Models at the 2018 IPMS USA National Convention

   For the fourteenth time already, I attended the IPMS USA National Convention which took place in Phoenix, Arizona this Summer. It is not just a show, but also a contest, the US Scale Plastic Model Championship. I got the opportunity to take photos of some of the displayed models (using my mobile, so excuse the lower quality please), so I have decided to present them here on Special Hobby blog. Fellow modellers ask me quite often about the difference between our domestic (or European) plastic shows and contests and those taking place across the pond, so I would also like to share with you a short reflection on this topic. The view will be just mine and I have to admit that also rather superficial one as much deeper insight on US contests could be made just by a member of the IPMS USA.
  The IPMS USA Convention takes place in a different city each year. The organiser is the local IPMS club which hire some premises like convention or congress centres or show spaces often located in some major hotel in the city. This means the conventions take place in halls similar to those in Telford, UK, or in smaller lecture theatres. All these premises use to be rather luxurious and often furnished with thick, heavy duty carpets. The public attending these shows tend to consist just of the modellers and their family members which causes slightly church-like air about the show. No squeezing crowd, no hubbub nor noisy discussions over the displayed masterpieces. Well, there is a difference also in the type of people visiting these US shows, no general public and passers-by as usually seen here in our country.
   The composition of the displayed models also differ somewhat from those seen in Europe. Beside the standard categories (AFVs, aircraft models), sci-fi genre models seem to prevail. Also US car modellers reach levels sparsely seen here, and you can admire literally loads of four or more wheeled beauties like nowhere else. What is also peculiar to these US model shows are the monothematic displays arranged by individual modellers or model clubs. This year, the Matilda and T-55 tanks were the main topic. Especially the latter were present in unseen numbers. Personally, I fail to understand what attraction could have this Soviet tank to modellers, which of course is a view biased by the Soviet occupation of my country lasting from 1968 till 1989.
   Some US aircraft dioramas might also raise a fuss if displayed on our shows. If I may judge, the levels of displayed AFVs were slightly inferior to our standards while the aircraft models were equal to ours, just the American modellers seem to prefer larger scales. The very pinnacle of the show, at least for me and my Peruvian colleagues was the quarter scale C-54 model, scratch built using bass wood and reaching the very top of modelling skills. The model’s author did not forget to proudly display also a folder with photos showing the build, commencing with the aforementioned bass wood block and ending with the finished jewel.

   There were also figures and ship models displayed at the convention (not photographed) and I am sure they would not be without a chance if shown here. Enjoy the photos below, I hope you like them.



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