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The Greatest Show on Earth! (Well, Omaha, Nebraska)

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Report on the IPMS Omaha Convention by Mark Ford

July 26 thru July 29, the largest model convention and contest held each year in the USA took place in Omaha, Nebraska.  The venue was the La Vista Convention Center flanked by the Embassy Suites and the Marriott Courtyard hotels.  The event brought 740 registered IPMS competitors who entered 2700+ models into the competition for the various 195 categories in the contest.  The convention also featured 341 vendor tables with many model related items available for purchase.  Registration for the contest took place over 3 days, Wednesday through Friday afternoon.  Modelers and models came from far and near for the convention and contest. Places such as the Czech Republic, Japan and Brazil were represented.  Judging of the model entries was done on Friday evening by over 200 volunteer IPMS qualified judges.  First, second and third place class winners were determined by a 3 man judging team in each category.   Of course, there were many teams for each category there being 8 for Military Vehicles alone.  The judges in each category then chose the “Best of” for each category among the many excellent first place winners.  The top “Judges Best” winner is then chosen but the respective category Head judges by vote.  This year the “Judge’s Best” winner went to a scratchbuilt 1/35 scale commercial pipe laying tractor.  The many awards were given out on Saturday evening at the Awards Banquet. The convention passed much too quickly as the opportunity to visit with many friends in the hobby only happens once a year!  Next years event is scheduled for August 1 thru August 4 in Phoenix, Arizona.

The Military Vehicle classes were very well attended with an estimated 300-400 model entries.  The judges determined the “Best Military Vehicle Award” was earned by Harvey Low, Canada, for his scratchbuilt  WWII Japanese assault/engineer vehicle in 1/72 scale (Shown left).  What I found very interesting is the fact Harvey scratchbuilt the same vehicle several years ago in 1/35 scale. The number of models and level of craftsmanship on display was something to behold.   Enjoy the photos of some of the models on display in the competition.

Mark Ford. Washington State. USA.


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