2020 Year in Review

“May you live in interesting times.” – ancient Chinese curse

Gingerbread
2020 in the form of a gingerbread house.

Oddly for a method of telling time, the positioning of our new year is arbitrary from a physical perspective and should have no actual bearing on earthly events, but here’s hoping for a better 2021 anyway!

I’ll look for the “win” here even if it is minor: We modelers are fortunate to have an inherently solitary hobby in these times.  Overall modeling appears to have picked up, Hornsby (parent company of Airfix) is reporting profits for the first time in years.  Modeling podcasts have come into their own and make bench time even more enjoyable.

The biggest void from a modeling perspective in my opinion is the cancellation of the shows.  I usually attend half a dozen per year and they are always a fine day out, with friends, new kits, and getting to see the work of hundreds of fellow modelers.  Also missing was the Half Price Books annual clearance sale where literally semi-truck loads of books are sold at ridiculously low prices at the state fairgrounds.

On a different note, perhaps the most interesting story of the year received very little attention – the U.S. government admitted that it was studying materials retrieved from vehicles of extraterrestrial origin.  Another commentary on the year 2020.

Blog Statistics and News

2020 was the second complete year for the Inch High Guy blog.  I am happy to report that I again managed to make a post each day, so 366 posts due to the leap year.  The blog received 73,992 views and 26,731 visitors, up from 27,174 views and 7,303 visitors last year.  The most popular post was “Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress Interior Colors Part I” with 1,857 views, followed by “The B-17E and the Myth of the Bendix Ventral Turret” with 1,116 views.  Forts appear to be popular around here!

Link:  https://inchhighguy.wordpress.com/2019/09/11/b-17-flying-fortress-interior-colors-part-i/

Link: https://inchhighguy.wordpress.com/2018/11/18/the-b-17e-and-the-myth-of-the-bendix-ventral-turret/

I am still struggling with the counter-intuitive Word Press editor, and that was only made worse with the introduction of the Word Press “Block Editor” in September.  This eliminated some useful functions while re-naming and moving others, with no apparent improvements on the user end.  On a more positive note, I did finally locate the tagging function and busied myself adding tags to all posts old and new.

I have linked several posts on ScaleMates, where the walk-around posts of museum aircraft have proved to be the most popular.  The Women Warriors posts have found a following with wargamers over on The Miniatures Page, among others.  I had intended for these pictures to tell their own stories, but there have been a few requests for captions.  Easier said than done with the modern-era photos as information ranges from obvious to impossible-to-determine, but there may be hope for the historical pictures.

Models Built in 2020

Forty-seven completions, twenty-nine aircraft and eighteen vehicles.  In addition I painted fifteen figures (plus one dog) and constructed three diorama bases. Everything was built to 1/72 scale as is my preference.  The mosaic has a picture of each build, if you want to see more finished pictures or the construction posts just follow the tags at the bottom of this post or enter the descriptions in the search bar in the upper right column.

Hasegawa Kawanishi Kyofu (Rex) x 2

Tamiya Kawanishi N1K1 Shiden (George)

Aoshima Kawanishi N1K1 Shiden (George)

MPM Kawanishi N1K1 Shiden (George)

Hasegawa Kawanishi Shiden Kai (George) x 2

Hasegawa Mitsubishi Raiden (Jack)

Fujimi Aichi B7A1 Ryusei (Grace)

LS Yokosuka K5Y Akatombo (Willow)

AZ Yokosuka K5Y Akatombo (Willow)

Special Hobby Curtiss P-40 Warhawk x 5

Tamiya Republic P-47D Thunderbolt

Airfix Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress conversion to B-17E x 2

RPM Hotchkiss H35 French Light Tank

RAF Bomber Supply Set x 2 (6 vehicles)

