Last weekend I attended the annual contest and model show put on by the Association de Modeles Reduits de l’Outaouais – otherwise known as AMRO. As far as I can tell, this is a small local club that meets regularly in the home of one of the organizers. AMRO is not affiliated with any formal society like IPMS or AMPS. Just a bunch of friends getting together to build and talk models.
And there is nothing wrong with that!
This was the 30th year of the annual contest. It was open to all for a very small fee. As you would expect there was a well stocked vendor area, a raffle and a silent auction. In the contest area there were some twenty categories featuring mostly automotive classes along with a few other “all in” categories (Airplanes, Sci-Fi, Military (Armour and ships), Figures).
The organizers pulled off this year’s event with ease as they always seem to do. The admin process was quick, the contest area was laid out clearly and the show ran on schedule. The only negative that I had was in the lighting of the contest area – it was dim in areas and it made photography difficult. But this is not the fault of the organizers.
Aviation Models that Caught my Eye
This was primarily an auto model contest but there was a table for Aircraft and there was about 15-20 aircraft models on display ranging from WW2 fighters to bombers to a modern airliner. It would be very hard to judge this assortment given the wide range of contenders. Here are a few that caught my eye:
1/32 Trumpeter P-38 Lightning
Maybe I have Lightnings on the brain since Tamiya’s big announcement? I have always liked this plane but I have been warned several times about making Lightning kits. The alignment and fit of Trumpeter kit are well known challenges as is the requirement to stuff the forward sections with as much weight as possible. The builder here did an excellent job and got an very attractive finish.
I have a soft spot for oddball Japanese planes with interesting camouflage and this one fits perfectly. If those “squiggles” were painted using a brush then look at them – they are almost uniform in thickness and opacity. No small feat.
I just wish AZmodel did more 1/48 stuff.
What If – TF-32
I also have a soft spot for the “also rans” in recent jet fighter competitions. I prefer the YF-23 to the YF-22 but I am far from alone on that. But I also one of the minority that preferred look of the stubby Boeing X-32 over the eventual winning X-35 design. The builder here took it one step further and made a what-if training aircraft based on the X-32 design. Very neat idea and well executed with the trainer colours.
Other Aircraft Models
Other models that caught my eye
Mad Max Thunder Road Inspired Collection
I’m a big fan of the movie – especially the cars. They look mean and trashed and patched together. But mostly mean. This builder captured this look with this wonderful collection. Everything looks different and the modifications look purposeful and menacing. Seeing these almost inspired me to try my hand at one of these… someday…
If there is one thing I am certain about it is that I will never be a figure painter. I have no idea how these guys can make these models look so great.
I really like the delicate parts mixed in with the heavy armour like parts on this scratch built robot. It looks as though this robot serves a purpose and has been at work for a long time.
I have been to my fair share of shows: big, huge and small. There is something to be found at each one, regardless of whether you enter the contest. This contest is small and designed to be that way. I believe the club puts it on as a labour of love and it has attracted a loyal following.
In my area there is the upcoming Ottawa Scale Auto Contest – that is organized by a few friends of mine. It features multiple categories in addition to the auto oriented ones as well as some other attractions. Other than that, I do not know much about non-affiliated clubs or whether there are similar shows elsewhere. Are these types of smaller contests rare or just not as promoted as the bigger ones? Does anyone have a preference (big vs. small show) and why? Would you ever organize a small scale contest? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
I’m not certain whether small shows are rarer than large shows or which might be better. Having attended mainly two small model car shows on an annual basis over the past fifteen years and only participating in larger shows such as CapCon and Heritagecon in the past few years, I find good and bad to both. Small shows definitely give younger or less experienced modelers the opportunity to compete with possibly more success due to the lack of competition, which can help build confidence and gain encouragement from local modelers. On the other hand, large shows encourage the pursuit of a higher level of skills.
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That is a good point Steve. It may also be a bit less intimidating for the first time competitors.
Hey Great photos! I think there are quite a few clubs in the Ottawa area and putting on shows for the organisers is really about promoting your group and the hobby. AMRO ans the Ottawa Sacle Autos all run smopth events and are fun to attend and compete in. The larger shows seem to bring out more models and competitors but they really should not intimidate new modellers as the goal should always be the same as the small shows: have fun, build a model, compete, make new friends and promote this wonderful hobby. Cheers! Terry
PS; That is m y 1/72 Ki-30 Ann- swirls painted with a paint marker from Deserres art supply store!
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In spite of the fact that car models aren’t really my thing, I had a great time at the show. My only quibble is that it would have been nice to have had the entry forms available online somewhere in advance, if only to not subject those poor judges to my handwriting.
I suppose size is an interesting question — for shows, is bigger always better, or is there something to be gained in having a smaller, cozier show? Are there people out there who enjoy smaller shows like AMRO, but don’t feel as comfortable at big shows like CapCon? I know for some people, crowds beyond a certain size can be a bit of a harrowing experience, however I would be curious if there were something more to it?
I’m currently working with a group on organizing a new figure & gundam show, and while we initially had big plans, we are scaling some things back a little (hopefully we can announce something soon!). The thing is, we are intentionally trying to get away from the very competitive aspect, trying to make it more of an exhibition and an opportunity for learning and for just having a fun time, in the vein of the NNL style scale auto shows. Our rationale is in part that we want to avoid some of the negative aspects of competition, and we also want to create a unique experience; figure and gundam modelers in the Montreal/Ottawa/Toronto area who want that serious competition already have Sword and Brush and GBWC, respectively.
Thanks for the nice comments on the bust! She was a labour of love and in a lot of ways the culmination of a lot of things I have learned over the past couple years, especially on colour theory and texture and that sort of thing.
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Excellent models all around, Brian! Very interesting news about the figure and gundam show. I hope you be able to announce it soon.