|In the main room, to the left are all of the railroad items, die cast cars, games and a plethora of other hobby products. However, I was not there for the
products on the left side of the first room. As a Republican with a Libertarian streak, I was drawn to the right side of the large main room of Freetime
Hobbies. Model kits of everything imaginable stretched into the distance. Tanks by the division load, aircraft of all generations and of course warships.
I stopped and opened the large box of a Gallery Models 1:350 USS Intrepid, angled deck Essex class, tempting, very tempting and upon reflection, I
wish that I had stretched the budget a little more and picked up one of those. I made a quick call to Felix Bustelo because I thought that he had told me
that he had picked up the Intrepid from Freetime and was going to review it. Crafty Felix didn't answer, so left him a voicemail that I was in the heart
of modeling goodness, Freetime. Well, after all, Felix is a New Yorker, working not far from where 1:1 scale USS Intrepid is berthed, so it is only
fitting that Felix reviews New York City's carrier. I was intrigued by a large shelf filled with Roden World War One fighters in 1:32 scale. I have always
liked the Albatros series and the Pfalz. Next to that was another stack of aircraft kits and I opened the box for a HK Models Dornier Do-335 B-2 Arrow
"Pfeil", pusher-puller fighter with wing cannon pods, a very nice kit and in 1:32nd scale big to boot. Tempting, but I was there for warships and would
not be diverted by the fare of treadheads and propeller beanies. This was not my first visit to Freetime and I knew as packed with kits as the first
room was, it was a diversion. I knew that the true motherload lay further into the building, beyond the main room, in even larger rooms to the rear.
Again there were two paths. There to the left was Brandon behind the glass counter showing a couple various HO scale engines, Bowser, Atlas,
Bachman, names that had been around since I was a kid. On the left behind Brandon was a door that led into another room but I knew that this room
would be crammed with die cast vehicles. No. I was maintaining my course to the right where I knew I would go through a small second room before
I got to the huge warehouse size rooms at the back of the building, where the bulk of the warship treasure lay.
The second room, although fairly small, is interesting in its own right. To the right are a couple of desks with computers and monitors, which are work
stations for Freetime personnel. There is also a large multipurpose table to the right, used for boxing orders among many other purposes. To the left is
the Wall of Combrig. Serried shelves, filled with nothing but Combrig kits, Combrig, Combrig and nothing but Combrig, the most Combrig kits this
side of Moscow. The large 1:350 kits, waterline and full hull are on the upper shelves and the lower shelves crammed with row upon row of 1:700
scale kits. But then I stopped because there was one shelf in the Wall of Combrig that had wooden decks with a blue label. I picked on up and read
"Blue Ridge Models, 1/700 Virginia Class Wood Deck, for Combrig BRM-71015." I saw the possibilities immediately, as the deck was extraordinarily
thin and beautiful to behold. By then Brandon was finished with helping the train modelers and I asked him about the Blue Ridge line of decks for
Combrig kits. Freetime uses ArtwoxModel to produce the decks for the Blue Ridge deck line, not just for Combrig kits but also for Blue Ridge
models. Brandon showed me the stack of Combrig Virginia Class battleships and I narrowed my selection down to USS New Jersey or USS Georgia.
Brandon said he was working on the Combrig Georgia with the Blue Ridge deck for some time, as Georgia is his state, and that seemed like a good
idea to me. So in emulation of my host, I picked up the Combrig 1:700 scale USS Georgia and the Blue Ridge wooden deck.