Friday will be quiet we thought. It's the best day to go and have a look around.
Friday was busy. Very busy indeed. The field that acts as a car park was surprisingly full by 11am, on hour after the show opened. Admittedly there wasn't a queue at the door but that's 'cos they were all inside already.
The show is the usual mix of boats on display, trade stands and a reasonable sized pond for models to exercise. Trade numbers were down this year (No Model Power, Scoonie or Reade Models, Anglia Model Centre plus at least one other I can't put a name to) which is possibly down to an increase in costs. There aren't any gaps of course, those spaces are filled with even more models. And BP Mouldings, a new trader to me, appeared to fill one space with a fantastic range of resin castings.
It might seem treacherous but I think the best club stand this year belongs to the Luton MBC who have actually built a stand in the shape of a boat complete with bridge. This must have taken a heck of a lot of work but looks great. Most of the displays are impressive but this club is obviously trying to give the lifeboats a run for thier money in the "best stand" competition !
There are too many superb models to describe but a couple that caught my eye were the Rother lifeboat made from a currently available Russian kit for an Oakley. Apparently the hull is very close and simply (!) scratch building a superstructure gives the more modern boat. I've one of these hulls in my stash and it's inspired me to have a go.
Best model of the show though has to go to the pictured French fishing boat which has appropriately, come from France, Bateux Modelisme Brestois to be precise. A large scale scratchbuilt mode is impressive enough but this has been put together by a real artist. While the construction is good, it's the excellent weathering and detail that brings the model to life. Various tools are casually tucked behind handrails, just as they would be in real life. Rust contaminates every seam and is running down the paintwork. I absolutely loved it.
You can find my photos on Flickr - I'll be adding to the gallery over the weekend.
The official web site for the show.
Update: Apparently the Friday crowds vanished by mid afternoon and the show was closed a bit early. On Saturday, the attendance didn't seem as great but arrived steadily through the day rather than in a rush at opening time. At 3:50 an announcement was made that the show would close at 4pm again despite there being plenty (IMHO) of punters wandering around - I've certainly seen model railway shows with less bodies in the hall that have stayed open - which suprised us all as we thought it was 4:30. Mind you, the web site does say 4pm so I assume we just hadn't been paying attention.
Another update: Picking up the boats on Sunday I got in a couple of hours early and took the time to chat to a few people. Crowds were still good and those in the trade seemed to have had a very good event. I know at least one stand had re-stocked and others wish they could have done.