You might recall that the other day I said that this was one of the three calendars I was given for Christmas. On seeing the cover (above) I gasped with delight and was eager to see what wonders of beefcake were inside, especially knowing there is some real talent on the squad ...
I think it was January that made my mind up immediately upon opening it. Someone who doesn't fancy men (and has no concept of 'styling' beyond getting a basic theme) has put this together.
There's just so many things wrong with this shot - the cruellest being that Allan Jacobsen (leftmost) just isn't mainstream pin-up material except to those who really like their bears (his expression seems to agree). Then we come to Greg Laidlaw, not only does the toolbelt over the pants thing cancel itself out, but he's been put between two really big guys and so looks scrawny in comparison. Geoff Cross is a passably mainstream bear-type, but WTF is a doctor doing here? Is it an on-site medical?
Now February isn't so bad, but there's the first appearance of the pointless box-out - not for the last time relegating someone who deserves to be in the main picture (in this case I'd swap Simon Cross on he left for Andrew Easson). John Houston, on the right, could have carried the whole page himself though! Good location effort though.
In March they forget that the emphasis in these calendars should be on the guys - here the table tennis table and the walls take up most of the shot. Mark Robertson and Roddy Grant have kindly stripped to their pants but needn't have bothered as they're not close enough for inspection. And if foregrounded David and Mike Blair had bothered, well it is completely wasted - one of them hasn't even got their face in it!
This one's just unsexy - the only pair of pants we can see this time are Craig Hamilton's. Are the others in their pants or meant to be wearing trousers or nothing? On the left Scott Newlands is actually out of focus and looks podgy. The sunglasses on Andrew Kelly and Alan MacDonald just give them anonymity rather than mystique. And, of course, thee missed the obvious opportunity of a 'strip poker' scenario (which this isn't).
May is just lacking in effort - the only theme I see here is "tea-break" and that might even have been what it was. Being cruel again Davie Young on the right doesn't quite make the grade and the hat just makes him stand out more. Kyle Traynor and Sean Crombie are fine, but ought to have been better used.
Now June's main shot of David Callum is fine and would have sufficed - they even resisted the temptation to have him in his pants, which would be unnecessary and a bit naff. However the box-out presents us with what I consider the cardinal sin of this calendar by relegating the magnificent hunk of man that is Simon Webster (third from left) to a bit part. He doesn't appear anywhere else either! I'd have liked more of the other two in the box-out (Ross Samson and Andrew Turnbull) too but that's your lot of them as well.
The 'hey, we're in a band' theme is a bit desperate and 'guitarists' Ryan Grant and Steve Jones are again a wee bit out of focus. 'Drummer' Jim Hamilton steals the show her, despite being hidden behind his kit. He even has the Maggie's charity tattooed across his chest. Scott Macleod's hair doesn't quite fit with a rock band (or for a rugby player come to think of it).
All of a sudden though we have three months where they basically get it right. August has even been styled in blue light - dunno why but it looks good as do Nick De Luca and Ross Rennie.
September is 'all-stars' I'd say with three Scotland players featured on the golf course - Phil Godman, Allister Hogg ad Chris Paterson . This one has just the right balance of humour and bare flesh (and exposed pantage - thanks Phil!) for the subject.
This one's my favourite - the only thing I might point out is the shot of buildings in the background which slightly spoils the rural air of the shot. I'm also not sure if there's a significance in that the guy with the biggest dog has the most clothes off. Anyway, the dog-walking beauties here are Ross Ford, Tim Visser and Ben Cairns.
This one is June all over again - a main shot (Fraser McKenzie) that would have sufficed spoiled by an overly comic box-out in the bath. With Fraser are Steve Turnbull (leftmost) and (in the 'hilarious' sporran) Jim Thompson.
Just a basic 'too many cooks' error this one - I think four or five guys would do, not seven. Those seven are Mark Robertson, Andrew Easson, Scott Newlands (proving how badly represented he was in March), Tim Visser, Steve Turnbull, Roddy Grant and Jim "Sporran-Boy" Thompson. Notably, all are reappearances in the calendar.