Every fall Free Time Hobbies has a Fall Festival and IPMS show at their store in Blue Ridge, Georgia. For 2017 it was held on October 14. After a nice drive up the
Ocoee River Gorge and then east to Ducktown, Tennessee it was time to dart south to Blue Ridge, Georgia. With brilliant blue skies and temperatures in the 70s it was a
lovely trip with the top down. Going home was equally lovely with the added bonus of catching the Tennessee Volunteers and Butch Jones post game shows following
the Vols 15 to 9 loss to the South Carolina Gamecocks with enough time to catch the Crimson Tide vs Razerbacks game on TV. All in all, a very enjoyable day.

At the
Free Time show there were quite a few ship entries but the diorama by Jonathan Scott immediately caught my attention. Absolutely superb, it depicts in 1:700
scale, the
USS Franklin CV-13 on March 19, 1945 after receiving severe bomb damage off of Honshu. The Big Ben lost 800 men as a result of the strike and was the
most heavily damaged carrier to survive. The
USS Santa Fe CL-60 closed to provide assistance to the stricken carrier. Jonathan did an incredible job with this diorama,
using a Trumpeter kit for the
Big Ben and a Midships Models kit for the Santa Fe. In addition to brass photo-etch detail on both ships, over 1,100 3D printed crewmen
were added. All of the battle damage was added by scratch by Jonathan. Not only did the diorama win best ship entry, but also swept all comers to win best of show.
Steve Backer