IBG Chevrolet C15A Personnel Lorry

Monogram Boeing F4B-4 x 2

Rare Bits Boeing F4B-1 Conversion

Monogram Curtiss F11C-2 Goshawk

Matchbox Boeing P-12E x 2

Czech Master Resin Curtiss F9C Sparrowhawk

Plastic Soldier StuG III Ausf. G Assault Gun x 3

Trumpeter StuG III Ausf. G Assault Gun

Revell Heinkel He 177A-5 Greif

Revell Junkers Ju 88P-1 Conversion

Hasegawa Heinkel He 111H-20

Italeri 15 cm Field Howitzer sFH 18

Trumpeter Sd.Ah.116 Tank Transporter

Zvezda Panzer IV Ausf. H

Planet Models Resin Sd. Kfz. 9 FAMO Halftrack

Revell Sd. Kfz. 9 FAMO Halftrack

Trumpeter Sd. Kfz. 9 FAMO Halftrack

Forward

Arma hobby has just announced a P-51 B/C Mustang in 1/72. The computer renders look good and show areas such as the wing leading edge and wheel well openings which have given other manufacturers problems appear to have been rendered properly. Here’s hoping! Every previous B/C in 1/72 scale has had some major shape issue so an accurate new tool kit has been at the top of many modeler’s wish lists for many years now. The early Mustangs, if done well, are sure to be a hit and a license to print money for Arma so here’s wishing for a successful release!

In more local news Ms. Inch High put a Creality LD-002R 3-D resin printer under the Christmas tree this year. These are very useful if you know what you’re doing, which I don’t at this point. Hopefully I will soon though, and I look forward to printing something useful. It is an amazing technology to have sitting on the bench. For all the talk of “Death of the Hobby” in some circles, I have yet to see any hint of it from here.

I have enjoyed putting this together, and have enjoyed hearing from other modelers and discovering other blogs.  A big thank you to all who have visited here, commented, followed, and especially those who have posted links.  

May you all live long enough to build every model in your stash!

24 thoughts on “2020 Year in Review

    1. Thanks John, you mini builders have provided inspiration for making bases! I hope to do more going forward providing I can overcome the “bright shiny object” of the next kit.

      The tag function is the gear-shaped icon in the upper right corner when you are writing or editing, at least on my editor! NOT in the place I was looking for it!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Jeff,
    As always, you’re a modeling machine, and I always enjoy seeing your builds as they are to a high standard. However, they’re not one of those crazy, insane builds that make one want to give up and take up stamp collecting, there fore they serve as inspiration to me and I am sure, others.

    As for me and my house:
    – I remodeled my model room somewhat this year (no pun intended), and I’ve returned to the modeling bench. I’ve been gone from it for so long that I’m having to rework or reestablish my modeling “system”. This is still being worked out.
    – I hope to get at least two stalled builds off of my shelf of doom. After that, who know what’s next?
    – With the announcement of the P-51B/C and F4F-4 & -3 from Arma, I can start to move those out of the stash to make room and raise capital. I need to cull my stash even further to be honest.
    – As for B-17 kits, there’s always room for improvement. The latest Revell offerings have recessed panel lines that are like feeding troughs. I had such high hopes for those. The recent Airfix B-17G is great, but represents the late version of the G. Anyone wishing to model the more numerous model of the earlier G and the F is stuck with Hasegawa or Academy/Minicraft which have their own issues, or the Revell offering. Hope springs eternal.
    – Folks that say the hobby is dying make me laugh. Have we *EVER* seen such a profusion of kits, and in our chosen scale no less?

    Happy New Year!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Warren, I’m glad you’re back in the saddle and look forward to seeing your Zeros. It is possible to back-date the Airfix B-17 and IMHO it’s at least as easy to do that than to correct the old Academy kits. I am working on some Arma FM-2s at the moment and am eagerly anticipating their P-51B/C.

      Like

      1. Hmmmm, maybe easy for you. 😉 AFAIK, the major sticking point of the old Academy kits is the wing dihedral, and there are a couple of ways to fix that easy enough. I also think there’s some external plumbing on the side of the nacelles that must be addressed, but I can’t recall at the moment.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. ..takes some effort to post every day Jeff and such high quality work too, so well done for that!. I for one can’t even get to read your blog every day. Agree 100% that we are not too badly impacted by the pandemic as modellers, but not meeting up with the guys from the model club is hard – nearly a year now since I last saw them. And the local ‘not quite a model shop’ has not opened for a while which is a shame and very hard on them. I try not to buy online even if I have to pay a little over the odds. Still there is perhaps light at the end of the tunnel. ..all the best

    Liked by 1 person

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