At the time of this writing there are just over five hours left in 2014 in the Eastern Standard Time Zone, so it seems appropriate to take a quick look back at the year we’re leaving behind.
Stat-wise…well, its actually been a fairly uneventful year. I completed two kits and left two stuck in an in-progress state; three other kits were started and continue to come together as we enter the new year. To be fair, a heavy load of grad school, the opening of a major exhibit at work, and a move to a new home certainly complicated things; thinking back on it, I don’t know if I sat down at the workbench for more than two hours the months of February-April. That said, I was able to complete the intense 1:700 HMS Hood vignette and a 1:48 Tamiya F4U-1 Birdcage Corsair and make significant progress on a 1:700 Trumpeter USS Hornet and a 1:72 Academy P-51B. After waiting about two months for some aftermarket parts, things are finally rolling on a 1:48 Accurate Miniatures B-25B as well.
I don’t like leaving kits permanently unfinished. My only consolation for leaving those two behind comes from the fact that, while they were supposed to be relaxing builds to distract me from the Hood, they wound up either missing pieces or featuring significant mold issues. The amount of stress they were giving me simply wasn’t worth it, and while I may return to one (a 1:35 Zveda T-34/76), I can’t see myself ever finishing the other (a 1:144 Minicraft B-52H).
Significant improvements on the infrastructure side the hobby count as a major positive this year! My workbench space has more than doubled, and while I started the year sharing a workroom/office with my wife, our new home allows for us each to have a dedicated space of our own. I began branching out with my paint selection, discovering (and in some cases becoming nearly dependent on) Gunze Mr. Color and Vallejo Model Air/Model Color paints. In January 2014 I was terrified of brush painting, but plan to spend a good deal of January 1, 2015 whiling away time with this time-honored method of detail painting. I became better at decaling and weathering, and upgraded my display space to show off my finished builds. A particular highlight of this year came early on when, at the IPMS Regional Convention in Chattanooga, Tennessee, I was awarded a Gold and Bronze medal for my work on a 1:35 piloted V-1 and a 1:35 Panzer II Aus.F.
Perhaps most noticeably, 2014 is the year that I doubled down on this blog, creating a companion YouTube Channel and Facebook page as well. In just over two months of renewed effort, you, dear reader, have been joined by fellow modelers from 17 different countries. At this moment, the Facebook page is but 2 clicks away from 100 “likes”…a modest sum, to be sure, but a milestone I didn’t expect to reach before Spring 2015 at the earliest. And so, importantly, thank you!
2015 is going to be a good year. The three builds I named above should wrap up by June (at the very latest – thanks, school!). The next major ship project is already in the planning and prep stages and will be announced shortly; I hope to knock out one or two more 1:72 OOB builds and at least one detailed/aftermarket 1:48 aircraft as well. My goal, then: 8 kits by this time next year. A caveat, however – that aforementioned ship project might just involve more than one complete vessel in its finished state.
With that, then, I leave you until the new year. Thank you again for making 2014 one for the books, and I look forward to sharing the coming rotation with all of you.
Take care, friends, and happy modeling.