January's theme was "Unmanned", but that certainly didn't mean that it would be "Unattended". With six completed models and four in progress builds, this turned out to be quite a popular theme.
So popular in fact that Chuck Connor wowed the club with his superb rendition of the Academy 1:35 RQ-7B UAV as operated by the US Army. Chuck noted that other than a hypodermic tube for the pitot the rest of the kit was built OOB, although he did point out that should he build it again, he would probably replace the tail booms and landing gear with some other material as they were very flimsy. The model was painted entirely with Vallejo acrylics and then done up with the kit supplied Cartograph decals. Nice to see that Chuck still remembers which end of the paint brush goes into the jar! Can't wait to see more Chuck!
Next up is the Accurate Miniatures RQ-1 Predator built by Andy White. Andy built this popular little model OOB with markings for a unit out of Creech AFB.
Dave Fuller also brought along his rendition of the RQ-1 Predator built OOB with Wolfpak Decals markings for an example flown by the 178th RS, 119th WG "Happy Hooligans" from the North Dakota ANG.
Accompanying the RQ-1 were two MQ-9 Reapers built from the 1:72 Skunkmodels kit. Both were also built OOB with the markings being a combination of the kit supplied decals for the example flown by the US Customs and Border Patrol as well as Caracal Models decals for the Royal Air Force example belonging to RAF 38 Sqn.
Rounding out the theme builds for the month was Tim "I've Got a Spitfire for That" Holland with his Frog 1:72ish Spitfire FMK XIVe and V-1 buzz bomb display. Tim says that while the V-1 is quite a nice kit, the Spitfire is "crap". Specifically, it is too small (about 1:75) and has numerous inaccuracies.
Dan Yakel also brought along a very nice looking WWII armor model in his Tamiya 1:35 T-34/85. Dan added an aluminum barrel and bed spring armor. The kit rubber band tracks were replaced by ones taken from a Dragon kit to give them the proper "sagged" look.
Nick Kessel brings us back into the wild blue with his 1:48 Hasegawa F-14A Tomcat. Nick built this model for the museum's "Tophatter's" history display, and sourced the 80th Anniversary markings from Fightertown. A Wolfpack "Bombcat" update set and Hasegawa AIM-9Ms and GBU-24 round out the build. Nick says he certainly plans on building more of the Hasegawa F-14's, and I can't wait to see them. You can never have enough F-14's!
If you've been following the newsletter lately, I'm sure you have been following along as Nate Swift's SM.79 Sparviero has progressed along. Nate's model started out as the 1:72 Italeri kit to which he added Eduard PE interior and exterior details as well as new resin cowls by Quickboost. Nate applied a beautiful airbrushed finish to complete this stunning model.
Rounding out the completed show and tell builds were these three very nice models done by Joe Hegedus. Beginning in 1:72 scale we have the Trumpeter Westland Wyvern S.4 which was built completely OOB. The model is as nice as the real thing is ugly.
Also in 1:72 scale is this nice example of "Heinemann's Hotrod". Joe started with Fujimi's excellent A-4C Skyhawk kit and added Hasegawa TERs and Zuni pods along with decals for the VA-76 MiG-Killer from the 2011 IPMS Nationals decal sheet.
Joe also brought another A-4, this time in 1:48. Starting with the Hasegawa TA-4J VT-7 Bicentennial kit, Joe added True Details resin ejection seats in an otherwise OOB build.
That's all for now folks. Next month's theme is "The Need for Speed" and we should have some great models to showcase.