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A novice armor builders experience at IPMS Richmond
Tin_Can
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Florida, United States
Joined: January 26, 2002
KitMaker: 1,560 posts
AeroScale: 750 posts
Posted: Sunday, February 10, 2002 - 07:40 AM UTC
Being a novice armor builder, I decided to attend the Richmond IPMS show because it was only a two-hour drive from my home here in Virginia Beach and my first opportunity to attend such a show.

After paying for my admission (only $5) I immediately met Ron Craig (pipesmoker on Armorama) of the IPMS Richmond Chapter. He gave me a quick rundown of the show and where everything was located. Thanks Ron.

The building was split roughly in half with vendors on one side and model displays on the other. The vendors were offering all manners of things to include books, magazines, kits (armor, aircraft, car, sci-fi and so on), aftermarket kits and other items. If you needed an older or hard-to-find kit or accessory there was probably a pretty good chance you could find it. Many of the kits were from manufacturers I had never heard of but there were the Tamiya, Italeria and AFV Club kits as well. One of the vendors had already marked his kits down 50% when I walked in the door at 1045 and another did later in the afternoon. The prices seemed comparable to what I had seen at hobby stores here but when some of the kits were marked down it was a real bargain if you could find something you were looking for.

Now to the models! Being a new armor builder, I immediately headed off to find the tanks, tracks and guns. When I arrived registration had been going on for almost two hours so there were quite a few kits there but more displays trickled in all the way up to the 1300 entry deadline. This ensured that every time you walked by a table there was probably something new to see. You name it-it was here. One thing that I was surprised about was the lack of allied entries in the AFV Closed Top (Allied WWII and Earlier) category. If I remember correctly (Jim correct me if Iím wrong) there were only about six entries in that category while the AFV Closed Top (Axis WWII and Earlier) had an overwhelming number of entries. There were several Modern Armor entries and the more I look at them, the more I want to do one (the M1íS, Leopards and Merkavaís sure do look nice!). Something that both Jim and I noted while looking at the tank entries was those tanks that were attached to some kind of base. The base was usually covered with some kind of simulated dirt/grass mixture to represent the ground on which the tank was moving over. This effect greatly enhanced the appearance of the tank, especially in the case of a Panzer III on a red cobblestone street (you can see this pic in the gallery). The biggest tank there was a 1/16 scale King Tiger by Tamiya. It was assembled nicely and had a beautiful paint job but Jim and I both questioned some of the weathering that was applied to it (maybe thatís the novice in meÖlol), particularly to the spare track links mounted on the turret.

I personally thought there would be more dioramas entered in the show. The ones that were there were of high quality though. The 1/16 scale Panzer turret diorama was particularly good as well as the Sniper and Back-to-the-Front railway dioramas. You can see pics of all these in the gallery.

Being a novice Iím always on the lookout for new tips and tricks to try out on a kit. Over the past week Iíve been working on creating tarps, bedrolls, blankets and custom straps using tissue paper, post-it-notes and wire thanks to Gunnie (aka, Gun Truck/Jim Lewis). I was surprised at the number of entries that relied on resin aftermarket kits (or plastic kit parts) for this kind of detail on their models because, I thought more people would opt for the handmade version for realism. When you compare two kits next to one another with one using resin tarps and bags and the other using tissue paper with homemade straps you can really tell the difference. The resin parts look too hard or rigid and this translates to an unreal look in my opinion.

Overall I enjoyed my trip up to Richmond and being able to see other peopleís work. Iím excited about starting a new project and trying out some new ideaís that I saw while there. If I had to do anything differently I probably wouldnít have shown up until just after lunch and would have definitely brought more cash to pick-up some books or kits. Hopefully, if all goes well, Iíll be able to attend AMPS Nationals in April and will more than likely attend the IMPS Nationals in August since their in my backyard and be able to see some modeling shows on the National and International level.
Doppler
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Joined: January 13, 2002
KitMaker: 58 posts
AeroScale: 0 posts
Posted: Sunday, February 10, 2002 - 08:15 AM UTC
Sigh. Sounded like a blast. Too bad my timing is off. I was just in Norfolk a week and a half ago getting in a little chamber ride at the airfield.

Nice reporting though. At least you enabled me to picture it in my mind.

Lucas Freeman
Brunswick, Maine
zipperhead
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Canada
Joined: January 14, 2002
KitMaker: 27 posts
AeroScale: 0 posts
Posted: Sunday, February 10, 2002 - 09:32 AM UTC
Thanks Tin_Can for giving a fellow novice a little insight into a IPMS show. Great write-up!!
staff_Jim
Staff MemberPublisher
KITMAKER NETWORK
#002
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New Hampshire, United States
Joined: December 15, 2001
KitMaker: 12,448 posts
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Posted: Sunday, February 10, 2002 - 10:16 AM UTC
Make sure to check out Bryan and my pics of the event in the gallery. Then it's almost like you went yourself!

I was surprised there were more dioramas. I agree with Bryan about the stowage material too. The resin boxes were just coming out when I left the hobby in 86-90. The new resin canvas items are less realistic too me. I prefer the old methods of kleenex and glue.

Jim
Sabot
Joined: December 18, 2001
KitMaker: 12,587 posts
AeroScale: 287 posts
Posted: Sunday, February 10, 2002 - 10:22 AM UTC

Quoted Text

I agree with Bryan about the stowage material too. The resin boxes were just coming out when I left the hobby in 86-90. The new resin canvas items are less realistic too me. I prefer the old methods of kleenex and glue.

Cheaper too.
pipesmoker
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Virginia, United States
Joined: January 31, 2002
KitMaker: 649 posts
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Posted: Sunday, February 10, 2002 - 10:30 AM UTC
Tin Can,
Re - IPMS rules and after market/scratch built add ons. If you just want to enter out of box (OOB) you can only use what came with the kit. ie. the packs and tarps that come with the Italeri M8 & M20 armored cars. OOB is usually a seperate award in addition to 1st, 2nd, or 3rd.
Aftermarket resin or scratch built tarps or bed rolls take a model out of the OOB category.

True, scratch built bedrolls and tarps, if done well, do look better, but resin or plastic is sometimes quicker. I would say a matter of personal taste. I would use resin or plastic for packs and tissue or A+B putty for tarps or sandbags

I am glad you enjoyed the show, and I look forward to seeing you in April at AMPS
(PS - you will suffer sensory overload from seeing all the goodies the vendors bring)
staff_Jim
Staff MemberPublisher
KITMAKER NETWORK
#002
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New Hampshire, United States
Joined: December 15, 2001
KitMaker: 12,448 posts
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Posted: Sunday, February 10, 2002 - 11:31 AM UTC
Ron,
I can understand that now. Not having seen some of the newer kits I am sure they are coming with better plastic items for stowage. I agree with you on the examples of what looks good. Perhaps though no one has every come up with a good way to hand-make a good pack or duffel bag.

I was actually day-dreaming yesterday about scratch building a tree branch with leaves using wire, something to cover the wire with (putty?), then placing cut-out leaves and painting. Now that's something I haven't seen done yet.

Probably has by someone though.
Tin_Can
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Florida, United States
Joined: January 26, 2002
KitMaker: 1,560 posts
AeroScale: 750 posts
Posted: Sunday, February 10, 2002 - 11:51 AM UTC
Ron, I bow to the more experienced users when it comes to contest rules and stuff like that. While I understand that OOB entries are limited to what comes in the box, I was looking at the models from a non-competetion viewpoint with a little more emphasis on realism when it came to the tarps and rolls and such (probably because it's what I've been practicing lately). All the models looked great (much better than any of mine)!