2009 IPMS/USA National
Convention - Columbus, Ohio
was fortunate to be able to attend this year's IPMS/USA National
Convention being held from Aug 19-22 in Columbus. This is my
Update: Sunday morning, August 23
year I'll be posting most of my photos on Flickr. It's a free
you can post and view photos, and it's much easier than generating
embedded photos on these pages. Look here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mjmackowski/
For additional photos see (http://www.ipmsusa.org
and follow the links).
Idacavage is photographing models (left) while new IPMS Head Judge Mike
Polk (background, light blue shirt) chats with space judges Troy
Bidwell, Mike Ronnau and Rob Schorry. Not sure who is hiding
Some of the attendees
from the 2009 Space Modelers Seminar: (L to R, standing) Dan
Rodgick, Ben Guenther, Mike Mackowski, Pete Maliguti, Mark Wright,
Tom Long, Manny Gutsche, Rob Schorry; (L to R kneeling) Dennis Rodgick,
Nicklas, Mike Idacavage, Linden Sims, Sven Knudson, Troy Bidwell.
the convention doesn't start until Wednesday afternoon, I left on
Monday for Columbus. Several guys from the Phoenix club also
decided to come out early so we can visit the Air Force Museum on
Tuesday. The convention offers a tour but that blows all day
Thursday. I'd rather look at the models and attend some seminars
and spend more time in the vendor room. So off I went.
Tuesday, August 18
of us were traveling together - Mike Ronnau, who drove all the way from
Phoenix (and carried some of my stuff), Steve Collins and Jim Clark -
and after spending Monday night in a hotel in
Fairborn, we spent the entire day at the Air Force Museum. They now
have four (or five - depending on how you count) hangars of aircraft.
That's a lot of stuff to look at and we needed the whole day. Some of
the exhibit areas are rather dark making photography difficult. But
from my perspective there are always other good sources for photos so
it wasnt't a big deal.
I found some books and things in the gift shop and we drove back to
Columbus, checked into the Hyatt and found dinner at an Irish pub in
their Arena District. A good start.
in a little and discovered that the adjacent convention center had a
nice food court. Hotel restaurants are over-priced so this was a nice
convenient option for us. Then we went hobby shopping, checking out one
of the local shops. I found some re-issues of some old Aoshima Apollo
kits that they brought out for the Apollo 11 40th anniversary. I
generally don't buy many kits at these shows but here I was with three
kits and the vendor room hand't even opened yet.
trend continued as the first order of business after registering was to
check out the vendor rooms. Once again, several kit manufacturers were
re-issuing old models not available for years or new releases of
subjects not available at all or at least with any decent quality. The
former included those Aoshima Apollo kits and the latter included some
neat X planes from the Czech company Special Hobby. I wound up with the
Special Hobby X-1B, X-1E and the Skystreak. I also found a 1/228th
Buran-Energiya for $6. All that shopping meant I never got to the model
room. I hear the turnout there was good and I'll get to that tomorrow.
we had a group of about ten people go to Barley's brew house for
dinner. It included Sven and Krista Knudson, Mike and Carol Brickman,
Mike Idacavage, Troy Bidwell, Brian Nicklas and two of Brian's old
friends whose names I forgot. That was great.
look for new photos as I didn't take many today. I also had some
computer/internet issues that slowed down getting this info updated and
uploaded, but that's all smoothed out now. I should have some pictures
on Flickr by midday Thursday.
Thursday, August 20
quick report today. Spent a lot of the day looking at the models. Looks
like a big turnout and a very good turnout in the real space area. The
dozen or so V-2s don't hurt. Pete Malaguti seems to have brought
everything he's built, or so it seems. He has several very well done
Apollo dioramas. Had lunch and dinner with several of the space guys.
Dinner was at Schmidt's German restaurant (stuffed cabbage, cream
puffs). Yum. I posted some pictures on Flicker.
Friday, August 21
my annual space modeling seminar this morning to a standing room only
crowd of 35 people. I gave an intro on what I had been up to lately re
modeling. Then Rob Schorry gave a nice presentation on unmanned lunar
probes. I handed out a pile of door prizes and Tom Castronouva had some
blinky LED Space Shuttle pins. The get-together was a lot of fun
The rest of
the day was spent looking at the models and hitting a seminar or two.
We got an early dinner in the food court and then the judges meeting
was at 6 and from there right into judging.
tough as there were over 2500 entries and the quality was exceptional.
I led a team of three judges and we had the sci fi category (650) to
work. The host committee wound up with a lot of extra trophies so we
were able to split 605 three ways. The number of entries in Space and
Sci Fi was at near records so that was also a factor. We took about an
hour to judge each category (the results should be up on the IPMS or
convention website). As usual, there were the tough decisions
trying to compare two models. Both would be of equal wokrmanship but
we'd have to find some discriminator. Usually it was a construction
flaw or some inconsistancy in weathering. Then you need to decide which
of those flaws is worse. But we got through that and pciked our best of
class by around 11:15 pm. The other classes were done by around
(I heard) but picking the Judges Grand Award took another two hours.
That went to a USS Truman modern aircraft carrier. Some of the space
modeler crowd had some drinks afterwards.
Saturday, August 22
I took some notes
(for enxt year) in the contest room and attended the start of the
convention bid meeting. Dick Christ gave a status on our show and we
showed our video (I wrote the draft of the script). Then Idacavage,
Gutsche, and Bidwell and I drove to Wapakaneta to visit the Neil
Armstroing Museum I have never been there before although a couple of
the other guys were some time ago. They had the only remaining F-5D out
in front and an Apollo and Gemini mockup also outdoors.
They have a
nice little museum here. Lots of Armstrong artifacts, Gemini 8 capsule,
some spacesuits, etc. We had a lunch at a McDonalds there with more
Armstrong and Apollo memorabilia. We got back around 4:30 and I think I
was the last customer at the Tool Man. The contest room was closed and
the reception was starting at 5. That was fun, hanging with the spacers
and the Phoenix guys. The meal was nice and the service staff was
efficient. On the down side, the banquet room was a little small, and
after the meal there was really very little room for the additional
folks who come in just for the awards. They had multiple large flat
screens to show the photos of the winning models.
presentation went pretty smoothly. TJ, the convention chair, chatted
quite a bit before they got to the society awards and finally the
contest results. Aris and Bill did their usual good job of reading off
the winners. Years ago they used to do planned comedy bits, usually at
the beginning. I miss those. But this year, with so many entries, all
the splits, and many out of the box awards, it was going to be a long
evening. The contest results alone took almost two and a half hours to
club members won several awards. Tom Alexander took several first
places, Steve Collins got a third for an armor piece, and I got a
second place for my 1/48th Apollo 15 LM. When I saw Pete Maliguti's
multiple Apollo dioramas I wondered why I even bothered to haul my LM
here. But the judges gave me the "Best Apollo Program" award (the theme
was history so they commemorated the 40th anniversary of Apollo 11).
That was realy cool. This was one of the awards they hand out at the
dinner, as the regular category awards are placed out on the tables. So
that was really nice. I don't think I've ever won anything at that
level before. Nice.
updated Sept. 8, 2009