Even though I guaranteed I would do better in 2015 than I did in 2014, I ended up with only four models completed in 2015. So much for my guarantee! Unfortunately, reality struck once again as I not only moved into the second phase of my cancer treatments, but my wife had four surgeries on her right eye. Thanks to God and Western Medical Science, I killed a lot of cancer cells and my wife's vision was saved. I think these two results, even though they took away from my time at the workbench, are the more important results from 2015!
I retired on June 5, 2015, with the hope that I would be able to spend more time with my hobbies. That didn't happen, and not just because of the medical issues. I found out that playing with the grandchildren is a lot of fun! My oldest even built her first Airfix kit this past year, with very little help from me.
If things can settle down on the medical front, perhaps 2016 will find more than four new models in the Navy Bird display case. But if not, as long as I'm still on this side of the grass and able to enjoy the family, so be it!
So on with the four completions from 2015:
1:72 Brewster B-339E Buffalo Mk.I (completed in February 2015)
This is essentially an out-of-the-box build, but that's because Special Hobby provides a beautiful set of resin detail parts so you really don't need much aftermarket. The only parts that weren't in the kit are the photoetch seat harnesses, photoetch landing lights, aerial wire, and a vacuform sliding canopy. Gotta love the tubby little gal...even though the kit had the "mother of all gaps."
And a picture of two "Snifters" - the Buffalo and Beaufort. Snifter is the cartoon dog in the nose art:
1:72 Vought F-8J Crusader (completed in April 2015)
The Crusader has always fascinated me, since it's such a dichotomy. Winner of many aerospace awards for technical achievement, yet a very dangerous aircraft to fly based on its accident record. Known affectionately as the "Last of the Gunfighters," yet it achieved the overwhelming majority of its combat kills with missiles. Nonetheless, it looks the part - it's menacing yet graceful, both important attributes of a fighter jet. In its day, many Naval Aviators preferred the Crusader to the Phantom II, and that says a lot.
How about one of the Crusader with its Vought predecessor the F7U Cutlass - the Vought engineers were always thinking outside the box:
1:72 McDonnell Douglas F-4S Phantom II (completed in July 2015)
I have a confession to make. I hate grey jets. Really. But I like pointy planes that go fast. What to do? Find colorful prototype, retirement or anniversary schemes and just say no to low viz! So that's what I did. I built this for the F-4 Single Type Group Build on Britmodeller.
Here is the F-4S with an F-4EJ Kai which I built a few years back. See what I mean about colorful?
1:72 Fairey Firefly FR.I (completed in mid-January 2016 - but started in August 2015, so I think it belongs in this year's edition!)
This early mark of the Firefly is part of a dual build that I started last summer. In addition to the FR.I, there is a TT.4 but it was finished in February of 2016. I started them both at the same time, but the TT.4 took longer since I decided to fold the wings, which required a lot of scratchbuilding. It will take its place in next year's edition of my Complete Waste of Time.
A little sneak preview of the Firefly FR.1 with the TT.4 and a Gannet thrown in for good measure - a family portrait of sorts:
Well, that's my pathetic output for 2015. I wish I could show some pictures of cancer cells being terminated with extreme prejudice, but I haven't found any yet. Rest assured that's one hobby I really enjoyed doing in 2015!
Uncle Navy Bird:
I believe your chosen leisure time activity has been VERY succesful! Sounds like you licked the big C and finished some outstanding models! I would consider your 2015 to be a year of great outcomes! Continued success for a LONG time, sir!