2017……………. A modeling Year in Review.
This year was a great building year for me...better than most, and quite possibly the best ever...
This was thanks mostly to several Group Builds that were part of this year.
I want to take this time to thank everyone involved here. Starting with Martin and the staff at Imodeler, for providing us the wonderful place to display our work. Thanks also go out to all of my friends here, who have faithfully provided comments, suggestions (and occasionally missing parts 🙂 🙂 !), as well as providing emotional support once in a while for the other little hiccups, that we call life...
This year began for me with a growing collection of 1/48 planes and 1/35 scale Armor builds, and was followed by shrinking room inside the display cases...which is a good thing. Being retired, I have more time than most to dedicate to my building. But on occasion, life does get in the way. (It happens to all of us at one time or another).
My modelling year started with a completed Tamiya 1/48 F4U-1A Corsair, which just so happens to be my all time favorite plane...
The Corsair in the title picture is built as the plane in which Gregory "Pappy" Boyington was shot down in. "Pappy" spent the rest of the War as a Prisoner Of War , while his wingman on that mission, George Ashmun was killed.
Next up was the 1/48 Pro Modeler Curtiss Helldiver...
Followed by a tank model that had been relinquished to the shelf of doom for a long ... long time. This one is an Academy 1/35 M-60A1 tank that I built as a miniature replica of one of the actual tanks that I served in as a U.S. Army Armor Crewman (AKA "tanker" just like my buddy on here Jeff Bailey).
Here's a picture of me in the "real life" tank that I build the model of. My upper half is sticking out of the Commander's cupola, and this just happened to be the first time I took a tank down range on a live fire gunnery exercise. This also happened to be when I was a few pounds lighter, and my hair was darker... 🙂
This year we also had the Midway Group Build to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the event.
We had a spectacular response with our fellow Imodeler friends... I was very pleased with how it turned out. Chuck Villanueva made a really nice opening presentation for the Group Build reveal. Chuck also had some very nice builds posted in this GB... Thanks Chuck !
Here are my entries for the Group Build... which actually inspired me to build some kits that I normally would not have.
Starting with a 1/48 Revell PBY-5A Catalina...this thing is HUGE and takes up some real estate in the display cabinet. Thanks go out here to Tom Bebout, for providing me some up close and personal detail photos of the plane in Dayton at Wright Patterson. Tom also made some great models for the Midway GB too. Thanks again Tom !
Followed by an Accurate Miniatures Grumman TBF-1C Avenger , in 1/48 scale, that I back dated to a very early "dash-1" variant. The Battle of Midway is where the Avenger made it's combat debut.
As part of the Midway GB, I wanted to build a 1/48 Monogram TBD Devastator. I was lucky enough to find one from the original release back in 1974. I painted mine as a plane from the USS Enterprise back when the plane was still wearing "Yellow Wings" colors. The "Yellow Wings" era is my favorite time for planes, since they were so colorful ...
Next up was a Tamiya 1/48 scale A6M2 Zero. This one was also built for the Midway GB, as a plane that was flown by PO1C, Koga. This also just happened to be one of the first Zero planes that was found by the Allies, and repaired to flight worthy status. I'm fairly certain that another one (possibly two) was also recovered from a beach in China, and attention of this was forwarded up the Chain of Command by Claire Chennault. But that's another story...
This one is another Midway GB subject. It is another Accurate Miniatures SBD-3 Dauntless, in 1/48 scale. It happens to be built as the plane flown by Lt. Commander Dick Best. Without help from my friend Rick Wilkes, (who provided a spinner for me), this one would not have been completed as such. Rick also built some fine planes for the GB as well... Thanks again Rick !
I wanted to build a Wildcat for the Midway GB... So I chose the Tamiya 1/48 F4F-4 and built it as a freshly delivered plane from the USS Enterprise. Using a picture from Rob Pollock and his normal "Friday Briefing" as an inspiration for this one. Thanks Rob !
I built two 1/48 Tamiya Wildcats at the same time. The second one was painted / decals applied, to represent a plane as flown by Joe Foss from Guadalcanal as part of the "Cactus Air Force". This one still needs to be dirtied up a lot, and faded some... I'll get to it one of these days... This build started my so called "Gardner's Iron Works" assembly line style of building.
