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“Year of the Cat” Group Build recap………………

This article is part of a series:
  1. Announcing the “Year of the Cat” Group Build
  2. “Year of the Cat” Group Build recap………………

I am pleased to announce the recap of our recent Group Build called the "Year of the Cat".

The Chinese traditionally have calendar years named after animals, such as the rooster, monkey, dog, etc. There is not a "Year of the Cat" however. What we decided to do was commence with a build that allowed anything "Cat" themed. It could be the name of the subject that was being modeled such as a "Panther" tank, or "Panther" jet could work too. You could even build a plane that had "Panther" incorporated as a part of it's name...

As it turned out, we had all three !

Anything went, as long as it was somehow related to a cat... Tiger, Lynx, Leopard, Jaguar, we even had a Du"cat"i motorcycle.

Here's a link to the various build journals. If you have the time, please check them out. We had a great turn out, and some wonderful subjects were built.

I had a lot of fun with this one, and judging by the turnout we had, I'm going to venture out there and say that a lot of us had some fun with this group build.

I'm happy to share with everyone some of the photos that were posted up with these completed builds. It was impossible to pick a favorite, so these pictures are not posted in any particular order. I did however keep the pictures together for the completed subjects that were modeled by the specific builder.

So here we go:

Starting with this outstanding Tamiya 1/48 scale Tomcat by David Hansen, @david-hansen

David is a real life jet pilot.

This personal connection with the build made it even better, as David knew what to look for when making a more authentic looking plane.

Which he did when he built this Home Run of a model...and the scratch built base that it is parked on.

You knocked it out of the park my friend !

Next up we have a lot of contributions by Allan J. Withers, @kalamazoo

Starting with his CA27 Mk32 Sabre

Remember the Du"Cat"i motorcycle ? Here it is ...a GP 4

followed by his wonderfully painted Tiger ARH

His Blue Angels themed F11A Tiger.

Next is his "Black Cat" PB2B2 Catalina

then the HAS 3 Lynx

and his F 1A Lightning

Here's another fabulous helicopter... the Mil Mi 24 D

a very nice BAE Hawk 127

lastly, his S 70B 2 Seahawk
In case you haven't noticed, Allan is a model building Machine ! Thanks Allan... 🙂

Our good friend George Williams really got into the spirit of things and located a T-shirt to match one of his builds... now that's some dedication ! Thanks George... @chinesegeorge

Somewhere between the T-shirt and the camera there is a fantastic 1/48 scale Great Wall Mig-29... it blends right in !

This one has some wonderful decals for a Slovak Air Force with a "Tiger on the Tail"... literally.

George also built this SEPECAT Jaguar GR1,
which is a Kittyhawk 1/48 scale kit

Thanks George !

Keeping with the "Cat" theme is this fabulous little 1/72 scale F6F Hellcat built by Paulo Castro. @armouredsprue

I'm fairly certain that all of the panel lines were sanded off and re-scribed on this jewel...that is sporting French Navy markings.

Our good friend Greg Kittinger @gkittinger built these two fantastic jets... appropriately "Cat" themed.
First up, this 1/72 Italeri F-5F Tiger II in "Sundowners" colors...

and an "Operation Granby" 1/72 scale Hasegawa Jaguar.

My good friend Chuck Villanueva @uscusn
built this Jaguar also in "Operation Granby" colors...

Thanks Chuck... she's a beauty !

Since we are talking about Jaguars...This one is a fantastic build of a Jaguar XJ 220 ... here's a beautiful four wheeled version of the Cat by Richard Mcstay. @richardmcstay48gmail-com Stunning !

Another good friend of ours, Michel Verschuere @michel-verschuere
added his 1/35 Flak 38 T Gepard as another great entry to our group build.

In keeping with the German Armor theme, Here's a new tool Tamiya 1/35 Panther D that I built for the group... It has markings for the initial version as it appeared at the battle of Kursk.

