It’s difficult to rate one Scale Modelworld against another and so I won’t try. Suffice to say, this year’s SMW was, IMHO, as fantastic as in previous years. Four hardy souls made up the permanent cadre of Club representation for the weekend, namely Mick E, Bill, Tom and Don – each displaying their models on the Club stand. Mike H joined the four Musketeers for the Saturday and Sunday with Roger L reinforcing on Day 1 and Steve on Day 2. Our immediate neighbours on the Air Cadet stand were Dave B and Richard L who provided additional models, help and banter. Tony H also added a few of his exquisite models to IPMS Salisbury’s display offerings.
On set-up Friday and into first thing on Saturday, those of us manning the stand wondered if the position chosen within Hall 3 was really the best location for us, being perhaps too near the main show entrance where people simply rushed by to get to the action. On reflection, the early birds were probably members of other clubs and SIGs, or desperate shoppers hurrying to get to their respective stands or traders, rather than just wandering free spirits. As it turned out, there were plenty of people who stopped to admire Tom’s esoteric aircraft, Bill’s USN grey fleet, Mick’s ‘Bath Wars’, Don’s armour and the other worthy contributions. Perhaps facing the main catering area gave people the chance, over a bacon roll and chips, to spot us and to loiter as they were leaving post-noshing. All told, we were quite satisfied with our nominated pitch.
Although we don’t know it for an absolute fact, we believe that Mick’s Toon model of ‘Bath Wars’ must have been the most photographed model at the Show. Young children, mothers and modellers of all ages & nationalities stopped by to smile and photograph the Japanese suicide duck attack on the US carrier. Generally, the toon models caused much amusement and positive comment with their underlying emphasis on fun, as well as being an ice-breaker to engage with the public. We put on a good, varied display and it was heartening that all of our models received public attention and comment. Our policy of labelling each model allowed people to stop and learn a little about the model, as well as giving us the opportunity to chat, even if we weren’t the builder. Those club stands who simply plonk their models on their table unlabelled were often passed by as they lacked that particular ‘hook’.
A number of old friends popped by to say hello including John Hazel, Peter & Yvonne James and Tank Transporter Mick. One talented modeller of our collective acquaintance drove past our stand several times displaying an exceptionally high coefficient of weird – those who were there know who I mean – utterly bizarre!
As might be expected, models were purchased aplenty with, amongst others, Mick E picking up a 1/35 Meng SA-11 BUK Missile System & 1/35 Dragon 38(t) Hetzer, Roger L a 1/72 Modelcollect B-52 & a Heller 1/72 Lockheed Warning Star and Tom a 1/72 Airfix Meatbox F8 & a little 1/72 Miles Magister by FROG. Mike H bought a large resin angel figure and Don a packet of small rivets. Bill bought an egg sandwich.
There were a number of surprises at Telford with Airfix’s big 1/24 Hellcat being one and a 1/35 conversion kit for the WW2 Hafner Rotabuggy (based on a Tamiya Jeep), being another. Just like London buses, there were two different companies displaying advanced prototypes of 1/32 Lancasters – big in the physical and big in price. No doubt other reviews of SMW18 will provide a fuller picture of what was at the Show and the highlights thereof.
Time to start saving for next year!