After not completing a model at all in 2022, I bounced back this year with 11 builds and two refits of previously completed models, with two of the builds replacements for previously completed models, freeing up space. I finished the year with ten 1/72 aircraft, two 1/700 ships, and one 1/72 tank.
First up was a Revell F8F Bearcat, my first completed model since 2021 (I bogged down in three major 1/700 ship projects in 2022).
This was followed by two “replacement” builds – an ancient AMT SB2C-4 Helldiver and a Hasegawa F4U-4 Corsair, which replaced a pair of Matchbox kits. The new Helldiver doesn’t completely replace the old one, which was a SB2C-1 – and a slightly older kit – but it’s a better kit, even if it did still require some kitbashing. Both the new kits are of aircraft from the same air group – the Bunker Hill (CV-17) in February 1945.
Next was a long-awaited build of my Uncle Harold Taylor’s Checkertail P-51D named for my aunt Mary Nell, using an Airfix kit.
Next were two Messerschmitt 109s – a Bf 109G-6 and a Bf 109E-4. They were both different Airfix kits and the second – the Emil – was just a beautifully engineered little piece.
Then it was back to the Navy for a F6F Hellcat, this time a -5 in overall Glossy Sea Blue. It’s a companion to Alex Vraciu’s tricolor -3 from 2021 – which I already have slated for replacement with a new build since the paint job needs improving.
I also added a second Corsair build – another Hasegawa kit, this time of Tommy Blackburn’s “Big Hog” F4U-1 using chipping fluid for the first time.
The year’s least satisfying build was this Airfix Curtiss P-40B Warhawk. I’m not sure why, but I suspect it’s the simplicity of the paint job.
Next was a refit of a prior build. I had built an Academy Wildcat in 2017 as Butch O’Hare’s mount. But it was a F4F-4, not a -3, and the paints I used are not quite right. When I ran into set of resin -3 wings, I decided that I would refit the 2017 build with the correct wings, paint colors, and better decals. (Finished model is on the left).
After a visit to the Tank Museum in the UK during “Tankfest” I finished my first tank model – a 1/72 PzKpfw III, Ausf. L.
Rather than continue work on my three major 1/700 projects in 2023, I decided to start with a repair job for my scratchbuilt U.S.S. Wasp (CV-7), completely in 1992 shortly after I finished law school. The masts needed repair, the camouflage needed updating, the aircraft paint and decaling could stand improvement and the model badly needed a thorough dusting.
Next, I focused on another old project – a good battlecruiser H.M.S. Hood. I used the Trumpeter kit and some of the PE designed for the Tamiya kit. Which not a good technical build, the paint colors and detailing were as accurate to current research as I could make them, including draping the ship’s boats in canvas covers as they would have been while underway – which saved me the trouble of detail painting their exteriors!
I gave in to the backlog of builds by adding another two build docks (#6 & #7 at bottom right) for cruiser-sized builds.
I also gave in to my OCD by preparing a detailed post on how I organize my modeling. https://imodeler.com/2023/07/scale-modeling-organization-database-task-lists-and-posting/
I hope to start 2024 by completing a double build of 1942 Lexingtons in 1/700, and then get back to some of the aircraft projects I have stacked up.