that fought in Tunisia in 1943. This was Germany’s last stand in North Africa and was also a time period when German armor was upgrading, such as the introduction of the Tiger tank and the long barrel 75mm cannons on the panzer IVs.”Feature Stories

Model Victoria CV33 by Phil Novak: “I had no issues with part fit or casting bubbles, and the plugs are easy to remove.”

Kenneth Taylor’s Pearl Harbor P40: by Britt Vallot: “This time around I took my time to address all of the kit’s main flaws: Landing gear/Bay, Prop, Intakes, Flaps, and a proper windscreen/canopy. I also went ahead and fixed the .30 MGs, landing light, and addressed the rudder and elevators as before.”

Vlad the Impaler by Augie Rodriguez: “As to the hair, there is no texturing here whatsoever–any texture is in the sculpture. As a matter of fact, the hair was pretty much applied as a glaze–a warm reddish brown was the acrylic undercoat for black hair! The black was glazed on in 2 coats using a mix of Ultramarine Blue and Burnt Sienna.”

The Grand Illusion by Jeff Junker: “”The toughest part of planning a diorama is to decide what to put in it. It helps to think of a dioramic scene as you would a photograph: both depict a snapshot in time. The starting point is to decide what story you want to tell. But the question always remains the same: What did you want to take a picture of?”

Cat Scratch Fever by Phil Novak: ” What I like to do is take a fairly common subject, like one of the German cats, a Tiger or Panther, and cram it with every last after market set that is available, and scratch build every little thing that is not there that’s supposed to be. Now before one begins such a project it is important to know that you need two things: time, as it will take a long while to complete and most of all, reference.”

Enemy at the Gate: a Ross Burkenstock diorama by Jeff Junker: “A close look at the roof shows that the shingles (which were cut from thin cardboard) are individually laid, a time consuming endeavor


Knight Life by John Alberts and Jeff Junker: “Centuries ago, members of the warrior class used to dress in colorful garb: feathers indicating valor in past battles, fancy embroidery showing allegiance to one’s faith, the cut of the cloth expressing ones political alignment. This fashion marked the Middle Ages. It was a time of harsh conditions; it was a time of hand-to-hand combat; it was a Knight’s Life. This polychromatic panorama of the “ancients” is shown in the work of John Alberts. With some fancy brush work, he performs his own brand of alchemy breathing life into pieces of resin and metal. Knight Life is a look at how six figures were transformed into works of art.”

Panzerknacker! by David Clarke (an article on building a 1/9 scale figure): “Every 1/9 scale Warriors figure I have purchased is literally crammed with details that are impossible to mold in smaller scales.”

Red Steel by Phil Novak (A look at how three modelers build Russian Armor) “So as we can see, there are many ways of constructing Russian tanks without seeing the same thing over and over again. The methods of these modelers show us that a ‘plain’ paint scheme can be very interesting.”

Ten Most Dangerous Toys by Jeff Junker: “One of the trade journals that hobby retailers receive recently ran a story on the Ten Most Dangerous Toys ever made. This piqued my interest, so I thought I’d crawl through my attic to see if I could find any of them.

Catch a Fallen Flag by Patrick Harris (a photo-essay on rail photography.) “The primary philosophy behind what I choose to shoot comes down to two prongs of the fork: I shoot what interests me, and I shoot what is rare or unusual. I would suggest to any rail photographer that the first trick to successfully recording rail history, is to shoot as much as you can reasonably afford, and shoot as often as possible.”

Bugs, Mr. Rico! By Jeff Junker (A look at how 3 modelers approached building the Fort Dusquense Space Marine) “Eerily reminiscent of the Bug Hunters of Robert Heinlen’s Starship Troopers – as well as evoking images of Ripley’s deadly minuet with the Alien – the Fort Dusquense Space Marine appears ready for action after making a ‘jump’ onto hostile terrain.”

Running of the Bulls by Jeff Junker and Phil Novak (A look at how 2 modelers built Tamiya’s FAMO.) “Having more models than time to build them, it takes something special for John Daniel to push a project to the front of the queue. The Tamiya Famo was such a model; it begged to be built.”