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Eastern Carolina Plastic Modelers
Contest/Photo Article
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Last Update: 25 Aug 2009

IPMS 2009 National Contest Report & Photos
John Ratzenberger

For every IPMS Nats trip, I do a daily report back to the guys in our club. What follows is that same report with maybe a few spelling and editorial fixes.

Day 1, Wed, 19 Aug 2009

Here we are. We took two days to get here; drove my new truck -- having XM Bluegrass makes the miles go by. I plotted the route in Google maps & printed that off, plugged it into the Garmin, and into the Onstar Turn-by-Turn system -- with three routes to get here you wouldn't think I needed Annette's "guidance" but y'all know how that is ....

Annette drove also -- have to get her a tattoo 8>). Anyway, we drove 2/3 of it Tue, and the remaining 1/3 Wed, leaving plenty of time to hit 3 quilt shops in Columbus before I got near the convention.

Registration went fine -- actually very well for us guys in the M-Z line, for some reason the A-L line was about 10 times as long ??

Vendors are in 7 rooms -- 3 large, 4 small. Most were set up or finishing set-up. I did a quick walk-thru to see who was here & what they brought. Didn't see a few of the things I was looking for, but that may change.

Thursday will be all vendor room & then I'm done. I'm also going to an AMPS Judging Seminar.

Contest room looks light on tables, not sure. They do have a separate display area, but it is above the contest room and may not get the looks. So far raffle looks small on quantity, but there are a lot of big ticket items, or that's my impression at least. It doesn't formally start until tomorrow, so maybe more stuff will be put out by then.

Hotel (Hyatt) is very nice and the staff is just great. Had a great, and reasonably priced meal this evening.

Oh, well ... enough for today.

Day 2, Thur, 20 Aug

Well, we've got our eyes on (Hurricane Bill) wave height and water rise, but from afar .... fingers are crossed.

OK, a record has been set - I blew thru my vendor money before noon today !!!! Lots of usual things/vendors aren't here but the vendor room is still pretty good. For example, Great Models didn't show, neither did Fightertown Decals (girls). Once you figured out the 7 vendor rooms, it was easy to move around, but I can't help but think many people haven't figured it out yet and guys in the smaller side rooms are going to suffer.

A really neat old-time car with no instructions was a highlight !! It's a 1/32 Europe Model kit of an 1895 Panhard Coupe. Didn't cost much and looks complete other than instructions. Without instructions I don't know if there should be decals (there aren't) so some of the fancy scrollwork might have to be faked.

Got a few books on Royal navy camouflage to round out my collection of same. Got a half dozen 1/700 resin ship kits -- 3 are WW1-era, one is a lend-lease 4-piper and one (pay attention, Andy) is the USCGC Eastwind !! Got 2 resin aircraft -- 1/72 Avro Manchester (and no, it is not the WW2 predecessor to the Lancaster) and a 1/48 Vickers COW gun fighter. Also a couple 120mm figures, my usual fantasy that I'll actually start & do one competently.

Joe Gray -- I got your 64 Belvedere (only 1 at the show I think), and have a line on the 41 Willys kit after the Nats.

This hotel is COLD. Contest room is not well-lit, either for photos or judging, although it is carpeted !! No latrines, water fountains, etc, in/near the contest room, gonna be rough on judging night.

Models are coming in -- mix is different, as usual -- but does not seem as full as Va Beach (boy was I wrong about that!). I have started to work split of 107 - 1/48 Single Engine. We have usual crop of hovering PITA modelers.

Will Lanier -- someone entered the Revell Constitution -- better get to work on yours !!!

Sat in the AMPS Judging Seminar today -- not many folks, but very good. Roy Chow, 1st VP, was there and talk was given by Mike Petty, Chief Judge, who is from Richmond. We chatted a bit. He will be training their chapter guys for judging at ODO next and I think I'm going to go up there, take the training, then judge Armor at the next ODO. One thing I learned is that while the AMPS International and any AMPS local show (ODO) use same standards, criteria, etc, the local results don't translate upward to national. What that means is that my Intermediate Gold at ODO doesn't throw me into Advanced at National level, just at ODO. National still considers me Intermediate. Lots of other interesting info - they face same problems we do.

Took Annette thru contest room tonight. She has been having a ball -- she found another quilter & they met this morning and sat in the lounge area quilting. That drew a few more ladies and is proving quite popular. Maybe we can get a "Hospitality" Room/Area at the church for spouses at our contest !? and advertise it ahead of time. We found out several spouses didn't bring cratfs 'cuase they didn't think there'd be anyone else doing them. We're going to talk about it for subsequent Nats.

OK, that's Thursday.

Tomorrow, I have an IPMS E-Board meeting at 9 then dive into pre-judging and judging work until whenever Friday night ....

