IPMS 200514 Aug 2005 0
I like to fancy myself the kind of guy who, if I had the time, could paint a small army of historical miniatures. Or finish decorating that old Klingon cruiser. Or finish that Warhammer 40,000 ninety piece Tau Army I bought last January (I managed to get four painted so far)?
Fancying myself doing that and actually making the time are two different things, nevermind a complete lack of talent.
But you?ve gotta have dreams.
Recently the International Plastic Modelers? Society held its nationals in Atlanta. Since I live in the Atlanta area, I jumped at the opportunity to buy a ticket and wander amidst the work of master painters. I am under no illusions that my painting skills could ever even hope to come close to what I saw there. But it is inspiring to see what true talent can do when it wants to.
Look Ma, My Hobby Shop Just Exploded!
The events of the IPMS Nationals were actually several things under one roof. There was a display room and a vendor room. There were also an amazing number of guest speakers, including several World War II vets. Included with the admission fee ($10 per day, reasonable enough) was also admission to DragonExpo. At first I confused DragonExpo with DragonCon because of the similarity in names and their location being both in Atlanta, but as soon as I visited DragonExpo all misunderstanding ceased. DragonExpo was an additional vendor area sponsored by Tamiya, and included a greater of variety of vendors, including manufacturers and resellers of plastic models and dolls, as in the GI Joe variety.
These vendor rooms looked like a hobby shop had exploded, multiplied by a hundred, and then organized itself. There were almost 150 vendors in attendance selling modeling kits in nearly an infinite variety. I saw mint condition kits of models that I assembled as a kid back in the 70?s. There were a series of tables devoted to nothing but decals. Need some decals to decorate that Focke Wolfe you just finished? Somebody had it. It was immediately apparent that this was the place to be for fans of assembling and painting plastic models.
Rembrandt in the Midst?
Artists painting plastic models come from a realistic school of painting. No matter how fantastic or otherworldly, in the hands of a skilled painter the model looks like a smaller version of the real thing. The vehicles especially seemed like they could sail or fly right off the tables and into combat. I wish I had professional photographic equipment with which to take some of these photos; my digital camera is quite good, but to really do some of these justice I needed lighting and equipment to do these justice. As it is most of my photos turned out well enough that I hope readers will understand how impressive the show was.
As of this writing no winners have been announced. Frankly, I have no idea how you can judge a winner ? the caliber of talent on display is so impressive that in most cases I?d be hard pressed to select at top ten, let alone a first, second, and third place. Nevertheless I?m sure that winners will be decided. Even the variety of contest categories is dizzying. A full listing can be found here: http://www.ipmsusa2005.org/category.htm.
I look forward to seeing the show next year. Now, on with the photos.