Savor Us

Savor the many different ways to say goodbye. Everyone we know has a different expression for us, and we for them. Friendships are like personal facets on a precious stone. You and I have an angle that’s ours only. The sliver that we share is forever. Don’t think of it as being tiny, think of it as being part of something really big.

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Hear Now

I’ve come to visit you, but maybe you don’t know it.

I’ve come to your front door, I call out and wait.

I’m waiting and waiting, but there’s no sign of you. No sign of your knowing I’m here. I sit, and stare at your door.

We once had a connection, although it was hardly anything grand. But I always thought, we could build on what was small, and work it from there.

There’s smoke coming from your chimney but I’m not seeing any lights. Not hearing any sounds. Yet, somehow I know you’re here.

People walk by, and drive by, and they look at me. Maybe they think I’m a fool to do this. Maybe they think I’m stupid to sit unattended in the cold.

When there are so many other places to be.

Let me start with this. Being warm, and without, is overrated.

Whether or not they accept what I’m doing, I don’t care. This is me, waiting to spend time with you, and for all I know, they too are on a mission, to be with someone all their own.

Or maybe they’re doing really nothing important at all, just driving around and throwing glances at others.

No one cares about unfinished business until matters rise. That’s my issue. I’m managing by being here with you, and speaking to you, from the outside in.

You and I have unfinished business. Silent, darkened rooms don’t change that a bit.

You’re not chasing me away, or telling me to go. You’re not telling me to not bother. And even if you did, I would bother, and I wouldn’t go, because you and I have more to do. And right now!

It’s snowy and the wind hits hard. It’s starting to sink in, maybe we’re not going to meet up here. Maybe we’re not going to walk together, from this house.

Maybe our meeting is going to have to be at a different house. And at a later time.

Until it occurs to me otherwise, I’m here now. Speaking to you, calling through the closed door.

I wait.

Saying what you need to hear, now.


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New Pictures So Far This Year

Hi everyone,

I usually save showing you my new model photographs for the end of the year. Let’s try something different. Here are my best new pictures from January and February 2019.

Seven model photographs have made the cut. As with all my best pictures, these were fun to stage, and then to process in Photoshop. These models are 1/72 scale and are part of my permanent collection of 600 tanks and 150 planes.

Thank you for looking and I hope you enjoy the scenes! Presented in the order they were made.

Corsair over the Solomon Islands, early 1943.

Corsair chases Zero over Guadalcanal island, 1943.

Jagdpanthers gather.


StuG III crosses a Soviet poppy field, 1943.



General Lee tank tackles the rough Tunisian terrain, 1943.

M3 and M7, with soldier and gun crew, Tunisia 1943.

Two M7s race through Italy, 1943.

Weren’t those pictures fun? Where else can we go this year? We’ll see! 🙂


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In The Dream

I had a dream I saw you. It had been several years since we’d last met up, and there you were, knocking at the back door to my house. We had a brief exchange in my porch.

You were making a simple delivery of some kind—in dreams these details reconcile themselves. Were you bringing a newspaper, or a flyer of some sort? I don’t remember, but you were at my door, we said hello for a second, you dropped off whatever it was and left.

For a moment I thought, “wow, he looks great!” And, “I wish I’d said something to him.”

But I hadn’t. And you were out the door.

Who’s controlling dreams? Who sets the scene, who recruits the characters and dresses the sets? What controls the action, the starts and stops? What’s the theme, the point, the purpose, and why are dreams written on those types of flimsy tissues that seem to float away to forgottenland?

Dreams are forgotten, but not this one.

I was left standing alone, like how I was left standing alone those years ago. When I last saw you, the real you, you didn’t say goodbye. Why would you? We had no bad blood. We were good friends. We didn’t know our end was coming.

If I had known we’d never see each other again, or never write nor call, I would have said something, at whatever gathering we’d last been at together. If I’d known that was going to be it for us, I wouldn’t have accepted it, face to face with you. I would not have let us fall out.

Because we were fine. We were friends. When I had a parting of the ways with someone mutual in our life, you too made a choice. And I burned for it. I was burned very, very badly, in losing you.

Last week’s dream had you walk away very fast, after your delivery. I stood alone on the porch, again missing you, again regretting you were gone. And then you came back.

The dream wasn’t quite over.

You came back into the porch for some little incidental thing, and that was it! I pounced. Not with actions but with words.

“I can’t let you just walk away,” I said.

“I know,” you said, and you used a nickname only my oldest friends knew.

I hugged you. I felt your ear against my cheek. I held you real tight. I blurted a bunch of things. I said, “You are one of the most important people in my life. You are very special to me.” I kept you close and said a lot more than that. Things only you could hear. Words that registered. Because I was right in your ear.

I blinked what I thought would be tears but didn’t feel any come out. I thought they should be coming out, but my eyes and face were dry. I felt betrayed by that, like my body was either faking my sadness or not acknowledging my loss.

“I couldn’t leave him,” you said.

“I know.”

That’s how the dream ended. I got to say my piece. I said a bit of the volume of love I still have for you.

I remember the handwritten note you once left for me, when you were commenting on an art piece. “You bring out something in me that is usually dormant,” you wrote.

I have to tell you. Thank you for coming back into my porch. Thank you for turning around and giving me the chance to hold you, and to gush out what I wanted to say. Because I know that was you, beyond the dream. It was your will that made it happen. The dream walked out. You came back.


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Accomplishments 2018

2018 was a difficult year for a few reasons and although the adversity didn’t keep me from working on creative projects, it did thwart progress on my 4th book. So THE WINNING KIND has been pushed out until 2019.

My 2018 published writing pieces were Touch and This Is What It Feels Like.

