A general view of the hall we were in. While you can't see the whole thing, it gives an impression of the size. This room was one of 3. The third hall housed the cafeteria and its many tables, as well as a full scale replica of a Spitfire IX. It was actually a 1:1 scale model of sorts, complete with wonky landing gear attached at a goofy angle.
Well, I am home and recovering from the jetlag earned from crossing 8 time zones. It's a long way from Northern California to Telford, England. As you know, my plans for blogging during the show were scuttled by the amazing lack of Wi-Fi during the entire stay. How this can happen in 2010 is hard to fathom. The hotel is next to a gigantic convention center, where businessmen are constantly attending various and sundry trade shows. If this were to happen in the States, there would have been a crapstorm of angry complaints, and it would have been fixed in a matter of hours, no matter the cost. The inability to blog was a minor inconvenience for me, but for others I talked to who had business to conduct, it was a real pain in the ass. I digress.
I arrived on Friday afternoon and met up with my good friend Lee Coll, who often meets me for shows and helps me run the booth. Lee also has done some superb pattern work for Barracuda Studios. He did the lion's share of the work on the Meteor Intakes, the Sea Vixen Intakes, the Bear Props and a number of other products to be released in the near future. If you stopped by the booth at Phoenix or at Telford this year, you have met him. We met around 20 years ago through the now defunct Fleet Air Arm Special Interest Group (USA). We both have a abiding interest in RAN aircraft, especially the postwar stuff, from Sea Furies and Fireflies through Buccaneers and Phantoms, even extending to the Sea Harriers.
We headed over to the hall after checking in to see if the decals from Cartograf had arrived. They were not at the table. Not a good sign. I was told to see Paul Regan of IPMS/UK, who was very helpful (Thanks, Paul!), and gave me the good news that they had pulled them aside and locked them away for safe keeping. The package was collected and we headed back to the room. After a really good dinner with some IPMS Pittsburgh friends at a Chinese restaurant in the nearby town of Shifnal, we came back to the room, and packaged hundreds of decals until about 1:30 in the morning.
Lee Coll, of Baton Rouge helped me run the table for the show, as he has on many occasions in the past. Olga, from Russia, was running the MasterClub Models table next door. She was very nice and shared her special "tea" with us!
Up early Saturday morning for a quick breakfast in the hotel restaurant, then over to the Hall to get set up and ready for the assembled masses. Did not have time to shoot photos of the hall, but I'm sure you can find a good selection online. It's a very large building; well lit and climate controlled, with plenty of space for even this huge show. The doors opened at 9AM for IPMS members, and to the rest of the public at 10PM. Sales were brisk, and the 1/32 Spitfire cockpit sets sold out by early afternoon. I thought I had brought enough product, but obviously not.