So I've gone and done it: told my boss I'll retire on August 31st. So what's first in the modeling world, given I've got 54 completed, a baker's dozen in progress, and a whopping 94 kits opened but unstarted? Here's the scoop, starting with those closest to completion.
Abarth OT 1300: last minute fiddling needed. This would be the first resin kit I have ever completed. I made a mess of the right side paint, and the front hood doesn't fit. On the other hand I got all the windows in OK, except for the headlamp fairings which I haven't dared try yet. Some fiddling required.
BRE Datsun 510: Ready for final assembly. I've been pretty positive about this complex but, so far, well built kit. However one little bug has surfaced. The front suspension goes in after the body has been attached to the chassis, since the upper strut mount is in the body inner fender, not the chassis inner fender. This is a problem because you are assembling suspension components to a painted body, with all the attendant probabilities of mangling the paint and/or decals.
Like I said, a challenging kit, not for beginners, but one that rewards careful assembly by a modeler with a few screw-ups under his belt.
Mazda 787B: Ready for final assembly. I decided to skip the full green and orange decal set on this Le Mans winner. Hey, it's the day after the race, the car can get out of its fancy duds and relax, right? Right. Problems will include the fact I made a mess of painting the windshield surrounds.
Mitsubishi Fuso car carrier: trailer complete, cab not started. Goal achieved: lots of storage space for Japanese cars. Not much else accomplished, and the cab won't fit on the same shelf as the carrier anyway. Revell's car carrier may move to the front of the queue if space becomes a problem again.
Aston Martin DBR1: Midway through a complex resin kit. This complex kit requires lots of trial fitting. The engine is done but suspension issues loom large. Getting doors and hoods to fit will be lots of fun. This is the second of four resin kits currently underway.
BRE Datsun 240Z: Chassis and engine assembly not started. I suspect this is going to be as complex as the 510, so it is still a long way to completion.
White Freightliner dual-drive: chassis and engine complete. Actually I am waiting for AMT's reissue of the single-drive chassis with the short cab to complete this. I'll put the short cab on this long, dual-drive chassis, and use the single drive chassis with an Allison V12 I have in the spares bin to make a 'hot rod'. I am not sure where the body will come from ... perhaps a chopped Freightliner cab made up as a monster T bucket, or something equally radical.
Mercedes 300 SL: Chassis complete but little else done. A classic, complex kit that will require lots of work around doors and other opening bits. The chassis is gorgeous and I'll probably display the body off the chassis.
Mercedes 190 SL: Paint but not much else done. This body is not a one-piece mold -- fenders are doweled into the cowling -- and I can foresee lots of tricky bits ahead. The 300 SL looks enormous in the picture, and while it was definitely bigger at 1:1, it is a Tamiya kit at 1/24, while the 190 SL is a Revell 1/25 kit.
Porsche 956: A typical Tamiya Le Mans build. About halfway on this one. No surprises expected.
Renault 40 NM Record: lots of fiddling here but once I get going, it should be quick because it's a curbside. The complex left side door needs a lot of fabrication, shimming and putty to get right. The third of four resin kits underway, it will have a Miller and a couple of late '30s GP cars as company.
Porsche 908/03: Infuriating! What a gorgeous, complex, maddening little kit. If I get it even partway right, I'll have to build a custom mahogany case to hold it.
Porsche 956 pickup truck: lots of fabrication to come but we are getting there. A real hooligan's dream! I'll park it next to the Allison-powered Freightliner chassis.
Lancia 037: kit I'd most like to start right now. This supercharged Monte Carlo racer is a lovely example of Group B excess. Status: engine halves have been glued together.
So there you have it -- at least a month's worth of work if nothing interferes, like for instance the imminent arrival of granddaughter #2. Stay tuned!