Ever since the Lowes moved from Southern Georgia to Blue Ridge, Georgia in the foothills of the Smokies, they were at the same location. As business grew they would
have to acquire additional space, at least until there was no more available. Every year I would visit that location and they always seemed to have more space, all arranged
in a rather Byzantine fashion. Two years ago the decision was made to buy their own property and build a new shop on their land to suit their needs. Construction actually
completed in early July this year and you may remember they ran a 10% pre-move sale for in stock merchandise to cut down on the inventory to be moved. After
attending the Nationals, the new location opened in late July but heavy restocking was needed. The official Grand Opening for the new
Freetime Hobbies Eldorado was
set for October 10, 2015 and a model show and other events were scheduled. Last Saturday I was there and it was packed. Brandon told me that the turn out was far
higher than he had anticipated and that they were going to make this an annual event. Here are photographs of the event and shots of the naval entries in the model event,
except for the last entry shown, as it is Russ Lowe's 1:1 scale 1959 Buick Electra 225 convertible. For all youngsters out there, 1959 was the year that American
automobile fashion reached its height in size of tail fins, led by the unforgettable 1959 Cadillac. I didn't ask Brandon or Russ about the Paul Bunyan size Mr. Hobby,
grasping a P-51 Mustang at the front of the store. They should have made it a Hellcat or Corsair to please both naval and aviation modelers.
As you can see from the photographs, the naval models ranged a gamut of topics. The entries include a diorama by Charlie Wolski using a Lindberg 1:60 scale
trawler to depict Forest Gump's Jenny.
Fred Heil had an Academy 1:350 scale USS Arizona. Stan Stewart had the 1:35 scale PT-109 from Italieri. Jonathan Scott
used a Trumpeter 1:700 scale USS Hornet, super-detailing the kit, depicting the Doolittle mission.
Rob Weilacher had two entries, a HP 1:700 scale USS Blue Ridge
AGC-2 (very appropriate considering the location of Freetime) and a Toms Modelworks 1:700 scale USS Yorktown.
Fred Heil also had a second entry with what
appears to be from a Revell Gato class submarine, done a  diorama, firing torpedoes in a mine field, right out of a WWII era movie.
Brandon Lowe had three Blue
Ridge Model Builds, the 1:700 scale Fort Drum guardian of Manila Bay, the 1:350 scale USS Growler and the USS Nautilus.
Scott Harris used the Revell 1:72 scale
Gato to depict USS Tang, which rescued 9 aviators in a USN attack on Truk in 1944.
Tom Gaston had a diorama centered around the Ialieri 1:35 scale Maiale "Pig"
manned torpedo.
Steve Backer