Next up is a Hasegawa 1/48 Grumman F6F-3 Hellcat. This one is near and dear to my heart... for I built it as a tribute to a man I met who actually flew this exact plane at various times from the deck of the USS Lexington. His name was Arthur Payne Whiteway. Sadly he passed away several years ago. It would have been nice to present it to him. Blue Skies my friend. He also flew during the Marianna's "Turkey Shoot" with VF-16, and had two confirmed kills during his career.
Having built these planes, sometimes you just need to change it up a bit...
So I built a Tamiya 1/35 scale Russian KV-1 using Model Kasten individual track links. The tracks still need more dirt and dried grass clumps on them...
Then we started the "Year of the Cat" Group build. There's still time to join in on this Group Build. Anything "Cat" themed goes, and we have a bunch of fantastic builds going on over there. This GB has been very well received too.
Many thanks go out to all involved !
My first completion for the "Year of the Cat" GB, was this Tamiya 1/35 Panther "D". This is the new release kit, and it was an absolute joy to build. I opted for the Tamiya add on parts and used individual track links for this build too.
The First World War was raging on a hundred years ago... I wanted to build a Fokker Tri plane as flown by Werner Voss to honor the man who perished flying it. I was almost able to have this one completed in time for a reveal 100 years later to the exact date, but Mother Nature intervened... in the form of a hurricane... which put an end to that idea.
So here's my rendition of Werner Voss' Fokker Dr-1, with a Revell 1/28 scale model. Paul Nash offered me a lot of guidance with the little details on this one... Thanks Paul !
We currently have another Group Build going on...The Kasserine Pass. and I just couldn't resist... So as usual I jumped in with both feet. The reveals are not yet scheduled to take place, so here's a little teaser of an AMT 1/48 scale P-40F "short tailed" version I completed. There's a lot of nice builds going on over there, so when you can, check it out.
Here's the latest completions: A pair of Hasegawa 1/48 Ki-27 "Nates" I built these using my assembly line method. They actually stalled some on the work bench while I was building four Hasegawa 1/48 F6F Hellcats... which can be seen here...
These are getting very close to completion. With any luck, I may get one or two more done before the New Year starts...
Going back to the "Nates"... here they are.
Not quite finished yet, (but still not too far away from completion), are these builds:
First up still in progress from the Year of the Cat GB... my ambitious project to build four Hasegawa 1/48 scale F6F Hellcats... Here you can see the "Iron Works" assembly line in action.
Here's the Blue Angels plane as it looks at the moment.
Followed by the Daytona Beach NAS bird... This one might be done in a few days and make the cut off by the end of the year.
The Hellcat Drone just may squeeze in too...
Unfortunately I had a minor set back with the cowling on the Target Tow plane. It needs a little TLC and probably will not make the deadline by the end of the Year.
Then we have the Kasserine Pass projects.
First up is the Tamiya 1/35 Panzer III. I still have to add the OVM tools and individual track links on one side... It may just make it, but probably will not. Maybe... just maybe.
Followed by the Tamiya 1/35 M4 "early" Sherman... I still haven't decided what I'm going to do here. I may end up going back and swapping out the bogie assemblies since they are wrong. I can take a set from my M-3 Lee...
This one also needs the OVM tools painted and added. Then it should be ready for the reveal.
The last P-40 plane I have underway in the Kasserine Pass Gb is this Amtech 1/48 P-40 L. This one has the resin nose swapped out on it. A lot of work is left to be done on the conversion... This plane was part of the pair of AMT type P-40 kits I was building at the "Iron Works". The construction delay was caused by the major nose surgery.
The very latest addition was another ambitious building project using four Tamiya Fw-190 kits for the "Kasserine Pass" GB. Only one of these will be completed for the GB. The Kasserine Pass GB plane will be painted in an overall sand color on the top sides (light blue under surfaces), and will be slightly modified to represent an A4 version.
Two of the others will be painted as planes flown on the Western Front, with the last one from the "Ost Front" (possibly as a JG54 machine). Three are the A-3 while one is the later F-8 version. The F-8 can be seen on the upper right side of the photo. It has the antennae mast on the rudder / fin assembly.
These "Wurgers" have not had much work done to them lately, as I have been concentrating on finishing up the F6F Hellcats for the "Year of the Cat" GB.
There you have it... maybe next year I will change the name over to the "Wurger Werks".
My year in review.
Take care everyone and I wish you all a Merry Christmas, followed by a Happy New Year. May we all stay healthy and get some time set aside for doing what we love... Gluing plastic bits together.