Since we are talking about Panthers... here's one that Josh Patterson @jpatt1000 built for the Group. He built a F9F-5 Panther jet from the movie "The Bridges at Toko-Ri" using the 1/48 scale Monogram model. This model is on my "bucket list" to make as I also want to build up a Brubaker plane.

Thanks Josh ! Well done.

Next up is a fantastic 1/48 scale F8F-2 Bearcat built by Tom Bebout, @tom-bebout
another good friend of mine...This is the "Golden Oldie" kit made by Hawk / Testors. Tom added some goodies and brought this one up to date. It looks wonderful to me and was a great addition.

Another good Imodeler friend of ours is Ferry Dierckxsens @therefueler

He built up these two fantastic "Cats"...
starting with his Revell 1/72 Mirage 2000-C Tiger meet 2003

followed by his 1/72 scale Italeri Sepecat Jaguar GR.3 “Big Cat”

Hot on the heels of these last two is this wonderful P-47, built by our friend Darren Dickerson @darren-d

Darren started out with a 1/48 scale Tamiya kit

and worked his magic...

In case you haven't noticed,

the P-47 just happens to be his favorite plane.

and it shows with the quality of work

shown in this fantastic build ! Thanks Darren...

Following hot on the heels of this fine P-47, are some wonderful builds from another good friend of mine.
Announcing the "Master of the 100 Years of the RAF Group Build"...
Paul Barber @yellow10
who provided not One, but Four excellent models.

Here is his Spanish Civil War Bf-109 named "Luchs" which is German for Lynx... (hence it fits the build in case you're wondering)

Following "Luchs" is another 109, this time sporting Leopard Camouflage. As Paul put it, "BF 109 E4/7 Trop, Tamiya 1/48, ‘Yellow 6’ – Hans Joachim Marseille – in ‘Leopard Camo’ " quoted directly... 🙂
JG 27 also has a "Cat" incorporated into the Unit insignia seen on the nose of this fantastic 109...

How nice is the camouflage finish on this one ? One of the best I have seen so far in this type.

You can't have a year of the cat without a F4F Wildcat... and Paul provided us with a fine example of one. He titled it as ": Grumman Martlet Mk III – Hobby Boss 1/48 Wildcat F4F-3A"...

Just look at the pre shading on this one...

Our dear friend Robert Royes @roofrat, who is also an ex US Navy veteran, provided us with these fine examples...
starting with this one:
F9F-5 Panther VF-781,# 106 , Year of the Cat, 1/72 Matchbox

TF-9J Cougar VA-43 NAS Oceana VA. 1965-67, "Year of the Cat" group build

1/72 Ertl Grumman F-14A Tomcat of VF-32 , Year of the Cat

F9F-2 Panther,VF-31 USS Leyte,Year of the Cat,1/72 Hasegawa ... Notice "Felix" again ?

and ending with this one:
Felix rules, 1/72 F-2H-3 Banshee, VF-31
"Felix the Cat" is on the unit insignia painted on the side of the fuselage just behind the canopy... thereby qualifying this build too.

I took the Liberty to use the Unit Patch for VF-31 as the symbol for the Group Build... Felix really does rule... 🙂

Finally, taking the "Tail End Charlie" slot are the Four 1/48 scale Hasegawa F6F Hellcats that I built.

Starting with a plane that was modelled after an actual Hellcat that was assigned to Daytona Beach Naval Air Station during WW2 (my home town), is this one. Daytona Beach served as a training facility teaching young pilot's with newly minted "Wings of Gold" how to fly fighters during the War.

Next up is the Great Grand Father of the Blue Angels... "Butch" Voris started the now famous "Blues" in this plane...

Nearing the end of the propeller era (as I call it) were these examples of Hellcats. Some were used as Squadron hacks, while some were used as Drones such as this one. These planes were flown by remote control and were the predecessors to what we now have today.

Speaking of Drones, here's another one. This time it's brightly painted... and ready for takeoff without it's pilot.

Ending this mad cap adventure was bittersweet. I had a lot of fun, and I hope we all did along the way.

If I happened to miss a build of yours and failed to post it here, it was not intentional... we simply had an amazing bunch of participants and numerous entries.

