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IPMS Salisbury Modelshow 2008

Saturday the 31st of May saw both the start of a rare spell of glorious summer sunshine, and the annual Model Show of the Salisbury IPMS branch. It was another successful show, with a very good attendance of both clubs and individual modellers, and the hall was very busy throughout the day.
What gives this show an added bonus, is the close proximity to the historic city of Salisbury, which with it's medieval city centre, imposing Cathedral and extensive shopping has something to entertain those family members who don't wish to spend all day looking at models. The sunshine made for a enjoyable trip down the beautiful Wiltshire countryside, and after dropping my wife and daughter of near the shops ("please don't spend to much money... ", hmm, that sounds familiar..), I made my way to the college where as usual the show was held in the sports hall. Unfortunately the sports hall lacks 'proper' refreshment facilities, so a big thank you has to go to the ladies who ran the refreshments table in the corner of the hall. They not only provided the steady supply of coffee that keeps me going during the day, they did so with a smile, something not often included with the outside 'professional caterers' that more and more run such facilities.

This year the show, vendors, and the competition were all squeezed into the single hall, which meant that the competition did not have a dedicated room/area. Entries were generally displayed on the various branch and club tables around the hall, but there was one table for the Junior entrants, which was also used for the entries of those Modellers who did not attend with a branch or club, like myself.
On the one hand this set-up does mean that the competition entries are on show all day, rather than being locked away for some time whilst they are judged. This means that those visiting the show just for a short period don't risk missing these models. It also gives the Modellers a chance to display the models on their table, and talk about it during the day, rather than just for a short while after the competition has ended. The competition entries were of a very high standard, and I don't envy the Armour category judges.
There are however a few drawbacks to this set-up too, and as I volunteered to be a judge, I was soon to find out. Because the entries are dispersed around the hall, it can be a bit tricky to find some, resulting in the sight of slightly confused judges walking up and down the tables trying to find that elusive last model on their list. Having to potentially judge the models in front of the builder was a new experience for me, and I'm not sure who was more nervous...lol. I must admit that I prefer judging behind closed doors, because I feel that that gives the judge a better opportunity to scrutinize the models, if only because you have to pick up the models, which can give others the wrong impression that it is o.k. to do so for everybody.

I understand that this year's competition was in many ways a new venture, in addition to the lack of a separate space for the competition this year the judging also followed the IPMS '1st, 2nd, and highly commended' format, rather than the Open Gold, Silver and Bronze format. Suggestions for improvements and additional classes for next year's competition were eagerly noted down, so next year should be an even better competition.
The prize for best presented Club Table went to the Mendip Modellers, a small ragtag band of very talented modellers, who in addition also walked away with several more individual prizes. Due to my rolling night shift rota I can only attend their monthly meetings very occasionally, but it is always a pleasure to do so.
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About Henk Meerdink (Henk)