Modeling Ambition and the Real World

Winter is here in the northern half of North America and, traditionally, this means it is building season.  As the flying season winds down (months ago), I assume most modelers go through the routine that I do:  they assess their existing models, determine which need nothing, which need repairs, and which need replaced.  Every year about this time, I create a list of planned builds for the next flying season.  Often, I over-estimate my capacity to build and, what was a long list of desires, turns into a short list of models.

This year may be a record.  According to my scratch pad, I have marked down about a possible 25 different models in 19 different categories.  In October, I told myself that I have five months before spring and I “might” be able to get 6 models built in that time.  (Of course, that is shoe-horned in between a full time job, a part time job maintaining a hobby business, and family duties.)

What I identified as “December Build #1” should really be called “Winter Build #3″, since that is the real timeframe and it puts the plane in its proper order. I completed OT Stick Wanderer, I have a 24” Comper Swift (15 year old bones) nearly covered, and now the Bad Axe Embryo.  Here is a shot of the covered fuselage.  Black Esaki, hand colored with Sharpie ink, with a bond paper yellow flash.  If I keep my messiness very limited and short in duration, I can build in the living room in a 5′ x 10′ area while watching football or evening TV.  By putting my building time in these after-hours, I can accomplish these goals without too much interference from the aforementioned obligations.

On my to-do list are other planes where I have all of the design work completed – that means no need to draw plans and layout parts before building:  Those are two Phantom Flashes (unless I really screw up, one will certainly fly away), the Stout-Ford 2-AT, and a rework of the Tom Nallen Jackrabbit – the Elmendorf Special.  The Phantom Flashes will be delayed for later (last minute builds), but the other two are likely to be next on the building board.  Oh, I have an SE5a that needs covered that isn’t even on the list.

Of the 25 different planes, those seven are the only ones that I have complete plans and parts for.  All the rest require drafting and design before parts can be cut.  That’s a lot of additional work and a big reason that I might not get very many more built this winter.   Some will be potential products for sale, but others will just be for me.  Speaking of products for sale, here is a list of the next short kits that will be available very soon:

Bad Axe Embryo (need to finish packaging)
Tom Nallen’s Jackrabbit race plane (prototype build and flown, need to finish packaging)
Pacific Ace Jr Old Timer (need to confirm some parts fitment and packaging)
Elmendorf Special race plane (need to build prototype, but it is essentially a Jackrabbit, finish packaging)

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