Please send me a private message and a picture or two, and I'll gladly add it to this article. 🙂

I sincerely thank each and every one of you that participated in one form or another, for helping to make this one special. It turned out far better than I ever imagined possible.

There are several other amazing group Builds going on at the moment... If you have the time, I would highly recommend checking these two out...

and don't forget this one. Lots of good stuff happening here too...

Better yet, join in on the fun and build something !

I'll end this article by dedicating this Group Build to one of our fellow brothers that we sadly lost earlier this year.

Bernie Hackett

He was a friend to many of us here on Imodeler, and a Vietnam Veteran. His comments are missed, and they were a regular part of our "Year of the Cat" Group Build... So Blue Skies Bernie. RIP my friend.

Another friend of ours,

Jeff Bailey, @mikegolf
wrote this article about Bernie in case you missed it.

Thanks again,

22 responses

  1. Terrific Group Build, amazing response, and beautifully realised models. You are an iModeler rock star, Louis.

    • Thanks for the compliments my friend. I am amazed at the response we got with this one………… It far exceeded my expectations by a long shot.

      It was a group effort and our fellow Imodeler friends made it happen. These guys rock !

  2. You know, at the end of the day, we all rock. This is a great place full of creative ideas and is a veritable Orchestra of plastic talent. Well conducted my dear friend.

  3. Many kudos to you Louis. and for all that honcho these group builds.

  4. Wow, wasn’t aware of the sheer amount of builds this GB had, and all are great models and some very, very interesting subjects. Well done all, and thank you Louis for getting them all posted in one presentation

    • Thank you Pedro.

      We had other builds that were not completed as of yet. When they are finished, and pictures are provided, I'll post them up here too. We had an amazing turnout for sure... It far exceeded my expectations... by a mile !

  5. Thanks for the recap pics, Louis...I really enjoyed watching the the "sequel". 🙂

  6. Thanks Lous for this recap of the great Cat group build, we had some great entries on this one! I'm proud to have been part of this "hommage" to Bernie.

  7. An excellent presentation Louis well done my friend. A great idea that became a reality to start the year. Incredible models from well talented modelers each one you can feel the passion. Good stuff, our friend Bernie would've loved it. Again thank you for the honor to participate, with that I thank you in how you encouraged everyone involved.

    • You're quite welcome my friend.

      None of this would have been possible, if you guys didn't participate. It was an idea I had, and it turned out far better than I ever could have hoped for. So I see this as a team effort, and we all made it happen. It was a win / win for everyone involved.

      Your additions to the Group Build made it even better. Your Operation Granby Jaguar was spot on, and a very welcome addition to the effort.

      Bernie would have been proud !

      Fly Navy ! 🙂

  8. Thanks Louis - enjoyed the nicely presented recap, and participating in the build as well!

  9. Great builds Gentlemen and a really interesting sortiment 🙂

    • There were some excellent builds produced during this adventure... and no two were alike. Most were builds that you normally don't see built up too often.

      Very interesting indeed... Thanks for posting and the compliments.

      We had a great time... 🙂

  10. Thank you very much for the recap Louis. It's just great to see all this lovely work in one place. It has been a great pleasure to be part in this group build and see what everyone has come up with. Also reading the reports on the building adventures is a great way of sharing our fantastic hobby. We'll continue our magnificent mission.

    • Ferry my friend,
      That sounds like a great plan... We will continue on with our magnificent mission.

      Your contributions to the "team effort" helped to make this one of the best I have ever had the privilege of being involved with. It has been my pleasure working with each and every one that participated in one form or another, by building or simply commenting...

      Your Mirage and Jaguar were simply amazing !

      Thank you !

  11. Louis, a lovely litter of kittens, well done everyone, meeoooww purr purrr !

    • Allan my friend...

      It's great to hear from you. You have got to be the most prolific model builder I have ever known... You expertly built and finished no less than TEN entries !

      As I have said before, you Sir are a model building machine... and each one is perfect.

      Thanks for helping so much to make this event happen. You're a Rock Star buddy.

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