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2015 IPMS/USA National Convention

This is my report on the Space Modelers activities the 2015 IPMS/USA National Convention which was held in Columbus, Ohio. This includes some photos from Karl Dodenhoff , Rob Schorry, and Manny Gutsche.

Tue. July 21
Dom and Lynda and Mike Idacavage kicked off the social gatherings with dinner at the Carillon Brewing Co. in Dayton.

Wed. July 22
More people arrived, including myself. After setting up my Soyuz landing diorama and the Phoenix Chapter group display of boneyard aircraft, I found some of the other Space Modelers. We went down the street to Barley’s for a nice meal and the usual socializing.

Thu. July 23
A good chunk of the gang went on the bus trip to Dayton and the National Museum of the United States Air Force. I still just like to call it the Air Force Museum. I sat next to David Carlton and saw Sven and Krista as well as Mike Idacavage and Troy Bidwell. I was on this tour in 2009 and was pleased to see a few new exhibits and aircraft on display. My biggest surprise was seeing the NRO spy satellites on display. I was not aware this is where they wound up after being revealed and displayed in Washington, DC, a few years ago. The KH-9 Hexagon is a large and impressive piece of technology for having been designed in the late 1960s.


The quick turnaround to the evening group outing to Schmidt’s Sausage Haus left no time for me to visit the model room or vendor areas. We had a nice turnout at Schmidt’s, which included Karl and Kwan Cha Dodenhoff, Sven Knudson and his wife Krista, Idacavage, Bidwell, Carlton, Dom and Lynda, Richard Robison.  Maybe Tom Castronouva? Jay Andry? The food was great, not to mention the locally brewed beer.

Photo at left includes (L ro R) Dom Durocher, Lynda Pelley, David Carlton


Photo from Schmidt's at left includes (L to R): Sven, Krista, Mike Idacavage

Fri. July 24
Finally a (mostly) full day to just peruse the model and vendor rooms. I was disappointed in the offerings for seminars so I didn’t even look for those. I was not in the market for anything other than a reasonably priced 1/48th Mercury/Gemini kit, and not finding that, I wound up only buying a few tools on this trip.

Since some folks didn’t arrive until last evening, today was the big planned Space Modelers meal function. We got together at Barley’s again and had a great time. It has gotten that the highlight of these conventions is not the model contest or the stuff you can buy, but the chance to personally spend time with people we communicate with electronically all year. This becomes our one annual opportunity to spend some quality time with folks who have become true friends over the years. So these meals and post-event drinks at the bar are really the best part of attending the IPMS Nats.

As best I can recall, we had these folks at the lunch:  Sven, Krista, Idacavage, Bidwell, Karl, Kwan Cha, Carlton, Robison, Dom, Lynda, The photo from Rob Schorry shows one of the two tables.


Judging took up the evening as usual and Manny Gutsche assembled a great team of 13 judges. With one new judge, we broke into four groups and were done with the Space and Sci Fi categories by 10:30 pm. There was a lot of fine work, and the most rocket models I have ever seen at a Nats. I was also impressed by the imaginative work shown, in entries like scratchbuilt Willy Ley concepts and a different variety of kit bashed entries in the Sci Fi categories. It was refreshing to see things besides yet another Star Trek cruised or Star Wars odd-ball fighter.

Photo of the judges courtesy Manny Gutsche:
Back row, L to R: Rich Robison, Ed Ingersoll, Bill Winter, Mike Idacavage, Jay Andry, Troy Bidwell, Bruce Newsome, Peter Espada, Ron Bell
Bottom row: Rob Schorry, Mike Mackowski, Mike Ronnau, Manny Gutsche, Matt Cook


Sat. July 25

At the banquet it was announced that Omaha was selected (over Phoenix) to host the 2017 event. I made another sweep of the vendor rooms and broke down and found some sanding pads to buy. That was about it. I also took a few more photos in the model room, and tried to take pictures of people and not just chunks of plastic. You can find photos of the models on other sites, like ipmsusa.org. Sven also posted photos here:

Several of us had lunch at the North Market, a collection of eclectic food stands in a converted warehouse a couple of blocks from the hotel. Finally, at 4 pm, it was time for the 19th annual Real Space Modelers Seminar. Somehow we got the last time slot on the last day of the show. Despite that, I counted 42 people at the gathering. I did some announcements (including notice of the availability of the revised SIM #1.1) and then introduced David Carlton and Karl Dodenhoff. David explained how he researched and built his collection of amazing Vanguard rockets. Karl showed off his scratchbuilt Huygen Titan probe, which will soon be offered as a resin kit. He also talked about the New Horizons mission and his scratchbuilt version, the new kit from RealSpace Models, and showed off Rob Schorry’s version of a scratchbuild of this probe. See links below. I wrapped it up with the door prizes, and everyone was able to take something home. Fun was had by all.

Photos by Karl Dodenhoff



We had a good turnout at the banquet. The Space Modelers table included myself, Idacavage, Carlton, Bidwell, Dom, Lynda, Tom Castronouva and his wife, Jay Andry, and Richard Robison. David Carlton won best in class in Space and Science Fiction for his Vanguard TV-4 (?) and he took home another award for his Vanguard collection. More socializing followed in the bar area, as we competed with numerous women attending a “Thirty-One” fashion accessory marketing and sales convention. It was quite a memorable show.


Banquet photos by Richard Robison

More pictures can be found on my Flickr site.

You can download Karl's presentations here:  Huygens and New Horizons


his page created August 1, 2015, updated 8/8/15