IPMS Region 4 John Glenn/Western Reserve 2007 Model Show and Contest
Images and text Copyright © 2007 by Matt Swan
Sunday November 4th, 2007 dawned clear and crisp with a forecast for some showers later in the day. The leaves were just beginning to turn on the trees and the sun was shining, a perfect day to drive to Kirtland Ohio for the IMPS Region 4 John Glenn/Western Reserve model show and contest. I’ve attended this show in previous years and found it to be most enjoyable but this year was exceptional. The club officers estimated that there were in excess of 430 models on the contest tables this year, exceeding previous shows by at least 100 pieces. There were 38 vendors present utilizing 87 tables with all vendors have a good sales day. It was reported that many of these guys went ahead and reserved their tables for next year immediately and additional vendors not present have expressed interesting attending next year. The club had a couple tables set up for ‘make and take’ where the kids could get into the action building simple kits. This area was so popular that there simply was not room for all the interested kids to get a seat and participate. When I hear grumblings from modelers that our hobby is waning I have to wonder by what criteria they make those statements. From the looks of this show our hobby is not only doing well but is thriving.
The show started at 8:00 am but since I was not in the competition and did have a bit of a drive I did not arrive until 11:00 am. I found club members Rob Lee and Jim Bates running the general admission table and quite a crowd milling about the show area. In previous years the admission table had been able to close down by time judging started at noon however the flow of people was such that the admissions table did not shut down until 2:00 pm! As I walked through the model displays I was continually impressed by the overall quality of the builds ranging from out-of-box builds to scratch built details bordering on the insane. There were several very nice 1/72 scale submarine kits on display, aircraft galore, tanks, cars and sci-fi kits. The kids section was also very impressive not only for the quality of builds but the quantity, yes, our hobby is thriving. The only category that I did not see much in was motorcycles and I might have just missed that but my wife commented on the lack of them also (yes, my wife attended and had a good time as well!). The vendors’ area was set up in the gymnasium down the hall and on the way was a surprise. Die 5. Gebirgsjager Division was there, these guys are the historical reenactment folks focusing on German equipment of the Second World War. I spoke to Dave Sisler and George Gantzler for a few minutes who were decked out in period uniforms. Lots of cool 1:1 equipment was on display and they were getting a lot of attention from the visitors.
As I stepped into the vendors’ area I just had to pause for a moment and take it all in. Every table was packed with goodies; club members were hawking raffle tickets while others were drawing numbers and posting winners. People were milling about the tables with arms and bags laden with kits. The ‘Wall of Models” guy was set up down one side of the gym and Avionics was set up on the other side. In between was a modeling Mecca of kits, parts, decals and accessories. I could feel my wallet getting hot just standing there; I think my wife could feel it also. Down at the far end was the ‘make and take’ area. I took a few pictures of this then stashed the camera cause it was time to shop. After exhausting my budget I spoke to some of the club members about the quality of this show and the huge attendance that was evident. I was informed that this was the last year the show would be held at the Kirtland High School as it was just growing too large. Next year they will be setting up right down the road from this location at Lakeland Community College and you can get a preview of how this is going to work out when the Regional show is held there this spring, April 18-19, 2008.
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