2011 Year-End Retrospective

If I had to sum up 2011 in a single word, I’d probably go with “grinding”.

This has been a year. Two job switches. A layoff and a month and a half of unemployment. Building a house. A move (which we’re still recovering from!). A November of aggravating ailments and injuries. The hottest summer ever recorded anywhere in the United States.

On whole, I think it’s safe to say that I’m closing out the year from a much better place then when I started it. New house with a big yard and nice, big driveway for the kids to enjoy. A job I find enjoyable and challenging. A bench that’s miles ahead of my previous, cobbled-together effort.

But it’s been a grind nonetheless.

Fortunately, I’ve had modeling to lean on for much-needed decompression. All in all, I somehow managed to knock out a total of twelve builds over the course of the year. Check ’em out below, and click the links to check them out in greater detail.

1/48 Tamiya P-47D Thunderbolt

November 27, 2010 – January 12, 2011

What started as a recovery from a Monogram Jug gone wrong turned into one of the most enjoyable build experiences I’ve ever had. In my opinion the Tamiya P-47 is one of the absolute best 1/48 kits on the market.

1/35 Tamiya M4 Sherman Early Production

December 24, 2010 – February 7, 2011

My reentry into armor builds after nearly 17 years away. I can’t recommend the Tamiya Sherman enough as an entry into tanks.

1/32 Eduard Bf 109E-7 Trop

January 13 – February 18

My first 1/32 build and first time using Gunze-Sangyo Mr. Color paints. Enjoyed both immensely. The Eduard kit has its issues, but I love the extra presence that 1/32 scale lends.

1/48 Tamiya De Havilland Mosquito NF Mk.II

February 13 – March 13

Planned as a nice, easy build after the involved paint schemes of the P-47 and Bf 109, the Mosquito ran into issues when bad decals and aggressive application of Micro-Set ate through the Vallejo paint. But overall…the Mossie is a cool plane I will be revisiting at some point.

1/35 AFV Club Achilles Mk.IIc

February 23 – April 29

The Achilles looks a lot cooler than it builds. AFV Club’s kit is a mess of ejector pin marks, vague fits, poor location guides, and terrible instruction manual.

1/32 Wingnut Wings Sopwith Pup RNAS

March 19 – June 18

My first biplane and first rigging job. So much fun, but wow did it take a long time. I have another Pup in the stash…the question is…when will I build it?

1/35 Dragon Panzer IV Ausf.G

May 4 – June 21

First experience building Dragon armor. The Panzer IV is a very good kit, excellent detail and fit all around. The dreaded Dragon instructions weren’t awful, though I really need to find a better way to do snow.

1/32 Tamiya Supermarine Spitfire Mk.VIII

June 23 – August 21

Yes, it’s expensive. Yes, it’s totally worth it. This kit is 110% amazing. I cannot wait to tackle Tamiya’s big P-51 in 2012!

1/48 Tamiya North American P-51D Mustang

June 22 – September 9

An excellent kit, if a bit lacking in the cockpit detail.

1/35 Cyber-Hobby Panzer III Ausf.L “Vorpanzer”

July 4 – September 11

Probably my favorite tank-building experience so far. The Panzer III doesn’t go together quite as well as the Panzer IV (mainly in the road wheels and return rollers), but it was so much fun that who cares. Looking forward to many future Dragon Panzers.

1/48 Tamiya Focke Wulf Fw 190A-3

November 24 – December 22

My first build on the new bench. Nice and simple, exactly as I wanted, but the decals are an absolute failure, and the landing gear bested me. Still…great for knocking the rust off!

1/35 Dragon T-34/85 Mod. 1944

October 3 – December 27

One of the four tanks I built to the painting stage before packing up the bench ahead of the move. A solid, relatively simple kit.

2011 Stats

Fastest Build

  • Tie: Tamiya Mosquito NF.II / Tamiya Fw 190A-3 – 28 Days

Longest Build

  • Sopwith Pup RNAS – 91 Days

Most Viewed Build

  • Tamiya P-47D Thunderbolt – “Hairless Joe” – 842 Views

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