Our First Edition for a Brand New Year
This is going to be what we might call a Brief Blog, but I wanted to do a little something to kick ff our brand new year with. I haven't rambled senselessly for a while, so let's start off with Some Thoughts On the Hobby:
Thought the First: As scale modelers we've never had it so good. In spite of the worst economic times many of us have ever known the new kits keep coming, albeit at a reduced pace when compared to a couple of years ago. There's an amazing selection of aftermarket decals to choose from, and an equally amazing (if sometimes unnecessary) selection of aftermarket parts. To put the icing on the cake, we're also blessed with proliferation of reference works that we could only dream of back in those Halcyon Days of Long Ago. It's truly a Golden Age for our hobby, doomsayers notwithstanding.
Thought the Second: I think we should mostly build for fun. It's a hobby. When it's all said and done I try to do my best to get things right, but at the end of the day it's still a hobby, and I don't go nuts over stuff I miss or mistakes I make, at least not most of the time, and when I do get bothered by such Intrusions into My World I either fix them and move on or, more likely than not, decide I can live with whatever the problem might be and, you guessed it; move on. My personal standards are still relatively high but nowadays I build for me, not for anybody else. In my world that's the way to do it.
Thought the Third: Because I build for fun it rarely takes more than three or four weeks for me to finish something, and a kit such as the Tamiya Bf 109E can generally go from box to display shelf in three or four days if I can stay with the project with minimal interruptions. That takes us back to Thought the Second---it's a hobby and it ought to be fun.
Thought the Fourth and Final: Because it's a hobby and because we're building for fun, we ought not make a given project harder than it needs to be. There's another side to that coin too, of course, because we won't get better as modelers if we don't constantly challenge ourselves, but a challenge is different from a ritual beating, and it's relatively easy to turn the hobby into just that. Challenge is Good. Beatings are Bad.
And now, back to our regularly scheduled ("Scheduled"? Did he say "scheduled"?) program.
A Few Things I Like
In the truest spirit of producing a brief New Year's edition of this missive, here are a couple of photos of airplanes that I like. Don't look for a theme because there isn't one; we're just going to look at some pictures that I think are neat.
For those of you who may not have spent a significant portion of their adult lives photographing military airplanes, a zap is the application of an emblem or similar device to an airplane that ought not be wearing same. Sometimes such things are painted onto the airframe, although that particular method of application is generally highly frowned upon; mostly zaps are stickers or aviation decals (real "decalcomania", not the scale stickies we modelers use), easily applied and, most importantly, relatively easily removed. Here's an example:
A Pair of Pretty Thuds
Last time around we saw an example of an F-105 that survived both North Vietnamese AAA and the smelter to end up in the back lot of a truck repair facility. Here's something a little closer to the beginning:
A Taste of What's in Store
You may remember, but then maybe not, that we ran a couple of Grumman "Stoof" shots a while back. That elicited a comment from Doug Siegfried (of Tailhook Association fame) to the effect that he'd been an S2F driver for the greater part of his Navy career and would sure like to see us run some more pictures of his favorite airplane. As much as I love that bird (and I truly do, an addiction that dates back to my childhood) I don't have much in the way of photography in my own personal collection. Mention of that sad fact led to action on Doug's part, which will result in several installments of S-2s and C-1s over the next few months. Here's a taste:
Some Nose Art From Desert Storm
If you've been following us for a while you'll recall that we periodically run nose art photos taken by Rick Morgan immediately following his combat tour with VAQ-141 during Operation Desert Storm. You've seen most of it, but for some reason we never got around to running the A-6 photos that constitute the final installment of the series. It's time to correct the ommission, I think.
Our First Relief Tube of the New Year
When last we met Don Jay sent us a comment regarding The End of Kodachrome. Here's a follow-up to that comment. It's the end of an era.
I ran some early FJ-3 photos a while back, and immediately thereafter ran a comment from Tommy Thomason regarding the hard-wing FJs that we didn't look at in that particular piece. He mentioned he'd sent a photograph of same, which you didn't get to see because I couldn't figure out how to open it. I've since worked past that particular Act of Random Stupidity on my part and can now show you the photo that Tommy wanted you to see last time.
When we ran those most recent OP-2E photos I made comment about the racks hanging off the wing stations, mistakenly referring to them as TERs. I should've known better! Here's a correction from Rick Morgan:
(The rack in question) is a Practice Multiple Bomb Rack, usually held Mk76 or Mk106 Blue Bombs, frequently used by A-4s and A-6s Stateside. Jim Rotramel tells me the PMBR is an A/A37B-3. Rick
Thanks, Morgo! Rick also sent along a photo of a PMBR from the era with sensors attached, thus defining the reason VO-67 was using that particular piece of equipment at the time. Those of you who can still remember things (and I'm obviously not part of that group) may recall the caption to an A-4 photo we ran way back when this blog first got started where we described a practice bomb dispenser attached to said "Scooter" as a "Banger Board". Those Neptunes were carrying "Banger Boards", I think.
And that's it for our Very First Edition of 2011. Stay tuned; we've got some really neat stuff coming to you during the coming year. Meanwhile, be good to your neighbor. We'll meet again soon.