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2014 Show Review


Once again the weather was kind to us over the weekend and we saw an increased queue at the front door at ten am Saturday morning, a positive sign for the shows future. Indeed attendances were up across the board in 2014, although we were somewhat bemused by the lack of teenagers; despite a big advertising push locally in the weeks running up to the event. This is one area we shall be looking at again in the preparations for our 2015 show.

The biggest physical change for 2014 was our use of the Sports centre’s swimming pool by the radio controlled boat and submarine section; in two sessions each day. A new gaming section attended and saw much interest from the audience in the wide range of games and genres on display. 2014 saw an increase in plastic kit modelling via the kind assistances of the Airfix special interest group of the IPMS. Another new section was provided by the Pheonix flying club who displayed an array of large scale radio controlled aircraft. Our front of house model being supplied by another RC flying ace: John Butterworth with his beautiful Fokker D1 triplane, which saw much interest over the weekend.

This year we introduced fine scale railway modelling to the show with Mick Simpsons, Wansbeck road in 152nd finescale, setting a ‘high bar’ for the future. We staged 13 model railways in ┬áthe end with my own entry being removed at the last minute to make space for the increase RC aircraft display; and accordingly Aston Magna will be staged at our 2015 show.

Again the standard of modelling was excellent, receiving many favourable comments both from the co-exhibitors, stewards and visitors alike. A huge thank you goes out to all those who took the time and trouble to complete and display their models at the show; without you we have no show, its as simple as that.. so cheers! A couple of special mentions go to: David Parrish for his innovative, interactive RC aircraft demonstration and to Anthony Bates who brought his exquisite model of Midhurst to the show and proceeded to assemble and operate it all weekend, flawlessly. We received more good comments form visitors about this particular model than any other.

One final item of noteworthy interest came from Ken Ball, a prolific demonstrator and renowned and well published architectural modeller, many were surprised to see plastic maritime modelling on Kens stand and for us this was sheer magic; one of our key goals being to get modellers trying out each others techniques, materials and genres and so expand the interactions and quality of all modelling across the hobby.

Traders once again reported unfavourable sales over the weekend and its seems that the current financial climate is still forcing many to keep tight reigns on their expenditures. Such may also be the result of our event following a few weeks after two major modelling events elsewhere in the country; both of which are renowned as ‘trade shows’ where modellers often go to make their annual list of purchases. Accordingly we have taken the view to concentrate less on the trade and more on exhibits in 2015. Rest assured we will endeavour to cover the basic modellers needs i.e. RTR, kits, tools, materials, paints etc.

As exhibition manager I was pleased overall with the event and as its mainly my fault if its rubbish! I have to say such really? but in truth we again saw some great modelling, were well supported by the hobby and general public alike and where we failed: which in the main was due to a lack of volunteer stewards, we apologise and be rest assured that I will correct these minor faults for our 2015 event.

Wishing you all a productive modelling new year and looking forwards to seeing you in December…

Mark Henshaw