NorthWest Scale Modeler’ Winter Show

By Jim Schubert
Photos by Tim Nelson

The theme for this year’s two-day model show at Seattle’s Museum Of Flight (MOF) on Saturday and Sunday February 18 and 19 was “Manufactured By” with the aircraft and car models being grouped by manufacturer. Again Jon Carr Farrelly did all the computer art work for the signage. We had two large blocks of tables, ten each, for the UK consortium and for Boeing; these gathered all of the previously independent companies that disappeared into these two giants. Perhaps displaying a bit of Northwest bias, Northrop-Grumman and Lockheed-Martin were not so grouped; the products of their constituent companies being separately labeled and displayed. These sortings become very subjective and it is difficult to be fair and consistent as the representation provided by the models tendered by our exhibitors is spotty and unpredictable. There were the usual Schwarms of 109s, 190s and Mustangs. We do the best we can but we can only display what the modelers build and bring. Last year’s “official” model count was 1,194 this year we had 1,229. For the past year, as in previous years, we have been exhorting the locals to, “Bring All Your Models” and it worked – again. The 1,229 exceded our previous all time high of 1,200 for the Centiennial show in 2000.

The presentation in the William M. Allen Theatre in conjunction with the model show was by well-known local aviation artist Jim Dietz. He told us how he became interested in av-art as a kid and how his big goal for many years was to do box art for kits. He spent a great deal of time showing step-by-step progress photos of how he develops an idea from its origin to a finished painting. Many of his preliminary sketches are fine pieces of art in their own right; I wonder if he ever sells any of these. The presentation was well attended with a spirited Q & A session following.

As last year, Bob Jacobsen, owner of Galaxy Hobby organized and conducted a Make - And – Take for the kids using some 200 snap together kits; members of NWSM and IPMS helped the future modelers with their work

Again we had a good contingent of modelers visiting from IPMS-Vancouver who came bearing lots of superb models. Modelers from elsewhere around the area also helped us a lot in bulking up the numbers of models displayed. Something new this year was the establishment on February 2 of two display cases containing 42 1/72 scale models in the lobby of the MOF; Norm Filer, Bill Osborn and I each placed a dozen models supported by others from Will Perry and Stephen Tontoni. We hope the public’s very favorable reaction to this model display will allow us to maintain a continuing rotating, themed display tied in with MOF events. This display would provide both the NorthWest Scale Modelers and IPMS-Seattle with an attractive platform to spread the word about our hobby.

The MOF staff, especially Harold Rubin - Manager of Public Events, were terrific in their pro-active support and cooperation in putting on this year’s show. The new President and CEO of the MOF, NASA astronaut, Dr. Bonnie Dunbar visited to see the models and to chat with exhibitors and visitors.

As always we had several tables set up for modelers to actually work on their current projects. This year we set up more chairs and space so that visitors could sit and watch and chat with the builders; this provides a good interface with the public as people will stop, sit, watch and talk. Initially, of course, this space was used to repair models damaged in packing and in transit. Damage is the bete noir of this kind of activity and cannot be avoided. There is, though, very little damage actually caused by visitors; we inflict most of it ourselves in packing, unpacking and in the transits to and from home. Several modelers refuse to participate in this show because of the exposure to damage but I personally believe that participating, and risking damage, is the price that we should all be willing to pay for our membership in this terrific world-wide community of modelers.

If you live in, or near, the Pacific Northwest, or are just traveling through next February, join us AND bring all your models. If you need a place to bunk we can arrange that gratis too.

I’ll see you all at the IPMS-Seattle Spring Show and Contest on Saturday April 22. Visit http://www.ipms-seattle.org/ for details of time, place, categories, &c.


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