Ajax 32nd Annual Plastic Model Contest

(For all those, who won’t read till the end – you can see more photos here)

Ajax was yesterday a place to be for all the modellers from far and wide. Ajax was again the home of the Annual model contest and of course I couldn’t miss this occasion. The popularity of this event is consistently high and this year wasn’t an exception. Yesterday’s attendance might have been boosted by the poor weather which could have eliminated other weekend plans of the modellers…

I tend to be critical about the presented models at the model shows, but this time I must admit that there were quite a few nice (and some more than nice) armour models out there. I didn’t have much time to check out pieces on display in non-armour categories, but from what I have seen in aircraft section, the quality seemed also very high.

In the armour section, my (and not only mine) favourite was the Panther G, which I think was by far the best armour on display. The quality of the paint work and finish was simply outstanding and in my opinion was on par with the models that can be found in the Panther book that hit the shelves some months ago.  Not trying to lessen the quality of the other models, which were very nice pieces (some of them built by friends of mine) I was disappointed to see this model score third in its category, as I truly believe it was by far the best overall (here I must admit that I was among the judges, but I was not judging this particular category as I had my own model in it).

What I like most about the model shows is coming back home with an inspiration from the work of others and there were few models this time that achieved that, such as my friend Dave’s Panzer I C as well as Waffentrager, weathering of which was very authentic. There were also two very nice Ferdinands on display, which might get me to finish the one sitting on my shelve.

Few observation I could perhaps offer as someone who participated in the judging – as I said, the quality of the models was one of the highest among the recent model shows. This does not mean there weren’t any shortcomings to be seen on the presented models. In few cases the impression from a model which clearly took an effort to paint and weather was marred by very simple mistakes – glue spots visible on the surface, visible molding seams on parts, bad fit of parts such as hatches, misaligned tracks, wheels “flying” above the tracks.

As far as painting and weathering si concerned, the quality of the models was quite varied. The most usual mistakes included uniform paint finish with no colour variance and depth, unrealistic and illogical chipping (chips either too large and exaggerated or placed at random places, where they would only rarely occur), visible lines left by the washes and filters or just simple lack of weathering of any kind. Again above words are definitely not meant as criticism as far too often I commit them myself.

In the short time that was left to inspect tables displaying other things than armour, I spent short while checking the airplane categories. These were dominated by huge (literally) collection of 1/32 scale Phantoms, which were gathered as part of the Phabulous Phantom Project, to see the high and consistent quality of these machines was really impressive. Among the rest, my eye was caught by Israeli Mirage built from Eduard, one of my favourite aircrafts, permanently tempting me to go to the dark side. It was very neat and nice model.

So to summarize – if you have missed this event, you missed a lot. Thanks go to all of those, who participated in the preparation and organization of this event. I am already looking forward to the 33rd season.

For all those, who didn’t have a chance to come this year – you can find my photo report here.

Categories: Events, Inspirations, News

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