IPMS AMPSEast - Danbury CT, September 28/29

IPMS AMPSEast - Danbury CT, September 28/29 2012

        I met Mumbles at 7:40am Saturday morning at Grand Central Station. Both groggy, we admitted this was too early for a Saturday. Before we boarded the 8:07am train to Danbury and with plenty of time to spare, I wanted to grab some coffee and maybe an egg sandwich with bacon and cheese. Mumbles was already prepared with his own joe, headed with me to the food court on the lower level of the cavernous station. I ordered and then we chatted while I waited. I completely lost track of time. But Mumbles, he didn't. He casually mentioned we might miss our train if the food didn't come out soon, so I asked the woman at the counter if the sandwich was ready. She said it would be in a few more minutes. In a few more minute the train would be gone and we'd be stuck two hours behind scheduled. Accepting this I urgently told her not to worry on the sandwich and just to hand over my coffee, water and the fruit salad Mumbles had ordered. Yes, I was going to bail on my bacon (and egg). Ignoring or not understanding my request, she went back to the kitchen to check on the bacon and eggs, telling me she'd only be a minute. The bag five feet away on the other side of the counter was a taunt. Another woman came from the kitchen and I asked her for the bag, reiterating feverishly we were going to miss our train and I wasn't interested in the bacon any longer (lie); this was very hard for me.

        Acknowledging this, she disappeared into the kitchen too. She failed to hand over the already bagged goods and like the other woman promised to return in a minute that we didn't have. A fellow came out shortly, and I pleaded for the bag. He handed it over, sans the eggs and bacon and Mumbles and I quickly hurried up the stairs to catch our train. Half way up a flight, the first woman who took my order called after me with the sandwich in hand. A customer who was waiting took the sandwich and like a relay racer, sprinted toward me as an Olympian runner might with the torch. I meet her at the foot of the stairs, thanked her a got the sandwich(s).

We made the train, found our seats and settled in for the two hour ride north out of the city. I opened the clear container, the egg sandwich was in fact two that shared a a cheese filled omelet and topped with bacon. Literally, the omelet and savory bacon strips straddled the two buns! WTF! Needless to say, that was the best bacon, egg and cheese sandwich I've had in a very, very long time. I'm eternally grateful for the sprinting relay race customer who meet me on the stairs.

        Hey, but who the F' cares about my egg sandwich??? The train ride was quick because of the good conversation with Mumbles. We arrived in Danbury on time and after a very expensive cab ride (by New York standards)to the hotel where the meet was being held. I checked in with my Ma.K. builds and Mumbles and I were greeted by Mr. Neil and Georg.
Note to self: register builds on line. To fill out the multiple forms just takes time away from the vendor room and looking at the very fine work on display.

        The vendor room was large with approximately 15 vendors attending. The majority of kits were in 1/35 armor in plastic and resin. Tons of 1/35 accessories too. There were however a sprinkle of Star Wars here and there. The only Ma.K. kit was a Nitto AFS MK1, snatched up by MR. Neil the first day of the show! Mumbles and I had the pleasure of meeting Iain Hamilton from AK Interactive and Ken Abrams form Scale Model Addict. Those two guys have tons of energy. Over the five ours Mumbles and I were at the show, every time we stopped by their table they were demoing product and providing information to modelers. They definitely have a passion for what they do and it shows.

Speaking of passion, Georg and Neil showed up to the hotel Thursday night to get things on the way. On Saturday, I think Neil might have had three of himself there. When I would turn around, there he was... chatting or bringing in lunch to a vendor, helping a participant with their paper work, running a model to a judge's table, running a model to the display table, chatting with a modeler, taking pictures of a model..... I've never seen someone in so many places at the same time! George too, here, there and over here and up there and behind there. These two guys, as far as I could tell are the glue that kept the show together as well as being stellar hosts.

Mumbles and I got to meet Tattoo Jedi and his wife. They came down from Northern New England to attend. Even though he wasn't feeling well, he stuck it out to the end to hang with us and just plain enjoy the day. It was really great to meet him; hearing about his passion for Ma.K., about what inspires him and to have the chance to see his fine work all was inspiring.

        Georg nabbed me mid-way through the afternoon to help with judging the entries. At first, I was intimidated and didn't feel too confident- I don't know a Sherman from a Tiger! But Georg, much wiser than I paired me with a great team of guys. I believe they drove up together from as far as NC to attend. The three gents are all top AFV modelers, though one fella also enjoys Science Fiction subjects -he entered his beautiful 1/72 Millennium Falcon. They guided me through the process, which in the end was very insightful. Each fellow brought his particular modeling strength to the table. For example, one with his historic knowledge. Another with his understanding of kit manufacturing by manufacturer and the degree of difficulty each kit presents to the modeler. Lastly, one fellow with the experience of using different painting and weathering techniques because he doesn't just practice one. Though each judges strengths might not have been apparent to each other, they  were quickly to me because as the comments passed with each kit reviewed. I have to give it up to the judges; it is a time consuming job and being fair and consistent is in my eyes the toughest part to it- especially when this particular group af guys came from so far. I am not sure how it is with other shows, but the judges weren't just judging Advanced modelers, they were judging JR, Intermediate and Advanced in different scale with no particular order. It is a lot of work.

        The awards ceremony was quick with Georg at the mic. As Neil mentioned, we all won awards for our entries. After, Mumbles and I helped Georg and Neil pack up Neil's car with their stuff. We crammed into Neils car and headed to the German restaurant down the road for beer and meats. I always have a good time breaking bread and throwing back a few with these guys. Ma.K. Talk is always fun and interesting. What's better is getting to know each other, what our interests are aside from modeling and or how those interests perhaps influence our modeling. Basically, getting to know what makes us each tick.

Neil, George thanks for hosting and for all your work in making the meet such fun. Also, for going out of your way to make sure Mumbles and I were feed, watered and weren't stranded in Danbury waiting for the 11pm train! Tattoo Jedi, it was a pleasure to meet you and look forward to seeing you in November. Mumbles, thanks for meeting up so early and for great company to Danbury!

The gang.

Mr. Neil's KRACHENVOGEL "Recon"

Mr. Neil's KRACHENVOGEL "Recon" - Nitto

Mr. Neil's KRACHENVOGEL "Recon" - Brick Works Crew

Mr. Neil's KRACHENVOGEL "Recon" - Brick Works Officer

Tattoo Jedi's (Paul's) Ma.K. Kauz II

Tattoo Jedi's (Paul's) Ma.K. Kauz II

Tattoo Jedi's (Paul's) Ma.K. SAFS

Tattoo Jedi's (Paul's) Ma.K. SAFS

Tattoo Jedi's (Paul's) Ma.K. SAFS

Tattoo Jedi's (Paul's) Ma.K. SAFS

Tattoo Jedi's (Paul's) Ma.K. AFS Proto

Tattoo Jedi's (Paul's) Ma.K. AFS Night Stalker

Tattoo Jedi's (Paul's) Ma.K. AFS Night Stalker

Tattoo Jedi (Paul's) Sasha

Tattoo Jedi (Paul's) Sasha 1