So a couple of weekends ago it was showtime for the 2011 IPMS National competition and Model Expo held in Lower Hutt, basically the biggest model show in the country. Being a member of the hosting club I volunteered at the show both days, helping setup and packdown, and minding a table to answer questions and make sure nothing got broken. Some find table minding can be a bit tedious but I kind of enjoy it. I like seeing people react and talk to each other about what's on the table, and I enjoy asking questions about it. And seeing people take a particular interest in one of my models has a certain buzz to it.
Also creating a slight buzz this year was having someone-who-is-kind-of-a-big-deal in the hobby attending (having a standard setting kit producer based here helps). He did a show report on his site here, which was a buzz for me since he showcased two of my models (taking better pics of them than I did). I also know both the guys in the cheesy-for-effect "be spontaneously wowed at this awesome new release" shot.
He also did a video report which you can see here, which is a bit, um, interesting to watch. I'm glimpsed in the ticket booth near the start, but am stuck in the background from about 4:24, knowing he's filming, trying to look anywhere but at the camera, but unable to move due to the guys judging to my left blocking me in behind the table.
The show itself was in two parts, the annual IPMS New Zealand National competition for IPMS members, and the Model Expo for the general public and club members who didn't want to enter the national comp.
My best result this time was getting third in the national competition for a box-stock (no added bits or modifications) Stuka. It's a minor category, but any result at this level is cool. In terms of skill it really is playing with the big kids stuff. It might not be the biggest show in the world, but the quality of the workmanship is second to none anywhere.
My B-58 also picked up a second in one of the Expo classes, having placed second in the National equivalent two years ago (a model that has placed at a previous nationals can't be entered into the nationals again).
Rounding out my placings was a first in class for my Skyhawk group, but that doesn't really count since they were the only thing in the class :).
In terms of other stuff I took but didn't place, my tiny 1/100 Zero and 1/106 Shinden made the show.
And my 1/72 Thunderbolt:
And my 1/72 F-111, here in company with another build of the same kit by a friend.
And my 1/72 Canberra.
I quite like how the Zero turned out, even if I didn't notice I missed painting a spot before getting it to the show.
Not mine, but something I will be doing soon is a "what-if" RNZAF F-16. More of a "what was planned" in our case, since they were actually signed and sealed before the delivered bit was cancelled by a change of government.
There was stuff other than aircraft at the show, but I was only taking pics of the things I was particularly interested in. One of my favourite models at the show was this 1/48 Buccaneer:
The junior section of the local club did this cool RNZAF Pacific WWII diorama.
Cool Air America UH-1. Air America was the CIA front airline in southeast Asia during the Vietnam war era, and the model depicts one of the last helicopters flown out at the fall of Saigon in 1975.
This awesome 1/72 Harvard was built by a father and son. The picture doesn't really show how tidy a build it is, practically flawless.
Not the usual ship in a bottle
Dominating their table were these two radio controlled flying models, a Spitfire IX, and F-15 Eagle.
The F-15 is jet powered, has a full set of lights, and coolest of all, LED afterburners.