I wrote thousands of words for stories that will appear in the book, and although no one has read this material, I spent the winter and spring knocking out the pages.

My photography exhibit ISLE OF PALMS: 72 HOURS was produced and I’m very happy with the pictures, and the writing that went with it. This was my first three-camera exhibit.

I finished twenty-one scale models and developed a 4-stage weathering technique with my model work in the summer. No doubt about it, those models were bright spots in 2018.

I made forty diorama photographs in 2018. These pictures were set on my kitchen table and finished in Photoshop. Ten different sets were used for these photographs–diorama bases that I’ve made with various materials. For these forty final pictures, 4,000 photos were taken to net 110 finalists, of which these forty were selected as the best.

2018’s output touched on four creative outlets:

Scenic photography in South Carolina was exhilarating.

Short fiction writing allowed me to express real and raw emotions that I would never have been able to write without adversity.

Scale model painting, building and detail work got my hands busy with files, drills, knives, metal picks, sandpaper, clay, paints, and many engineering challenges.

Diorama set design and photography allowed me to show how scale models exist in their natural settings.

To the visitors of this site, thank you for checking in. 2019 will bring new, wonderful things.

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Scale model photography 2018

I made several photographs of my scale models this year. These pictures include diorama scenes, with figures and set pieces. These scenes are in 1/72 scale.

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Thank you for looking!


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Scale models I finished in 2018

This year I produced twenty-one models in 1/72 scale. I found a creative outlet in repainting, detailing, and repairing tanks by ModelCollect, Zvezda, Panzerstahl, S-Model, Hobby Master, and DeAgostini.

I developed a 4-step process for producing models with a pleasing finish.

The steps are:

  1. Drybrush the model with a soft, flat 1/2″ wide brush and Testor Model Master white paint.
  2. Apply a black wash with crushed black pastel powder missed with odorless paint thinner.
  3. After a 12 hour drying period, I clean up the black residue, add brown pastel powder with a brush, and spray the entire model with Dullcote rattlecan spray.
  4. After a 4 hour drying period, I painted some fine details and applied a final white drybrushing.

That’s how I standardized my finishes this year.

Now for the models. I hope you enjoy how they look. Each is very special to me and kept me company during stressful times this year.

Panzerstahl Object 704. Completed February 2018.

I’ve added a mantlet cover, extra gear, tow cables and replaced the entire running gear.

ModelCollect E-75 w/ 105mm. Completed March 2018.

Repainted the camouflage pattern including the ambush scheme dots. Added gear and detailed the model front to back, as this was an early ModelCollect offering with crude finishing and sloppy details.

ModelCollect T-90MS. Completed May 2018.

Repainted green for Soviet service. Black Dog resin stowage.

ModelCollect T-90A. Completed June 2018.

She was the first of many precious MBTs to come this summer and fall. T-90A was the first model to feature the 4-step refinishing process.

ModelCollect T-72B3M. Completed June 2018.


Trumpeter IS-3 Special. This is a “What If?” tank of my imagination.

Turret is from an Easy Model IS-3, and the body is from a Trumpeter IS-7, which seemed undersized to me.

ModelCollect T-80U. July 2018.

Grimy and perfect.

ModelCollect T-72 BA(BM). Completed July 2018.

Another gem that makes me smile.

Zvezda T-14 Armata. Completed July 2018.

T-14 was a departure for me, she’s not one of the legacy Soviet MBTs that I was getting to know so well this summer.

ModelCollect T-80BV. Completed July 2018.

As I got to know these Soviet models, I took the time to learn what made each visually unique. The T-64, T-72, T-80 and T-90 look very similar. They are not the same. Take the time to study what makes each different and carry this thought over to other aspects of life; cultures, music, people, and food. Because when you stand afar, items in these categories can “all seem the same”. When you get close, you immerse yourself and see the nuances of the individual.

ModelCollect T-64B. Completed August 2018.

For this T-64B, we had a problem with the Dullcote and humidity, but with a non-acetone nail polish scrubbing I was able to eliminate the frosting and get the finish to a beautiful look.

Dragon Armor Porsche Tiger VK45.02. Completed August 2018.

Added much gear, fixed a bent barrel, heavy weathering, a lot of love and care to make her special.

S-Model ISU-152 130mm S-70. Completed September 2018.

This model has a simple replacement barrel, some basic gear, and weights added inside the hull. She was finished as a break and diversion from the Rheinherrin project, described below.

ModelCollect E-100 Rheinherrin (Rhine Mistress). Built and completed August 14 – September 14, 2018.

Rheinherrin is a “What If?” model of my concept and design. Simply put, out of forty+ years of model building, she is my most complex and accomplished build to date. Second only to my 1/35 British M3 Lee, built in 1999.

S-Model ISU-152 BL-10. Completed October 2018.

Replacement barrel and added gear. Get ready for my best month to date.

Hobby Master ISU-152. Completed October 2018.

Fixed the markings error by using decals to extend the hull numbers to proper size. Added gear.

ModelCollect T-80U. Completed October 2018.

This is a restoration of a badly broken model. Put back together with care.

Hobby Master M41A3 Walker Bulldog. Completed October 2018.

This is the perfect finish to my eyes.

Hobby Master M48A2 Patton. Completed October 2018.

Perfection +, with the nuance of painted stowage straps.

S-Model M551 Sheridan. Completed October 2018.

My final entry for October and she’s just as appealing as the Bulldog and Patton tanks that had come just before.

DeAgostini Flakpanzer Gepard. Completed November 2018.

My last completion of the year. She was an inferior mold with sparse detail, but with work she looks beautiful and is a popular favorite on Model Hangar III.

Thank you for looking at my 2018 output. These models eased my mind during a trying year.



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