As I stated on my previous looking back article about the 2012 Montreal Model Meet, one of the many unfortunate realities during this time is the cancellation or postponement of all sorts of events and gatherings. Relevant to this blog is the cancellation of model shows this spring. This is definitely a small price to pay to limit the spread of this virus and to help our health systems cope with it.
That doesn’t mean we can’t look at some models while we weather this storm. So why not a show report featuring words of appreciation, maybe some inspiration and pictures of great models?
So sit back, this show is one I remember rather fondly.
The 2012 Wellington County Modellers Exhibition
Better known as the Well*Co*M*E* Show. It took place in the early spring of 2012 in the City of Guelph Ontario. It had to have been March or April of 2012 and it was one of the first out of town contests I had ever attended. I am not sure if this show is an annual or bi-annual show but they do have facebook presence.
I had a great experience at this show and there were a lot of great aspects to it. Where to begin? Well, the venue for this show was fantastic. It was at a fairly modern high school with tons of free parking. The vendor room was held in a large gym with plenty of space. The contest room also had a ton of space and was located in a form of large assembly hall with very large windows. There was a stage at the front of the room but all of the seating area was cleared for the contest tables and this allowed for easy viewing and pictures. Between these two rooms was the school’s main hallway with plenty of signs and directions for everyone. A definite plus for us visitors.
Onto that vendor room! This was easily one of the highlights of the show. It was jam packed with all sorts of vendors and it seemed as though they were all selling exactly what I was interested in. At that time I was all about the 1/48 Tamiya and Hasegawa WW2 prop kits and there were a ton of those available. Moreover, the prices asked for these models were in line with what I consider to be ‘model show reality’. As an aside and I’m sure this is a ripe topic for a future post but I’ve never understood those vendors seeking full MSRP or more for kits at a model contest. It can’t be fun to spend the entire day sitting at a vendor table only to pack them all up. Anyhow, there were lots of deals to be had that day and I sure built up the stash with some excellent models.
Another memorable aspect of this show was the raffle. First of all, they sold tickets by the arm’s length! Now maybe it was 15 or so tickets but I loved it. As contest raffles go, think I win something at every third model contest. This time I luckily won 2 models and a set of decals! One of those models was the Revell 1/32 He111 and the other was a 1/350 Japanese Nagara cruiser by Aoshima. These models may not have been in my wheelhouse at the time but they were definitely great raffle scores.
As for the contest models, the tables were filled that day. Maybe with the exception of ships. It seems to me the host club was supportive of out-of-box building and I recall there were several awards for out-of-box builds. I might be wrong, but I think in addition to the standard IPMS awards of 1st-2nd-3rd, there was also an OOB award for every sub-category. There was also a general OOB category for each of Aircraft, Armour, Ships, Cars, etc as well as a “Best Of OOB” show award. I really liked this system and I think it was a neat feature of that show.
Unfortunately I did not take many pictures and I don’t remember why. I recall there were a couple fantastic ships on display but I don’t have any pictures of them. Looking at these pictures I enjoy the “navalized” CF-100. I imagine it would have taken some pretty powerful new engines, several RATO packs and a robust catapult to get that big heavy thing off a carrier.
Other Models that Caught My Eye
My two other passions are baseball and cycling. Prior to making the trip, I did some research and found there was an amazing indoor batting cage facility in Guelph. I made my way other there during the contest judging period. In my home town these places pop up every few years but never seem to make enough money to keep going. It was great to get some swings in before my season. Then, I find out to my complete surprise that the batting cages were right beside a bicycle shop. Not one of these strip mall bike stores, but a real old school bike shop and garage. I was a kid in a candy shop. I even considered buying one of the bikes on special until I came to my senses!
Unfortunately I have never gone back to the Well*Co*M*E* show and I think that is a real shame. They put on an excellent show for area modelers. Of course, my fond memories are probably affected by the volume of great models I bought from vendors and won in the raffle. After packing up those kits and my contest entries, there was not much room left in the trunk! Hopefully I can make it out to Guelph again someday.
So what do you think of having more out-of-box awards at model contests? I think its a great feature and would certainly be an easier addition to administer from the volunteer perspective. It may even encourage more ‘rookie’ participants.