Day 3, Fri, 21 Aug

Well, as usual, today was organizing for judging, and since I did such a good job last year on 107 (1/48 S/Eng), I got to do it again this year. Or maybe I did a bad job last year & got to try again this year. Anyway, table space a bit of an issue, as was distribution of models. That made splitting hard. I think we came up with 6 splits, then resplit for 7, then found out they had lots of trophies so we resplit into 11 -- this was done 2 hours from judging start. But actually we only had 161 total in 107, down 30 from last year. Of course someone didn't bring 30-odd 109's this year.

Won't have models counts until tomorrow, but this was a biggie. Lots of models and lots of quality. Of course you never can tell what will show, but usually we run 2-3 scratchbuilt aircraft -- this time we had 13. The 1/144 Sweets are popular as are many of the other 144 kits. Also, the big boys, 1/32 and 1/24, really made inroads, and chewed up lots of table space.

Anyway, judging went fine, finished about 2315. No major problems that I know of (in Aircraft). That's 5 years judging, and 4 working set-up crew.

Annette has been expanding her "sewing circle" in the lounge area and is having a ball. Also helps that she now has friends when I'm off doing my thing.

Tomorrow is IPMS Business Meeting (aka pain at 0900) followed by the 2011 Nats selection meeting. Hopefully I'm done about 1130 and will have until 1500 to do photos before they close the contest room. As I said, vendor money is long gone. Frankly I tried some photos today but couldn't get into it -- there are too many people taking photos and it isn't just the modelers, it's the guys who seem to think they have to have a photo, or worse a photo study, of everything, or most of it, and everyone else should stay out of their way. Getting a bit annoying.

That's it, I'm beat ...

Day 4, Sat, 22 Aug

It's a wrap. I spent morning in meetings -- nothing from IPMS Business Meeting ... 2011 Conv is in Omaha, 3-6 Aug.

Spent morning with camera, I'll try to get them processed and up ASAP after we get home. I don't have a lot of the big winners much less a representative look but that's OK.

It really was a well-run convention -- Columbus did a great job without a lot of drama, etc. This is, I think the 2nd largest in IPMS history -- 1015 entrants, with 2525 entries. Kelly Quirk's USS Harry Truman took Best Ship, Popular Best, and Judges Best -- had to be seen to be believed. I have no pix, always a crowd.

2008 Regional Coordinator of the Year is R12's ownTim Darrah !!!

OK, on the road tomorrow -- might try to run straight thru, not sure (we did). We have heard from friends that wave action lessened significantly and so far we have no overwash problems -- I think it'll all be over by 1st high tide Sunday .... Hope y'all Down East came out OK also !!!


"Guards Camel Corp" -- I didn't get the kit name, but I'd like to find it.

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I thought the figure of Angelina Jolie as Franky in "Sky Captain ..." was one of the best "look-alike's" I'd seen.
And, of course, Nathan Brittles always gets a photo shot.

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Military Vehicle Conversions

A friend of mine, Karen Rychlewski, has been working on her WW1 British "Pigeon Bus" for 5 years -- this was the first time out in public. The gray figures are there to show scale. The internal detail is outstanding, but unfortunately not visible here. She hand-carved a dozen pigeons and worked very hard to distribute appropriately scaled pigeon droppings on the roof.

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As you know, I like Rolls Royce Armoured Cars, so this 1/16 scale Entex kit of a 1908 Rolls got me thinking of a conversion.

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And a few more. The cutaway has to be seen -- down to the tire tread, etc ....

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A nicely done New England scene -- welcome relief from all the military stuff.

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I think the first one was called "Staying Behind", you can see a rather poignant scene of a squad of soldiers leaving after burying 3 comrades. What I found particularly neat was the use of the rising circular path to keep the area small and the focus tight, and a certain sense of sadness that more is to come.

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Three carrier dioramas, all well done.
The 1st gets 3 different aircraft into a realistic scene -- variety in a small space.
The 2nd and 3rd pictures represent a publicity/war-bonds shot of an Avenger crew.
The last one is a model of a famous wartime photo.

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Hornet, enroute to Tokyo, being refueled.
Superb modeling of a destroyed locomotive -- you have seen the wartime photo I'm sure.

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A well done Langley(?) always looks good ...

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These 3 subs had really great wake/wave action ...

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Humor in Modeling

The first in simply entitled "Mom?".
The other is "Submarine Races" and while you can see the subs better in the picture, the effect is better live.

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Folding wing aircraft -- I didn't know/remember that the Osprey wings rotated in storage.

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Who else but Ben Guenther would do 6 great early jet aircraft, then hand make the engines for each ?
He handed me a couple to hold and study closely -- I thought they'd actually fire up and run !!!

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All(?) the aircraft in Richthofen's Jagdgeschwader One ... pretty neat.

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Military Vehicles

I liked the winch & cable on the BergPanther.
I also obviously am working on an M-4 HST.

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The Lancaster, an Airfix kit, took Best Aircraft. 5 years work and just outstanding.
The Vickers Gunbus took the Fritz, best WW1, award.

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Exquisite Lohner .. won category and nominated for best aircraft.

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Wingnuts 1/32 LFG.

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