03 August 2022
27 July 2022
Last week, I went on vacation, starting that Tuesday (19 July). Early the next morning, I drove in a rented Corolla to Omaha, Nebraska, site of this year's International Plastic Modelers' Society/USA (IPMS/USA) National Convention. After approximately 6.5 hours of driving, I arrived at the La Vista Conference Center just west of Omaha, site of the Convention.
I walked into the facility, got my convention packet, entered my three contest models, and began making the rounds. My three entries were an aircraft (1:48 scale A6M2 Zero), which I had just completed early that week, an armor (1:72 155mm M2 Gun), and a ship (1:720 USS Alabama).
I browsed around the Model Room, admiring the contest entries so far. Then, walking through the lobby, I received a free penlight from Sprue Brothers Models as a gift for being a loyal customer. There were two Vendor Rooms that I visited, checking out the various vendors. Along the way, I said hello to fellow IPMS members I knew and vendors at their stands.
Late that afternoon, I checked into the Marriott connected to the Conference Center. I roomed with an IPMS member from Iowa, Mike Halliday, who had an opening for that night. We got along very nicely.
Thursday morning (21 July), the first full day of the Convention, I packed my bags as I would be staying at the adjacent Embassy Suites the rest of the week. At the Convention, I took in some seminars that morning. One was by my friend Mike Mackowski on the history and modeling of lifting bodies and single stage to orbit space craft. Mike presented some highly interesting information on this topic. That was followed by one where several hobby industry people took questions from the audience on how they dealt with inflation and supply chain issues.
After grabbing lunch from a concession kiosk at the Conference Center, I viewed the Contest and Vendor rooms and chatted with others I knew or heard of that were in attendance. In mid-afternoon, I checked into the room I was sharing at the Embassy Suites with my IPMS/Gateway mate Jim Victor. The accommodations in Omaha were superb.
Thursday night, I joined other Convention attendees on a tour of the Strategic Air Command & Aerospace Museum in Ashland, Nebraska. We went by chartered bus to the museum, which was closed to the public but open for our group. Attendees browsed among the aircraft and other exhibits on display, then enjoyed a buffet dinner in a display hangar among several aircraft. That dinner--barbecue pork sandwiches, macaroni and cheese, baked beans, cookies, iced tea or lemonade--somehow tasted better in the museum and among fellow IPMS members. It was a fun time going around the exhibits and even going into a few aircraft on display. Our group then got on the bus and returned to La Vista.
More on this Convention in my next post.
Websites of Entities Mentioned in This Post:
2022 IPMS/USA National Convention: IPMS 2022 (ipmsusa2022.com)
La Vista Conference Center: Embassy Suites Omaha-La Vista/Hotel & Conference Center (hilton.com)
IPMS/Gateway: IPMS Gateway Chapter (google.com)
Strategic Air Command & Aerospace Museum: Strategic Air Command & Aerospace Museum (sacmuseum.org)
23 June 2022
05 June 2022
30 May 2022
24 April 2022
Just after 4:00 am yesterday (23 April), I left home for the long drive to Monticello, Iowa. I was attending Fleacon 18, the annual model contest and vendor swap meet held by the Alexander Lippisch Chapter of the International Plastic Modelers' Society (IPMS). After brief stops for fuel and refreshments, I arrived at the show site, the Monticello Berndes Center, just after 9:30 am.
After paying my registration fee, I waited for my name to be called to the judging area. This show's contest used teams of two judges who evaluated each entry against a set of standards for construction and finish. After the models were judged, their builders would place them on the contest tables for their respective categories. After about one hour, my name was called, and my three models were judged. I entered a 1:720 scale USS Alabama battleship in Ships and two 1:72 scale aircraft: an I-16 Type 18 and a J-10.
I milled about the Berndes Center, admiring the models on the contest tables and browsing among the vendors. There were 26 tables full of vendors to shop from, and I did buy two aircraft kits that were inexpensive. I also chatted with several vendors, and with the IPMS/Blackhawk Model Builders Society, who were at their first Fleacon as an IPMS/USA chapter.
For lunch, I bought a chicken dressing sandwich and a can of Pepsi from the Center's kitchen. It was satisfying. I had also bought some raffle tickets but did not get lucky with that.
The contest drew 211 entries from 60 entrants (including six juniors). The regular awards were placed by the models prior to the major awards being announced. My I-16 earned a Silver award, while the J-10 and USS Alabama each earned a Bronze. I was happy with how this turned out.
After giving my thanks to the hosts and packing up my gear, I got in my car and started driving home. After a brief stop in downtown Monticello to admire the scenery, and stops for dinner and fuel, I came home around 10:15 pm last night. My journey to Monticello and back covered 653.3 miles (1051.4 km).
Websites of Entities Mentioned in this Post:
IPMS/Alexander Lippisch: Home | Alexander Lippisch Model Club
Monticello Berndes Center: Parks and Recreation (monticello.ia.us)
Blackhawk Model Builders Society: (1) Blackhawk Model Builders Society | Facebook