After having to skip this year’s IPMS convention in Chattanooga because of school, I wasn’t going to miss this year’s Atlanta meet, especially since it’s only about 15 miles from my house. So, this morning, I packed up HMS Hood, Wilma Jeanne (my captured Me-262), and Old Crow (because why not?) and headed out to Marietta.
I’ll start with Vendors:
If we’re going to be honest, I have mixed feelings about this year’s vendor selection. Not the quantity or quality of the vendors themselves, but the sort of material that’s being offered for sale. This year it seems that most vendors were offering either the very new or the very old, with little product filling the gap between $5 and $50. Of course there were exceptions, which I’ll get to in a minute, but that’s my overall impression.
Also, there was way less armor for sale than at the Chattanooga Con, or even 2013’s Scott Con down in Warner Robbins. As you surely know, armor is not my forte, so I didn’t mind that development a bit. It could be that the model clubs around Atlanta seem fairly structured (AMPS meets the first Saturday of the month, IPMS the second, and figure modelers the third). Also, my local IPMS group is centered around Dobbins Air Reserve Base, so it would make sense that air power would trump armor for once.
But what about the showcase?
Again, I was somewhat surprised by this year’s showcase, particularly the quantity of kits in competition. To be blunt, there were far less than I expected. There were still more than 200 on display, but either the convention organizers placed out far more tables than they needed to or turnout was markedly down this year. Let’s all hope that it’s the former.
It wouldn’t be an AAR without a gallery of some of the best entries so, without further ado…
And yes, that is SeaQuest DSV, because SeaQuest was awesome. Don’t hate on my childhood!
So, how did I fare?
The good news is that I didn’t expect anything to come of Wilma Jeanne or Old Crow, and nothing did. I like it where there are no surprises. The bad news is that unlike the Chattanooga Con, entries today were not judged on their adherence to particular modeling standards. To put it another way, at Chattanooga there could be fifty entrants which absolutely nailed construction, painting, weathering, etc, and all fifty would win a gold medal. That was not the case today, so while I did not expect the 262 and P-51 to be competitive, I did expect to get feedback on my work regardless. That, sadly, was not the case.
In other news, Failure to Launch did receive 2nd place in the “Powered Ships – all scales” category. This is my first time ever beating out other models in a straight-up competition and, while it feels somewhat rewarding, the fact that I failed to best just one other entry sticks in my craw. Still, 2nd in a category on my first time out? I’ll take that. 🙂
The winning entry in my category also managed to take home “Best of Show” overall. I say this without bitterness or acrimony, but I feel that there were other entries in other categories that would have been more appropriate winners for the grand prize, but that’s why I’m not a contest judge.
Forget about all that…what about the most important part: The Haul?
Of course, one of the best parts about going to these conventions is the shopping. You can find more kits at better prices (usually) than you can find everyday at your Local Hobby Store. As noted above, the pickings were a bit slimmer than usual today, but I still managed to walk away with some good finds:
The Academy P-38 came with the resin cockpit, Eduard PE, and SAC landing gear, so that was definitely the steal of the day. Also, I had no idea that anybody made a 1:72 Enola Gay with engraved panel lines, so that one got snatched up in a hurry. The two items on the left – Famous Fighters of the Second World War and the Revell A-10 – were both raffle wins. Honestly, I doubt I’ll ever open the book (last published in the 1970s) and the kit may never find its way to my bench, either. I’d love to do a Warthog, but this kit does not look promising. While I may change my mind on that after further scrutiny, no amount of study can erase raised panel lines.
So, that’s it! Another convention in the books. In a bit more than a month I can say the same for my current semester of grad school and finally get back to the bench. It’s going to be a busy summer, just you wait. In the meantime, thanks for sticking around, thanks for reading, and Happy Modeling to you all!